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With the right skin remedies and lifestyle preferences, it truly is possible to look ten or more years younger than your age without ever resorting to a needle or scalpel. The key is to take a holistic approach to beauty, combining smart diet choices with proven topical treatments.
Keep It Moist
Your faucet may very well be the real fountain of youth, as your skin craves water to help it look plump, supple, and smooth. To give your skin the quenching it needs, divide your weight in pounds by one-half and drink that number of ounces each day. For example, at 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water daily, which is about 9.3 cups.
Because your skin loses water through evaporation, it’s also vital to lock in the moisture. Look for lotions and serums that contain hyaluronic acid, which holds 1,000 times its weight in water. Also, be sure to apply a moisturizer right after showering when your skin is especially able to absorb topical products.
If you’ve ever looked into the mirror the morning after a night of drinking, you probably already know that alcohol can pile years onto your face in a matter of hours. While the immediate damage comes from dehydration (alcohol has diuretic properties), spirits can also cause permanent damage over time.
One major problem is that alcohol robs your body of vitamin A, which your skin needs to regenerate new cells. You also need vitamin A to produce collagen, which helps keep your skin firm and supple. That’s why, in the words of Dr. Oz, “The more you drink in excess, the more you’re speeding up the clock.”
While you don’t need to shun alcohol completely, as a woman, you should limit yourself to no more than one drink per day, while men are allowed a maximum of two drinks per day. Follow each alcoholic beverage with a glass of water to fight the dehydrating effects.
You can’t literally scrub away wrinkles in one session, but exfoliation removes dead skin cells to reveal fresher, younger skin over time. Not only will you observe a decline in fine lines, but your skin tone will even out and age spots will diminish. For best results, try a combination of manual exfoliants, such as scrubs and microdermabrasion pads, and chemical exfoliants that you leave on your skin. The following chemical exfoliants are proven to work:
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids: Glycolic acid and lactic acid are both types of AHA and come in a number of OTC products. Lactic acid is a great choice if you have a dry complexion, as it increases natural moisturizers called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in the skin and also improves the moisture barrier.
- Retinol: As many of us know too well, acne doesn’t magically disappear as soon as fine lines and wrinkles start cropping up. If you’re battling pimples and signs of aging at the same time, it’s time to try retinol. Used every day, prescription retinol like Retin-A help reverse sun damage, reduce wrinkles, and clear up acne, all at once.
- Enzymes: Enzymes like papain and bromelain break down proteins to help remove the top layer of skin and leave your face feeling softer. Enzymes tend to be gentler than other chemical exfoliants; they may be less irritating to your skin, but you also won’t get the dramatic results you would with stronger products.
Peel Away the Years
While over-the-counter exfoliants are relatively weak—and therefore take weeks or longer to provide significant results—professional peels are sometimes strong enough to take years off in a single treatment.
Although you might locate and purchase professional-grade peels via online stores, their strength makes them too hazardous to use at home. It doesn’t take much research to find horror stories of well-meaning consumers who wound up with nasty burns or scars after trying to give themselves peels—so if you’re considering this route, talk to your aesthetician about your options.
Peel intensity varies according to the ingredient used, as well as the concentration:
Light peels: You’ll need multiple treatments for the full effect, but the good news is that there’s no downtime. You may have some stinging, crusting, redness, and irritation afterward, which will lessen with each peel.
Medium peels: These produce somewhat more redness, crusting, and stinging than a light peel, but you’ll need fewer treatments. You’ll need to avoid the sun for a few months after your peel.
Deep peels: Deep peels do their magic in a single session, but you’ll need a couple of weeks of recovery before getting back to work and resuming normal activities. You’ll be mostly healed at that point, but redness could last for several months. Serious sun protection is a must.
See the Light
Laser resurfacing is the latest option for stopping the signs of aging in their tracks. With the aid of pulsed beams of light, your aesthetician can lessen fine lines, age spots, and acne scars. Some lasers even zap away broken capillaries and spider veins—CO2 and erbium lasers are the most common on the market. Depending on the strength of the laser, you may have no downtime at all, or you might need a week or two to recover.
With the extraordinary range of non-invasive skin treatments available today, it’s easy to take ten or more years off of your face without ever piercing the skin. While you won’t get the results of a facelift in a bottle or peel, you can undo significant damage and obtain a radiant, glowing complexion.
For the most effective anti-aging program for your particular skin type, your best bet is to head to a beauty salon or professionals to customize a plan of action. The tools are out there—all you need is a solid game plan, and you’ll soon find your own fountain of youth.