The 15 Most Effective Steps to Take Now
Forget about botox, plastic surgery and chemical peels. Learn to prevent wrinkles and avoid the drastic measures sometimes used to erase the little lines that mark the passage of time.
How to prevent wrinkles is a question that has sparked a multi-billion dollar industry. In reality, preventing wrinkles can be as simple as avoiding unhealthy habits and making a few lifestyle changes.
Your age tells only half of the story. What you eat, how much you sleep, whether or not you exercise, your emotional well being as well as environmental factors all impact your skin.
The things you do can advance wrinkles and aging skin or prevent wrinkles from happening — the choice is up to you. Here are some easy tips you can follow to help keep your skin glowing and looking young for years to come.
1. Limit Your Time in the Sun
Don’t over do it. You need some sun in your daily life to produce Vitamin D, but avoid overexposing your skin to ultraviolet rays. These rays can weaken collagen and elastin, causing your skin to sag. Cumulative damage from excess exposure to UV rays is still considered the No. 1 cause of premature aging and skin cancer.
2. Don’t Smoke
Quit now! Smoking ages your skin. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, stop immediately. Studies show smoking causes your body to release an enzyme that breaks down collagen and elastin, leading to wrinkled skin that’s up to 40% thinner.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Get plenty of rest. Lack of sleep triggers the release of the stress hormone cortisol which slows down growth and reduces the maintenance of normal skin tissue. Your skin becomes dry and more susceptible to infection and wrinkles from sunlight exposure.
4. Eat More Omega-3 Found in Fish
Nourish your skin. The fats and oils found in omega-3 fatty acids can prevent wrinkles and is abundant in cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, herring and sardines. Other good sources include almonds, walnuts, flaxseed and sunflower seeds.
5. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Fight free radical damage. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants which can help your skin defend against environmental damage. They also contain vitamin C, known to be essential in the production of collagen, the substance that gives your skin its strength and firmness.
6. Apply Moisturizer
Use a good moisturizer. All face creams are not created equal – and expensive isn’t necessarily better. High end, name brand moisturizers can be more about fancy bottles and expensive marketing than a good product. Instead, look for a face cream packed with antioxidants and natural ingredients.
7. Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Lighten up on life. Studies show being in a happy relationship and having an optimistic approach to life can prevent wrinkles. Stress can thin and weaken your skin making it more susceptible to the pull of gravity. Facial expressions like frowns and scowls can magnify and deepen wrinkles.
8. Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush out the toxins collected in the body that can have a negative impact on your skin. Keeping your skin quenched helps it stay moist and plump. Dehydrated skin tends to look flat and dull, which can draw attention to fine lines and creases.
9. Use Natural Face Cleansers
Avoid harsh chemicals. Do you really know what all those chemicals are doing to your skin? Try making an all-natural cleanser using simple ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. For instance, try mixing together oatmeal, milk and honey to make a great natural facial cleanser.
Stay active. Daily exercise can help keep your body and skin looking healthy and youthful. The look of your skin is often an outward reflection of your overall health. Facial exercises can also help prevent wrinkles by improving circulation and moving blood and nutrients into places that normally lack attention.
11. Limit Alcohol
No heavy drinking. Excessive alcohol consumption can leave its mark on your face. However, an occasional drink is not harmful for your skin or health. Try drinking water in between alcoholic drinks to help keep your skin moist and flush the alcohol through your system.
12. Wear Sunglasses
Look cool. Don’t forget to wear your sunglasses. They protect the delicate skin surrounding your eyes by blocking the sun’s damaging rays. Plus, they keep you from squinting which also helps prevent wrinkles.
13. Try Using a Humidifier
Humidify your home. A humidifier will do wonders for you by soothing your skin from the outside and helping it retain moisture on the inside. During the winter heating season a humidifier is a must.
14. Avoid Excess Sugar
Reduce your sugar intake. A diet high in sugar affects the quality of collagen your body produces. You don’t have to avoid dessert completely but for healthy and beautiful skin limit your sugar consumption.
15. Eat Berries
Amp up the antioxidants. The high antioxidant content found in blueberries can perk up your skin’s elasticity and increase collagen production. Other berries with excellent anti-aging properties include blackberries, strawberries, cranberries and raspberries.
Recent studies confirm that some antioxidants not only prevent damage from free radicals, but can actually reverse the damage. Antioxidants work best collectively. So, fill your plate with a mixture of berries, brightly colored fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes. It’s an effective way to add antioxidants to your diet.
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U.S.Department of Health and Human Services. Wrinkles. National Library of Medicine: National Institute of Health. 2010 Oct 28.
U.S.Department of Health and Human Services. Skin Aging. National Library of Medicine: National Institute of Health. 2012 Sept 18.
AmericanAcademyof Dermatology. Causes of Aging Skin. AgingSkinNet. 2010.
AmericanAcademyof Dermatology. Aging Hair/Skin Problems. AgingSkinNet. 2010.
The Anti-Aging Phenomenon. 2011.
Written By: Updated: September 24,2012