We all know that undergoing a cosmetic procedure is one of the most effective ways to turn back the clock on aging, and regain a youthful appearance. But it’s no small step, and not a one-shot cure for all the damaging effects aging can have on the skin.
Away from the surgeon’s office, there are other simple things you can do to keep that youthful complexion glowing and wrinkle-free.
Aim for one to two extra hours of sleep each night. Sleep is a restorative process – which means that as you snooze, your body is boosting blood flow to your skin cells, helping to slough off old, dull ones so they can be replaced by new, fresh cells. Your skin also makes new collagen while your sleep – the protein responsible for smooth, plump, young-looking skin. While it may not be possible to log a full nine hours every night, even one extra hour can add up to big skin benefits. They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing.
We’ve also talked a lot on the blog about the importance of considering a healthy diet as part of your anti-aging skin care routine, and there’s a reason for that. Healthy, nutrient-rich foods are some of your body’s best defenses against the toll of time. Vitamins and minerals in whole foods (not pre-packaged, processed ones) fight off skin-damaging free radicals, encourage collagen production, and keep skin looking bright and healthy. To start, simply swap out one sugary, salty snack for whole fruits, grains, or veggies, instead. Then work on giving all the unhealthy foods in your fridge and pantry the boot. This includes sugary sodas and juices, too!
Add SPF to your makeup bag. Few things are worse for your skin than prolonged sun exposure. It leaches moisture from your skin, causes sunspots and discoloration, and ups the production of fine lines and wrinkles. Each day before putting on your makeup, apply sunscreen with broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection, even if it’s cloudy or rainy out. Experts recommend using a shot-glass size amount each time you apply.
Consider penciling in a friend date once a week, too. One of the best ways to stay young is to spend some quality time with people you care about. Friends help relieve our stress, release tension, and boost our happiness, leaving us feeling refreshed and rejuvenated in a way that’s reflected on our faces. Good friends also help discourage unhealthy behavior like lack of exercise and smoking that can be damaging to the way we look. If you haven’t this week, go ahead and make a date with a good friend. Pencil in a quick hour catch-up over coffee. And if you can’t manage that, even a good gab session on the phone can help.
Save your skin by kicking your smoking habit. We know this one isn’t always easy, but smoking damages nearly every system in your body, and is directly responsible for premature skin aging, wrinkling, skin and teeth discoloration, and poor blood circulation. In fact, on average, studies find that men and women who smoke look 1.4 years older than men and women who don’t. If you need help getting started, talk to you doctor.
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