The 10 Most Effective Ways to Slow the Signs of Aging
For most people, the signs of aging can start appearing in their late 20s to early 30s. What begins as a few fine lines over time can become loose, textured, and even discolored skin that is more sensitive to irritants and easy to bruise.
While aging is an unavoidable process for everyone, there are things you can do to slow down the signs of aging in your skin. Here are ten of the most effective ways to protect the health of your skin as you age:
1. Use a High-SPF Sunscreen
Sun exposure exacerbates age-related skin changes, so it's important to keep your skin safe from the sun. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects from UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of 30 or higher is the best way to protect your skin from sunburns and sun damage. Reapplication is also important since sunscreen wears and washes off depending on your daily activities.
2. Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
A balanced diet includes plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid foods that cause inflammation, such as processed snack foods and meal kits, smoked or processed meats, foods with added sugar, and refined carbohydrates because inflammatory foods are known to help speed up the aging process. Foods that are high in antioxidants, like berries and dark green, leafy vegetables, along with omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish like salmon and tuna, help reduce inflammation and promote youthful-looking skin.
Have you ever noticed how people who exercise regularly tend to look younger than people who don't? That's because exercise improves blood flow and removes toxins from the skin, giving your skin a healthy glow. Exercise also reduces stress, which is known to trigger skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Water keeps your body hydrated and revitalized, which also helps preserve the suppleness of your skin. People who consume a lot of water are less likely to develop scars, wrinkles, or fine lines, and won't age as quickly as people who don't consume enough water and are perpetually dehydrated.
5. Daily Skin Care Routine
Having a daily skin care routine helps maintain skin health and slows down the signs of aging. Most skin care routines involve using a gentle cleanser and lightweight moisturizer, as well as an eye cream and concentrated serum in the morning and evening. It's also recommended to exfoliate a couple of times a week to remove dead skin cells and keep your skin free of pore-clogging debris.
6. Beneficial Skincare Ingredients
There are an endless array of anti-aging skincare products on the market, making it hard to know which to choose. When shopping for products to add to your skin care routine, look for ingredients that specifically target some of the symptoms of skin aging, such as hyaluronic acid for retaining moisture, vitamin C for stimulating collagen and brightening the complexion, retinol for softening and smoothing, and acids and enzymes to help exfoliate and improve skin texture.
7. Avoid Toxic Substances
Some toxins in our environment are hard to escape, like smog or airborne chemicals, for example, but other toxins, such as the ones found in cigarette smoke, are avoidable. Tobacco smoke and other toxins can damage skin cells and skin's connective tissues, causing fine lines and wrinkles to appear around the mouth and eyes along with uneven skin tone and skin discoloration.
8. Sleep Well
While you're sleeping, your body is busy repairing cells, storing information, and removing toxic waste. Not getting enough sleep interrupts these processes and can speed up aging. As you mature, your sleep patterns may change, but it's still important to get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep every night to allow your body to fully rest and repair.
9. Spend Time Outdoors
Spending time outdoors can slow the signs of aging by reducing stress, improving immune function, and reducing sensitivity to allergens in nature that cause skin issues.
10. Manage Stress
Telomeres, the protective caps of DNA molecules that support healthy cell growth, shorten under stress and accelerate the signs of aging. Stress also affects your skin's proteins, reducing its suppleness and causing wrinkles to appear. Stress reduction can be achieved through exercise, mindfulness meditation, and spending time outdoors.