Every day, we’re engaging in habits that can make our skin and overall health suffer, aging us in the process. From the food we eat to the way we wash our faces, these seemingly minor decisions can end up making us years older than our chronological age in the long run.
10. Rinse With Cold Water
Make your skin look younger in seconds sans Botox by finishing your cleansing routine with some cold water. “Splash your face with cool water 15 times after cleansing. It ultra hydrates and plumps the skin up with water while closing the pores so dirt won’t get in!” says Dr. Nayak.
9. Avoid a Squeaky-Clean Feel
Washing your skin is a good thing, but getting it so clean that it virtually shines isn’t a healthy goal. “You don’t want to go for a squeaky clean, tight feel; that’s the prelude to dermatitis. It means you’ve over-stripped your oils,” says Dr. Bailey. “Look for ingredients like witch hazel and rosewater that will remove oil but not dry and irritate skin.”
8. You Might Have To Sweat it Out
Yes, even though you’re likely desparate to wear a tanktop and shorts during the summer months, Dr. Jeffrey P. Schachne, a dermatologist with CareMount Medical suggests that more clothing coverage will be safer for your skin. “[Wear] light cotton long sleeve/long pants clothing during the summer season,” he says.
7. Steer Clear of Coconut Oil
If you’ve been using coconut oil as a moisturizer, you might be doing yourself a disservice and speeding up the aging process. “Some people swear by using pure coconut oil as a moisturizer for the skin and hair. Coconut oil can be a great emollient because it loves water and is attracted it, otherwise known as ‘hydrophilic.’ However, using pure coconut can actually pull water OUT of your skin because coconut is SO hydrophilic,” says Dr. Nayak.
6. Slather on the Sunscreen
Just because you have naturally tan skin or are venturing out on a cloudy day doesn’t mean you can skip the SPF. Any exposure to the sun without SPF can damage your skin and make you look older. “When outdoors, apply a sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 30 or higher to exposed skin and wear a hat,” suggests Dr. Levy.
5. Stop Inflammation in Its Tracks
Inflammation is one of the main causes of skin that looks weathered and worn before its time. “The best way to keep the skin healthy and slow the aging process in the skin is to reduce inflammation in the dermis of the skin. Inflammation reduces blood flow to the dermis, causes the degradation of elastin and collagen in the dermis (resulting in wrinkles), and causes the loss of dermal fat (reducing the plumpness of the skin),” says Dr. Barry Sears, founder of the Zone Diet.
4. Don’t Be Picky
If you want to avoid pock marks and scarring that can make you look older, stop picking at your skin pronto. “Stop picking at those pesky breakouts and let them come out on their own or use natural products to help eliminate them,” says Dr. Johnson. “Any time you pick or pull at your skin you’re causing damage and creating, irritation, scars, and yes even wrinkles!
3. Baby Your Skin
Think skipping your skincare routine is no big deal? Unfortunately, it can actually expedite the aging process. “Hygiene is another factor which can either help or hurt your skin as neglected skin shows signs of aging and trauma much faster than someone who treats their skin with respect,” says Dr. Shafer.
While you probably can’t control crying babies on planes, traffic jams, or the sound of a garbage truck outside your window at 5 a.m., trying to de-stress as much and as often as possible can help you enjoy a more youthful-looking complexion. Getting enough sleep, exercising, and meditating can all help you live with less stress. “Stress directly affects our body’s biochemistry by causing the release of specific stress hormones. These hormones have been shown to directly increase inflammation and reduce our body’s ability to repair damage. Excess inflammation can make the skin less plump by breaking down collagen,” says Dr. Tara Nayak, a Philadelphia-based naturopathic physician.
1. Keep it Cool
That steamy shower may be relaxing, but it could be sapping your skin of essential moisture, making you look older in the process. “Avoid hot showers and baths; they’ll dry out skin more than anything else,” says Caroline Nuytten, a licensed esthetician at Manhattan’s Metro Integrative Pharmacy.
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