- Aging & Longevity
Stay Young Looking for Longer: How to Keep Wrinkles at Bay
Have you gotten to the point where you start paying more attention to all the little lines and wrinkles that have started appearing on your face?
For me, it already started to happen when I was in my late teens. I noticed “frown lines” on my forehead at about 17 or 18, and my mom warned me that they would become worse with time. Maybe it was the result of frowning a lot when I was younger, a behaviour I tried to correct as I got older but they haven’t worsened that much a decade later. It could just be hereditary, and I hope it is in a way, because the alternative is that they are very often caused by something else.
What causes premature ageing?
About 90% of skin damage which leads to premature ageing is caused by the sun. Other than that, smoking can also lead to premature ageing, and stress can also age you considerably. The 3 S’s are responsible for premature ageing more than just about anything else.
Some also argue that wearing makeup, something which is supposed to cover up ageing, can also cause one to age prematurely, especially if people rely on it to protect them from the sun (foundations and other makeup can have SPF, but it isn't much usually). One has to wonder what with all these chemicals and other things they put in them.
Squinting while outside in the sun, or while looking at screens like your PC’s monitor, the TV, or your smartphone or tablet, can also lead to frown lines appearing on your face, more often than not on your forehead.
What can be done to keep myself looking young?
- Drink lots of water
It’s important to hydrate your body every day, so you should drink 5 to 8 glasses of water a day – maybe more if you’re very active, i.e. do lots of exercise. I tend to fill up a 1 litre bottle once or twice a day, and I drink from it regularly. It saves me having to go to the kitchen every hour or so to go and fill up my glass again. I also count coffee as a mug of water, since it is mostly water (at least in my case – some people put mostly milk in theirs). Drinking water will not only keep your skin looking plump and add some colour to it, but it will help cleanse your skin. I recommend it as a great way to fight off acne, spots, etc. Just make sure to balance things out by eating yoghurt, because drinking lots of water will flush out a lot of the good bacteria in the stomach as well, and yoghurt will help put it back.
- Apply sunblock before going outside
You should have a sunblock of about SPF 30 (SPF 30 will block about 97% of UVA/UVB rays) at least, preferably more, and you should apply it to exposed skin when you venture outside, especially for long periods of time. Focus on putting it on your face, particularly the forehead, and the neck (front and back), and the ears, as well as your arms, hands, and legs if you’re wearing shorts. If you’re going swimming or surfing, or just hanging out at the beach, then make sure to put a strong sunblock all over your body. Some experts suggest that you should only apply sunblock if you plan on being outside for more than 15 minutes are so, seeing as putting on sunblock all the time can result in vitamin D deficiency, leading to Rickets. I would personally still apply it to my face whenever I go outside.
- Dress for going outside
In addition to wearing sunblock, make sure to wear sunglasses that block UVA/UVB rays (the ones that wrap around the head are best), and also wear a hat (wide brimmed ones are best, but if you want to avoid looking like a plank, you could just settle for a peak cap or a visor). Avoid dark colours like black, because they actually attract the sun’s rays rather than repel, so opt for lighter colours – white is about the best you can do here.
- Use a moisturiser
It’s not only important to drink lots of water, but also to keep your skin hydrated by means of using a quality moisturiser. Use one that has ingredients like Retinol to help keep your face fresh looking and to smooth rough skin and lines, and reduce the look of existing sun damage to your skin. Get one with SPF in it to prevent future sun damage too.
- Exercise regularly
Exercise will help to increase blood circulation, which will help keep your skin to look younger for lounger.
- Eat a varied diet
Eating certain foods rich in antioxidants will help too. Blueberries said to be especially good when it comes to slowing down ageing. If you exercise regularly (and you should), lots of greens are a must to rid your body of lactic acid.
- Look after your teeth
This may sound a bit odd, but the teeth and jaw support your face after all, so you need to look after them. I remember when I was younger I had issues with my teeth and the dentist warned me that if I didn’t have some of them capped I could face having to undergo reconstructive jaw and/or facial surgery later on. When I had the teeth capped, my mouth and lips looked much better as a result. I’d never had full lips before undergoing that operation!
So brush your teeth, floss regularly and you should be okay.
- Get enough sleep
Sleeping for several hours a night will allow your skin to heal and more collagen to be produced. Not getting enough sleep results in cortisol, the stress hormone, to be released. All that stuff about beauty sleep is true!
Ray-Ban sunglasses are the best because they all block 100% of UVA/UVB rays.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with walking, jogging or even swimming at night, when there’s virtually zero chance of sun damage occurring.
Just make sure you have enough light to see where you are/where you’re going, and also keep to safe neighbourhoods/areas, and you’ll be fine. The less sun you expose yourself to, the better.
What to avoid
- Avoid going out in the sun during the most critical hours
You should avoid being in direct sunlight between the hours of 9 AM and 4 PM if you can help it. And yes, even when it’s overcast outside! Stay indoors or at least stick to the shade if you are outside.
- Facial exercises
There are those who believe that by exercising the face you will keep it from getting lines or wrinkles. This couldn’t be further from the truth though. It makes sense that the more you do this, the more wrinkles you will develop.
- Staring at a screen for too long
While there’s no real proof that a computer screen can cause premature ageing (in fact blue light generated from the screen is good for you, as is light from the sun -- in moderation of course), if you don’t take the proper precautions, it can cause frown lines in the long run. Turn down your screen’s brightness to stop you from squinting, and also use a program like f.lux, which will create a much more natural sort of light, especially at night) which will not only help you to avoid developing computer eye strain, but will also help you to sleep better at night too. Also take frequent breaks from the screen, and keep eye drops on hand too.
Smoking can cause premature ageing, including greying of the hair, not just wrinkles, so if you haven’t, stop now!
You should also cut back on the drinking, because alcohol is known to lead to dehydration, and you obviously want the opposite when it comes to looking young, which is why you should be drinking lots of water. Red wine is the exception because it has antioxidants in it.
It’s definitely a good idea to manage stress, because it can cause all sorts of problems related to your health, including premature ageing. Make sure to take supplements, such as plenty of B vitamins, to help you, and also consider meditation or ways that you can relax, unwind, and escape your troubles for a while.
Meditation is a good thing to practice, because not only will it reduce stress, but it increases the level of telomerase in your system, which is a good anti-ageing chemical also found in many anti-wrinkle creams.
© 2015 Anti-Valentine