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Five Essentials for Youthful Skin

Updated on October 19, 2012

Great skin is easy when you are young. The most common problem young skin has is acne. Aging skin has a lot more issues, loss of tone, sagging, uneven complexion, excessive dryness (or oiliness), bumps and sudden hair growth in places there never was hair. Learning how to take care of your skin as it ages is the key to helping it remain as youthful and healthy as possible. There is no magic way to achieve instant young skin. The hundreds of lotions and potions that promise results are not enough, you must also do your part and properly take care your skin.

Cleansing: The foundation of skin care begins with proper cleansing. At the end of the each day a good cleanser will remove the pollution, oil, and makeup the skin has been exposed to throughout the day. It is believed that the pollution we are exposed to everyday increases free radicals throughout the body. These free radicals speed the aging process by breaking down the support structure of the skin, namely the collagen and elastin fibers that help keep our skin plumped up. So daily cleansing is super important. Look for cleansers that are tailored to your skin type. There are cleansers made specifically for acne-prone, dry or aging skin. Facial cleansers are designed to clean the skin without using harsh chemicals, so avoid using regular bath soap on your face, unless it is an absolute emergency.

Exfoliation: Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and helps speed up skin cell turnaround. Regular exfoliation leaves the skin looking and feeling polished and smooth. Mature skin needs regular exfoliation, at least once per week. Because you will be exfoliating frequently choose a scrub that is very gentle to prevent injuring the skin. You can easily and cheaply make your own effective exfoliating scrub. Take one tablespoon of superfine sugar (not confectioners sugar) and one tablespoon of olive oil and mix together into a scrub. Apply to face, neck and chest in small circular motions.

If you would rather not use a scrub you can exfoliate using a peel. Instead of physically scrubbing, peels use acids, commonly lactic or fruit acids to remove dead skin. Either form of exfoliation you choose is fine, your skin will look and feel fantastic with regular exfoliation.

Sun Protection: “Old looking” skin is universally considered to have age spots and a wrinkled, leathery appearance. This description however, is exactly what sun damaged skin looks like. Sun protection plays a tremendous role in keeping skin youthful. There are many types of sunscreen available for different needs. Find a sunscreen with a sun-protection factor of no less than 15 and apply it 15 to 20 minutes before sun exposure. If you are outside for long periods of time, reapply after about two hours. Remember to wear sunglasses and apply sunscreen to your lips, neck, chest and the backs of hands to avoid accelerated aging of those areas. If you like the look of a tan, learn to love self-tanners.

Moisturizer: Mature skin needs a good moisturizer after cleansing. Same as with the cleanser look for a moisturizer that is tailored to your specific needs, for example, if you have oily or dry skin. More importantly, look for moisturizers designed for mature skin. Ingredients like Alpha Hydroxy Acid, Retinol, and Vitamin C are all beneficial to mature skin. Apply lightly and only where needed to prevent clogged pores.

Hair: A healthy head of hair is youthful, but there can be too much of a good thing. Regular inspection and grooming can keep bushy eyebrows in check. In addition, as we age hormone changes can make hair grow in places where there previously was no hair. Stray hairs on the upper lip or chin can make the complexion appear less clear. Those stray hairs can add years to your appearance. A good magnifying mirror will help you see the problem before it becomes obvious to everyone else. If you have just a few stray hairs, a quick tweeze can take care of this in a matter of minutes. If you have a lot of hair, you may want to consider more frequent tweezing, depilatories, waxing or, if you can afford it, permanent laser hair removal.

The hallmarks of young skin are that it is clear, smooth and even toned. If you focus on the five essentials for youthful skin you will achieve younger looking skin and it will stay that way for a long time. Incorporate these easy steps into your regular daily routine and make them a habit. You will not regret it and you will prevent a lot of damage and premature aging.

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