There are a plethora of products, ranging from miracle creams to spot treatments and gels to topical prescriptions, that are bought and sold under the premise of reducing the signs of aging. But did you know that there are many habits and things you can do today that will prevent some of those wrinkles (or at least reduce their severity) tomorrow? Here are ten things you should do with products you probably already have, or fine-tuning habits and daily rituals already in your day.
Antioxidants are essential to good health, which also includes helping skin maintain its youthful glow. You’ll notice many anti-aging products market themselves as having antioxidants within them, but you can bolster your regimen by ensuring you consume a few foods that are known to be excellent sources of antioxidants.
- Beta-carotene (e.g. carrots) may neutralize free radicals which effect your skin on a cellular level. Anthocyanidins (e.g. berries) increase your cellular defense system. Flavanones (e.g. citrus) and flavonols (e.g. apples, onions) may increase cellular defense as well as neutralize free radicals. Sulforaphane (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower) may increase your cellular defense system.
- Vitamin A (found in dairy, fish, and liver) and Vitamin C (e.g. citrus fruits) both help to protect cells from free radicals. Vitamin E (e.g. nuts, oils, seeds) can also protect cells from free radicals. Selenium (e.g. meats, tuna) may be preventive in damage to your cells from free radicals. Source
Be conscious of how you touch your face. When you’re washing your face, are you scrubbing vigorously? Harsh, hard, or vigorous movements and touches can stretch and pull at the skin in an adverse way. For instance, you should pat your face dry, rather than rubbing a cloth up and down.
Use brushes rather than your fingers to apply makeup. Brushes apply makeup with a light, easy touch, which means less stress and tugging for your skin. When you use your finger, there is more pressure exerted on the skin, even if it feels minute to you.
Cleanse your face regularly and ensure you remove ALL makeup. It is important to wash your face on a daily basis (twice if you can – e.g. AM and PM), even if you don’t wear makeup, because throughout the day your face does get dirty in some aspect. If you go outside, dust and dirt particles may have settled into your face. Make sure when you cleanse your face, you do a thorough job of removing your makeup, too. Residual makeup can rest in pores and on the skin’s surface, clogging it or preventing daily renewal. It’s good to have a package of makeup removing wipes in the house, just because if you ever get lazy or dead-tired, you can opt for using one of those instead of your regular cleansing regimen (not a substitute, but I recognize that we all have days when we just cannot seem to bring ourselves to do things!).
Wear sunscreen everyday. The best policy is to invest in a light sunscreen (e.g. SPF15) for everyday usage, and just get used to having that as a step in your everyday routine–like brushing teeth or showering. It is also a good idea to have a stronger sunscreen (e.g. SPF30+) to use for days when you know you will have increased exposure to sun. You also want to ensure your sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB, because both can cause problems later in life! Even cloudy days, driving, etc. can cause you to be exposed to harsh rays, so sunscreen everyday!
Exfoliate once a week. Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells, which helps bring younger cells to the skin’s surface. As we get older, the cell renewal process slows down, giving skin an uneven or rough appearance. It is important that you don’t overdo exfoliation, and the frequency may depend on the product you choose. Also, don’t forget about body scrubs, because aging doesn’t just show up on your face!
Moisturize and protect your hands. There is the old addage that you can tell a woman’s age by the state of her hands. The skin on our hands is subjected to a lot of activity, from work and utility, but also substantial washes, so it does go through the ringer, so-to-speak. It’s good to remember to moisturize and treat your hands well when they’re not busy working. Try a heavy hand cream and encasing your hands in a pair of light gloves while you sleep to give them a boost of moisture. Sunscreen for your hands is also a great idea, because we know the sun does a lot of damage!
Drink lots of water. It’s an oldie, but it still remains true. Make sure you get your daily intake of water! If you have trouble, try filling up a large jug or thermos of water and keep it by you at all times — you’re more likely to drink it if it’s staring you in the face!
Reduce or remove bad habits from your life, like excessive drinking, smoking, and tanning. Both drinking and smoking can ravage the skin over the time, and reducing both or quitting will serve you well both bodily and skin-wise. Tanning, whether it is in a booth or from the sun, is not at all advisable, especially if you don’t use sunscreen to do it. There are so many self-tanners and sprays these days that you can get your glow without harming your skin in the process.
Make sure you are using your skincare products properly. Some products can multi-task, but some can’t. Don’t use a body scrub on your face because the abrasives in it are too strong for the more delicate skin on your face. Just like a cream for your body may not be good to use on your face. When in doubt, use as intended, because if you aren’t sure, the results may be bad news.
Share your easy and inexpensive anti-aging tips with us!