Mother Nature and Father Time catch up to all of us eventually and our bodies start to show the signs of wear and tear known as aging. Our bodies become sorer after an intense work out and for a longer period of time. Our hair becomes thinner. Our skin adjusts over time as well. The fullness and elasticity of youth slowly gives way to coarse, thin skin. Crow’s feet and wrinkles are more present.
While certain signs of aging are inevitable, others are easy to overcome. As with other parts of our body, our skin requires a great deal of care and maintenance in order to look and feel its best. Here are a few tips to protect your skin from the signs of aging and keep it looking healthy.
Protect yourself from the sun
While the sun provides for a myriad of fun activities from beach going to boating, it’s the single most detrimental factor when it comes to skin health. Exposure to UVA and UVB rays over time can weaken the skin, causing liver spots and wrinkles. While certain skin tones are more susceptible than others, the sun can be harmful to everyone. To combat its effects, wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Also, wear a hat and sunglasses when outside. The sunglasses are especially important because the skin around your eyes is thinner than in other parts of your face. Other tips include, wear long sleeves and avoiding sun exposure during the hottest part of the day (10 am-3 pm.)
Eat a healthy diet
What you put into your body is as important as what you put on it. A diet including foods high in antioxidants such as tomatoes, carrots and citrus can minimize the aging effects of the sun by building collagen. It’s also important to avoid sugary foods as they can accelerate aging by breaking down glucose.
Drink more water
Hydration is a critical part of keeping your skin healthy and looking young. In order for skin cells to maintain elasticity and prevent wrinkles, drink the recommended amount of water daily. The Mayo Clinic recommends eight 8 oz glasses of fluid (water, tea, etc.) per day. Water is also noted for its ability to clear the body of toxins, which can also help your skin. As you can imagine, alcoholic drinks that dehydrate us can hurt our skin.
Stop smoking now
Smoking is not only detrimental to your body, it’s harmful to your skin. The toxins found in cigarette smoke can intensify the onset of wrinkles. People who smoke are also more likely to have “crow’s feet” around the eyes because the smoke causes them to squint often.
Get more sleep
When you don’t get enough rest your body increases the production of inflammatory cells that can wear down your skin’s collagen, increasing the likelihood of wrinkles. A lack of sleep also affects our immune system, which can lead to immune-related skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults between the age of 26-64 get 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
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