So you’ve hit 35 and are just beginning to notice your first signs of aging – thinning of your skin and fine lines. Your skin feels dry even after applying the richest moisturizers. You notice age-spots and broken blood vessels that just won’t go away. Your first wrinkles are starting to stare at you from the mirror.
Before you hit that panic button, you need to understand that ageing of your skin and formation of wrinkles are completely normal processes. In fact, your skin is the first ‘organ’ which reveals your age.
All these effects are mainly due to two factors related to natural ageing – the thinning of the epidermis (the topmost layer of our skin) and reduced blood flow to the skin. Certain factors expedite these effects – excess exposure to sunlight, smoking, alcohol and an unhealthy diet.
Most people believe that ageing of the skin is inevitable and do not care much. However, what you need to know is that with a few lifestyle modifications and some tender loving care, you really can look as young as you feel. To help put you on the right path, here are a few tips that you should stick to in order to keep your skin looking as young as possible:
1. Avoid excess exposure to the sun:
It’s the no. 1 cause of wrinkles with dozens of studies documenting the impact. Protect your skin from sun rays firstly by staying indoors while the sun is strongest. Secondly get into the habit of wearing a sunscreen with a good enough SPF every time you go out. Apply it at least 20 to 30 minutes before stepping out in the sun and reapply it every few hours.
2. Drink lots of water:
Insufficient hydration is the second major cause of excessive wrinkles. In order to stay moist and elastic, your skin needs a constant supply of water. If you fail to get enough fluids in your body, cells will start to lose elasticity and eventually wrinkles shall start surfacing.
3. Quit smoking:
Apart from the many well-documented ill-effects of smoking on the body, smoking also causes premature ageing of the skin mainly by reducing blood supply and nourishment to the skin. This makes the skin lose its elasticity and moisture. Also while smoking, some repetitive actions like squinting to protect the eyes from aggressive fumes and constantly dragging the cigarette fumes into his/her mouth causes wrinkles over time at the corners of the eyes and the mouth. Click here to find out various techniques to quit smoking.
4. Get adequate sleep:
When you don’t get enough sleep, the body produces excess cortisol – a hormone that breaks down skin cells. Get enough rest and you’ll produce more HGH (human growth hormone), which helps skin remain thick, more elastic and less likely to wrinkle.
5. Sleep on your back:
Make it a point to pay attention to the way you sleep. Sleeping on the side will create ‘cleavage’ wrinkles, since skin on that surface is being squeezed together. Those who sleep on the chest will most likely develop sleep lines on their neck, face and chest as a consequence of being crushed into the pillow throughout the whole night. To reduce wrinkle formation, sleep on your back.
6. Eat healthy food:
While this should already be obvious to every person these days, it is important to point it out once more. Consume a lot of vitamins that come from fresh vegetables and fruits as well nuts and seeds, which are all effective anti-ageing foods due to the amount of anti-oxidants they all pack.
7. Keep stress at bay:
Stress causes creation of certain hormones like cortisol which decrease muscular tissue beneath the skin. This makes your skin thinner and make it look wrinkled and old. Click here to find out how stress is related to your health.
8. Use a moisturizer:
Many women these days are so concerned with anti-aging products they often overlook the power of a simple moisturizer. Skin that is moist simply looks better, so lines and creases are far less noticeable.
9. Don’t over-wash your face:
Tap water strips skin of its natural barrier oils and moisture that protect against wrinkles. Wash them off too often, and you wash away protection. Moreover, unless your soap contains moisturizers, you should use a cleanser instead.
10. Consult your dermatologist:
If you’d like to use creams, lotions and various other chemical and surgical options (like peels, fillers, lasers and botox) to fight skin-ageing, it’s recommended that you visit your dermatologist who’ll guide you well.
First Published: Jun 8, 2012 at 3:05 PM