When you think of aging, what comes to mind?
Wrinkled faces, sun damage, nursing homes, achy joints, your mom constantly treating those crow lines around her eyes?
All true. Aging pertains to each and every part of your body: Hair, skin, nails, internal organ health, your brain…the list goes on.
Today we want to focus on your body part that usually showcases aging the most: your skin.
Your skin is so so so important. For starters, it is your body’s largest organ. So with that in mind, in terms of aging healthy, you should be protecting your entire body: hands, feet, face, ears, eyelids, legs, neck, chest, etc.
First off, do not panic if you have not been taking care of your skin. Whether you are 20, 30 or 40, you can always make the change early on to prevent the negative effects of aging. It’s better to start now then wait until those first wrinkles make their appearance.
Let’s start with two hard, simple facts to consider when discussing aging, focusing on internal and external factors:
Internally: The first is that as you age naturally, all body processes begin to slow down, especially skin cell repair. When you are younger, your body works to produce collagen and elastin to make your skin moist, elastic and wrinkle free (can we stay young forever?!) However, as you grow older these two powerhouse proteins are produced way less, and without sufficient amounts you are prone to wrinkles. Actually, starting in your late 20’s, you lose up to 1.5% collagen every year.
Externally: The second, is that the sun is the main factor that causes skin damage to ALL parts of your body. When protecting your body from the sun, you need to think about places like your eyelids, lips, hands and feet that show signs of aging just as much as your face.
What small steps can I take today to help my skin age healthily? (Yes, today).
It’s 2018 and you finally need to understand that effective sun protection is the foundation of every anti-aging plan. Do not go tanning (indoor or outdoor), be sure to wear sunglasses outside to protect the skin around your eyes, cover up with SPF sunscreen and/or clothing when being subjected to sunny conditions.
Washing your face and following with a moisturizer morning and night will make a difference. Even if you do not suffer from acne, cleansing your skin is great for overall skin appearance. As skin gets older, it tends to dry out more, so applying a daily moisturizer will trap water within your skin. Do these two together; slathering moisturizer on dirty skin will trap the dirt. Washing your face without applying moisturizer will leave you clean, but more prone to dry, wrinkled skin later on.
If you are already experiencing signs of aging, rest assured there are incredible products available that can help. From effective, convenient laser technology to serums, you can combat your wrinkles and fine lines from the comfort of your own home.
What lifestyle changes can I take to help my skin age healthily?
If you are really serious about healthy aging (which you should be) you can make lifestyle changes that will leave you better in the long run! Eating healthy foods (lean protein, fruits, and veggies, healthy fats) and getting enough beauty sleep work together to make you look your best on the outside and feel your best on the inside.
Lastly, if you are a smoker stop immediately. Besides the other numerous, proven negative side effects of smoking that affect all parts of your body, the toxins within cigarettes lead to dry, loose skin with a leathery appearance.
So, unless you are blessed with incredible, wrinkle-free genes and/or never laugh or smile, then you will have wrinkles and show signs of aging. And they will appear without you expecting it.
Aging will happen to everyone. But the true magic lies in what you do about it now! Wear sunscreen, drink water, laugh, smile and treat your skin like the gift that it is.