As your skin ages, it goes through so many different changes, and it is all-too-easy to become frustrated with its ever-evolving needs.
Rather than resenting your skin, here are a few ways in which you can treat your aging skin with love, so that it will continue to thrive and glow no matter which decade you happen to be in.
Protection from the Sun
No matter how many potent anti-aging ingredients you use, none of these will really make any difference unless you are also taking the steps necessary to protect your skin from the sun.
Because the sun’s UV rays actually contribute to up to 90% of the visible signs of aging, meaning that the majority of your wrinkles and fine lines can be prevented with the use of sun protection.
Do you already have quite a few noticeable wrinkles and fine lines from a lack of sun protection over the years?
Well, do not worry, because it is not too late to fix this…
A recent study discovered that using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 on a daily basis could:
- Reduce sun spots, also known as age spots or pigmentation, by 52%
- Improve skin texture, smoothing out wrinkles and lines, by 40%
- Boost skin clarity by 41%
Of course, these results were not noticed in just a day or two, but a year, meaning that you really do need to be diligent about sun protection in order to turn back the clock.
Desperate for a tan because it makes you look younger?
There is no denying that a tan can have this effect, but indoor sunbeds are also a big no-no, as these still expose your skin to harmful UV rays.
Instead, there are many sunless tanning options available, from lotions to wipes, and these are constantly improving in quality and in how effective they are, so give some of these a try.
Invest in Scientifically-Proven Anti-Aging Ingredients
There are so many different anti-aging ingredients out there, but how do you know which ones to use?
This depends on a number of different factors, from your skin type to the exact issues you are trying to treat.
While this may be the case, there are certain ingredients out there that have been scientifically-proven to be extremely effective when it comes to treating aging skin.
- Retinol – a derivative of vitamin A, this can be purchased over-the-counter as well as through a prescription for a stronger strength. This is one of the most powerful anti-aging ingredients available, and is definitely worth adding to your skin care regime
- Peptides – these are chains of amino acids that send messages to your skin cells, encouraging them to heal and renew
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids – known as AHAs, this group of ingredients includes citric, lactic and glycolic acid, all of which help to exfoliate the skin. Since your natural skin regeneration cycle slows down with age, frequent exfoliation can really help to speed this back up
- Antioxidants – these can come from so many different sources, and are vital for countering the damage caused by free radicals
- Estrogen – this is a less-common anti-aging ingredient, but this hormone, which declines with age in the body, can really help to boost skin firmness
Develop Healthy Lifestyle Habits
It is unfortunately so easy to end up adopting less-than-healthy lifestyle habits, and while your skin may have been able to tolerate this in your earlier years, aging skin is so much more vulnerable to damage.
Wondering which habits are the worst?
Here are some of the biggest skin-damaging culprits:
- Smoking – not only is smoking bad for your overall health, but it also leads to wrinkles, fine lines, thinning skin, slower wound healing, blood clots and more
- Stress – this may not seem as bad as smoking to you, but your skin would definitely disagree, as stress causes the body to release a hormone called cortisol, which then leads to everything from acne to dryness
- Lack of Quality Sleep – while a sleepless night once in a while will not have any long-term effects on your skin, doing this too often will result in a breakdown of collagen and elastin, as well as all of the symptoms that stress causes to the skin
- Excessive Drinking – dehydrates the skin and dilates blood vessels, sometimes even leading to the development of rosacea
Of course, making these changes to your life is always far easier said than done…
The key here is to focus on one bad habit at a time, and trying to replace this with a healthier habit. Research suggests that it takes about 21 days to establish a new habit, so you need to give yourself at least this long for each one.
Nourish from Within
As mentioned above, antioxidants are key ingredients in protecting and nourishing aging skin, but these should be provided to your skin from within as well as topically.
Wondering how to do this?
It all comes down to your diet…
There are so many foods out there that contain antioxidants, but with the average modern day diet now filled with so many processed, unhealthy foods, people do not tend to consume enough antioxidants in their diet any more.
Want to change this?
Begin by taking a look at the fruits and vegetables that you eat. At least five portions is a must, and these should be in a rainbow of colors, as each different color signifies a different range of potent antioxidants.
Of course, certain foods contain more antioxidants than others, so if you really want to give your skin the best boost possible, here are some of the foods out there with the highest antioxidant levels:
- Goji berries
- Wild blueberries
- Dark chocolate
- Boiled artichokes
- Kidney beans
In addition to consuming plenty of antioxidants, you should also be drinking at least eight glasses of water a day.
Water helps the skin in so many different ways, from removing toxins and cleansing it to maintaining moisture levels and elasticity. With aging skin being so susceptible to dryness, due to the fact that it is slowly becoming thinner, keeping your body hydrated from within is so important.
Find it difficult to drink enough water each day?
Teas also count towards your fluid intake, as does fruit-infused water. In fact, adding a couple of slices of lemon to your water will not only help to improve hydration, but will also give your skin some extra vitamin C.
Establish a Daily Skin Care Routine
Do you already have a skin care routine that you follow each day?
Hopefully, your answer is yes, but if you do not, then this is something that you need to establish straight away.
Every skin type benefits from the extra help each day, but aging skin needs this even more.
Wondering what your routine should consist of?
Here are a few basic steps to follow:
- Cleansing – this should always be the first step, as you need to clear away all of the dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells on the surface of your skin before any other ingredients will be able to penetrate into your skin
- Toning – using a toner is optional, but can really help to balance out your skin’s pH levels, which is often disrupted by cleansers
- Eye Cream – the skin on the face is already thinner than the skin on the body, but the skin around your eyes is even thinner than the skin on the rest of your face! This means that the area around your eyes is usually the first place in which wrinkles and fine lines show up, making an eye cream essential for mature skin
- Serums – serums may be a lightweight product, but they really do pack a punch. It is due to this lightweight consistency that they are able to penetrate into the skin so well and so quickly, meaning that all of the antioxidants that they contain can really make a difference
- Moisturizer – moisturizers work by forming a thin, protective layer over the surface of the skin, locking in all of the other ingredients that you have just applied and making sure that the only place for them to go is further into your skin
- Facial Oil – this is another optional step, but can be a useful one if you have noticed that your skin has become drier over the years. A facial oil should always be applied last, as this will form a waterproof barrier that prevents any other ingredients from entering your skin
Try Weekly Face Masks
You may think that you do not have the time each week to apply a face mask, but the time you spend on this now will make a huge difference to your skin in the future.
Don’t believe that there is any point to a face mask, especially when you are already using anti-aging products?
This is where you are wrong…
Face masks are so much thicker than any of the other products you already use, and are also designed to sit on the skin for an extended period of time. This ends up warming the skin, which then opens up the pores and allows for all of the active ingredients in the face mask to thoroughly penetrate into your skin’s layers.
While all face masks will cleanse the skin, there are certain face masks that will be more effective when it comes to nourishing aging skin.
Face masks that contain specific anti-aging ingredients, such as retinol and antioxidants, are always great, while clay masks can also be useful for detoxifying the skin.
Wondering how long you will need to leave a face mask on for?
This depends on the mask that you choose, but it is usually around 10 to 20 minutes, after which you would then wash the mask off and follow this up with some moisturizer.
As you can see, sparing ten minutes a week for the sake of your skin is not a huge sacrifice. Use the time during which you are waiting for your mask to work its magic in a productive way, whether this may be brewing yourself some skin-boosting herbal tea or relaxing with a book and some music to ease the stresses of the day away.
Don’t Neglect Your Hands and Your Neck
Many people tend to focus their skin care efforts on their face, often neglecting their neck and their hands. However, the neck and the hands are two areas that are often a big giveaway of your actual age, meaning that the skin here needs just as much care as the skin on your face.
Wondering what you need to do?
Simply treat these two areas in the same way you would your face. This means that when carrying out your daily skin care routine, extend each product downwards so that they cover your neck as well, as give them a rub through and over your hands so that the skin here can also benefit from them.
Do you need special products for your hands and your neck?
The answer is no. While there are plenty of products out there that are marketed for these specific areas, the ones that you use on your face will work just as well.
It is so easy to feel let down by your skin as it ages and undergoes all of its changes, but this really does not need to be the case. By treating your skin with kindness and love, you will be able to protect it from so many of the visible signs of aging, keeping it looking fresh and youthful for many more years to come.