Remember being under the age of 21 and desperately wanting to look older? Then a few short (but very fun) years later you wake up one morning wanting to look younger. Time may be a thief, but you’re pretty lucky to be living in the 21st century where skincare options are plentiful.
We’re the generation that has everything needed to combat premature aging. From dermal fillers and Botox, to Retinol and chemical peels the possibilities are endless. These options are easily available with a quick visit to the dermatologist, but what if you’re interested in a more natural way to combat premature aging?
Genetics and environmental factors that cause free radicals play a big role in how we age. This causes each of us to age differently and at different rates. While these two factors are out of our control, there are many lifestyle choices we can make to create a more youthful appearance.
Youthful skin has a luminous glow and smooth texture. As we age our skin cells turn over at a slower rate and collagen production decreases causing the skin to loose it’s plumped appearance and smooth texture. Follow these eight skincare tips and you’ll be on your way to naturally youthful skin.
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Staying properly hydrated is the easiest thing you can do to maintain youthful skin. Swapping out sugary drinks like soda and juices for water helps to keep skin blemish free by flushes out toxins in the body. Toxins will often come to the surface wreaking havoc on your complexation.
Water helps to maintain the elasticity in your skin resulting in fewer fine lines and wrinkles. Staying hydrated will also help give that youthful glow by increasing blood flow to the skin. Try drinking at least eight glasses of water a day in addition to eating fruits and veggies with high water content.
They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothin’. Your body goes through a detoxification period while you sleep. It’s also the time when your body produces collagen, which is why getting less sleep can increase fine lines and wrinkles. Less than adequate sleep can also result in dark circles and puffiness under the eyes.
You should shoot for at least seven hours of sleep per night with the golden number being somewhere between eight to nine hours. To up the restorative skin effects of sleep try sleeping on your back so that your face isn’t smashed into the pillow. According to some dermatologists, sleeping on the same side of your face each night can cause fine lines and sleep wrinkles.
If you find sleeping on your back uncomfortable you can swap out your coarse cotton pillowcase for a silk pillowcase. The smooth surface of silk is less harsh on your face than other fabrics and as an added bonus it also helps to keep your hair smooth at night (goodbye bedhead).
Mineral Based Sunscreen
Over exposure to the sun and UV rays is your skins biggest threat to premature aging. Everyone loves a good day in the sun, but proper protection from UV rays is vital to keeping a youthful appearance. Skin cancer is the leading cause of cancer in the United States. That alone should be enough to convince you to shield up in the sun but if not the damaging effects to your youthful glow just might. The sun’s rays cause uneven texture, premature wrinkles and sun spots.
To avoid damage from UVA and UVB rays you’ll want to avoid the tanning bed and apply a broad spectrum sunscreen daily. Many sunscreens contain toxic chemicals so it’s important to read up on a sunscreen that works best for you. The Environmental Working Group published a report containing a list of toxic sunscreen ingredients that can help give more insight on this topic.
You’ll be hard stretched to find a 100% organic and clean sunscreen on the market, but this one by 7 Minerals is one of the top rated cleanest and effective sunscreens you can find. Another option is to choose a mineral based sunscreen like this gel based facial moisturizer by Bare Republic. Mineral based sunscreen sits on the skin acting as a blocker for UV rays while a chemical based sunscreen is absorbed into the skin and usually contains more harsh chemicals.
If you don’t already have a morning and night daily skincare routine it’s time to establish one. Skincare routines can be a little overwhelming but the two single most important steps are removing make-up and moisturizing twice a day. Yes, even if you have oily skin slather that moisturizer on morning and night.
If you have dry skin lack of moisturizing can cause cracks and breaks in the skin resulting in a dull rough texture. Those with oily skin may be under the misconception that moisturizing may lead to breakouts. If you’re choosing the right moisturizer for your skin type you shouldn’t have a problem. Oily skin doesn’t exactly mean that your skin is more moisturized than those with dry skin. This article by Very Well Health dives deeper into moisturizing for oily skin.
Deciding on whether to use an oil or cream moisturizer will depend on your particular skin type. So it’s important to understand your skin type prior to choosing a moisturizer. I recommend choosing a clean moisturizer free from harsh chemicals. Luckily natural moisturizers are more affordable and available than ever.
When searching for a natural moisturizer look for ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, organic plant based oils, and fragrances only derived from essential oils. Artificial fragrances can be toxic to the body and irritate sensitive skin. A great cream based moisturizer is Gaffer & Child’s Dream Cream. It’s ethically sourced, non-toxic, and organic. If you’re more into natural oils choose an anti-aging oil like Argan or Marula.
Exfoliating your skin is the key to supple texture and a youthful glow. Don’t over do it though! You should aim to exfoliate two – three times a week. You may be tempted to insert this step into your daily skincare routine, but over doing it can cause damage to your skin.
The type of exfoliator you use matters. If your exfoliator is too coarse you could be breaking the surface of your skin causing sometimes irreversible damage like premature aging. Safe and natural exfoliators can be made with things you probably already have in your kitchen. Check out this Healthline article on DIY facial scrubs that includes recipes and a list of ingredients to avoid.
Night Time Serums
Serums are packed with high concentrations of vitamins and nutrients for your skin that your moisturizer is probably lacking. Using a facial serum is also a way to take care of specific skin concerns like uneven skin, redness or fine lines.
Serums should be applied immediately following your facial cleanser to ensure they absorb deep within the skin. If you’re applying your serum after a facial moisturizer it may be sitting on the surface of your moisturizer instead of absorbing properly. Most serums are safe to apply twice daily, but once a day is more than adequate.
If you’re searching for a natural based serum take a look at inde wild. The creator, Diipa Buller-Khosla, uses ancient Ayurvedic remedies to create natural based serums for morning or night.
Adding certain supplements to your daily routine that you may not be getting from your diet can help promote healthier looking skin. Supplements like probiotics and collagen are great for your skin, but also help maintain gut and joint health.
Collagen naturally occurs within the body but decreases as we age. It’s what helps give your skin that youthful plump and helps maintain healthy joints. Collagen is most often derived from cows or marine life so if you’re vegan you’ll want to be cautious here. Unflavored collagen can easily be added to your morning cup of coffee. If you’re not a coffee drinker dry a flavored collagen to spark up your water.
If your gut health is out of balance your skin can take a hit with blemishes and redness. Adding a probiotic to your daily routine can help to manage digestive health and keep your skin clear. Probiotics balance the good bacteria needed for a healthy microbiome in the gut. Probiotics naturally occur in plant fibers but taking a supplement like True Grace Health‘s once daily probiotic ensures you’re receiving a healthy amount.
Sorry, but this one isn’t as easy to implement as buying a serum. Stress is a normal part of life, but prolonged stress is detrimental to the body and causes premature aging. When stressed the body releases a hormone called Cortisol. The stress hormone Cortisol is needed when we should be in fight or flight mode during times of danger. Excess cortisol in the body causes wrinkles by breaking down collagen and increasing inflammation. Try to manage stress by setting some boundaries and implementing daily mindfulness practices.
The Skin Diet
Your diet will show up on your skin. We’ve already talked about how gut health is linked to clearer more glowing skin, but what you’re eating can help to actually slow down the aging process. If you’re not getting proper nutrients your body has to work over time to operate. Since your skin is your body’s largest organ it’s only natural that an unhealthy diet will show up on the surface.
This isn’t a lecture about never eating pizza or candy again, but you should be mindful about what you’re putting in your body on a daily basis. Pizza and candy are totally fine occasionally!
Try to minimize processed foods as they contain lots of sodium and sugar. Both of which result in inflammation in the body causing aging and breakouts. Make sure you’re eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and veggies, lean meats, and not too much dairy.
Consistency is key when it comes to your anti-aging skincare plan. It’s more than creams and serums, it’s a total lifestyle routine. Once you find what works best for you stick to your plan. The truth is, we’re all going to age. There’s no stopping time but with a few mindful daily choices we can age with grace.