Don’t have time for intensive skin care? Pamper yourself with the basics. Good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices can help delay the natural aging process and prevent various skin problems. Get started with these five no-nonsense tips.
1. Protecting yourself from sun damage
The most important way to take care of your skin is to protect it from the damaging rays of the sun. Sun exposure can cause wrinkles, even age spots and other skin problems — not to mention the risk of skin cancer. Use sunscreen and cover up. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least fifteen. When you find yourself outdoors, reapply your sunscreen every two hours or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring heavily. Wear protective clothing as often as possible. Always try to cover your skin with tight woven long-sleeved shirts, thick pants and a wide-brimmed hat. Consider laundry additives when thinking of your skin health, which give clothing an additional layer of ultraviolet protection for a certain number of washings, or special sun-protective clothing.
2. Smoking is bad for your skin
Smoking often makes your skin look older, and contributes to the amount of wrinkles on your skin. Smoking narrows the very tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin, which decreases the blood flow. This depletion of the skins oxygen and nutrients are important to skin health. Smoking also greatly and permanently damages collagen and elastin, the fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity, of your flesh. The repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke can also help contribute to the wrinkles on your face and body. If you smoke, the best way to protect your skin is to quit. Do so as soon as you can.
3. Treat your skin gently
Daily cleansing and shaving can take a toll on your skin. To keep it gentle:
- Limit bath time. Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower time, and use warm — rather than hot — water.
- Avoid strong soaps. Strong soaps and detergents can strip oil from your skin. Instead, choose mild cleansers.
- Shave carefully. To protect and lubricate your skin, apply shaving cream, lotion or gel before shaving. For the closest shave, use a clean, sharp razor. Shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it.
- Pat dry. After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on your skin.
- Moisturize dry skin. If your skin is dry, use a moisturizer that fits your skin type. For daily use, consider a moisturizer that contains SPF.
4. Eat a healthy diet
Having a healthy diet can help you look and feel you’re very best. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and lean proteins do wonders for your aging skin. The association between diet and acne isn’t clear — but some research suggests that a diet rich in vitamin C and low in unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates might promote younger looking skin.
5. Manage stress
Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin — and a healthy state of mind — take steps to manage your stress. Set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. The results might be more dramatic than you expect.