If you have seen the Disney movie, "The Little Mermaid,"…
“Youth, if I’d know it would be gone so soon, I would have appreciated it more.” How often do we think this? We go through our youths believing they will never end, and we spend the later parts of our lives wishing we had known better. Age is inevitable, and eventually, all of us will face the harsh reality, yet, there are always ways of cushioning the blow. While there are some aspects of skin aging that even the most genetically blessed of us will not escape, there are others that we have a bit of control over. Here are some ways of protecting your skin as it ages.
Normal Skin Aging
There are some things that are going to happen to your skin, no matter why you do. Our skin is lined with a fiber mesh of proteins, called collagen and elastins, which keep the skin taut, and helps skin to snap back after it’s been stretched. As we age, the network of fibers weaken, and skin begins to sag as a result. Skin becomes thinner and the plump smoothness of childhood gives way to a rougher texture. Gravity tugs on the skin, causing it to drop, and form pockets of loose skin under the arms and eyes. While our genetic code contributes to aging, that is simply the luck of the draw. Some people age surprisingly well, others are not so fortunate. Aside from this, little can be done to combat this “intrinsic aging.”
Sun damage is one of the things we can control when it comes to the aging of our skin. When ultraviolet rays penetrate the skin, they damage fibers that keep skin firm, causing wrinkles to develop. Age spots can also form on the face or hands as a result of sun exposure. However, if sun exposure is kept to a minimum, so too should be the effects.
Sun damage to skin can be minimized in the following ways;
- Stop sunbathing. Even the lightest sun tan is a sign of damage.
- Wear sunscreen. Use a product with an SPF of 15 or higher and be sure to pay most attention to your face and hands when applying sunscreen lotions.
- Wear a hat that has a brim.
- Try to avoid the sun between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm when rays are most intense.
Smoking is another surefire way to increase the likelihood of wrinkles. The decrease of blood flow to the face and damage from toxins in smoke are both likely to cause wrinkles, and the “smoker’s squint,” often employed to protect eyes from smoke, can lead to the development of crow’s feet around the eyes. The droopy skin around the eyelids is characteristic of “smoker’s face, and maintaining a youthful appearance is another good reason to give up the habit.
More than one drink a day for women and two for men can be bad for your health, as well as your skin. Regular drinkers tend to eat an unhealthy diet, which can deprive the skin of nutrients needed to prevent aging.
The battle between your skin and the sun is constant; skin must be constantly prepared to regenerate itself after every exposure, and that requires nutrition. Antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E, and biotin are some of the most important for healthy skin. The best places to find them are in fresh fruits and vegetables. Citrus, leafy greens, carrots and tomatoes are all great sources of antioxidant. Try and get five to seven servings in a day.