Our youth- and beauty-obsessed culture has fueled the creation of a multi-billion dollar skin-care industry. Advertisers have convinced people to spend a boatload of money on the “promise” of wrinkle-free, younger-looking skin. Unfortunately, though, many of the products out there are nothing more than a chemical soup, filled with ingredients that can damage your skin and your health.
What the beauty industry won’t tell you is that there are natural ways to keep your skin healthy, and youthful-looking.
5 Tips for Younger-Looking Skin
Clean up your diet. In one large study, trained dermatologists evaluated the skin of more than 4,000 middle-aged women and rated it in terms of wrinkling, dryness and thinning. These scores were then compared to the women’s nutrient intake. What they found is that higher intake of vitamin C and linoleic acid, and lower consumption of fats and carbohydrates were strongly associated with younger-looking skin.
Take antioxidants. You’re probably familiar with taking antioxidants to boost your health, but did you know they can help you look younger, too? In a three-month placebo-controlled study, those given an antioxidant-rich daily supplement regimen consisting of 3 mg lycopene, 3 mg lutein, 4.8 mg beta-carotene (8,000 IU), 10 mg vitamin E (15 IU) and 75 mcg selenium showed marked improvements in skin density and thickness, plus their scaling and roughness improved.
Apply alpha hydroxy acids. You can stimulate growth of new epidermal cells—the most superficial layer of skin—with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).These are natural substances that stimulate old cells to shed more rapidly, revealing the younger-looking skin beneath the surface. They also increase the number of glycosaminoglycans—complex molecules that help skin retain moisture. By applying an AHA cream or lotion each night, you’ll give your skin a fresher appearance and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Look for a product that contains 8 percent to 10 percent AHAs—potent enough to make a real difference, but not so strong as to cause irritation.
Use a good moisturizer. An easy way to keep your skin hydrated is to use a moisturizer. In addition to soothing your skin, a moisturizer will produce immediate results in your appearance, smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles and plumping up the skin. Most any oil or lotion will help seal in moisture—you can even use olive oil. You want to apply it in the morning and again at bedtime for younger-looking skin.
Drink plenty of water. Seventy percent of the dermis—the inner layer of the skin—is water. One of the main reasons our skin sags and wrinkles as we age is that the dermis loses about 30 percent of its total water content. The result is flat, dry-looking, flaking, itching skin. Moisturizers certainly help dry skin, but don’t overlook the importance of hydrating your skin from the inside by drinking copious amounts of fresh, purified water. This is vital for overall health and imperative for supple, moist skin. I recommend at least eight 8-ounce glasses every day for younger-looking skin and overall health.
Now it’s your turn: Do you have a secret you use to care for your skin?
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