The telltale signs of aging skin—wrinkles, puffy eyes, age spots—may start to appear as we grow older. We can’t fight the aging process, but we can take steps now to help reduce and prevent wrinkles from appearing prematurely.
Many factors can contribute to the onset of wrinkles, which are frequently produced by years of unprotected sun exposure in combination with each person’s unique genetic predisposition. Wrinkles are a by-product of the aging process. As we age, our skin loses its elasticity, is less capable of retaining moisture and is slower to heal. All of these contribute to the development of wrinkles and sagging skin.
How Can I Slow the Progression of Wrinkles?
Daily skincare and proper sun protection are important factors in slowing the aging process, diminishing fine lines and minimizing wrinkles.
- Get your antioxidants. Many vitamins are good for the skin. Vitamins C, E and A are natural antioxidants found in fruits, nuts and vegetables, and can help reduce the appearance of sun damage.
- Use sunscreen. Protecting yourself from sun exposure can help prevent the progression of fine lines. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30 to protect against harmful UV rays. Remeber to re-apply!
- Moisturize. If your skin is dry it looks dull and aged. To prevent dry skin, apply moisturizer every day.
- Get your beauty sleep. When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it produces excess cortisol, a hormone that breaks down skin cells. Keep your skin looking and feeling young by getting at least seven hours of sleep every night. Remeber to sleep on your back!
- Avoid tanning beds. Tanning beds emit harmful UVA rays and are never 'safe' alternatives to the sun.
- Take care of your neck and hands. Our neck and hands are often the first parts of our body to reveal signs of aging. Don't forget these areas when you moisturize and apply your sunscreen.
- Quit smoking. Smoking may damage more than your lungs—it causes skin aging and wrinkles around the mouth. Smoking also increases your risk for skin cancer!
Like it or not, wrinkles are a natural part of aging, but prevention is the best medicine! You can significantly reduce the appearance of your wrinkles by taking care of your skin now. Even the most diligent skincare regimen or the most expensive wrinkle cream won’t totally eliminate your fine lines once they form.