Many people of all ages and genders frequently ask me about what can be done to slow and prevent the aging process on the skin. Only a few forward-thinking individuals take the time and have the patience to practice consistent care of their skin.
As a result, as we accumulate more birthdays, the changes in our skin become more noticeable. However, as I preach to everyone I encounter every day, it is never too late to develop good skin habits.
You can do a lot of good just following very quick and easy skin care habits. There is an old Chinese saying about the two best times to plant a tree being 20 years ago and today.
It would be great if you used these tips 20 years ago, but barring that, starting today is your next best option. Consider these following tips as your starting points:
1.) Sun Protection– The sun is not the friend your skin. Years of sun exposure result in age spots, excessive wrinkling and lines, and increased risk of skin cancer. Effective sun protection includes applyng a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 to your face and exposed skin areas every day, staying in the shade between 10 A.M. and 2 P.M. when the sun is strongest, and covering your skin up with hats and sun-protective clothing.
2.) No Smoking– We all know the negative health consequences of smoking in general, but it is almost impossible to have healthy skin as you age if you smoke. Smoking decreases blood supply to the skin as it does to other organs, resulting in less collagen and elastin production. Less collagen causes more lines and wrinkles, making your skin look prematurely old.
3.) Healthy Diet– For your skin as well as your body as a whole, a healthy mix of fresh and wholesome foods will help your skin maintain its integrity while also building collagen. Fresh fruits and vegetables also have high levels of vitamin C and other anti-oxidants that will protect and repair your skin over time.
4.) Be Gentle With Your Skin– As we age, our skin gets increasingly more sensitive to environmental changes. Being gentle with your skin helps to protect and not aggravate your skin over time. Some suggestions for being gentler on your skin include using lukewarm or cool water to wash, not using harsh or strong soaps, and patting your skin dry as opposed to rubbing. I also recommend using a consistent moisturizer after you wash to restore hydration to your skin after washing and cleaning.
5.) Stress Reduction– I know that this is easy to say but hard to put into practice. However, stress does have multiple harsh effects on your body, especially your skin. Stress can effect hormone levels, making you more prone to skin breakouts. Stress can also produce more muscle activity on the face such as scowls and squints, which may prematurely produce lines that make you look more tired and stressed than you already are.
I hope that these tips are a friendly reminder of habits that are not necessarily commonly done. Obviously, we here at Maine Laser Skin Care have multiple treatments and products for both prevention and treatment of the consequences of the aging process on the skin. Call us anytime at (207) 873-2158 to schedule a free consultation or a targeted appointment to address any areas of concern.