21 Most Important Rules to Follow to Avoid Premature Aging
If there’s anything you should learn about fighting those signs of aging, it’s prevention. Prevent lines, spots, sagging, etc and push off your date with time by taking certain measures early on. Signs of aging start their course years before they actually show on the surface, so it’s vital to start before they even become apparent. Slathering serums and creams may lighten spots or lines but short of surgery, it won’t erase them. Start as early as your early 20’s…or as soon as now! Try our 21 Most Important Rules to Follow to Avoid Premature Aging.
1. Reduce Sun Exposure
UV rays wreck havoc on the cellular structure of your skin. Look into UV studies done with twins and you’ll see the stark difference between how aged their skin looks. A little ultraviolet light benefits the body and stimulates production of vitamin D, which we all need in order for our bones to absorb calcium and remain strong. But too much and your skin cells will burn, causing spots and loosening of the skin. Avoid sitting out in the sun for long periods of time, even if you use sunscreen.
2. Wear Sunscreen
On that note…We’ve all heard this a million times by now, but that doesn’t mean we take it seriously. Wear sunscreen, always! Whether it’s sunny or overcast, UV rays can penetrate all. Wear sunscreen whenever you go out to reduce the harmful exposure and maintain your skin’s youthful cellular structure. Remember to reapply every couple of hours if you’re out for a long period of time.
3. Drink Less Alcohol
Alcohol has significant effect on the body, and not just in its ability to alter the state of the mind. It can dehydrate, damage collagen (the structural protein holds shape), cause your skin to loose elasticity and become loose), and cause blemishes. Drinking once in a while, or a small amount regularly – like a glass of red wine – won’t disfigure you, but don’t over do it if you want to stay young longer.
4. Drink Water Instead
Water makes everything in your body run smoothly. It hydrates you down to your cells, which ensures your body for good working order. When your skin specifically is hydrated, it will remain soft and moist – the opposite of the dry and wrinkly skin of old age. Carry a bottle with you at all times and make it a habit to drink at least the recommended 8 cups per day!
5. Clear Your Diet
You are what you eat, pretty much. Good food translates to good health overall and youthful complexion specifically. The antioxidants in fruits and vegetables are age-defying, helps your body fight off damaging elements, and sustains our cells’ protein (which upon decay, leaves your body vulnerable to aging and disease).
6. Exercise regularly
If by now it’s still not clear that good health prevents premature aging, then hopefully this point will drive it home. Exercise isn’t just for body building or getting ready for the beach; it also prolongs your life and keeps your body from sagging and looking older. There are actual anti-aging exercise regimens out there, but 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily is enough for most people.
7. Cleanse Gently
When you wash your face, make sure to use a gentle washcloth or just your hands with a mild face wash and warm water. If you scrub too hard, you’ll stretch out and also damage the surface of your skin. Both of these things, done repeatedly over a period of time, will age your prematurely. Don’t use hot water either, as that will dry out your skin.
8. Check the Ingredients
The public consumer in general has grown more aware of the importance of ingredients in the past few years. If you want to keep your skin fresh and young for longer, avoid products that contain harsh and often harmful ingredients. Check for and avoid products containing BHA, color with numbers, DEA, parabens, certain preservatives, parfum (fragrance), dibutyl phthalate, and sodium laureth sulfate. In-depth information can easily found on the web about these and other harmful ingredients.
9. Always Moisturize
When skin doesn’t get enough moisture, it cracks and lets in harmful elements and dries up and looses its ability to bounce back after stretching. Drinking water is the best way to prevent this internally. Externally, invest in some good lotion and use it religiously. For the face, try a lighter moisturizer with SPF during the day and a thicker one at night. Especially during the winter time, moisturizer can act as a protective barrier.
10. Take Care of Less Obvious Spots
Usually, the first thing we think about when we talk about anti-aging is our face. But other problem spots, areas that show the first signs of aging, are often neglected. These areas include your hands and feet and neck. Make sure you give these areas just as much love as you do your face, because these will be dead giveaway even if your face is Botox smooth.
11. Stop Smoking
If you don’t care about aging prematurely (or lung cancer), then indulging in a cigarette or two or two packs may not be a big deal. YOLO, am I right? But actually, in addition to the surgeon general’s warning and the scientifically proven link between using tobacco and cancer, smoking will damage collagen, elastin, and tissue – all of which contributes to a youthful appearance. So either stop or don’t start. Might as well YOLO for longer and look young while you’re at it.
12. Don’t Touch!
This is general good advice for healthy, blemish-free (or blemish-reduced) look. Your hands are pretty dirty, as they are the one part of your body that really comes in contact with the rest of the world. Touching your face repeatedly not only adds oils and dirt into your pores, causing breakouts and redness, it will also stretch out your skin.
13. Get Your 8 Hours
Sleep is everything. Your body’s overall well-being depends on how much and how well you sleep at night. Everything from your skin to your organs gets repaired at night. If you don’t give yourself enough sleep, then premature aging will show. That includes those bags under your eyes.
14. Reduce Caffeine
Along the same lines of getting enough sleep, reduce your caffeine intake. One or two cups in the first half of the day is okay, but try to stay away from any caffeinated drinks in the late afternoon or night. Even if you’re able to sleep after, the quality is not as good. Also caffeine, like alcohol, acts like a diuretic so your body doesn’t retain water as well.
15. Let Your Skin Breath
Everyone has their own beauty routine in the morning, and that’s okay because we all express ourselves differently and have different preferences. However, it’s always a good practice to give your skin a break. If you wear a lot of products, give it a day or two out of the week to just break or try to reduce the amount of products. Fresh air is good for the body and good for the pores. But don’t forget to moisturize and use appropriate sunscreen!
16. Consider Your Pillowcase
We all spend a lot of hours of our lives sleeping, which means a lot of hours with our heads against a pillow. There are many things to consider when it comes to pillowcases. First, try to get it in a smoother material, like silk. This will be less likely to wrinkle your face, which over time can become permanent. Also wash your pillowcase (at least) weekly. Keeping it clean will in turn keep your face clean at night. Lastly, try not to sleep with your face pressed against the pillow, so to not stretch out your skin.
17. Supplement Your Diet
Nowadays humans, for the most part, cannot and do not get enough of their daily required nutrition from their diet. The way our food has evolved leaves our bodies wanting, which is why a daily vitamin and other supplements are important. Calcium in particular helps prevent aging because it helps regulate many skin functions.
18. Relax Your Face
All facial expressions require the use of multiple facial muscles. While muscles may get stronger over time with use, the skin encasing the muscles will start stretching out and wrinkling. While preventing premature aging is important, there’s no need not to smile or laugh. Just be mindful if you tend to squint your eyes, knit your brows, or make other unnecessarily expressions that will bring on an early set of facial lines.
19. Exfoliate and Massage
While you don’t want to run your skin raw when you wash daily, you also want to regularly exfoliate and massage your skin. Exfoliating will take off the layer of dead skin, which allows for the production of new skin. Massaging helps brings blood to the surface of your skin, allowing your skin to be nourished.
20. Take Care of Your Teeth
People often forget until it’s too late how important your teeth plays into your overall look. Signs of aging and use show inside your mouth just as much as on your face. Make sure to take good care of your teeth and gums, and a healthy smile will help keep you looking youthful.
21. Invest in Anti-aging Creams
Last, but definitely not least, research and invest in a (or multiple) good anti-aging cream. The industry is wide and the products many, so doing your due diligence and looking into specific products will pay off. Sometimes trial and error is needed – but keep in mind creams and serums generally take a while to work. Look for products that contain retinol, as that is proven to help reduce age spots and wrinkles.
You can’t push off time forever, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Especially when some of these tips are so easily, it should just be second nature. In the end, it’s all about healthy living and a youthful mentality.