With tons of anti aging products out there. And just as many advice on how to prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging. It’s truly not easy to know where to begin. I remember when I started to explore the anti-aging field that it felt quite overwhelming. And I wish I knew back then what I’m about to share with you in this blog post. If I want to delay aging skin, what are the MOST important things to do? Where do I start? That’s what I will explain in this post by giving you the 3 most crucial steps to preserve youthful skin and delay aging.
I am not saying that other advice won’t matter. Because they do matter, a lot, and you will get plenty of them in this blog. But it’s important to understand the whole picture. There are huge interactions going on inside your body and your cells that will determine the health and age of your skin (read my previous post to learn more about the aging process). The more you apply different methods to heal and nurture your skin and to prevent it from aging, the better result you will get! But in this jungle of anti aging products, treatments, supplements, and other skin beneficial actions, there are also some extremely critical methods that you will need to get in place before you even think of anything else. Since these are the very foundation of anti aging for every skin type.
So, learn the basics before you buy expensive products, facials, and supplements. There are many things you can do to get younger and smoother skin. But unless you follow these basic preventive actions I’m about to tell you, you will face an uphill battle that will counteract all the positive things you do for your skin. You will take two steps back for every step you try to progress. So keep reading in order to make the most powerful and fundamental actions for your skin.
Rule no 1: Use Sunscreen every single day
Yes even on winter days. And yes even if you spend most of your days inside. Why? Because the single most effective way to accelerate skin aging is to expose your skin to UV-radiation. It is a sad fact indeed, because we all love the sun, but yet it is the cold truth. We need the sun for a lot of health reasons. But we also need to be very careful and protect our skin in order to not enhance the aging process. Too much UV-radiation is also a risk factor for skin cancer.
The benefits of using sunscreen go even further. One study has actually shown that using sunscreen daily can reverse some of the already existing signs of aging. Quite a fantastic bonus! Just remember the word DAILY.
Be picky about which sunscreen to choose
You’ll need to be picky when it comes to sunscreens. Far from all will give you sufficient protection. First of all, you need to choose a high level of protection. At least SPF 30 but preferable SPF 50. Especially if it’s during the summer months or if you spend a lot of time outside. Besides that, you will need a sunscreen that gives high protection against UVA. Because the SPF index will only tell you the protection against UVB rays, which is important in order to avoid to get burned and an immediate injury on your skin. But when it comes to wrinkles, fine lines, loss of elasticity, and sunspots, you actually need to worry more about UVA.
Why you need a high UVA-protection
Think of the ‘A’ as in aging. Because UVA-radiation penetrates your skin far deeper than UVB and harms your underlying skin layers. It will not give you a sunburn. BUT it will increase the formation of free radicals in these deeper layers of the skin and break down collagen and elastin (the proteins responsible for your skin’s shape and firmness). That will, in turn, lead to wrinkle formation, lines, and loss of firmness and volume.
Besides that, UVA is present all day long and all months of the year. While UVB is strongest during midday and summer months. Also, to some degree, UVA can cause damage to your skin while you are inside. Because the tricky part with UVA is that it actually penetrates windows. So be careful and always have your sunscreen on if you work close to a window.
The final thing to remember about UVA is that it is also emitted from many light sources such as fluorescent lamps and halogen lamps. Not in the same extent as the radiation you get from the sun, but still it will cause a cumulative effect. And the damage will quickly sum up if you spend a lot of time close to those lamps and during several hours a day.
I have a more in-depth article about how to choose an effective anti aging sunscreen. So make sure you read it to learn more about sun damage and sun protection. Nothing will save your skin more in the long run.
Be generous with the amount you use
To prevent wrinkles you need to be sure you cover all of your face and rest of the body that you want to protect from skin aging. And you need to use an amount of sunscreen that is sufficient. Many people use far too little. Make sure you read my next post to get instructions in more detail.
Use sun protection every day, all year round. Choose a high SPF and make sure it has as high UVA-protection as possible. In my next post, I will give more advice in detail and I will also give you my own favorite product for sun protection.
Rule no 2: Never ever smoke
It’s not just the inside of your body that get affected by cigarette smoke. Smoking is another bulletproof way to get wrinkles prematurely. Why? Because cigarette smoke contains tons of toxic chemicals that will damage the collagen and elastin. As mentioned above these proteins are important for your skin’s firmness and elasticity and as they degrade, so will the quality of your skin. The breakdown of collagen and elastin will speed up your aging and make your skin less firm, smooth and elastic.
Besides the toxins, nicotine itself has a negative effect on your skin since it restricts blood flow. That effect will decrease the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells. Leading to an increased aging process and a dryer complexion.
It’s not just the inside of your body that get affected by cigarette smoke. Smoking is another bulletproof way to get wrinkles prematurely.
Smoking also delays wound healing and increase the risk of skin problems such as psoriasis and acne inversa. On top of that, It also affects the skin on the rest of your body and your teeth. Besides skin concerns, it’s never wrong to remind that cigarettes are a huge risk factor for several types of cancers.
In case you are unwillingly exposed to cigarette smoke I highly recommend you to boost your diet with carotenoid-rich foods. This blog post will tell you all about these amazing nutrients that will help protect your skin from the inside.
For healthy skin, stay far away from cigarettes and smoky environments.
Rule no 3: Get your beauty sleep
This might be the hardest rule to follow, due to the stressful everyday life that most of us have. But still, it is one of the most important actions you must take if you want to counteract aging in an effective way. Why? Because it is during sleep that your skin gets a chance to recover, heal and rejuvenate. And there’s not a cream or mask in the world that can replace the power of a good night’s sleep.
Not getting enough sleep is something I’ve struggled with myself during stressful periods of my life. And to some degree I still do. But I have learned how to handle it better and prioritize it which has made a huge difference. I’ve learned the incredible power of sleep when it comes to the skin’s ability to repair and heal. And that it actually can make wonders.
You might be aware that your body recovers from stress during your sleep. It reboots and repairs and enhances your immune system. But not everyone understands how much this affects your skin. Without enough sleep, you’ll get high levels of stress hormones which have the not so nice side effect of breaking down collagen and elastin. And as mentioned above those proteins are what makes your skin firm and smooth. So reducing them will simply speed up the aging process.
There are more side effects of not sleeping enough. For example, it will reduce the production of hyaluronic which will make your skin dry and limp. It will make your immune system less efficient and increase the risk of acne. It will also increase the risk of high blood sugar. That, in turn, will increase the breakdown of collagen and elastin even more.
It’s during sleep that your skin gets a chance to recover, heal and rejuvenate. And there’s not a cream or mask in the world that can replace the power of a good night’s sleep.
I will focus more on this subject in a later post for those of you who want to learn more. For now, just make sure you bring home the message from this third rule. Prioritize your sleep, because it will make your skin better in every way!
Give your body the rest and recovery it needs every night. And your skin will rejuvenate itself in an incredible way.
The powerful combination to prevent wrinkles
You have probably heard the expression “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. And that’s as true as it can be when it comes to your skincare and prevention of skin aging. All your actions that affect your skin will work in synergy. So the magic happens when you combine as many positive anti aging actions as possible. And especially over time. To learn more about how your skin is affected over time, I recommend you check out my previous post.
When talking about synergy it is also critical to mention that it works in both directions. All negative actions, habits and mistreating of your skin will work in synergy as well. And that will accelerate the aging process rapidly.
The three rules above will give you the strongest foundation to start transforming your skin to a healthier and younger-looking version. As mentioned in the beginning. We need to prevent and delay further damage to our skin in order to give the coming advice a better ground to work from. All other factors such as diet, supplements, skin care products, facial treatment, etc will indeed affect the speed of your skin aging, and I will cover them all in this blog. But before you start thinking about these actions I really want to emphasize how important these fundamental rules are for getting the best result and not working against the wind. These rules are simply your best weapons to prevent wrinkles and delay the aging process of your skin.
The hardest one to implement (because there are so many misunderstandings) is probably rule number 1. Therefore I will help you out by going into depth with this issue in my next post. In this article, you’ll learn all you need to know about sunscreens from an anti aging perspective. And how to use them correctly to prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Please let me know with a comment if you are following these rules already. Or if you will start doing it from now on 🙂
Until next time!