It’s easy to get caught up in skincare trends, especially as you age and you start to feel like you’d do anything to keep those fine lines and wrinkles at bay. But hopping on every anti-aging bandwagon is sure to leave you feeling frustrated, with a medicine cabinet full of half-used creams and serums. In fact, many of the best things you can do for your aging skin are simple, holistic options — instead of overloading on ingredients with various beauty claims, you may want to focus on keeping your skin healthy at its most basic level. With health-conscious beauty tips like these, you’ll be able to boost your skin’s natural glow and fight signs of aging inside and out.
You probably already know that your diet can affect different parts of your body. Whole grains, for example, are marketed as “heart-healthy,” while probiotic foods like yogurt might be “good for the gut.” Your skin is no exception — it’s your body’s largest organ, and certain foods, vitamins and minerals can help it stay in top shape. Skincare experts agree that Vitamins A, K, C, E and D are vital for a fresh glow and even complexion, while healthy fats and antioxidants keep skin plump and protected from damage over time. Some of the best foods to make a core part of your diet include:
- Colorful, vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables like bell peppers, mangoes, carrots and sweet potatoes
- Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies that contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids
- Dark, leafy greens like kale and chard that are full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory minerals
- Avocados, nuts and seeds, which include volumizing healthy fats and vitamins and protective antioxidants
Moisturized skin is healthy skin, and this starts with drinking plenty of water to supply the moisture your skin needs. Many hydrating creams and lotions actually function by locking moisture into your skin rather than adding it, so ensuring that you are hydrated to begin with is essential to get the most out of these products. In addition, one of the most common causes of lines, wrinkles and sagging is a loss of skin volume — this can happen over time as structures in your skin start to break down, but another major contributor to skin volume is water. Much of the space between your skin cells is taken up by water molecules, so dry and dehydrated skin may appear more aged than it really is. The opposite is also true: drinking enough water every day may lessen the appearance of lines and wrinkles as the hydration adds lost volume back to the skin.
What’s more, in climates like the one here in Iowa, it’s especially important to watch your water intake as the weather turns colder. Cold, dry air causes water to evaporate out of your skin — hence the tendency of skin to feel flaky, dry or fragile during the fall and winter. And, if you’re looking for a cozier beverage as the weather changes, green tea offers all the hydrating benefits of plain water as well as plenty of antioxidants to boost your skin’s health even more.
As time passes, there are certain natural changes in skin biology that result in signs of aging. Essential structural proteins in the skin, like collagen and elastin, start to break down more easily and aren’t produced as quickly, leading to lines, wrinkles and sagging. Skin cell turnover also slows down, causing old, damaged cells to remain in the skin for longer and giving the skin a dull or discolored appearance.
Sun damage speeds up all of these processes. Harsh UV rays penetrate the skin, where they break up structural proteins, cause hyperpigmentation and leave behind a surface layer of damaged cells. Aside from the health concerns that overexposure to the sun can cause, the aesthetic problems left behind by sun damage bring hundreds of thousands of people to the dermatologist or plastic surgeon’s office every year. Using proper sun protection every day — even when it’s cloudy! — can help your skin look healthier and younger for your whole life. Experts recommend using a sunscreen that is:
- Broad-spectrum, to protect against both UVA and UVB rays
- Water-resistant to stick through sweat or humidity
- SPF 30 or higher to block a high percentage of UV rays
With all the skincare products available these days, it’s easy to be tempted by pretty packaging or the latest “it” ingredient. But many of the products you can find at your local pharmacy or beauty supply store contain harsh chemicals, fragrances or abrasive elements that can strip the skin’s natural barriers and cause more harm than good. While there are certainly high-quality options for any budget, it’s best to talk to a dermatologist, plastic surgeon or other skincare expert as you put together your repertoire of products. Everyone’s skin is different and requires a certain kind of routine to keep it balanced and healthy — a medical professional is your best resource to learn about what your skin needs and to find products that boost and nurture your skin in just the right ways. Many offer prescription or medical-grade products that contain stronger anti-aging ingredients than you can get over the counter, ensuring quick and visible results that won’t disappoint.
If you want to learn more about your anti-aging skincare options, the team at Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery in Cedar Rapids and Coralville, Iowa is here to help. We offer a range of targeted skincare options that work with your skin’s natural chemistry to improve signs of aging and boost your skin’s health. From dermal fillers made with naturally-occurring ingredients to gentle, non-invasive energy-based treatments, we can help you combat lines, wrinkles, sagging, hyperpigmentation and dullness and give your skin a fresh start. Find out more about the services we offer and get an expert opinion from Dr. Kahlil Andrews — contact us today at 319-800-6877 to schedule your consultation.