The anti-aging industry is big business. Did you know that than 11 million Americans have paid for Botox and fillers since 2002 (source National Post)? It’s not just “older” people either, 60% of those between the ages of 45-54 and 20% of those between the ages of 30-39 choose this route to a younger looking skin. However, injectables and fillers aren’t for everybody. No one knows the full effects of using these substances. Plus, there are the side effects. There are forms to fill out; disclaimers against lopsided faces, over-blown lips, drooping eyes and those are just a few of the horror stories that can happen with injections.
Luckily, you don’t need to stare at your sagging reflection in the mirror thinking the only way out is using Botox and fillers because there are other things that can be done to combat aging and literally turn back time. Don’t expect to look 20 years old if you’re 40 but you can lose 5 years with these dermatologically approved tips:
1. Stay Out of the Sun
A whopping 90% of aging is caused by the sun so to prevent further sun damage, stay out of it, entirely. Today’s beauty advancements mean that you can get an authentic looking tan straight from a bottle. Apply it properly and it will look even and golden, last as long as a tan and means you can stay in the shade reading a good book and without breaking a sweat!
If you are outside in the sunshine and areas of your body are exposed to the sun, wear a high SPF and choose one with anti-aging ingredients. Skin turns over every four weeks. So you can make steps to stop more damage. By using sunscreen you don’t keep exposing your skin to the harsh elements, this gives your skin a chance to heal properly rather than keep being attacked and so deteriorating further.
2. Exfoliate Regularly
Tired, parched and dry looking skin doesn’t do you any favors. To encourage cell renewal, it’s a good idea to exfoliate at least once a week. Exfoliation removes the dead skin cells and this speeds up the skin’s natural renewal. Skin looks smoother and brighter after exfoliation, and the action naturally boosts circulation so it plumps out skin too (although temporarily). Regular exfoliation keeps your complexion glowing.
3. Consume More Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a naturally occurring anti-oxidant that your skin needs to fight off free radicals (attackers such as the sun, harsh elements, industrial fumes, smoke etc.). Collagen especially needs Vitamin C to keep your skin elastic and without it, skin looks saggy plus it is far more susceptible to lines and wrinkles. So, add more to your diet.
Eat more green leafy vegetables. Other good sources are citrus, kiwi fruit, tomatoes and sprouts. You should look for skincare with Vitamin C in its ingredients. It’s listed as L-Ascorbic acid, ascorbyl phosphate or ascorbyl palmitate.
4. Pare Down Your Make-Up
Too much make-up can actually make you look older, especially if you pile on foundation and powder. Foundation sinks into lines making them look far more visible and powder gives skin a dry, papery appearance. It’s better to use a light tinted moisturizer and a little blush to add color to cheeks. Yes, most people need make-up but be brave, as you get older, use less foundation, not more.
5. Use Retinol
Retinol is an active ingredient found in most anti-aging skincare and that’s because it’s been proven to encourage collagen production. It works by preventing collagen breakdown particularly after sun exposure. It also sends messages to the receptors in the skin to boost collagen production. If your skin has aged unnecessarily quickly, your dermatologist might give you a prescription for pure retinoid cream but this is in extreme cases.
In the meantime, try a retinol serum and use a few drops under your night cream. Go easy as it can sting a little, try 0.5% to begin with, once your skin shows it can tolerate it; increase it up to 1%.