Skin naturally loses volume, plumpness, and elasticity with age. Over time, it’s less able to spring back from repetitive facial expressions, which leads to lines, wrinkles, and deeper creases over time.
Skin aging is largely due to genetic factors and an accumulation of oxidative stress over time, which causes damage to key structures in the skin. From early adulthood, the rate of collagen production reduces by approximately 1% every year.
But it’s never too late to make positive skincare steps to protect, nourish and repair. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how you can prevent your skin from aging prematurely.
1. Moisturize regularly
Oiliness and moisture will keep your skin nice and springy, and therefore more resilient to wrinkles.
An eight-year study by the British Journal of Dermatology showed women with dry skin types are more likely to develop severe wrinkles–and more of them.
The research found that a typical 28-year-old woman with dry skin will have an increase of around 50% more visible wrinkles by the time she reaches 36. But, this can be dramatically reduced to just around 22% by the same age if she had well-hydrated skin.
What does this mean? This means that you can dramatically delay the onset of persistent wrinkles by protecting skin daily with an effective moisturizer and sunscreen.
Skin becomes drier with age so it’s important to moisturize twice a day and look out for dermatologist-approved ingredients, such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides–three very effective moisture boosters.
2. Learn effective ways to manage stress
Chronic stress may cause wrinkles because the primary stress hormone, cortisol, can decrease collagen production. In addition, repeatedly making facial expressions associated with stress, like furrowing your brows, causes wrinkles to deepen. Getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly can help you manage stress and prevent exacerbating skin aging.
Boost Collagen Production
Collagen is one of the essential proteins that make up your skin. It’s what helps keep your skin firm, taut, and wrinkle-free. But starting in your late 20’s, your body produces progressively less collagen. As a result, you get wrinkles.
To fight back against the aging process, do what you can to keep your collagen levels high. That includes using anti-aging products for men with collagen-boosting ingredients – like vitamin C, DMAE (dimethylethanolamine), MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), and hyaluronic acid.
There’s a growing stack of research showing an increase in skin elasticity from collagen supplementation after eight weeks. Luckily, there are health benefits when you eat collagen. Through a collagen-rich diet, you may be able to improve your skin’s appearance from the inside and out.
Skin elasticity is increased by repairing damaged collagen fibers, increasing collagen content, and restoring the ratio of type 1 to type 3 collagen in chronically aged skin.
Replacing damaged collagen fibers with new collagen is what restores hydration to the skin. You develop more connective tissue, in turn making your skin appear more smooth and supple. It also works on replenishing hair and nail collagen loss.
3. Quit smoking
Nicotine — one of more than 4000 chemicals in cigarettes — reduces oxygen flow and nutrients to skin cells, which speeds up skin aging and causes premature wrinkles.
According to a small 2019 study involving smokers and non-smokers, smoking also makes the skin less elastic, particularly on the forehead. This loss of skin elasticity causes sagging.
Smoking leads to collagen breakdown, making forehead lines and wrinkles, in general, more likely to appear.
The longer you smoke, the more you increase the risk of premature skin aging. However, you can still prevent wrinkles to some extent when you quit smoking.
Regular smoking accelerates the aging process of the skin because it reduces the blood supply to the skin. Alcohol dehydrates the skin, and dry skin is more likely to develop wrinkles.
4. Create a balanced diet
Healthy, smooth, bright skin needs a variety of essential vitamins and nutrients. The best place to get them is in a balanced diet that includes lots of diverse foods.
Eat plenty of leafy green veggies, citrus fruits, anything with Omega-3 (salmon/sardines/tuna), avocados, nuts, seeds, and berries. Antioxidants minimize cell damage and fight aging from the inside, out (something that green veggies and fruit are full of). They can also help reignite skin’s vitality and overall appearance.
5. Limit all processed foods
Heavily processed foods are typically stripped of their most or all nutritional substance. Grabbing fast food or processed meals may be necessary from time to time, but limiting them in favor of whole, fresh foods are best. That will increase the vitamins and essential minerals you get and help you stay healthier on a daily basis. It’s also helpful to take a multivitamin if you aren’t able to eat the best diet.
6. Reduce the sugar intake
You don’t have to go totally sugar-free. But reducing table sugar where possible is the best thing for your skin. The worst offenders when it comes to unnecessary sugar in your diet are often drinks– i.e. sweet, creamy coffee drinks, soda, and alcoholic beverages all contain large amounts of sugar.
7. Drink enough H20
Water is a nourishing substance for life and often we take it for granted. It’s essential to keep the skin soft and smooth. Without enough water, the skin will dry out and lose elasticity, making it more susceptible to wrinkles and aging. Not only is drinking water healthy and helps to combat wrinkles, but it can also lead to developing better habits such as drinking less sugar-loaded soft drinks and juices which your skin will definitely thank you for.
8. Use the RIGHT skincare products
Skin changes as we age. Your skin is very different from age 15 to say, age 25 and it’s important to transition your skincare regime accordingly to achieve the best results. This may include lessening oil production without over-drying, clearing clogged pores and blackheads, and preventing breakouts–all while keeping the skin balanced and hydrated.
A consultation with an esthetician or dermatologist can help you determine your skin type and appropriate skin treatments to ensure your skin stays healthy and vibrant.
9. Stay out of the sun
Blue light can cause an influx of harmful free radicals to be released, causing oxidative stress to the skin. Free radicals break down and damage the collagen and elasticity in the skin, increasing the signs of aging as well as inflammation.
If you’re chained to your computer daily, ensure you take regular screen breaks and make your bedroom a tech-free zone. Exposure to UV light from sunbathing, tanning booths, and outdoor sports increase the development of wrinkles.
UV light breaks down the collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. These fibers form the connective tissue that supports the skin. As this layer breaks down, the skin becomes weaker and less flexible. The skin starts to droop, and wrinkles appear.
Darker skin contains more melanin and protects from many harmful effects of UV radiation– however, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be coming damaged from UV rays as well. So always wear sunscreen when spending extended periods of time outdoors, whether it’s in the winter or summer months.
Preventing premature skin aging means developing a healthy skincare routine to keep your skin soft and supple. So pay attention to how you take care of your skin, no matter what your age, your older self will thank you!