Turn back the hands of time and look 10, 15, or 20 years younger by making a few simple lifestyle changes. Skin aging is reversible, but there are certain factors and practices that you need to avoid.
When it comes to visible skin aging, ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning booths is the primary culprit. Tanning might make you look good, but it damages your skin. Your skin only changes color when UV exposure has damaged it to the point of changing your skin’s biochemical make up. UV can penetrate deep into your skin and destroy fat cells and collagen, leaving scar tissues under your epidermis.
Without collagen, your skin loses cohesiveness, making wrinkles more prominent and causing your skin to sag. While tanning beds share the blame, most of the UV damage your skin experiences come from everyday exposure to the sun. Sun damage is reversible, but you need measures to reduce or eliminate direct exposure to the sun. Avoid the sun by staying indoors, wearing protective clothing (like wide-brimmed hats and long-sleeved shirts), and using sunscreen. Consider bringing an umbrella for long walks in the sun and have your car windows treated with UV-filtering film.
Nicotine and other toxins from cigarettes wreak havoc on your skin, disrupting the production and retention of both elastin and collagen. Collagen keeps your skin healthy while elastin keeps it elastic. Without the two, your skin becomes more prone to wrinkling, cracking, and sagging. Reduced oxygen levels also give smokers an unhealthy grey or orange pallor. Skin damage from smoking is easily reversible once you stop smoking. Your body takes as little as 3-4 weeks to replace collagen and elastin to normal levels and flush out the carbon monoxide in your body. If you want to speed things up, eat food rich in antioxidants or take supplements that can replenish your collagen levels like moringa oil or fish oil.
Arid or Dry Air
Your skin needs moisture to stay healthy. Dry air can rob your skin of its moisture, making it vulnerable to cracking and wrinkling. Drinking lots of water might not be enough to protect your skin, and you might need moisturizers. Use cream-based moisturizers; they have higher oil content and stay on your skin for longer. Apply moisturizers after a shower or before going to bed. Use mist sprays when it gets too hot outside and purchase a humidifier or swamp cooler for your room.
Exhaust fumes, as well as chemicals and particulates in the air, can be very damaging to your skin. Exposure to smoke and particulates can cause skin irritation leading to breakouts, rashes, or even eczema. Take a shower immediately once you get home, but don’t use harsh astringents on your face. Just wash off the thin layer of grime and pollution as well as any make-up with soap and water or a mild facial cleanser.