As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And when it comes to taking care of your skin, this advice is spot on. While there are many products designed to replenish skin and repair damage, it’s also true that the less damage there is, the less you’ll need to repair. So how do you prevent these signs of aging from happening in the first place? And can you reverse wrinkles once they’ve appeared? Read on to to find out.
Sun damage is the number one cause of premature aging, period. From rough, uneven texture to blotchiness, sagging skin, dark patches and wrinkles, sun exposure in the form of UVA and UVB rays shows up on the skin and robs it of its glow. And since these pesky rays exist everywhere and year-round (yes, even on the cloudiest winter days), we are all susceptible to this type of damage. Lucky for us, there are products designed to help mitigate the fallout.
Though often overlooked, SPF is literally the most important and effective anti-aging product out there. Thankfully, it is available in so many different forms these days, so there’s an option out there that’s suitable for any skin type or preference. Chemical and physical sunscreens can be found in creams, oils, fluids and powders — so there are zero excuses. A broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher is a must, and reapplying throughout the day, especially when spending time outdoors, is the best way to stay protected. Another way to keep the rays from wreaking havoc on your skin is to cover up with sun-protective clothing — like lightweight and long-sleeved shirts, long pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection.
Take a look at our new Radiant Protection SPF Fluid. This lightweight yet nourishing formula glides on effortlessly for a dewy, hydrated finish.
Bonus Tip: Apply self-tanner if you’re looking for a little color. Every tan is actually caused by sun damage and prematurely ages your skin. This is true whether you get your tan from the sun or an indoor tanning bed. Both emit harmful UV rays that accelerate the aging process. Oh, and your hands are not immune. If you’re into gel nails, the UV light used to cure the color is the same UV light you get in tanning beds. So slather on the SPF before you hit the nail salon.
While removing your makeup, SPF, sweat and environmental pollutants like dirt, dust and smoke is essential, using too much pressure when scrubbing your skin clean can cause irritation. And skin irritation accelerates skin aging. Gentle washing is more than sufficient when looking to get rid of the dirt, sweat and grime.
If a deeper clean is what you’re after, choose a cleanser with gentle physical and/or chemical exfoliants built in. They will give you that squeaky clean feel without harsh scrubbing. Plus, many exfoliants help reduce the signs of aging, so you’re getting major bang for your buck. Some of our favorite gentle-yet-effective options include our Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Cleanser, Monoi Age Corrective Exfoliating Cleanser, Charcoal Exfoliating Gel Cleanser or a few sprinkles of the Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant or Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzofoliant into any cleanser of your choice. Website reviewer, Penny, raves about our stone crop formula, calling it: “The best exfoliant I’ve ever used!”
And if a morning cleanse isn’t part of your ritual, it might be time to add that step. Cleansing the skin before applying your daytime products will help them absorb better and, shocker, work better!
Retinoids are compounds that are derived from Vitamin A and are known for their ability to improve skin texture and minimize the appearance of wrinkles. Conventional retinol (one form of retinoid) is a powerful but harsh ingredient that can help strengthen the protective function of the outermost layer of the skin, limit water loss and even protect collagen — a protein that offers structural support to the skin (aka holds it up to prevent sagging and wrinkles). It doesn’t happen overnight, but conventional retinol may ease fine lines and wrinkles and tackle other signs of aging.
While retinols are a big deal in the skin care world, they’re not for everybody. All of the upside comes at a price, usually in the form of redness, irritation and peeling. Lucky for us, bakuchiol has entered the chat and is changing the game. Touted as an effective and natural alternative to conventional retinol, this plant-based powerhouse offers many of the same results as retinol, without the downsides. Extracted from the leaves and seeds of the babchi plant, bakuchiol is a gentle alternative that can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, help restore firmness, refine skin texture and even out skin tone in a gentle yet effective way.
Moisture is key when it comes to staving off lines and wrinkles. And, great news, there’s a multi-pronged approach to hydration that will literally benefit your skin from the inside out. Drinking plenty of water is super important to the health of your skin — it helps maintain that glowing look by providing elasticity and plumpness. Dehydration can lead to dry patches, which can leave skin looking dull. And if plain water is getting a little boring, lots of fruits and vegetables are super hydrating: Watermelon, cucumbers, peppers and apples are all high in water — and full of skin-friendly vitamins — so hit the produce aisles.
Moisturizers are a no-brainer when it comes to hydration, yet they’re not always top of mind in our routines. Between serums, toners and SPF, sometimes the simple-yet-mighty moisturizer gets forgotten. An easy fix is a product that does double-duty, like the Bright Skin Moisturizer SPF 40 or the Bakuchiol + Niacinamide Moisturizer. Adding this quick step to your routine will take seconds but could take years off the look of your skin. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide are hydration powerhouses.
Another simple step that can help prevent the look of fine lines and wrinkles is the addition of an eye cream. The delicate skin under the eyes needs a little extra TLC, which is why a product designed specifically for the area can be the preemptive step you need in your life. Try the Marine Flower Peptide Eye Cream or the Hibiscus Ultra Lift Eye Cream. As well as helping to prevent or slow down the formation of lines and wrinkles in the area, these two formulas incorporate ingredients that can reduce the look of puffiness and darkening, while helping to rejuvenate that thin skin.
We touched on it earlier, but what you put inside your body plays a big role in how your skin looks on the outside. A well-balanced diet that includes vitamin and antioxidant-rich produce, minimal sugar, few simple carbs, lots of skin-friendly healthy fats (olive oil, avocados, salmon, nuts and seeds), plus clean protein sources like grass-fed beef, eggs and beans should make up the majority of your meals. Sugary drinks and alcohol can dehydrate the skin and make it look older than its years, as can processed foods (think anything that comes in a package or has a shelf life longer than your last relationship), so keep those to a minimum. But we don’t suggest cutting them all out altogether. Food and drinks, especially shared with friends, can bring a lot of joy — and that shows on your skin too. Just try to be mindful about indulging in moderation.
Another important part of a healthy lifestyle that will help your overall glow is exercise. Even moderate exercise can improve circulation and boost the immune system. This, in turn, may give the skin a more youthful appearance. Plus, you can’t beat that natural glow and the flush to your cheeks that a good workout brings.
It’s never too early (or too late!) to start taking care of your skin and help slow the aging process. Adding products like moisturizers, sunscreen, exfoliants and peels, and leaning into ingredients like antioxidants, peptides, bakuchiol and hyaluronic acid, can go a long way to help support the structure, strength and elasticity of your skin. Replacing processed foods with fresh, healthy options, drinking lots of water and limiting alcohol can all be part of the equation.
Would you like some help coming up with a routine that will help you look and feel your best? Visit an Eminence Organics Spa Partner near you.