As we age, our skin looks different. It’s not as vibrant as it once was and it can start to sag or even lose elasticity. But how do we slow down or prevent this process? We all age, and we can’t really stop that. But you can slow it down with these easy tips for limiting skin ageing. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and it’s also the first to show signs of ageing.
While there are plenty of products on the market that can help reduce wrinkles and improve the appearance of scars and stretch marks, you can also take steps to keep your skin looking youthful from the inside out. These five easy and effective tips will help you limit skin ageing.
What are the most striking reasons for skin ageing?
The main reasons for skin ageing are:
1. Sun Damage
This is the single most important cause of skin ageing. Sun damage over time causes wrinkles, age spots, and sagging skin. The damaging effects of sun exposure are cumulative, so even short periods of unprotected sun exposure can cause damage.
A wrinkle is a line or crease in the skin caused by repeated movement or pressure on the same spot over time. Wrinkles are also caused by a loss of elasticity and collagen in your skin, which occurs with age. Wrinkles appear when there is an imbalance between collagen production and degradation, causing your skin to lose its flexibility and smoothness.
3. Age Spots
Age spots are brownish discolourations on the face that form when exposed to sunlight and other environmental factors such as pollution, tobacco smoke, air conditioning and poor diet. They usually appear on areas of the body that have been repeatedly exposed to UV rays over time – including the face, hands, arms and décolletage (lower chest area).
Stress has many negative effects on our bodies including our skin. Stress causes hormonal changes in the body which can accelerate skin ageing by causing wrinkles and loss of elasticity. Stress releases cortisol and adrenaline into your system, which can cause puffiness in the face (known as ‘eye bags’) and break down collagen fibres within skin cells.
5. Lack of sleep
Sleep deprivation has been linked to higher levels of cortisol (a stress hormone), which breaks down collagen fibres that help keep skin firm and supple.
6. Poor nutrition
A poor diet affects every aspect of your health – including your skin – so it’s important to eat a balanced diet rich in antioxidants (the nutrients found in fruits and vegetables).
Smoking causes a build-up of toxins in your body which can reduce blood flow to your skin, making it look dull and tired.
Skin Ageing: 5 most compelling tips to look younger ever
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1. Drink water
Drinking enough water each day helps flush toxins out of your body, keeping your skin healthy and hydrated. It also prevents dehydration, which has been linked to premature wrinkles and sagging. Aim for eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, but if you’re exercising or sweating a lot, you may need more than that.
2. Wear sunscreen every day
Sunscreen is the most effective tool we have against premature ageing caused by damaging UV rays from the sun. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a broad-spectrum mineral or chemical sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, although even higher SPFs are available now if you want them (SPF 100!).
Sunscreen should be applied liberally at least 15 minutes before going outdoors and reapplied every two hours after swimming or sweating heavily as well as after towel drying, according to the Skins Cancer Foundation (SCF).
3. Eat Healthy Fats, Protein, and Carbs
The food that we eat has a direct impact on our looks and health, including our skins. Eating unhealthy foods can lead to an increase in cholesterol levels, which may cause wrinkles and fine lines on the face.
4. Get Enough Sleep Every Day
Sleep plays an important role in keeping stress levels under control so that it does not affect your overall health negatively. Lack of sleep can lead to wrinkles on the face due to lack of sleep causing dehydration in the body and making your skin appear old and wrinkled even before its time.
5. Moisturise daily
Even if you’re not prone to dry skin, moisturising is essential for maintaining healthy skin. Dryness causes irritation that can lead to redness and inflammation, which may contribute to premature ageing in general. Look for products that are labelled “non-comedogenic” (meaning they won’t clog pores) and fragrance-free (to avoid irritation). You’ll find them at drugstores and supermarkets as well as department stores and speciality shops such as Sephora and Ulta Beauty.
A Final Note
So there you have it, a few simple steps to limit skin ageing without spending a fortune or obsessing over lotions, potions, and procedures. Most importantly, start now! You have the power to take control of your own health and it’s never too early to begin.