Many things cause our skin to age.

 One thing that we cannot change is the natural aging process.  It plays a key role.  With time, we all get visible lines on our face.  It is natural for our face to lose some of its youthfulness.  We notice our skin becoming thinner and drier.  Our genes largely control when these changes occur.  The medical term for this type of aging is “intrinsic aging.”

 We can influence another type of aging that affects our skin.  Our environment and lifestyle choices can cause our skin to age prematurely.  The medical term for this type of aging is “extrinsic aging.”  By taking some preventive actions, we can slow the effects that this type of aging has on our skin. 

      Protect your skin from the sun every day. Seek shade, cover up with clothing, and use sunscreen that is broad-spectrum, SPF 30 (or higher), and water-resistant.  You should apply sunscreen every day to all skin that is not covered by clothing.

    • If you smoke, stop. Smoking greatly speeds up how quickly skin ages.  It causes wrinkles and a dull, sallow complexion.
    • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Findings from a few studies suggest that eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables may help prevent damage that leads to premature skin aging.  Findings from research studies also suggest that a diet containing lots of sugar or other refined carbohydrates can accelerate aging.
    • Drink less alcohol. Alcohol is rough on the skin.  It dehydrates the skin, and in time, damages the skin.  This can make us look older.
    • Exercise most days of the week. Findings from a few studies suggest that moderate exercise can improve circulation and boost the immune system.  This, in turn, may give the skin a more youthful appearance.
    • Cleanse your skin gently. Scrubbing your skin clean can irritate your skin.  Irritating your skin accelerates skin aging.  Gentle washing helps to remove pollution, makeup, and other substances without irritating your skin.
    • Wash your face twice a day and after sweating heavily. Perspiration, especially when wearing a hat or helmet, irritates the skin, so you want to wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating.
    • Apply a facial moisturizer every day. Moisturizer traps water in our skin, giving it a more youthful appearance.