Erase the past
Wrinkles—a woman’s worst enemy. All of the fads and beauty trends you put your skin through when you were younger are finally catching up to you. But there’s good news: Research is finding more effective ways to take care of your skin and reverse the aging process. Follow these simple steps to have more beautiful skin now than ever before!
Sun is the number one offender that causes wrinkles (and skin cancer), so try to stay out of it as much as possible. Since that can be hard to do, you should also use a daily sunscreen. If you apply only one product to stave off the years, it should be sunscreen, says Miami- and NYC-based dermatologist Fredric Brandt, MD, who recommends using a broad-spectrum SPF 30 every day.
When you don’t get enough sleep, the body produces excess cortisol, a hormone that breaks down skin cells, says Nicholas Perricone, MD, dermatologist at Yale University. When you do get enough sleep, your body produces HGH (Human Growth Hormone), which helps keeps your skin thick and healthy. Not only do you need enough sleep, but the way you sleep matters, too! If you sleep on your side or face-down, you may get sleep lines, which after a while don’t go away when you wake up. This is a very faint and long process, so simply try not to sleep on the same side every night. The best position to sleep is on your back.
Adjust your diet
Good nutrition is a fundamental building block of healthy skin, explains Leslie Baumann, MD, a Miami Beach dermatologist. Natural ingredients in whole foods help increase cell turnover and boost collagen, while sugar-packed foods can damage collagen. Try to include these foods into your diet:
Fish The fatty acids found in fish, especially salmon, help nourish skin and keep it plump.
Soy In one study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that a soy-based supplement improved skin’s structure and firmness after just six months.
Fruits and veggies they’re packed with antioxidants, which help to fight skin damage. Eat 5-8 servings a day, and focus on green, leafy veggies, and red and blue berries.
Pack on the antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that include Vitamins A, C and E as well as color-bearing compounds such as carotene that when combined, are super great for your skin. Green and black teas are full of antioxidants and they have protective compounds that help prevent the breakdown of collagen, so choose tea over coffee next time! Also try pomegranates and acai berries. You can find antioxidants both orally and topically to improve your skin.
Rethink your workout
Cardio overkill in your workout isn’t benefiting your skin as much as you think. A strength-training regimen creates better muscle tone, which prevents sagging skin. Your workout could also use yoga, which can help prevent breakouts, fight stress, and make you look younger. The boost of oxygen is what gives skin that lovely yoga glow, says Hema Sundaram, MD, a Washington, DC–area dermatologist, so be sure to work up a sweat!
Drink more water
It’s simple. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day helps skin keep it’s moisture and elasticity. Water also flushes out any harmful toxins your body may have, which would add to skin problems.
Use moisturizer with peptides
Peptides are chains of amino acids, which not only hydrate skin but also stimulate the production of collagen, so look for this in the ingredients next time your shopping for moisturizer. Try moisturizers from mass-market brands such as L’Oreal, Unilever and Johnson & Johnson instead of expensive boutiques—they’re most likely more effective because these companies can afford the research and development! Here’s a tip: moisturize right after you’ve washed your face, while your skin is still damp, to lock in moisture.
Retinol comes from Vitamin A, and it’s packed with skin enhancing benefits. It gets rid of dead skin cells and stimulates new growth, improves skin pigmentation and helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Start out using a small amount of over-the-counter retinols, because it can bother your skin at first, and slowly move up to a prescription.
End your bad habits
More and more studies are revealing that cigarette smoke ages skin, because it contains ingredients that break down collagen. Alcohol has also been proven to increase the aging process by causing wrinkles, loss of collagen, elasticity, redness, dehydration and puffiness, according to Jodi Sawyer, RN, expert in Aesthetic Medicine and owner of MedSpa xl.
Smile and be happy
A study done on married and divorced twins showed that being in a happy relationship and having an optimistic approach to life might prevent wrinkles (or at least make you less worried about them). Plus, when people look at pics of happy, smiling people, they guessed their age as younger than in photos of the same person with a neutral or angry expression, finds research in