People have perhaps always sought ways to hang onto their youth. Alexander the Great searched for an age-healing river in the 4th century. Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon famously searched for a fountain of youth in the 16th century.
Even Mark Twain opined that people should be 80 at birth and work back to age 18. Today, there are surgical procedures, injections, tucks, and potions all designed to slam aging into reverse. Age, it seems, is a four-letter word.
Your skin is perhaps the most obvious indicator of your time on Earth. It gets thicker, rougher, ruddier, drier, and more wrinkled with age. The telltale signs are written all over your face where there’s absolutely nowhere to hide.
There are steps you can take to keep a little youthful glow longer and obscure the visible ravages of time. You just need to know where to look. Here are four places to find your skin’s fountain of youth.
1. At Your Dermatologist Online or in the Office
Store shelves are filled with over-the-counter products designed to deliver age-defying results. They claim to reduce wrinkles, minimize dark spots, even out skin tones, and give you softer skin. Some will, indeed, improve the look and feel of your skin, if you use them as directed.
But if you really want to attack those signs of aging, try a prescription anti-aging skin treatment. Scientifically developed and tested, these formulas use ingredients unavailable in OTC products. That research and development and those ingredients, can make all the difference.
Sun, wind, and environmental factors have damaged your countenance over the years, slowing production of new skin. That’s why retinoids like tretinoin and adapalene work so well. They increase production of collagen and hyaluronic acid, which renews your skin by replacing that top layer fast.
OTC skincare products may provide some good outcomes. But if you want stellar results, stick with the science. Prescription anti-aging treatment will kick your new skin up a notch in appearance and down a notch in age.
2. In the Water
There’s a reason water plays a starring role in skincare. It cleanses away dirt and toxins, moisturizes, carries nutrients to skin cells, and keeps skin smooth and elastic. For ultimate results, use water inside and out.
There’s no definitive evidence that drinking a lot of water makes your skin look younger. However, staying hydrated improves blood flow, which ensures those much-needed nutrients are delivered to your skin. Since skin is the body’s largest organ, you don’t want to skimp on it.
On the outside, use water with gentle cleansers and stay away from anything containing alcohol. Avoid water that’s too hot, opting instead for warm, tepid, or cool water. And if your heating system sucks the moisture out of the air, use a humidifier to replace it.
Your skin gets drier as you age, so keep it hydrated to counter that consequence. Water may not give you the skin of a baby. But there’s no fountain of youth without it.
3. In the Shade
Face it. The biggest damage to your skin has been leveled by the big, hot, yellow, imperfect sphere that rises daily. Even when it’s shrouded by cloud cover, the sun is still wreaking ultraviolet havoc on your skin.
When you’re older, you’ll see the side effects of that tan you’ve always loved. Dark spots, blotches, broken veins, and wrinkles create a vicious cycle. The more of them you see, the more you want a tan to cover them up.
It’s never too late to benefit from using a hefty SPF lotion when you’re outside. Instead of a UVA-generated tan, try a self-tanner for the healthy year-round glow you covet. In addition to evening out your skin tones, most of them are packed with magnificent moisturizers.
Of course, skin cancer is the biggest risk of sun exposure, so have those moles and spots checked routinely. To restore some of the youth sucked out by the sun, protect your skin from further damage. You’ll have it made in the shade.
4. Within Your Lifestyle
For sure, your DNA plays a role in the health and aging of your skin. But even if you have great genes going for you, your lifestyle may tell your age. You should take a good look at it to determine how you might take a few years off your skin.
The same foods you consume that age your body also age your skin. You’ll need to cut back on fried and processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and full-fat dairy. Opt instead for fish with good fats, tomatoes, fresh vegetables, olive oil, green tea, and dark chocolate to boost skin health.
Exercise, which improves blood flow, should be a regular part of your routine. Good quality sleep also helps because that’s when your skin produces collagen. And if you’re a smoker, kick that skin-aging habit.
Remember that skin is an organ, just like your heart, brain, and kidneys. The active and healthy lifestyle that keeps those in prime condition helps your skin as well. The sooner you start living better, the sooner your skin will show it.
It’s Out There
It seems that no one has discovered that elusive fountain of youth. But there are places you can look to if you want to knock a few years off your skin. You won’t even need to travel very far to find them.