The harsh reality is that, whether you’re a multimillionaire living on a private island or a 9-5 white-collar worker in the city, you’re going to get old and grey eventually. Ageing might be inevitable, but the lifestyle and skincare choices you make in your younger years can help you to hold onto your youthful looks and glowing skin for much longer, slowing down the most visible signs of ageing. Below, we’ve put together some tips to help you get started…
Steer clear of the sun
We get it: it’s fun to spend time in the sun with your friends and catch a tan, but doing so can seriously damage your skin and leave you prone to conditions like skin cancer. When you expose your skin to the sun for long periods of time, it can destroy your collagen and elastin, which results in wrinkled, spotty skin as you get older. The hardest part is, you won’t notice this when you’re in your 20s and 30s, and perhaps think that you’re immune from the effects, but your future self (newsflash: you’ll be 50 one day!) will thank you for being cautious.
Every day, even during the cold winter months when it feels like the sun isn’t shining at all, wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or above. Choose a cream that also protects against UVA rays, as these are the ones that lead to premature ageing – products containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are the best. If you really want a suntan, apply a tanning cream instead.
Wave goodbye to bad habits
Alongside sun exposure, smoking is one of the most damaging things for your skin. Not only is it bad for your health and wellbeing generally, but it reduces blood flow in the skin, which can cut off essential supplies and cause premature ageing. Alcohol is another hard-hitter; it’s important to see both as toxins, and over time, they’ll damage your skin’s cellular structure. It’s true that your body can repair some of the damage caused by vices like smoking and drinking, but when your body has had enough, that damage will become permanent. The best way to preserve your youthful skin is to exercise moderation, making sensible choices.
Treat skin conditions early
Whether you’re a teenager or you’re in your 20s, the chances are that you suffer from – or have suffered from – acne. Not only is it frustrating and unsightly, but it can cause scarring, which will make you look older than you are. Scarring from picking your acne will look even worse as you get older, as your skin loses its natural elasticity and the scars before more visible, so try not to pick them and speak to a doctor about professional acne treatments.
It sounds so obvious, but remember to drink plenty of water, wash your face regularly, and avoid touching your face throughout the day. Healthline has even put together what it calls an “anti-acne diet” which consists of whole grains, fruit, vegetables, salmon and nuts.
Master your skincare routine
The truth is that your skin will change throughout your life, and though you’ll probably not be using the same lotions and potions today as when you’re in your 50s, you should try to master your skincare routine and not experiment with too many new products. Causing your skin unnecessary distress due to harsh chemicals can lead to breakouts and accelerate the ageing process, so create a skincare routine that works for you and stick to it. Look into active skincare ingredients that prevent ageing such as antioxidants, and vitamin C and alpha-hydroxy acids which can repair skin damage and help you look and feel your best.
If you suffer from hyperpigmentation, then consider ingredients such as tea tree oil, salicylic acid, and soy – play around until you find a cleanser and moisturiser that work and use it religiously. If you’re consistent and take good care of your skin, you’ll never have to worry.
Think about retinoids
Finally, don’t underestimate the value of retinoids. Incorporating them into your skincare regime early on can reduce discolouration in your skin as well as wrinkles and fine lines. They can also enhance cell function in the deeper layers of your skin and even reverse some skin damage caused by exposure to the sun. Also known as vitamin A, retinoids can speed up the turnover of skin cells, increase the production of collagen, and stimulate the production of blood vessels in your skin, which can soften rough patches and improve your skin colour. It can take anywhere from three to six months to start seeing results, and as with most things in life, you need to put in the work and be consistent to achieve beautiful skin.
A word of warning on retinoids, though. As they can cause dryness and irritation, it’s best to use them every other day or a couple of times per week, to begin with, and then work them up into daily applications. It’s also important to wear sunscreen throughout the day, as retinoids can increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. Speak to a dermatologist for advice.
Though nothing in life is guaranteed, looking after your skin when you’re younger can slow down the signs of ageing as you get older. It may also be worth considering the Oralift anti-ageing device, which offers a natural way to rejuvenate your facial skin without surgery.