Our skin ages as our body ages. Skin loses its elasticity and becomes lax. Whilst there isn't much we can do to stop ourselves from getting older, there are ways to slow down our skin's ageing process.
1) The Sun is the enemy
Chronic exposure to UV- radiation can lead to sun damage and photo-ageing. It harms the skin by causing DNA damage and inflammation. Those most susceptible to UV radiation include people who:
have lighter skin (red hair/ blonde hair and blue eyes)
live in a sunny environment
regularly use the tanning salon
One cannot stress the importance of understanding your SPF enough. Get a good long-lasting broad-spectrum SPF that can protect you from both UV-A and UV-B sunrays.
Top-up your sunscreen regularly throughout the day.
Use sun cream during all seasons. Just because it's snowing doesn't mean the sun isn't out. As long as it's daylight, the UV-radiation is out too. Protect yourself at all times.
Wear sun-protection even if you have dark skin. Melanin is the skin pigment inside dark skin that protects it from UV-radiation and photoageing. Melanin does a great job but adding a little SPF probably wont hurt.
Wear sun-protection even inside the house. Sun-rays can enter through windows. Try using a daily moisturiser with SPF.
2) Nutrition is King
Every health blog everywhere will stress the importance of a balanced diet and there's a good reason for it. Fruits, vegetables and green tea are full of vitamin C and antioxidants that slow down the ageing process. Skip the sugar and the fatty foods, your skin can really do without it.
3) Put down the cigarette
Put it down and keep it down. Smoking adversely affects pretty much every single cell and organ in your body. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and so the effects on your skin are more visible than on anywhere else. There are no health benefits to smoking in any situation or circumstance. Each cigarette contains carbon monoxide which reduces the oxygen supply to your skin. It also prevents your skin from receiving nutrients such as vitamin C which helps the healing and repair processes inside your skin cells. Speak to you GP if you're really struggling to go without.
Oestrogen in the body helps to prevent ageing in different ways. It increases the production of collagen in the body and also helps to maintain moisture by increasing hyaluronic acid production in the skin. Topical and oral oestrogen therapy may increase the production of collagen in your skin and help combat the ageing process. Why not try bioidentical hormones as a way to tackle ageing.