With 40 looming on the horizon, I’m more conscious than ever before about trying to take care of my skin and hopefully, look younger in the process.
I searched the net for the top beauty secrets from anyone from casual bloggers to doctors to beauty giants of the modeling world.
Here is the round up of the most commonly agreed upon tips for aging gracefully. Some are obvious, but maybe we all need reminders. Others may be as new to you as they are to me.
1. Drink Water!
DUH, right? However, women in general spend an enormous amount of money on anti-aging skin products when they could be getting a lot of the same benefits from water – FREE water. Water is the single most important element for cell integrity. It moisturizes skin from the inside out, maintains elasticity and helps prevent dryness.
2. Don’t Smoke!
Another no-brainer, but do you know why? According to the Mayo Clinic, nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin, which impairs blood flow and decreases oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A. Many of the 4,000-plus chemicals in tobacco smoke also damage collagen and elastin – fibers that give your skin strength and elasticity.
Getting more sleep helps you fight off conditions, like memory loss, high blood pressure, and a weak immune system, all of which make you look and feel older. And of course, you won’t have those bags under your sleep-deprived eyes!
4. Never Skip Eye Cream!
Dry skin can make wrinkles more pronounced around the eyes. Keep your peeps looking younger longer by massaging/stimulating the cells in the skin around your eyes.
5. Use Sunscreen Everyday!
This should be on your radar already – especially if you have small children. It took me years to figure out how important sunscreen was for my skin. Now I wear it every day and reapply several times per day when I’m in the sun for an extended period of time. Make sure your sunscreen is broad spectrum to protect you from both UVA and UVB rays and has a minimum Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30.
6. Lotion Up!
Use body lotion on damp skin, as soon as you get out of the shower. It absorbs and nourishes your skin better. The best time for application is just before going to bed because body temperature is slightly higher when you sleep, so there will be better absorption of these products.
7. Be What You Eat!
My downfall. So on this one, do as I say, not as I do. Eat naturally. Fruits, nuts, vegetables and fish. Protein contains amino acids that are essential to building and repairing your body cells. Eating about 120 gms daily supports the growth of healthy skin, hair and nails. Also include lots of vitamin C-rich citrus as the vitamin helps prevent collagen loss for firmer skin.
8. Cut the Sugar!
Sugary foods are officially bad for your looks. Sugar causes a rapid rise in blood sugar, which causes the sugar molecules to bind themselves to collagen protein, in your skin. This process, known as glycation, makes skin hard and rigid, causing sagging and wrinkling. Not only that, sugar can cause headaches, sluggishness, irregularities in the digestive system, and crankiness in some people – namely me!
Another no brainer! “But anything that promotes healthy circulation also helps keep your skin healthy and vibrant,” says dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD, author of Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman’s Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin and associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
10. Hydrate your Face!
Apply cream with a retinol or retinoid (a vitamin A derivative) every night to promote skin-cell growth. Use Serum (the most commonly-skipped product on the market!) for cell turnover. The purpose is to get rid of gray, ashy skin cells and make way for new, healthy and brighter cells.
New advice to me is to keep Witch Hazel in the refrigerator. Use as a toner to freshen skin, cleanse oils and dirt, and cool down in the summer.
How about you? Do you have any tried and true anti-aging secrets that we should all know about?
Amy Grace is married with two children. You can read her every Friday on momaha.
* * *