Each day, your skin is pummeled by agents that can cause aging: Everything from overexposure to sun and wind to dehydration and air pollution.
Your skin may begin to appear dull and lifeless, and you may start seeing wrinkles around your mouth and eyes.
But you can fight against premature aging of your skin, with just a little know how and follow through.
No matter what your age, you can do a lot to protect your skin from premature aging simply by using a sunscreen each day. Get in the habit of applying a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher on your face each morning during your normal routine. Some foundations alone will supply this level of sun protection.
The skin on your face gets sun exposure no matter what the weather, so make sure to apply sun protection throughout the year, even in the wintertime.
As your skin ages, it may become more dry, and dry skin tends to show more wrinkles than skin that is well hydrated. Moisturizers help to create a barrier that inhibits skin from losing that essential moisture.
Treat yourself to a good facial moisturizer that makes you feel pampered. You will be more likely to continue in your moisturizing ritual if you think of it as a luxurious gift you give yourself twice each day. Take a moment to breathe in the aroma of the moisturizer and to massage it into your face.
Starting a daily moisturizing routine will help your skin retain moisture, making your skin feel softer and more supple. You will also likely notice a decrease in the appearance of fine lines.
A good moisturizer will also prepare and plump the skin for the application of foundation, so it goes on more smoothly. The foundation is then more apt to create (and sustain) a flawless finish, without flaking or cracking.
You will also want to pay special attention to the eye area. Eyes are one of the first areas to show signs of aging, so invest in a good cream formulated specifically for the eye area.
Whether your goal is to prevent future skin damage or minimize the appearance of existing fine lines, you may have purchased a product touting the benefits of Alpha Hydoxy Acids (AHAs).
AHAs come in many forms, including creams you can buy at the supermarket and those that dermatologists formulate and prescribe. Some AHAs come from natural sources, such as citrus fruits, sour milk, or sugar cane. Other AHAs are manufactured in the laboratory.
AHAs help to improve the moisture level in the skin, and they help with exfoliation. When dead surface skin sloughs off, the younger, healthier skin shines through.
Many people who have used AHAs over the long term report minimized fine lines as well as increased moisture levels, firmness, and smoother skin as the process of exfoliation continues.
Some AHA products slough off skin in what is commonly called a "peel." You can use a mild AHA formula at home to treat fine lines. More harsh peels are best left to the dermatologist, and can be performed during a brief office visit.
When you use AHAs, you may find that your skin is more sensitive to the sun, so make sure to use sunscreen, as well.
Various everyday occurrences lead to the creation of free radicals, including exercise, sun exposure, cigarette smoke, air pollution, alcohol consumption and the body's response to stress. These free radicals can contribute to the aging process by damaging healthy skin cells.
Some experts say you can protect your skin by using antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, in both facial products and nutritional supplements.
While there is inconsistent evidence as to whether antioxidants alone have a significant effect on the appearance of skin, one of the best ways to prevent premature aging of the skin is to fuel your body with a diet of healthy fresh foods, as well as lots of pure, fresh water. Make sure your diet contains sufficient amounts of foods containing Vitamins C and E, which are rich in antioxidants. Limit your consumption of alcohol and caffeine, which can cause dehydration. Get enough sleep and drink plenty of filtered water. When you take care of yourself in these ways, you will improve the texture of your skin naturally, from the inside out.