You know that beauty is only skin deep, but young-looking, firm skin is always a plus.
Who doesn’t admire the beauty of a gracefully aging model, actress, or celebrity? While you know they probably had some “work done,” you can’t help but envy them, just a little bit. Fortunately, you can make adjustments to your daily routine to keep your skin looking as healthy as it can be.
You may wonder what you can do today to maintain firm skin even when you’re older.
15 Habits to Help Promote Firm Skin as You Age
Here are 15 beauty habits to practice now that will guarantee you’ll have firm skin as you age.
Staying hydrated keeps your skin moist. Dry skin reduces your skin tone and shows lines and wrinkles. If you aren’t drinking enough fluids every day, your skin will look dry and rough. Studies suggest that women drink 2 to 2.7 liters of fluid a day. Men should consume 2.5 to 3.7 liters of fluids per day. Keep a water bottle with you while you’re out running errands. Make it a habit to stick a pitcher of water, which is almost 2 liters, in your fridge, so you gauge how much you’re drinking every day. The more water you drink, the smoother your skin will feel and look.
2 – Treat yourself to occasional facials
Facials help exfoliate dead cells from your skin. After getting a facial, you have slight edema on your face, which makes you look better since you can’t see the fine wrinkles. But this effect lasts only for a short amount of time. Studies show that too many facials can do more harm than good, so keep them to a minimum so you don’t damage your skin.
3 – Avoid hot showers
Over time, exposing your skin to hot water damages your skin barrier. Damaged cells prevent your skin from locking in moisture, causing it to dry out. Dried-out skin looks old. Lower the temperature of your bath or shower. Go easy on your skin, don’t scrub too hard with a sponge or brush. Keep your showers short, no longer than five minutes to prevent drying out your skin.
4 – Use sunscreen
Sun protection is the most important habit you can practice keeping your skin looking good. The sun’s UVA rays damage your skin. Dermatologists suggest that you use a moisturizer that contains at least an SPF of 15. Wear hats and other clothing that protects your skin. Choose a sunscreen that has zinc oxide or titanium dioxide since these both totally block the sun. The difference between whether you have old-looking skin and young-looking skin is often how much sun you are exposed to when you were young. Sun exposure causes the loss of collagen, which gives your skin its elasticity. Sun-dried skin gets saggy. Brown spots, wrinkly skin, and sagginess are common if you’re outside in the sun all the time without sunscreen protection.
5 – Use retinoids
You can prevent the appearance of wrinkles by using a retinoid cream. These penetrate your skin to work deep in your skin cells. If you use them consistently, over time the retinoid can improve the collagen and elasticity of your skin.
6 – Use eye cream
The skin under your eyes is extremely thin. Because of this, wrinkles are more visible. Try to moisturize this area without causing irritation. Never use exfoliants on the skin under your eyes or rub too hard. Some people swear by using white petroleum jelly under your eyes since it is a lipid that will hold in moisture.
7 – Try petroleum jelly
Native Americans first used petroleum jelly to protect and heal their skin. Made of soft white paraffin, mineral oils, and wax, it was first used to heal burns and wounds of oil workers. Some dermatologists suggest that white petroleum jelly often called Vaseline can be used effectively to remove make-up because it provides better protection from dryness than most make-up removers.
There are different opinions about whether Vaseline clogs pores. A study by the National Institute of Health suggests that Vaseline permeates the membranes of your skin, so instead of clogging pores, it provides a physical barrier to the top layer of your skin to prevent the loss of water which makes your skin hold in moisture. But a doctor from the Harvard Health Medical school said the following in an open letter:
“Vaseline is 100% white petrolatum, an ingredient in many skin moisturizers. White petrolatum is a very effective occlusive, a substance that blocks evaporation and can help keep skin moist and supple. But don’t choose it as your primary face cream because it might clog up pores and perhaps make the skin look shiny.”
So, it’s up to you whether you choose to use petroleum jelly on your face. It’s probably good to moisturize your body, but you may want to avoid using it on your face long term.
Less than the normal amount of sleep causes premature aging. This is because sleep reduces your body’s inflammation levels. Inflammation breaks down the proteins, which keep your skin smooth and wrinkle-free. This inflammation makes you look puffy when you don’t get enough sleep. Here are a few tips for getting a good night’s sleep:
- A normal bedtime routine
- Avoid caffeine or alcohol after dinner
- Cooler room temperature
- Keep your room dark
- Stay off blue screen products like computer, tablet, or iPad at least an hour prior to bed
9 – Frequent multipurpose acne wash
In an interview with the American Society for Clinical Investigation, a group of dermatologists admitted it was okay to use a multipurpose acne wash even if you don’t have acne. This is because these washes can help eliminate the signs of aging through exfoliating which reduces discoloration and fine wrinkles. These washes make your skin look fresher and brighter.
10 – Reduce your facial expressions
When you’re young, you don’t think twice about facial expressions that could wrinkle your skin. But over the years, repeated facial expressions cause deep wrinkles, especially around your lips and mouth. The skin around your mouth has fewer glands and blood vessels, so there is less circulation in this area. Plus, the muscles in this area have more traction so they cause wrinkling when you make certain repeated facial expressions over the years. Facial expressions that cause wrinkles on your face and around your mouth include:
- Frowning: This expression uses a lot of muscles and causes deep wrinkles
- Pouting or puckering: It’s trendy to pucker up for a selfie, but this will cause deep wrinkles around your mouth
- Big smile: Smiling is nice, but when you make a huge smile, it encourages crow’s feet, or tiny line wrinkles, around your eyes.
- Squinting: Squinting gives you forehead and lip wrinkles plus crow’s feet around your eyes. Wear sunglasses or a hat when you’re out in the sun, so you won’t squint.
- Gum chewing: Although it’s not a facial expression, chewing gum will add facial wrinkles.
11 – Steer clear of smoking
Smoking weed or tobacco reduces the blood flow in your face, which adds wrinkles to your skin so it looks leathery and dry. Marijuana smoke is high in hydrocarbons so when it touches your skin it disrupts your skin’s ability to make collagen. Damaged collagen results in premature aging, wrinkles, and the loss of elasticity.
12 – Daily moisturizer
Apply a daily moisturizer that contains lipids can maintain a moisture barrier for your skin. A new moisturizer ingredient called ceramide actually mimics your skin’s natural moisturizing system. It’s now being sold over the counter and is found in beauty products like lotions, moisturizers, and serums.
13 – Eat a healthy diet
Your diet affects your skin. Choose antioxidant-rich fresh fruits and vegetables to repair and prevent damage to your skin that leads to premature aging. Avoid refined foods such as white sugar and white flour products. Choose whole grains, seeds and nuts, and lean proteins for your meals and snacks. Drink water or plain seltzer instead of drinking sugary sodas or juices.
14 – Exercise
Exercise boosts your immune system and increases your blood circulation. An increased blood flow improves your skin because the cells are nourished with oxygen and other nutrients. More circulation also removes waste products like free radicals from your skin. Exercise can also reduce your stress, which has a negative effect on your skin. It also enhances your muscle tone, which makes your skin look tiger and younger. Try to exercise every day for at least 30 minutes. Good exercises for better-looking skin include:
- Fast-paced walking
- Moderately fast biking
- Jump rope
15 – Run a humidifier at night
Firm skin requires hydration. Using a humidifier at night while you sleep is a simple way to add moisture to your skin. This is especially helpful during the winter when it’s cold and dry. Running your humidifier in the summer may help as well since you probably use your air condition which is drying.
What you do today will have a big impact on whether you have firm skin when you’re older. Practicing these 15 simple beauty habits will help your skin look its best today and in the future. You can’t turn back the clock, but you can do the best you can to protect and nourish your skin now to keep your healthy, happy glow.