So you think that fine lines and wrinkles are inevitable as you age? This is only partially true. Yes, your skin is going to lose about 10% of its cells every year but there are many lifestyle habits and simple things you can do to prevent too many wrinkles. Here are 15 ways you can do just that.
1. Limit your sun exposure
I always remember an ex-colleague of mine who spent several months a year in Sardinia on holidays. She used to boast about the wonderful beaches and the crystalline water but she was paying a heavy price. She had a wonderful tan but as the years passed, her skin became more wrinkled and leathery and was starting to show age spots.
I noticed the opposite with a friend of mine who always stayed out of the sun. She had wonderfully smooth and pale skin and looked 10 years younger. Is there any scientific basis to back these observations? Look at this CNN report on the scientific findings and also see the dramatic effects of sun exposure on the trucker’s skin. The best solution is to avoid too much sun and use sunscreen which contains either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
2. Use some home remedies
If you have the time, you can apply some natural ingredients such as pineapple directly to your skin. You have to leave it on for about 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. Other remedies consist of tomatoes, green tea, and cucumber.
3. Get lots of vitamin C
You can get lots of vitamin C by eating loads of fruit. Go for kiwis which have more of this great vitamin than oranges and other citrus fruits. Guava and strawberries are excellent, too. Vitamin C plays a very important role in helping preserve the collagen which is the protein that makes up the connective tissue, not only in skin but in bones, tendons, and muscles. It holds the whole body together, rather like glue.
4. Give up smoking
Did you know that cigarettes contain almost 4,000 different chemicals that damage the precious collagen in your skin? You are going to start losing that lovely, smooth, and firm skin. As if that was not bad enough, nicotine narrows those very fine blood vessels just under the epidermis. That means a reduced supply of oxygen to the skin. The result is faster aging and more wrinkles.
5. Get your 7-8 hours of sleep
One study presented at the Society For Investigative Dermatology meeting in Edinburgh showed that those who only got five hours of sleep had twice as many wrinkles as those who were getting the optimal amount of seven hours or more. It’s not called beauty sleep for nothing!
6. Get your eyes tested
Maybe you have started to squint while reading and you need to start wearing glasses or contact lenses. All this facial movement will help to create wrinkles so it is well worth your while to get your eyes tested.
7. Ramp up your antioxidants
The antioxidants in many healthy foods are great at keeping the cell-destroying free radicals at bay. Stock up on blueberries, cranberries, cherries, artichokes, and apples. Kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli are the best vegetables for antioxidant content. According to one study at the the Hallym University in the Republic of Korea, the best antioxidant of all for skincare is called ellagic acid. This is found in cranberries, raspberries, and pomegranates.
8. Reduce the amount of sugar you eat
Adding sugar to everything from clotted cream to coffee and tea could mean a gain in weight. It could also cause a rise in your blood sugar which could then lead to diabetes and all sorts of other diseases. With regard to skin, sugar can attach itself to the collagen there. This process is known as glycation. This causes the skin to lose its elasticity and then forms more wrinkles.
9. Maintain your ideal weight
I remember another colleague of mine who was rather overweight. She was very pleased with her rapid weight-loss diet. The only problem was that her skin had lost its smooth appearance and she seemed to have aged 10 years more. The problem with this sort of crash or yo-yo dieting is that skin becomes less elastic and is prone to sagging. The force of gravity completes the job by creating wrinkles.
10. Sleep on a silk pillow case
All the skin beauty sites will tell you to sleep on your back as that prevents the face from lying in one position which will cause wrinkles over time. The best solution is to sleep on your back or change position regularly during the night! If these solutions are impossible for you, the best thing is to invest in a silk pillow case.
11. Eat more omega-3 fatty acids
These acids are great for preventing skin cells drying up. This is ideal for reducing wrinkles. The best foods with these acids are salmon, mackerel, anchovies, walnuts, and flaxseed.
12. Eat more dark chocolate
You may associate chocolate with spots and acne. But dark chocolate contains flavanols which are another type of antioxidant and will help reduce damage and wrinkling from the sun’s UV rays. This was demonstrated at the European Dermatology conference in London.
13. Don’t wash your face too often
As our skin contains vital oils and moisture, it is important not to wash them all away by using harsh soap on the skin too often. These natural oils are important in preventing the skin from drying up which will lead to wrinkles. Look for a cleanser instead or soap with some moisturizing elements such as olive oil, jojoba oil, or shea butter.
14. Find out about AHAs
AHAs stand for Alpha-hydroxy acids (lactic and citric) and they are great for using as a cleanser because they strip away the top layer of all those dead cells. This is a great way of giving the skin a new look and also helps to reduce all the fine lines and wrinkles. A few experiments have shown that if you use AHAs in higher doses it can actually stimulate collagen production which may lead to firmer and smoother skin.
15. Use Idebenone
One study has shown that a cousin of the CoQ10 enzyme, known as Idebenone, can help with reducing dryness and help smooth skin. After six weeks of use, subjects found that there was a 30% reduction in wrinkles and fine lines.
Let us know in the comments below what has worked best for you in helping to prevent too many wrinkles.
Featured photo credit: Jennifer having way too much fun/ Frank Kovalchek via flickr.com