How to have young skin for a lifetime with my 12 solid anti-aging tips that you can start implementing right now.
1. Sunblock. Wear an SPF 15 or 30 every day to prevent UVA and UVB rays from aging your skin. Compare a woman who has been out in the sun all her life with a woman who has avoided it — there is a huge difference in the skin tone, texture, and amount of wrinkling/sagging. Wear a hat, too.
2. Addictions. Do your best to break any addiction you have to cigarettes, coffee, and alcohol. It’s not sexy, and it makes you age prematurely. There are many books and programs that are inexpensive that can help you break your habits if you need it. The reward is a lifetime of smooth, youthful skin and a healthy body. If you want to look wrinkled with dull, dry skin, then keep smoking and drinking.
3. Diet. Eat a healthy, skin-loving diet of organic fruit, vegetables, leafy greens, healthy fats (e.g. olive oil, almonds, yogurt, kefir), brown rice, and (if you’re not vegetarian or vegan) fish and organic, grass-fed meat. Avoid grains (except rice), wheat, refined sugar, flours, processed food, fast food, coffee, and cow dairy. This way of eating will provide you with a good foundation of antioxidants and nutrients that keep you healthy and your skin glowing.
4. Supplements. Take a quality food-based multivitamin. I now take a food-based (non-synthetic) supplement, Garden of Life Raw One for Women, and they have a whole selection of multivitamins. Include extra vitamin C, cod liver oil or fish oil capsules, and any other supplements you think might be worthwhile. I take Garden of Life Raw Vitamin C (I longer use Health Force vitamin C cherry powder because I found out they use maltodextrin in their formula — more on that later), Carlson Labs Cod Liver Oil in lemon flavor, and Garden of Life Oceans 3 Beyond Omega 3 capsules. Dr. Perricone has a great book called The Wrinkle Cure, where he highlights a list of supplements that are highly beneficial to your skin, how much to take, and why. Per his recommendations, I now take ascorbyl palmitate, astaxanthin, alpha lipoic acid, l-carnosine from a company called Pure Encapsulations (I purchase them via RawMatt). I also take 2,000–3,000 mg of MSM from Paradise Herbs per day, in capsule form. I love the MSM especially, it makes my skin feel super smooth. The other vitamins are just major aging preventatives, and I’d rather start now in my 20’s rather than wait until I see signs of aging.
Just a sidenote: none of the supplements I take contain magnesium stearate, artifical colors, artifical flavorings, or fillers. I would not take them or recommend them if they had any junk in them.
5. Moisturize. Keep your skin moist and protected (think of a dry, cracked piece of bread versus one that is moist with a layer of butter or olive oil on it). Use an all-natural, paraben-free moisturizer. You can also use coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil to moisturize your face and body. For additional benefit at night, you can add some vitamin E to your moisturizer for a little antioxidant boost. Throughout the day, mist your face with a flower hydrosol from Mountain Rose Herbs, or a Misty Facial Spray from Real Purity.
6. No Picking. Be kind and gentle to your skin, no matter what state it is in. If you get a breakout, don’t pick! Don’t believe me? Go read Stop Picking On Me (it’s free) and you will have a new, profound understanding and respect for your skin. Treat blemishes with tea tree oil or neem oil, or Derma-Rx Blemish Spot treatment. Use a moisturizer that has healing properties from a quality natural brand like 100% Pure, Dr. Alkaitis, or Sophyto. Conceal your blemish with a fruit-pigmented healing concealer from 100% Pure, Jane Iredale, or Living Nature.
7. Sleep. Try to get a on good sleep routine where you go to sleep by 10 pm. This can be hard (I often lose track of time and end up getting to bed at 1 am), but you will feel 10 times better when you go to sleep earlier and get a full 8+ hours of sleep. Your skin will also look rejuvenated and glowing instead of sleep deprived and dull. Lately I’ve been sticking to a decent routine, going to sleep between 10 and 11 pm, and I feel and see a HUGE difference. I’m going to do my best to stick with it.
8. Exfoliate. If you have sensitive or dry skin, exfoliate once per week with a very gentle scrub that doesn’t contain any ground seeds or shells. Since my skin is very sensitive, I love using Naturopathica Glycolic Acid, and yogurt/milk/sour cream or fruit masks to slough off dead skin without any scrubbing. Plus, I find that acid gels and masks prevent blackheads and blemishes, even out skin tone, and remove dead cells without making your skin flaky (this tends to happen if you have dry or combo skin). For normal, oily, thicker skin and male skin, you can exfoliate 1–3 times per week with a gentle scrub (again, no ground seeds). For all skin types, feel free to use a lovely sugar scrub on your body and lips — you can buy one or make one yourself with one of my recipes on this blog.
9. Exercise. Physical activity brings circulation to your skin and hair, which results in radiant skin and healthy hair. Exercise also shuttles waste products out of the lymph and blood stream much quicker than if you sat on your butt all day. For dewy, young skin, aim for yoga or pilates 3 times per week, try circuit training at least 2 times per week (check out BodyRock.tv for free workouts), and walk/take the stairs as much as possible. You can also try boxing or kickboxing for an awesome cardio workout.
10. Take It Off. Remove all your makeup before going to sleep, even if it’s 4 am. Going to bed without washing your face after a day of wearing makeup, running errands, and working around the office and house is a recipe for premature aging and blemishes.
11. Stay Hydrated. Drink lots of filtered water or fresh spring water for hydrated, smooth skin. I aim for 1/2 — 1 gallon per day to keep my skin plump and smooth.
12. Keep Regular. That might sound weird to some of you, but getting enough fiber is really important. If you follow tip #3, this shouldn’t be a problem, but just in case, you can add acacia fiber powder or fiber capsules to your diet right before or during meals (I add 1 Tbsp. of acacia fiber to water, smoothies, sauces, etc.). This keeps your intestines clear, which helps keep your skin clear and supple. Allowing your body to eliminate waste through the intestines and colon instead of through the skin is much better for your body and for your self-esteem (clear skin tends to make you feel more confident, as we know).
Here’s to your lifetime of beautiful, youthful skin!