Have you taken a close look at yourself in the mirror lately? Maybe you’ve noticed a few new wrinkles. Perhaps your skin looks a bit drier than it once did. Slowly, but surely, that youthful glow isn’t shining quite as bright anymore.
It happens to everyone, so you’re not alone. That doesn’t mean you have to give up your younger-looking skin without a fight, though. Before you throw your hands up and accept the loss of your youthful appearance, keep reading. Here are seven tips that can help you look younger than you really are.
One of the biggest factors behind aging skin is the older skin cells that sit on the surface. They look uneven and dull — they may even crack or get flaky. That’s the opposite of a youthful appearance. Exfoliate to remove that older layer.
You can choose between a physical or chemical exfoliant. Try both and see what works best for you. For physical exfoliants, try a washcloth or soft sponge that contains charcoal. Avoid sugar scrubs or cleansers with beads. They can make your skin sag more.
If you go the chemical route, look for exfoliants with alpha-hydroxy acids, such as lactic acid or glycolic acid. They break down the bonds between skin cells, making them easier to remove from your face. Give it a shot for a younger-looking face after only a few washes.
2. Try a Topical Treatment
There are plenty of topical products out there if you’re looking to turn back the hands of time. If you want an anti-aging treatment you can use every day, try tretinoin if deemed appropriate by a medical professional. Pay attention to how you use it, though.
Wait 15-30 minutes after washing your face before you put it on. Apply it before bed rather than during the daytime. Also, don’t use it with any other products that contain benzoyl peroxide or glycolic acid.
If you have acne, don’t be surprised if it gets worse for a little while. That’s normal. Tretinoin attacks impurities that age your skin from the inside out. Within a couple of months, everything will calm down, and you can enjoy your more youthful glow.
3. Use a Gentle Cleanser
Just like dead skin cells, a build-up of makeup or other face products can age you. You’ll want to get all of that off every day. This is where a good, gentle cleanser comes in. When you use them correctly, they can protect your skin from dehydration.
Pass by natural soaps or products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate. Both types of cleansers can be harsh. Instead, look for ones that have low pH balances. They’re less likely to irritate your skin. Keep in mind that since red, splotchy skin can appear older. That undermines your overall goal!
4. Don’t Forget to Moisturize
You may have stressed about super-oily skin when you were younger. Now, you might worry about having skin that’s too dry. Sure, less oil means fewer zits to battle, but it can also mean your skin is flaky. Fortunately, that’s a sign of aging that’s easy to combat.
All it takes is a good moisturizer. First things first, wash your face well before using any product. Choose one that will help your skin hold on to more water. The more hydrated you are, the fresher your skin will appear. Opt for moisturizers with glycerin and hyaluronic acid. For a moisturizer you use mainly at night, look for something with mineral oil.
5. Use Sunscreen
By now, you’ve heard about the damage the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause. Pay attention — the negative impact is more than just a temporary, painful sunburn. UV rays break down the collagen in your skin, making it thinner and wrinkly. It can also give you an uneven skin tone.
Use a sunscreen with broad spectrum coverage daily to protect yourself. Select a water-resistant product with at least SPF 30. If you apply it every day, you could see fewer age spots, fewer wrinkles, and better skin texture within three months. Go a step further with sun-protective clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses with UV protection.
6. Treat Your Eyes and Lips
It’s easy to focus on your cheeks and forehead while protecting your skin. Don’t forget about the skin around your eyes and lips. It’s delicate and can show some of the first signs of aging. So pay attention to these spots early and often.
Reduce puffiness and wrinkles around your eyes with cool compresses or eye creams. Use these products at night to wake up with brighter, younger-looking eyes. Wrinkles around your lips may reveal a lifetime of laughter, but that doesn’t mean you want them there. Start by exfoliating your lips until you feel smooth skin. Then, apply a lip balm that contains hyaluronic acid, peptides, or a fatty acid like ceramide.
7. Drink Less Alcohol
You know that throbbing headache you get when you’re hungover? That’s your brain feeling dehydrated. Guess what — alcohol does the same thing to your skin. It dries it out, and makes it look older. That’s a side effect from a night out with friends you don’t want!
Alcoholic drinks can contain a lot of sugar or salt. Both cause inflammation and lead to drier skin. These are effects you can literally see the next morning. Over time, your skin doesn’t rebound after a day or two. To reduce those signs of aging, consider limiting your alcohol intake.
Let’s be real. Stopping the aging process completely isn’t possible. The older you get, your skin is going to change. That doesn’t mean you have to stand idly by and just let it happen. In fact, you can fight it every step of the way with natural, healthy tactics. Try these seven strategies, and you may hold on to your youthful glow a lot longer.