As we get older, our skin gets thinner and loses it's density, which often leads to a dull, dry complexion rife with dry skin and wrinkles. While genetics certainly play a part in how your skin ages, there are many things you can do (and eat!) to keep your skin looking healthy and young.
Here are my top tips for every stage of your journey:
In your 20s ...
- Cleanse. Establish a good routine with your skin care. When you find something that works for you, stick with it religiously (like the French!).
- Exfoliate. Gentle exfoliation helps speed up skin cell turnover and renewal, making your skin more radiant.
- Tone. After cleansing your skin, use a toner to help close your pores and lock in the benefits of whatever moisturizer you're applying on top of the toner.
- Drink water. Plenty and plenty of water to purify from the inside and keep you (and your skin) hydrated.
- Double cleanse. Washing your face should be part of both your morning and evening routines, but double cleansing is especially important in the evening to remove makeup and dirt that's accumulated throughout the day. Not sure how to do it? Try this!
- Eat the rainbow. Ensure your diet is rich in colorful fruits and vegetables high in beneficial phytochemicals. These phytochemicals protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, meaning they protect the skin against premature aging.
- Opt for green beauty and skin care products. On average, women use between 5-15 products a day, from deodorant to shower gel, shampoo to concealer. The list goes on ... and so do the toxins. Since skin absorbs 60% of what you put on it, any nasties in the products you apply will find their way into your body and mess with your inner workings.
- Sleep well. The body is designed to heal itself during sleep (just look at what lack of sleep can do to you), so it's crucial for your skin that you get 6-8 hours every night.
- Meditate. You know it's good for your mental state, but mediation also has a direct positive impact on your physical wellbeing. It'll improve your response to stress, which will help prevent wrinkles since you likely won't be clenching your face in tension anymore!
In your 40s ...
- Stay away from saturated and trans fats. Swap quick, packaged foods full of "bad" fats" for real, whole foods packed with "good" fats. Your skin will thank you.
- Seek out superfoods. Say hello to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory superstars like asparagus, wild salmon and dark chocolate, and goodbye (or at least "see you later") to wrinkles, dull skin and other signs of aging.
- Embrace oil. When cleansing and moisturizing your skin, it's imperative that you keep in mind that oil dissolves oil. Not only will double cleansing help effectively remove dirt and makeup from your skin, using oil as a moisturizer will help balance sebum, not make your skin oilier. Here's a handy guide to help you pick the kind of oil that's right for your skin.
- Massage your face. I'm not kidding. Facial massage can ease tension, increase circulation, stimulate muscles and help topical treatments penetrate your skin. Here's how to do it.
For all ages ...
- Don't smoke. Enough said.
- Take sun damage seriously. When you allow your skin to burn in the sun, your skin peels off as a result of whole layers of cells being damaged. (It's the skin's way of saying, "we've had enough, bye.") Use sun protection always, whether you're 20 or 80.
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