|Hopefully these tips will help prevent this!|
TIP #1: Focus as much on what you put in your body as on what you put on your skin.
I previously blogged about this topic in a post titled, "Skin Care from the Inside Out", and I truly believe that a healthy, well-balanced diet is essential for healthy skin. After all, skin is the body's largest organ! Consider these suggestions:
- A vitamin D supplement, 1,000 IU's per day (although everyday sun exposure is typically all you need for your body to make it's own vitamin D).
- Eating omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Ideally these should come from natural and/or nutritional sources such as olive oil, ground flax seed, and fish such as salmon. Fish oil supplements are a great option, but make sure you buy the "no burp" kind or else you'll experience a fishy aftertaste! Increasing these FA's will help protect your skins moisture barrier, the protective outer layer that keeps moisture in, but tends to thin as we age.
- Cut WAY back on sugar and processed foods. These cause inflammation which is damaging to the skin and impairs the healing process.
- Drink more water - all day long! 1 liter per day is a good starting point, you may include coffee and tea in your daily totals, but limit wine. Of course wine contains beneficial antioxidants, but it also dilates blood vessels which is NOT beneficial for your skin.
TIP#2: Halve your sun exposure.
Simply telling people to stay out of the sun is not practical! But if you can cut your sun exposure in half, then were getting somewhere. After years of sun exposure (and I'm not talking about laying out on the beach, rather everyday, normal sunlight) there can be major damage to skin's elastin and loss of collagen. This leads to wrinkles, drooping skin, loss of jawline, discoloration and rough texture. Not to mention skin cancer...just sayin'. Check out these recommendations:
- Daily SPF. I use a daily moisturizer with SPF 30 everyday, even when I'll be inside all day (don't forget your neck and ears!). Its a good habit! There are many great options by brands like Neutrogena, Olay, and L'Oreal, just pick one. If you are going to the beach sunblock is a MUST. Use a shot glass amount (I KNOW you all can estimate that!) of sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30 on all exposed parts. Apply at least 15 minutes prior to sun exposure, I find that to be very helpful! Know that older skin tends to be more vulnerable to the effects of the sun than younger skin.
- If you tend to forget sunscreen, try the newish makeup and dailf facial moisturizers with UV-protection built in. On the downside, you might not get the optimum amount of SPF, but Madfes says that the plus for many women is that at least they remember some protection every day - which is better than going without.
- Walk on the shady side of the street. I have a hard time doing this, its cold over there!
- Wear UV-protective clothing. A host of new apparel blocks UV rays while wicking away moisture, making these clothes especially good for outdoor exercise.
- Exercise outside in the early morning or late afternoon. If you can, avoid sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are most potent.
TIP#3: Use a retinoid.
Retinoids are available by prescription only. Retinoids are vitamin A derivative compounds that have been proven to boost collagen production, increase cellular turnover, and maintain the pore lining and shape (unclog pores!). YES THEY WORK! I use prescription retinoid/antibiotic blend called Ziana, and it is awesome! However, retinoids take time to work, typically results are seen after 1-2 months of regular use. RETINOL is non-prescription and many products that contain retinol are available over the counter (see #3 below). Dr. Madfes suggests:
- Ask a doctor about prescription-strength retinoids. These include tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova, Avita) and tazarotene (Tazorac, Avage). Some insurance plans cover the cost.
- Follow directions carefully. Usually, starting a retinoid involves a gradual introduction of the product to avoid irritation. Eventually, most people apply it just once a day.
- Use a moisturizer on top of the retinoid, or use a moisturizer that contains retinoid.
TIP #4: Spend time - not necessarily money - on a smart AM/PM skin care routine.
Skin care does not have to be complicated! A smart routine includes cleansing, moisturizing, and the occasional exfoliation (soft washcloths are better than scrubs). Add in some SPF during the day and you got it down! Your skin regenerates and repairs itself during the night, thats why using retinoids and/or retinol at night with a moisturizer is key! Read this:
- Remove all makeup and wash your face before you go to bed. All day, your skin is assaulted by chemicals in the air that break down collagen and cause other damage. If you don't clean your face, your exposure to these pollutants will continue all night long, too.
- After cleansing, apply a retinoid and then a moisturizer — and sleep on a clean pillow (don't go weeks before you wash it). Something people commonly look over!
- Know that you don't have to spend a lot of money to get effective products. Look for companies that do a lot of safety testing, Madfes says; reputable manufacturers tend to invest more in this. Trust your instincts — if claims sound improbable, they usually are. (YES!) Because everyones skin is unique, you may need to tinker until you find products that work best for you. Ask a dermatologist for recommendations if you're stumped. (OR ASK ME!)
TIP#5: Pick cosmetic procedures that also help skin regenerate.
Not all skin care procedures and products are truly beneficial to your skin. Many just give the illusion of youth. If you can use your knowledge to pick procedures that will benefit your skin in the long run, than you are gold! See the recommendations below:
- Try peels. Exfoliating can make skin look brighter (can be mechanical exfoliation, scrubs/wash cloth, or chemical exfoliation, peels/AHA's). This is because the turnover of cells grows slower as you age. Microdermabrasion is a less expensive option, but the results do not last as long as a peel. A chemical peel is a deeper process that does the same thing while also stimulating collagen growth. Regardless, diligent sun protection must be used after either procedure.
- Find out if you're a candidate to resurface your surface. If the top layer of skin is looking brown, with a rough texture — hallmarks of sun damage — a relatively new procedure called fractional resurfacing can actually reverse some of the damage by increasing collagen production. Done with lasers in a doctor's office, resurfacing can improve skin texture while minimizing wrinkles, sun spots, and acne scars. This procedure can create visible improvements in patients who have significant skin damage.
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