By Christina A. Jefferson
Before the age of 25, you have the skin your mother gave you. After age 25, you have the skin you gave yourself. Evidence for the truth in this skin care mantra can be seen in the faces of women all around you. Up until their mid-twenties, most women enjoy naturally vibrant, glowing skin. As the thirties approach, however, the skin begins to lose its elasticity and suppleness.
Fortunately, there are certain preventative measures you can take to keep your skin looking its best. Furthermore, certain products can help you uncover your most radiant skin. Make the skin care dos listed below a part of your daily skin care regiment in order to see radiant skin for decades to come. On the flip side, by avoiding certain harmful skin care no-nos, you can prevent your skin from looking wrinkled and tired as you age.
Skin Care Dos
Do wear sunscreen. Everyone loves to feel the warmth of the sun on their skin, but remember that UV rays can cause wrinkles, sunspots and even skin cancer. Take care of your skin by applying sunscreen whenever you anticipate being out in the sun, even if only for twenty minutes. As a bare minimum, apply sunscreen to the face, chest, neck and hands, as the skin on these areas is generally the most sensitive to UV rays.
Do eat healthy foods. Food writer Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food advises readers to, "Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Pollan's simple, liberating approach to diet is certainly healthy for your skin as well. Vegetables and fruits are chock full of antioxidants, or special chemical compounds that break down cancer-causing free radicals in the body. Free radicals also cause cell damage to the skin. For healthy skin from the inside out, include colorful vegetables and fruits with every meal, and especially aim to ingest plenty of vitamins C, E, A and beta carotene.
Do drink plenty of water. Water flushes out toxins and improves circulation. Drinking 64 ounces (eight glasses) of water every day will keep your skin looking soft and supple. Additionally, it's good to have a couple of versatile moisturizing products on hand for those days when you know your water levels are low. For instance, after a night of heavy drinking, you might notice your cuticles drying out, causing painful, unsightly hangnails. This is a sign that there may be other areas of dry skin that need a little TLC.
Do apply eye cream. The skin around your eyes is some of the most sensitive, delicate skin on the entire body. Take care of it (and avoid those telltale crow's feet!) by applying a daily eye cream.
Don't smoke. If you need motivation to quit, just take some time to examine the skin of long-term smokers. Yellow, papery skin with plenty of wrinkles around the lips - this is what smoking will earn you. Quit. Today. Your skin will thank you for years to come.
Don't skimp on moisturizer. Moisturized skin is happy skin. Indeed, you'll notice that just after applying moisturizer, your skin will naturally plump up - sometimes enough to fill in those pesky wrinkles. Apply moisturizer when your skin is still damp from your shower or bath - this will lock in moisture and keep your skin looking plump and healthy all day long.
Don't be sporadic about your skincare. Cleanse and moisturize every day to offset the pollution and other toxins your skin is exposed to on a daily basis. Whatever skincare products you choose to apply, use them religiously. An investment of just five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening can make a huge difference for your skin over a lifetime.
One way to encourage yourself to complete your skin care regimen is to invest in enticing products that make you excited about taking care of yourself.
In the end, your daily skin care choices will determine how youthful (or aged) you appear as the decades march on. Nurture your skin by following the dos and avoiding the don'ts listed above, and you'll enjoy perfect, healthy skin well into your golden years.
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