Getting older comes with good things — and bad. Of course, we get smarter as we age. We get a little more clout. We even get more comfortable in our skin, which is always good.
But one area aging can wreak havoc on is our skin and hair. So when it comes to beauty, we’ve got our jobs cut out for us.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to either prevent signs of aging or improve them if they’ve already appeared. Here we go!
1. Make sunscreen your new best friend.
Protecting your skin shouldn’t just happen when you’re at the beach. Instead, it should happen every day. Yes, every day, you should be protecting your skin against the harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun. UV rays are known to cause up to 90% of premature skin aging. This famous photo of a truck driver is a great reminder of just how much harm the sun rays can do to your skin:
What’s with the left side of his face? 28 years of sun exposure through the side window of his vehicle, that’s what it is.
The easiest way to protect your skin from UV rays is with your daily moisturizers and lotions. Instead of applying sunscreen over top of your regular daily moisturizers and lotions, consider simply purchasing a moisturizer or lotion that already has an SPF in it. Use it every day, and be protected!
2. Ditch the soda, and drink water instead.
Staying hydrated is an excellent way to ward off fine lines and wrinkles for as long as possible. The sugar in soda not only puts you at an increased risk for diabetes and obesity, it’s also not good for your skin.
That’s because once you digest sugar, it permanently attaches to your skin’s collagen — the stuff that makes younger skin plump and smooth. This process is called glycation, and it can cause and worsen serious skin problems like rosacea and acne.
3. Find a way to manage stress.
Stress is what’s known as the silent killer. It can be a contributing factor to heart problems and is widely associated with issues like diabetes, insomnia, and digestive disorders as well.
Additionally, stress is also bad for your looks — mostly because it causes more cortisol to be released in your body. Cortisol is a stress hormone (the main stress hormone), and it can immediately cause breakouts. Moreover, stress is related to under-eye bags and puffiness, hives and rashes, and rosacea.
4. Eat a healthy diet.
Eating healthy is never a bad idea. And it’s certainly not a bad idea if you want great skin. In fact, all of the nutrients your skin needs are packed in the foods that you eat.
You can get omega-3s from foods like fish and flaxseed, which will help your skin stay clear of blemishes. You can get antioxidants from fruits like raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries — this will prevent fine lines and wrinkles. And healthy fats like those from olive oil and avocados will help your skin be plump, clear, and smooth.
5. Get enough sleep.
Finally, make sure you’re getting enough sleep every single night. They don’t call it “beauty rest” for nothing. In fact, sleep is one of the top single ways to ensure beautiful skin every morning.
One reason for this is that it reduces cortisol — remember that stress hormone that can cause skin problems? But additionally, sleep allows your skin to heal, just as it heals the rest of your body as well. It’s a time for blemishes, puffiness, and inflammation to go down and for your skin to rejuvenate its supplies of collagen for a smooth, plump surface.
Of course, there are many other ways to ensure that your skin, hair, and overall beauty stays in good condition as you age. Namely, you should never smoke (quit now if you do!), avoid excessive drinking, stay away from these 14 foods which make you age fast, make sure you’re physically active on a regular basis, and there’s one last thing: enjoy your life.
Getting a few smile and laugh lines around your mouth and eyes is not a sign of “terrible aging.” It’s a sign that you have laugh, you have fun, and you enjoy living — and that’s a great way to age.