The sad reality about skin is that it ages just like we do. As you get older, your skin might become wrinkled, dry or saggy. And, if you don’t take care of it in your younger years, your skin might age even faster than you do! While the fountain of youth might be a myth, there are tried-and-true ways to turn back the clock and prevent premature signs of aging from appearing on your skin.
The beauty industry is full of anti-aging skin products that promise to smooth fine lines and restore a young, supple glow. With all the beauty products out there, it’s hard to know what works and what doesn’t.
Fortunately, you don’t need a million creams to enjoy youthful skin. A few natural products and lifestyle choices can give your skin a more youthful look.
Add these tips to your daily skincare routine:
- Apply moisturizer every day: One common sign of premature aging is dry, itchy skin. A daily moisturizer will help your skin retain water so that it appears smooth and dewy. The best anti-aging moisturizers contain hyaluronic acid. The epidermis naturally produces hyaluronic acid, but production levels drop off in your later years. Hyaluronic acid is a necessary defense against premature aging because it traps moisture that escapes from the top layer of skin.
- Add vitamin C to your diet: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that combats free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause oxidative stress, which speeds up the aging process. Oxidative stress causes cellular damage that leads to wrinkles, brown spots and dry skin. Good sources of vitamin C like citrus fruits will boost collagen production and even out your skin tone. Collagen is also responsible for restoring elasticity and firming up the skin.
- Wear sunscreen on exposed skin: Many people don’t think to put on sunscreen unless they’re spending a whole day at the beach. You should wear sunscreen every time you go outside, even if you’re making a quick run to the grocery store. The sun emits harmful UVA and UVB rays that age skin without you realizing it. Sunscreen isn’t just for preventing sunburns—everyone needs it to stop premature aging in its tracks. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher for maximum protection.
- Put on appropriate outdoor clothing: If you’re planning to be outside all day, plan your outfit accordingly. Protect your skin from sun damage with a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Wear a brimmed hat and sunglasses to cut down on the sun’s glare. Sunglasses have the dual benefit of protecting your eyesight and preventing excessive squinting from direct sunlight. They keep your facial muscles smooth so you won’t develop fine lines around the eyes.
- Go easy on the alcohol: The occasional adult beverage won’t hurt, but too many glasses of wine will leave you feeling dehydrated. Alcohol sucks the moisture from your skin and accelerates the aging process. As a result, you’re more likely to experience fine lines, dryness and sagging earlier in life. Replace alcoholic beverages with a fun mocktail, and don’t forget to drink lots of water throughout the evening!
- Avoid skincare products that hurt: Many people are quick to ignore the burn, sting and tingle of beauty products. We tell ourselves it’s a sign that the product is working its magic. But if the product causes pain, your body is trying to tell you something! A burning or stinging sensation means your skin is irritated, which is never good if you want to achieve a more youthful appearance. Stop using products that cause irritation and look for ones made from natural ingredients that are gentle on the skin.
- Choose the right ingredients: There’s an overwhelming number of anti-aging creams on the market. Narrow down your search by looking for products with retinoids and peptides. Retinoids are made from vitamin A, which is essential for smoothing wrinkles. Peptides create the collagen that leads to firmer, more elastic skin. The ingredient also replaces old cells with new ones at a faster rate. Products containing retinoids and peptides are most effective when applied right before bed.
Remember that aging is completely normal. After all, none of us are getting any younger! But with the right skincare regimen, you can outlast the effects of aging well into your later years. All it takes is protecting your skin from the sun and putting the right ingredients in your body. You don’t need a fountain of youth—the solution is much simpler than that!