With so many anti-aging products available on the market, it is overwhelming to find which products actually work and are worth spending money on to prevent premature aging.
As we age, we all get some lines or wrinkles on our face, especially as the skin gets thinner and drier.
Fortunately, there are some simple everyday actions that everyone can take to help keep the skin looking youthful.
Protect Yourself From the Sun
There are countless studies that show the harmful effects sun can have on the skin.
Photodamage is a fancy way of saying that the different wavelengths from the sun and other sources of visible light can have a damaging effect on the skin.
One simple and effective way to combat that damage is to apply sunscreen daily and frequently throughout the day.
Specifically, a broad-spectrum sunscreen, SPF15 or above, can prevent the process of photoaging.
A clinical study that followed 32 people who used a broad-spectrum SPF30 sunscreen every day for 52 weeks showed an improvement in photoaging.
The individuals that used sunscreen every day showed improved skin texture, skin clarity, a reduction in fine lines and crow’s feet, and more even skin tones.
Most people do not know that visible light from computer screens, flat screen TVs, or other digital monitors can also have a negative impact on the skin.
Grab some sunscreen even if you plan to stay home all day.
Have a Daily Skin Care Routine
In an effort to prove that a daily skin care routine can actually reduce skin aging, a clinical study of 49 women found that even a simple daily routine of using a cleanser and day cream can reduce nasolabial wrinkles.
The women who had a more comprehensive daily routine that included a cleanser, toner, eye cream, serum, and a day and night cream had improved superficial and deep skin hydration, and improved skin roughness and a reduction in crow’s feet.
A clinical study of 133 residents with skin dryness found that a daily routine body wash followed by two applications of leave-on products helped reduce skin dryness.
Collectively, these studies show that even a simple routine of cleanser and moisturizer is a helpful anti-aging procedure.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
A well-balanced diet is not only important for overall health but also has a big impact on the skin.
Studies have shown that drinking water is essential for maintaining skin balance and proper tissue function.
Adequate protein intake allows for the repair of skin tissue.
People need sufficient trace minerals such as copper, zinc, iron, and selenium for skin antioxidant enzymes to work properly and for the function of keratinocytes.
Several vitamins, including vitamins A, B, C, D, and E play a role in preventing skin aging and having a lack of vitamins in the body can cause skin disorders.
Unhealthy eating can increase skin aging. Specifically, diets that are high in sugar and fried foods can accelerate skin aging by delaying wound healing and altering the blood circulation in the dermis.
While exercise may not prevent premature wrinkles directly, regular exercise can improve cardiovascular health, which improves blood flow and circulation, and may help with overall skin health.
Regular exercise can also have a positive impact on the immune system.
Some studies have shown that regular exercise can increase the function and activity of the immune cells to help fight off infections faster, which in turn can help reduce inflammation and help the body recover more quickly.
Remember to wash your face after heavy exercise. It is important to wash off sweat as well as bacteria that might’ve been transferred from shared exercise equipment. A gentle face cleanser will do the trick.
Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
Smoking tobacco or using tobacco products not only has a negative impact on health, but it can actually induce premature aging.
Smoking can increase the thickness of the skin cuticle and has a negative effect on skin pigmentation.
Smoking can also increase the appearance of wrinkles, crow’s feet, nasolabial folds, and reduce lip fullness.
A systematic review of studies that followed patients who smoke after plastic surgery found that smoking delayed wound healing, increased the risk of skin necrosis and skin infections.
Collectively, these studies show the negative impact of smoking on the appearance of the skin and the overall health of the skin.
Alcohol can dehydrate the skin and also induce premature aging, especially in people who consume more than eight drinks per week.
Heavy alcohol consumption is associated with the loss of midface volume, which can create a sunken appearance of the face, and can increase upper facial lines and wrinkles around the mouth.
What is a Good Daily Routine?
Consistency is key so make sure your daily routine is not so complex that you skip it often due to lack of time. Ideally, the daily routine includes a gentle cleanser, a moisturizer, and sunscreen.
A gentle cleanser allows you to remove pollutants, bacteria, and make up from your face without irritating the skin.
Moisturizers help retain water in the skin; use a daily moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and to avoid premature wrinkles.
Always finish up with a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher and reapply every 2 hours to avoid photodamage from the sun and other visible light sources. A daily routine is an effective anti-aging treatment.
If you are worried about premature skin aging, contact a dermatologist to see whether they may recommend an in-office anti-aging procedure such as microdermabrasion or a chemical peel to help reduce the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles.
References, Studies and Sources
- Passeron T, Lim HW, Goh CL, et al. Photoprotection according to skin phototype and dermatoses: practical recommendations from an expert panel. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2021;35(7):1460-1469. doi:10.1111/jdv.17242
- Hughes MC, Williams GM, Baker P, Green AC. Sunscreen and prevention of skin aging: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med 2013; 158: 781–790.
- Randhawa M, Wang S, Leyden JJ, Cula GO, Pagnoni A, Southall MD. Daily Use of a Facial Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Over One-Year Significantly Improves Clinical Evaluation of Photoaging. Dermatol Surg. 2016;42(12):1354-1361.
- Huerth KA, Hassan S, Callender VD. Therapeutic Insights in Melasma and Hyperpigmentation Management. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019;18(8):718-729.
- Cao C, Xiao Z, Wu Y, Ge C. Diet and Skin Aging-From the Perspective of Food Nutrition. Nutrients. 2020;12(3):870. Published 2020 Mar 24. doi:10.3390/nu12030870
- Nguyen HP, Katta R. Sugar Sag: Glycation and the Role of Diet in Aging Skin. Skin Therapy Lett. 2015;20(6):1-5.
- Sellami M, Gasmi M, Denham J, et al. Effects of Acute and Chronic Exercise on Immunological Parameters in the Elderly Aged: Can Physical Activity Counteract the Effects of Aging?. Front Immunol. 2018;9:2187. Published 2018 Oct 10. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2018.02187
- Sandby-Møller J, Poulsen T, Wulf HC. Epidermal thickness at different body sites: relationship to age, gender, pigmentation, blood content, skin type and smoking habits. Acta Derm Venereol. 2003;83(6):410-413.
- Goodman GD, Kaufman J, Day D, et al. Impact of Smoking and Alcohol Use on Facial Aging in Women: Results of a Large Multinational, Multiracial, Cross-sectional Survey. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2019;12(8):28-39.
- Theocharidis V, Katsaros I, Sgouromallis E, et al. Current evidence on the role of smoking in plastic surgery elective procedures: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2018;71(5):624-636.
- Messaraa C, Robertson N, Walsh M, et al. Clinical evidences of benefits from an advanced skin care routine in comparison with a simple routine. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020;19(8):1993-1999.
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