1. Don’t smoke. Smoking is one of the most damaging things you can do to your skin. It causes premature thinning of the skin based on the loss of elastin and collagen, your skin’s building blocks, undoubtedly contributing to the onset of wrinkles.
2. Wear sunscreen. This may seem like a no brainer, but we have talked to hundreds of patients that say they don’t wear sunscreen every day because they “only” drive to work and walk outside for lunch and to get to the office. While this may be the case, you are exposed to the sun’s damaging rays anytime you are outside and sometimes even when you are inside in locations where natural light exists. To be safe, wear sunscreen every day. Use nothing less than 15 spf and do not try to get away with combining your makeup and sunscreen, it’s never as effective. Put your sunscreen on first and makeup over the sunscreen.
3. Protect yourself when outside/driving. Many patients think that if they have sunscreen on it’s enough. Although it is an excellent practice to wear sunscreen every day, it does not offer full protection. Even while using sunscreen, we suggest getting used to wearing a hat when you know prolonged sun exposure will be an issue, like a day at the park, beach or other outdoor area. While driving make sure that you have a visor, tinted window or another device that will help you block the sun on the left side of your face. Reapply sunscreen every two hours for full protection when outside for prolonged periods.
4. Moisturize. Moisturizing is essential to prevent wrinkles and maintain healthy skin. For proper cell turnover (regeneration of new cells), the skin needs to have plenty of water. Using skin care products can help, but drinking lots of water is necessary to properly hydrate the skin.
5. Exfoliate. Working out is to the muscles as exfoliation is to the skin. Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. It can be accomplished in several ways from skin care products that include glycolic acid or Retin A to mechanical scrubs like pumice soap or microdermabrasion. Exfoliating forces the skin to “work out” producing new skin cells to replace the dead ones removed at the surface. A baby’s epidermis will completely regenerate three times as quickly as a senior citizen. To make sure that your skin is getting a workout, exfoliate!
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