Take a look in the mirror, and be honest. Does your skin betray your true age? There’s no shame in skin that shows signs of aging, but there’s also no sense in appearing older than you are! Believe it or not, keeping the skin of your face, hands, and décolletage young looking doesn’t have to be a complicated or an expensive proposition. Read on to learn the iron-clad commandments of skin care.
Be Gentle with Your Face
Do you have thin skin? We’re not talking about whether you burst into tears when someone calls you a not-so-nice name. Some people have skin that is naturally thinner than other people’s, and the skin on everyone’s face is thinner than on the rest of their body. Not only that, but as we age, our skin naturally thins. So it’s important to treat that skin super gently.
Don’t over-exfoliate, don’t use harsh scrubbing cloths when you wash your face, and make sure that any product you use is a gentle formulation that doesn’t contain perfumes or microbeads. Especially as they age, many women feel that products made with all-natural ingredients — think honey, bee propolis, oatmeal, goat milk, oatmeal, avocado, and olive oil or coconut oil — are best for their skin. Each of those ingredients offers different benefits and is best suited to different types of skin, so do a little research to find the right healing cream for you.
What You Put in Your Body
It should come as no surprise that what you put in your body is as important to skin health as what you put on it. Eat a diet that is rich in vegetables and fruits, opt for whole grains instead of white rice or white flour, and choose only lean meats and seafood.
And speaking of seafood, did you know how important omega 3s are for your skin? They’re anti-inflammatory, and they can help replenish the lipids in your dermis. If you’re not a fan of rich, fatty fish like mackerel and salmon, put some flax seeds in your morning smoothie, or take a fish oil or flax oil supplement.
Limit your consumption of alcohol, and if you still smoke, stop! Nothing will make your skin look like a leather handbag faster than being a chain-smoking barfly.
Drink Plenty of Water
Just as important as what you eat is what you drink. Make water your drink of choice. It’s essential for replenishing the liquid lost during your daily activities. Experts recommend about 96 ounces of water each day for a woman. That doesn’t mean you need to guzzle plain water, though. Fizzy and/or flavored waters work just as well, so your La Croix habit is actually healthy!
Vegetables and fruits are also high in water content, so they count toward your daily goal, too. So does herbal tea, either hot or iced. And if you aren’t in counting ounces, just drink enough to both satisfy your thirst and make sure that your urine is clear or very pale yellow — a good sign that you’re hydrated.
Use Skin Products with Retinol
Using products containing retinol are like getting an extra boost of Vitamin A — one of the best vitamins for skin health. If you’re in your 30s or older, add a retinol-containing serum or moisturizer to your daily skin regimen.
Mind Your Sun Exposure
The sun feels great on your face, sure. And yes, it provides Vitamin D, which many women are lacking. However, it is imperative to limit your skin’s exposure to the sun. Gone are the days of slathering oneself in baby oil, face turned skyward.
Many moisturizers and makeup products already contain sunscreen, but double-check to be sure. And it behooves you to keep an SPF-30 (or higher) sunscreen in your handbag, your desk at work, and your car’s glove compartment so you’re never caught without it. Protip: don’t forget to slather your neck, chest, hands, legs — any area that is exposed to the sun.
Exfoliate on the Regular — Maybe
Do you need to exfoliate your skin? That depends. If you have a normal complexion (as opposed to a dry, oily, or sensitive one), you might want to remove those dead skin cells that are making your face look dull. However, check the products you already use to see if they might already contain an exfoliant.
If you are using a strong retinol product, or have dry or sensitive skin, ask your dermatologist before beginning an exfoliation routine. It may well be too harsh, and lead to further skin damage.
One last tip before we go – start taking care of your skin early. Trust us; if you spend your 20s falling asleep with a full face of makeup, partying hard, and exposing your tender young face to the sun, you will regret it in a decade or so.
Be gentle with your skin, feed it (and the rest of your bod) good stuff, and choose products with natural ingredients. Then get ready to amaze your younger counterparts when you reveal your true age!