While you can't stop or even slow down the natural aging process, you can prevent the signs of premature aging due to sun exposure and smoking!
Protect your skin from the sun
The first step is to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Not only will you be preventing premature signs of aging, you will also be reducing your risk of developing skin cancer or actinic keratosis.
- Avoid the sun between 11 am and 4 pm.
- Wear wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants.
- Use a generous amount of sunscreen and reapply it frequently (every 2 to 3 hours).
- Use sunscreens that have a sun protection factor (SPF) greater than 15 and that have UVA and UVB coverage. Apply sunscreen all year round at least 15 to 30 minutes before going out.
- Avoid tanning beds.
Other things you can do to keep your skin healthy
Exercise. Not only will exercise keep your body fit and decrease your risk of conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease, but it will also get the blood flowing. Improved blood flow will increase the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the skin that keeps it healthy and gives it a healthier looking colour. The increase in oxygen and nutrients to skin cells also provides the ideal conditions needed for collagen production that help ward off wrinkles. Exercise should be an important part of every anti-aging skin care program.
Eat right. Sometimes minor nutritional deficiencies can cause rashes, skin lesions, and other skin changes, even if no other symptoms are present.
Stop smoking. If you smoke or spend time with a smoker, you may be harming your skin. Research has shown that exposure to cigarette smoke significantly increases skin wrinkles and dryness. This is partly because cigarette smoke depletes your body of vitamin C, which is a key ingredient for keeping skin plump and moist.
Get enough rest. Too little sleep makes you look and feel tired. One of the first places where lack of sleep shows up is on your face, with sagging skin and dark circles and bags under the eyes. Research has shown that most adults function best with 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
Written and reviewed by the MediResource Clinical Team