Happy New Year!
As you make your new year resolutions, consider dropping the bad habits that are causing your skin to age too quickly. Our dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and skin experts share their advice on how to prevent aging skin.
1. Pulling at Your Eyes
How you clean and protect your eyes can affect damage to the delicate skin. When you remove eye make up in the evening, make sure you aren’t scrubbing your eyes and tugging at the under-eye skin. This can cause damage, stretching out the skin, causing dark circles, and potentially breaking capillaries. Use an effective eye make up remover that can whisk away the make up without requiring scrubbing.
How you apply eye cream is also important. (Note: We assume you are using eye cream, and if not, add it to your daily skincare regimen). When applying eye cream, make sure you gently dab the it around your eyes. Don’t pull the skin, but instead pat the cream all around your eyes, letting it absorb for a few minutes before applying sunscreen or make up.
2. Sleeping on Your Face
Sleeping on your stomach or side can cause wrinkles and potential break outs. Depending on which side of your face you usually sleep on, that area will typically form more wrinkles. When finding a comfortable position to sleep in, keeping your face off the pillow will help with wrinkles and break outs. Sleeping on your back, with your head elevated, will also reduce puffiness under your eyes.
Regardless of which position you sleep in, our dermatologists advise you to change your pillow case at least once a week. Your complexion will thank you for it. Pillow cases gather bacteria and oil that can clog pores and cause breakouts, so frequent changes will help keep your skin clean.
3. Skipping Daily Sunscreen
Most of our patients know to wear sunscreen on the ski slopes or the beach. However, it is the cumulative sun exposure over time that can cause significant damage. The exposure leads to wrinkles, brown spots, and even skin cancer. Thus, sunscreen is not just for the active days but for every single day.
Our dermatologists tell patients to keep sunscreen on the bathroom counter, so that you don’t forget to use it. It should be part of your daily routine, just like brushing your teeth in the morning.
As if there aren’t enough reasons to quit smoking, add premature wrinkles to the list. Aside from age, smoking is the strongest predictor of facial wrinkling.
Smoking can significantly speed up aging, and the longer and more cigarettes someone smokes, the more intense the damage. Smoking reduces blood flow to the skin, and with less nutrients, skin ages faster.
For anyone undergoing surgery, smoking will impede healing due to poor circulation in the skin.
5. Not Using the Right Anti-Aging Products
While many ingredients tout reversing the signs of aging, the tried and true ingredient recommended by all dermatologists – Vitamin A in the form of retinol or tretinoin. Retinol should be part of every anti-aging skincare regimen.
For hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, and acne, prescription tretinoin can be a game-changer. Even retinol in over the counter products can create a visible difference in the skin after several months of use.
If you aren’t sure which retinol product to use or how to use it, schedule a complimentary skincare consultation with our skin consultant, Lisa Boness.
Tanning can give you the immediate effect of a warm glow, but the longer term result is premature aging and potentially skin cancer. If you don’t believe us, look at the skin of adults who have been tanning for years. Tanning beds should be avoided since the concentrated UVA and UVB emitted by tanning beds can intensify the damage. But all forms of tanning will cause you to look older faster, and it will also increase your risk of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
If you really want that warm glow, opt for bronzer or self tanner. Forego the real tan.
7. Not Sleeping Enough
Medical studies have demonstrated that insufficient sleep can reduce skin health and speed up the aging process. Sleep is when your body restores and repairs itself, and this includes your skin. Individuals with chronic sleep deprivation are more likely to have wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, and less skin elasticity. Just one more reason to make sure you are getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
8. Skipping Healthy Foods
No matter how you care for your skin externally, your skin’s health is affected inside out as well. Eating fruits and vegetables rich in anti-oxidants will help your skin look healthier. Also opt for foods like whole grains, fish, nuts, and lean proteins. Add a variety of nutrient rich foods to your diet and avoid processed foods and sugar.
A healthy diet will help your skin look healthier and keep your body feeling better.
9. Ignoring Your Moles
While not an anti-aging habit per se, ignoring new or changing moles can have a far greater risk to your skin health. Look for new spots, changing moles, or lesions that just won’t heal. These can be signs of skin cancer and should be shown to your dermatologist right away.
Part of every good skincare regimen is a total body skin exam once a year. Skin cancer affects one in five Americans, but fortunately, most skin cancer is treatable and curable if detected early.
With these 10 habits to break, we wish you good skin health for 2020!
Vanguard Skin Specialists is a dermatology and plastic surgery practice in southern Colorado. Our team of skin experts diagnoses and treats medical skin conditions including skin cancer. With five office locations, we have a dermatologist near you who can help you achieve healthier skin. Call 719 355 1585 to schedule your dermatology or plastic surgery appointment.