I’m a firm believer that prevention is better than cure. Especially when it comes to skin and ageing. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about lines or wrinkles. I’d just prefer to delay their appearance for as long as I possibly can.
The key to having younger looking skin even as you grow older, is to adhere to an effective anti-ageing regimen while you’re young. Taking care of your skin goes beyond using the best skincare money can buy or getting the latest aesthetic treatments. Just like eating healthy and working out, it’s a lifestyle. Here are six things you can do to ensure no one can tell your real age.
1. Don’t sleep on your face
Sleeping on the same side of your face night after night can cause what industry insiders call sleep lines. These are wrinkles that form because your face is compressed against your pillow at the same place every night. Sleeping on your side can also cause wrinkles to form at the centre of your chest and between you breasts. It’s best to try and sleep on your back. If you absolutely can’t sleep on your back try sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase.
2. Don’t rub your eyes
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but I’ll say it again: stop rubbing your eyes! The skin around your eyes is very thin and delicate. Vigorously rubbing your eyes can stretch the delicate skin causing irreparable damage. Even when you apply your eye cream, make sure you apply it with your ring finger – it delivers the least amount of pressure – with a dabbing motion to ensure there is no rubbing, pulling or tugging at the skin. The same applies when removing your eye makeup – gently does it. Hold a cotton pad soaked in eye makeup remover against your eye for a few seconds to first dissolve stubborn mascara and then gently wipe it off swiping from the outer corner of your eyes to the inner corners.
3. Do cover up when you’re in the sun
Did you know the sun is the number one cause of skin ageing? Whether it’s sunny or cloudy outside, sunscreen is a daily necessity to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays. Short wave UVB rays, cause damage to the epidermis inhibiting its ability to heal itself. UVA rays on the other hand are long wave rays and cause damage to the deeper layers of the skin breaking down collagen and elastin, which help keep the skin firm and plump.
It’s best to avoid being out in the sun for extended periods of time. But if you can’t help it, wearing a hat and covering up with a thicker material like denim will help minimize damage from the sun’s rays. (Tip: To determine if a fabric is thick enough to prevent sun damage, hold it up against the light. If you can still see the light, it is too thin.)
4. Do shower in tepid water
Sometimes, there is nothing better than a long, hot shower. But that’s exactly what’s wrecking havoc with your skin. Standing under a hot shower for an extended period of time strips the natural oils from your skin dehydrating it. And dehydration exacerbates the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Switch to showering in tepid water, and your skin will thank you for it.
5. Don’t eat too much sugar
Thanks to a process called glycation, the sugar in your bloodstream attaches itself to proteins to form harmful molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGE). Over time, AGE build up and attach themselves to the elastin and collagen (proteins that give skin its plump, firm, youthful appearance) degrading the quality and making them weak, brittle and discoloured. This shows up on the skin’s surface as fine lines and wrinkles. With the proteins compromised, skin is more susceptible to damage from UV rays and pollution.
6. Do pat dry
A personal pet peeve, I cringe each time I see someone rubbing their face dry with a towel. The skin on your face is very delicate, and requires the utmost care. Rubbing it with a towel not only irritates it, it also causes it to lose its elasticity. When you’re wiping your face two times a day, everyday, the damage adds up. Use the softest towel you can find, and always make sure to pat your face dry. It’s best to have a separate towel for your face. Using the same one you use to wipe your hands or body can transfer germs causing you to break out.
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