For many women, we wear our age on our face and sometimes, our faces betray us and we look older than our years. In some instances, we have no one to blame but ourselves. We spent all day all summer long exposing our skin to prolonged sun, while believing that we were invincible and did not need to use any type of sunscreen. We lived hard and played hard, trading in sleep for those precious late night hours spent with our friends. The result is premature aging of our skin, wrinkles, age spots and sagging skin. For others of us, we have a genetic disposition to wrinkled skin and pre-mature aging.
Seeking relief, we turn to the many advertisements that bombard us with promises of a more youthful complexion, products that will stop the aging process and turn back the hands of time. And while all may sound too good to be true, chances are…they are. Rather than fall prey to those types of promises, a more proactive approach is to take steps to look younger than your biological age. Fortunately, these steps are not going to be new ideas; but for some, they may prove to be life-altering and very tough decisions.
First of all, look at the habits that you engage in on a daily basis. Do you need to start your day each morning with a cigarette (or two)? Smoking is known to cause dramatic, negative changes to occur within our body. In addition, the effects of smoking tend to cause our skin to age faster than for a non-smoker because of the prevalence of free radicals that are produced. Free radicals are described as toxic oxygen molecules that have the potential to damage every area of our body. It is said that one free radical has the ability to create chain reactions in the tens of thousands causing harm such as the destruction of cell membranes, disruption of our body’s crucial processes and the formation of mutant cells. Free radicals are considered one of the major causes of aging and the most obvious proof of this is the damage that it can cause to our skin. Therefore, one of the first places to start to help you look younger is to consider reducing (or eliminating) cigarettes.
As stated above, another habit that has caused great detriment to our skin is our excessive exposure to sunlight. One major component of sunlight is the ultraviolet rays. When there is no block between the rays and our skin, the result is skin that becomes cracked, damaged and leathery in appearance. Although skin block creams are a good idea, avoiding your exposure to sun during peak times (from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) is optimal. For women, getting into the habit of using a moisturizer every morning with some amount of s.p.f. is recommended. This will keep the skin hydrated as well as providing another layer of skin protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Just driving in a car, walking from your home to a neighborhood café puts you at risk for sun exposure and ultimately sun damage.
By all accounts, eating right is the most effective way to guard against becoming ill; however, in our fast-paced world, it is virtually impossible to have a healthy meal three times a day, seven days a week. In order to facilitate a healthy lifestyle, consider incorporating vitamins and minerals into your diet. Meet with a nutritionist or visit a health foods store or nutrition center that can discuss with you your diet, your lifestyle and provide tips and suggestions. Consider antioxidants that can be found in many vitamins and supplements, to combat free radicals.