It's inevitable. Pardon the Thanos reference, but our bodies' are naturally going to age and our skin will show it. Aging skin causes your skin to thin, dry out, lose elasticity, decrease in plumpness, and lose it's glow.
As bleak as this may sound, many people seem to believe that there's not much they can do to slow down the effects of aging on the skin. However, there are actually a number of simple, low-effort ways to slow down the effects of aging skin that can surprisingly go a long way if you stay consistent. Below are 5 dermatologist recommended ways to reduce premature skin aging to preserve your skin's health and happiness for longer.
1. Sunscreen, sunscreen, and MORE sunscreen.
Without a doubt, the number one driver of aging skin is excess sun exposure. Wrinkles, fine lines, liver spots: all of these are heavily influenced by how much sun exposure you have on a day to day basis over the course of your life. The sun produces harmful UV rays that reach the inner layers of skin, which damaged your skin cells and breaks down elastic and collagen fibers.
Most dermatologists will recommend using sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30. If you don't already, many facial moisturizers have sunscreen already in them, and can be applied before you put on your make-up for the day. For many of us, avoiding the sun entirely is simply not possible, so it's even more important that if your day-to-day routine is spent mostly in the sun, you get yourself a good sunscreen and apply it each morning before you start your day. We also recommend you re-apply it every 2-4 hours if possible.
2. Get more quality sleep!
Now while there are many different thought groups about how much sleep you should get, what time you should go to bed, etc., we won't try to advise you on the specific of sleep. What we will say, is that the body rests and works on healing itself while you are sleeping. Tissue repair also occurs while you sleep. This is how your skin is able to heal from the wear and tear of everyday life, and be ready to handle the action of the next day. Getting a good night's sleep should be a top priority in preventing premature skin aging.
It's important to wash your face with a gentle cleanser at the end of each day. Washing your face properly removes excess oil and dirt from your skin. However, one thing to note, is that it's important to stay away from harsh soaps or cleansers which leave your skin feeling dry and irritated. You should find a cleanser that matches your skin type, and leaves your face feel clean without leaving it too dry or irritated. By cleaning your skin everyday, especially before you go to sleep, you remove a lot of the damaging bacteria that can cause your skin to prematurely age.
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. This is especially important for maintaining your skin's youthful appearance by preventing dry, flaky skin and unclogging pores. It's important to note that some chemical exfoliators can be harsh for some individuals, especially those with sensitive skin. However, regular exfoliation, with the right product for your sensitivity levels, is a great way to remove dead skin cells, thereby preserving the health of your skin.
The purpose of a good moisturizer is to trap in water in your skin. Keeping the skin hydrated is one of the best ways to preserve your skin's natural glow, because it combats dryness and also reduces the appearance of fine lines. Some moisturizers, like hyaluronic acid, come actually have enhanced water-capturing properties. By locking in the moisture in the skin, you ensure that your skin never gets too dry or irritated, and giving it that youthful appearance.