Not everyone feels as old as they look. It’s no surprise then that the global anti-aging market is worth an estimated $250 billion, and predicted to grow by more than $80 billion in the next three years. Throughout a lifetime, people often spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on cosmetics, cremes, and procedures designed to promote a more youthful appearance. Although they may well get their money’s worth, some of the most effective things that you can do for aging skin cost virtually nothing.
- Wear Sunscreen: When it comes to skin, the sun is its greatest enemy. Harmful ultraviolet rays cause everything from minor burns to malignant cancer. Nearly all of the most visible signs of aging are caused by exposure to the sun, including wrinkles, sunspots, pigmentation, reduced elasticity, and degraded texture. Sunlight does more to cause the appearance of aging skin than all other factors combined. The single most important thing that you can do when rejuventating your facial skin area is to wear an appropriate sunscreen.
- Eat Right: You are what you eat, and so is your skin. Fruits and vegetables contain bioactive compounds that promote a healthy aging process. Foods that are high in antioxidants will help your skin fight oncoming wrinkles. Although fried and processed foods are generally discouraged, a certain amount of healthy fats—such as those in fish—are actually recommended. Your skin actually benefits from this sort of “hydrating fat,” and those who do not eat meat are advised to take Omega-3 supplements instead.
- Get Enough Sleep: There is a very simple reason why meth addicts have such terrible mugshots: they haven’t slept for weeks! When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that affects every organ in the body, especially the skin. High cortisol levels encourage acne breakouts, erode elastic tissue, and destroy collagen, which is an essential protein for youthful skin. Sleep deprivation also causes your body to produce less human growth hormone or HGH. Having less HGH means that your body will produce fewer cells, which means that you will literally have thinner skin.
When it comes to aging, diligence and discipline are just as important as your bank account. Good health cannot be purchased, it must be cultivated. By simply eating better, sleeping right and taking care of yourself in the sun, your skin can improve before you even apply a single cosmetic.