It’s inevitable after a certain age: our bodies start to betray us, and the signs of aging start to show up clearly. Many people try to combat these signs in the quickest and easiest way. An astonishing 15.6 million cosmetic procedures were done in 2020, 45 percent of them (6.1 million total) in people between 40–54 years old.
We all want to stay and feel young and beautiful forever—or at least as long as possible. But it’s our daily habits that determine how our skin and body (and therefore our self-esteem) will behave over time. Before turning to the plastic surgeon’s scalpel, adopt these simple, healthy practices that can help you combat and delay aging and give you a more youthful appearance.
1. Wear Sunscreen
If you like being out in the sun from the time it comes up until it sets, think again. With a long exposure, ultraviolet rays can reach the inner layers of the skin and kill or damage cells. Damage from overexposure to the sun builds up and leaves the skin looking prematurely aged, which can lead to wrinkles, dark spots, freckles, sagging skin, and other even more serious problems (such as skin cancer).
Start to reduce your tanning time—10 to 30 minutes of sun a day is enough to stay healthy—and adopt these habits to enjoy the sun safely:
- Wear sunscreen while outside, applying it to parts of the skin that you cannot cover and protect otherwise.
- Spend more time in the shade, using umbrellas, tents, or even the shade of a tree.
- Dress in lightweight fabrics, but use long sleeves, collars, pants, or long skirts.
- Wear hats to protect your ears, neck, and face.
- Remember that many face moisturizers have sunscreen in them, providing double benefits.
2. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise can help your skin look younger and healthier. Physical activity increases your heart rate and improves blood circulation, two practices that keep the skin healthier by promoting the production of collagen and new skin cells.
When you exercise, you also sweat a lot. This helps to clear the pores of your skin and provides a glow popularly known as “post-gym glow.” This is the result of a combination of increased blood flow and endorphins released during exercise. Even if you’re not a gym enthusiast, try to find exercises that work with your routine, and be sure to wash your face afterward to keep your skin healthy.
3. Use Retinoids
Retinoids are topical medications containing vitamin A, which alone has several benefits for your skin and body. They are the most popular choice among anti-aging compounds. They help accelerate skin cell renewal and collagen production, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and smooth out aging spots.
It is not, however, a magic formula. You need to use retinoids regularly for three to six months for the benefits to become apparent. As retinoids increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight, you will also need to use sunscreen daily.
It is also helpful to consume vitamin A in your diet. You can get it from cheese, eggs, fish, and many dairy products. If you find it hard to consume the recommended amount, give vitamin A gummies a try. Consuming enough vitamins helps your body function at optimal levels.
4. DIY Face Masks
One step to add to your skincare routine is to apply a face mask while resting from a stressful day. In addition to relaxing, it acts directly on the skin, preventing problems such as dryness, dehydration, and enlarged pores, preventing the appearance of acne.
There are a lot of products and several treatments in the market, but you can save money by making DIY homemade anti-aging face masks with products you have at home (banana, rice, potato, orange, and even coffee). Try out simple recipes and find the one that works best for your skin.
5. Stay Hydrated
The golden tip is to pay special attention to hydration. The human body is made up of between 45 and 75 percent water. To keep it running smoothly, experts recommend that you drink eight glasses of water a day.
In addition to improving your overall health, staying hydrated improves your skin’s appearance by promoting the body’s cleansing process. On the other hand, drinking too little water can alter the control of body temperature. The most common consequences are reduced motivation, increased fatigue, and a more tired and aged appearance.
Age is in Your Head, But Also in Your Skin
After the age of 30, everyone dreams of aging like a good wine—that is, improving with the years to come. But that just won’t be possible if you don’t start adopting healthier habits and change some routines that impact your skin’s appearance. When you abuse bad habits, the skin ages much faster than it should, making you look older than you really are. So adopt these daily habits to ensure you look younger and feel good about yourself for years to come.