It’s a fact of biology that our skin deteriorates as we get older, paving the way for an entire market dedicated to finding the fountain of youth. Today, it’s not hard to find aisles full of products claiming to reverse or slow down aging, as well as aesthetic procedures aimed at making our skin look vibrant and healthy. While it’s not possible to look young forever, there are measured steps we can take to prolong the common signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. Some of these steps involve having a skin care routine, watching what we consume, and being aware of environmental factors that contribute to wear and tear.
Continue reading to learn more about why our skin ages and what we can do to maintain young and healthy skin for as long as possible.
Have a skin care routine
Having a good skin care routine means taking care of you skin on a daily basis with products that work well for your skin type. Some people have oily skin while others have dry skin, so you’ll want to find products that compliment your skin type well. A typical skin care routine will include using a cleanser to clean the face, a toner to help balance the pH levels of the skin, and a moisturizer to hydrate the skin. Cleansers should be used first, followed by a toner, and then a moisturizer. Most skin care routines are done twice daily, once in the morning and once before bed.
Diet and consumption
While we can’t control how our genetics influence our skin, we are in control of what we put into our bodies, which can affect the way our skin looks and feels. For instance, alcohol has the capacity to dilate the pores in your skin, leading to inflammation, blackheads, and pimples. Furthermore, alcohol makes us dehydrated, which can cause your skin to look dull and dry. Smoking, too, is known to damage the structure of the skin because of the toxins and chemicals in cigarettes—this can lead to premature fine lines and wrinkles. In relation to diet, if you are constantly eating processed foods, oily fats, and sugar, skin conditions such as acne or rosacea can become inflamed. Stick to whole foods if you can, and include fish, fruits and vegetables, and vitamins into your diet.
Be aware of environmental factors
Besides genetics and diet, our environment plays a big role in skin health. The biggest factor to be aware of is the sun. The sun emits UV radiation that causes skin cancer over the time. The best way to reduce the harmful effects of sunlight is to wear sunscreen daily, even if it isn’t sunny out. Another environmental factor that may be affecting your skin is the quality of the water you use to wash your face and body. Some geographical areas have hard water—water with high mineral content. Hard water can dry out your skin, even if you have a good skin care routine. One way to counteract hard water is to have a water softener installed in your home.
Wound care best practices
Wound care is something that most of us learned from a young age. The first step is to clean your wound with running water and a mild soap. This will remove any dirt or germs that entered the wound site, minimizing the risk of infection. After the wound is clean, it should be gently patted dry and covered with a bandage or gauze. This will ensure the wound is protected and doesn’t get reinjured. A failure to care for your wound could lead to excessive scarring down the road and a loss of skin integrity.