As we age our skin starts to sag, loses its luster, and make us look eons older than we really are. Natural reserves of elastin, collagen and fat start to break down and disappear, and gravity pulls everything south.
It’s pitiful really.
However, there are ways to slow the aging process down, many of which start when you’re fresh out of puberty.
10 Steps To Firmer Skin.
1. Don’t Smoke.
Not only don’t smoke, but avoid second hand smoke too. Like the plague.
Smoking and second hand smoke destroy collagen and elastin and decrease levels of estrogen, all of which are crucial to maintaining firm skin.
2. Eat the Good Foods.
From when you’re young you want to be eating the good stuff. We all know that food can make you skinny or fat, alert or tired, happy or sad. You can add older or younger to the list too.
To keep skin happy (and firm) eat fatty fish like salmon, lots of dark green vegetables (think brocolli, spinach, kale), almonds and walnuts, and drink lots of tea. You can never have too many freh fruits and vegetables
Research shows that low levels of vitamin C and zinc, amongst other skin-essential nutrients may inhibit the skin’s ability to heal and repair itself.
3. Ignore Food Cravings
Experts believe that overindulging in sugars, corn syrups/dextrose/fruit juice concentrate etc can prematurely age skin. This can be seen as early as your 30’s!
Sugar in the bloodstream forms harmful molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which weaken elastin and collagen.
4. Relax Your Neck
Don’t strain your neck during a workout (or anything else!)
By straining your neck you are strengthening the very muscles that pull your face down.
5. Use A Good Moisturizer.
Not only invest in a good moisturizer, but use it liberally, every single day.
Moisturizer actually protects skin from free radical damage. Dehydration leads to oxidative stress, which in turn generates free radicals.
Dehydrated skin ages faster. Much, much faster.
Look for products with ceramides, cholesterol and essential fatty acids, and keep your skin super moisturized, every single day.
6. Fight Sun Damage.
The best way to fight sun damage is to completely stay out of the sun.
But that is not a realistic option for most of us. Plus the sun is so nice to be outside in.
Every single day, come rain or shine, liberally apply a facial SPF of no less than 30. (I use SPF 70)
Even if your moisturizer has an SPF in it, use another on top.
The sun is your skin’s worst enemy. Harmful rays break down collagen and elastin, putting you on the fast track to aging, sagging, lifeless, dull skin.
Look for broad spectrum formulations with Helioplex or Mexoryl, which have been shown to be the longest lasting, most effective forms of sun protection.
7. Fight Free Radicals
Antioxidants are the super heros of skin care.They protect the skin from the evil forces in the environment, known as free redicals, plus they also block an enzyme called elastase, which breaks down your skin’s elastin.
Choose products that contain several different antioxidants – they work well in teams. Look for products that contain Vitamins A and C as well as Coenzyme Q10.
8.Give Your Eyes A Lotta Lovin
Always wear sunglasses. The bigger the better. When you’re outdoors, squinting in the sunlight is fast tracking crows feet and under eye wrinkling.
Make sure you use a good eye makeup remover that dissolves your makeup without you needing to rub it. The less pulling of the skin around the eyes the better.
Keep the eye area well hydrated morning with a good eyecream, and utilize an eyecream that contains retinoids (which increase elastin) at night.
9. Make Collagen. As Much As Possible.
Without collagen your skin will have the same texture as an old leather boot. Not so glam.
The way to make more collagen is using retinoids. They also stimulate cellular renewal.
Win / win.
You can buy over the counter retinoids, or get stronger prescription strength.
Use retinol products at night only, as they will create a sensitivity to sunlight
10. Get The Elastic Back!
Elasticity in the skin is what makes it spring back when you press it.. We stop making elastin around the same time we hit puberty, and until recently no one knew how to trick the skin into making more. Collagen is much easier to stimulate than elastin. Retinoids help, scientists also believe that dill extract may help.
Your best bet is to valiantly protect your stores of elastin by doing steps 1 thru 9 above. Especially paying attention to 1 and 6!
source info for this post was liberally lifted from Allure