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Skin care is something we should all make a priority well before our first line appears. Once you get past the anti-acne age range, and until your lines start appearing, there are a few things you can do to keep your skin looking its very best. Skin health starts from the inside, so by drinking plenty of water, eating nourishing, healthy food and avoiding bad health habits like smoking and excess sugar consumption, you are giving your skin a head start.
The major external change we can make – and this is something that, given our country’s climate, we should all be doing every day of the year – is being vigilant when it comes to sun protection. Sun exposure is one of the main factors leading to premature skin aging – in fact studies show that up to 90% of skin damage is caused by the skin – and it can lead to dark spots, hyper-pigmentation and fine lines around the eyes from squinting. The best way to protect your skin from sun damage is to keep it protected with clothing, hats, sunglasses and – of course – SPF products. These can take the form of a dedicated sunscreen, an SPF moisturizer or SPF foundation – or you can use all of the above. If you layer products, though, be warned that the SPF factors don’t add up – you still only have as much protection as the highest-rated product you apply.
The next most important thing is the use of antioxidants. No, you don’t just get these from munching on kale and goji berries – you can layer up on antioxidant moisturizing creams, and the effect of this will be to help protect your skin from pollution, environmental irritants, hot and cold weather extremes, UV rays and free radicals. These are best used in the morning, before you leave the house, to ensure maximum protection from all of these skin-damaging factors.
Next is a night-time habit that’s been described as the fountain of youth. Topical application of retinol each evening will help stimulate cell cycle turnover, promoting the skin’s natural production of collagen – keeping it plump and elastic and keeping pore size minimized all while you sleep. It will also help boost blood circulation to help provide skin with a healthy glow!