The tenets of anti-aging are consistent, if ever-present: eat well, exercise, relax, be social, take antioxidants and get more sleep. But when it comes to skin care, anti-aging advice is even simpler: cleanse, moisturize and protect. As we age, we don’t necessarily want to look younger, but we do want to look our best.
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It is important to think “gentle.” Every time you rub, pull or scrub, you loosen tiny fibers under the skin’s surface. If you’re too rough, you could prematurely age your skin. So, use mild products with TLC. Pat your body dry, smooth on lotions and creams, or spray on products.
Moisture is important to our skin health and well-being as we age. Stay healthy by drinking water and moisturize topically by using rich creams, lotions and natural oils. For glowing skin, eat a balanced diet. Vitamins A, B, C and E help with the new growth of skin and preserve the elasticity of skin.
Sun protection is the third key to better-looking skin. It is the single most important age-defying step in skin care. Even if you have been inconsistent in the past, use a sunscreen now. Your skin may even repair some damage if it is well-protected. Sunscreens help prevent more damage while giving your skin a chance to rebuild itself. Used on a daily basis, it is the single fastest way to change the appearance of your skin now and in the future.
• Use gentle products. No matter our skin type, as we age it is important to treat skin gently. Look for products with few ingredients: When it comes to cleansers, less is more.
• Don’t use harsh exfoliators or scrubs. Harsh scrubs can cause tiny scratches on the skin that can become inflamed and gather bacteria, leading to breakouts. Discard harsh scrubs for finely ground beans or oatmeal.
• Keep water temperature moderate. Hot water dries the skin and hair, so keep the temperature low and avoid overly hot baths and showers.
• Pat skin dry. It also is a good idea to leave skin a bit damp, helping it absorb as much moisture as possible, especially after bathing.
• Use daily sun protection. Protecting skin from sun damage is critical for people of all ages.
• Hydrate at night. As you sleep, use the downtime to rest and rehydrate your skin. Bedtime is the most important time to cleanse your skin and remove all the dirt and grime from a full day. It also is the perfect time to use rich creams and lotions that are too heavy for day wear.
Did You Know?
According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, practicing sun protection year-round can prevent sun damage and might even reverse some of the damage that has already been done to your skin.
Janice Cox and her daughter, Lauren Cox, recently co-authored a book, EcoBeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends (Ten Speed Press, 2009).