Experts say that, when it comes to getting wrinkles, 10% is genetics — but the other 90% is environment and lifestyle. This is great news! Why? Because it means that you have A LOT of control over your skin and how badly – and quickly – it wrinkles. In fact, you can begin today to make lifestyle changes that will literally save your skin and prevent wrinkles as long as possible. Specifically, the following lifestyle tips are proven to protect and nurture your skin:
Protect your skin from the sun
Without a doubt, the sun is your skin’s worst enemy. The ultraviolet radiation in sunlight causes the collagen and elastin in your skin to break down, which leads to premature wrinkles. One of the best lifestyle changes you can make is to wear a good sunscreen, every day.
The harmful toxins in cigarette smoke do all kinds of bad things to your skin, especially your facial skin. Not only does it break down collagen and elastin, just like sunlight does, but it also destroys your skin from the inside. You can’t inhale toxins all day and expect your skin to be healthy. If you smoke, do whatever you have to do to quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t even think about starting!
Alcohol is not good for your skin. One or two drinks occasionally probably won’t hurt. But if you’re drinking every day, your skin definitely isn’t going to be as healthy as it could be. Besides containing toxins, alcohol also dehydrates your body, which is never good for the skin. Old drinkers almost always have more wrinkles and “uglier” skin with more blotches than non-drinkers.
Get Enough Sleep
When you don’t get enough sleep, for even one night, you look and feel horrible. But when you are chronically sleep-deprived your skin can literally begin to breakdown. Why? Because you aren’t letting it repair itself. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and your body repairs its organs while your sleeping. Try going to bed earlier and at the same time every night. Also, you may want to try the natural supplement melatonin. Recent research shows that you only need about .3 mg to fall asleep and wake up without feeling groggy, much less than the 1 – 3 milligrams contained in most melatonin supplements.
Doctors have long known that stress has many negative effects on the body. Chronically high-stress levels hurt the skin without a doubt. First, if you’re always stressed out, you’re probably not getting enough quality sleep (see above). Second, the stress hormones that are produced in a high-stress state are very damaging to your skin. Third, when you’re stressed, your skin receives less blood flow because your body directs more of its blood to your internal organs, in an effort to prepare itself for “flight or fight” – the reason stress exists in the first place.
Antioxidants boost your body’s ability to fight free radicals and protect the skin from damage. Many of the new anti-wrinkle skin creams contain tons of antioxidant ingredients. Colorful fresh fruits and vegetables are some of your best sources of antioxidants. But you should also consider supplementing with extra vitamin C and vitamin E. Also, some people have gotten great “healthy skin” results with the new OPC dietary supplements.