For many people, the quest for younger-looking skin is a constant battle. Pharmaceutical companies have produced countless numbers of expensive pills, lotions, and masques that boast the ability to prevent or reduce the signs of aging, but at what cost?
Bombarding skin cells with harsh chemicals can have counter-productive effects which may not appear for many years, but eventually the damage shows itself in the form of skin disease, accelerated aging, and toxic build up in other organs. Fortunately, there are natural alternatives for combating wrinkles which are effective, inexpensive, and 100% better for your body.
1. Say “No” to Soap
If you’re someone who likes to wash your face in the morning to wake up, use warm water only and pass on the soap. After work, post gym workout, or before bed opt for a moisturizing cleanser instead of soap which will strip your skin of natural oils it needs to stay healthy. Alternately, you can use a cleanser such as Witch Hazel or Tea Tree Oil to remove makeup, dirt, and other contaminants from pores. Or if you absolutely must wash your face with a favorite soap, be sure to moisturize afterward to keep your skin looking young and free of wrinkles.
2. Don’t Over-wash
The idea that one should wash their face several times each day in order to maintain a beautiful, youthful appearance we now know to be untrue. Chemicals in most tap water will strip your face of protective oils without the help of soap. Try to keep to one or two washings a day at most.
3. Exfoliate Wisely
Alpha-hydroxy acids – citric, tartaric, lactic, malic, and gycolic acids – are all excellent exfoliates which can be found in many common foods like oranges, lemons, grapes, yogurt, apples, pears, and sugar cane. When applied as a chemical peel, alpha-hydroxy acids dissolve the bonds between old and new skin cells, causing the old dead skin to fall away. The new skin revealed from this process will show less fine lines and generally have a younger appearance. For some great alpha-hydroxy facial recipes, check out this post from The Fickle Hobbyist.
4. Hydrate with Healthy Oils
Dry skin is far more prone to damage than healthy, moisturized skin. That said, choosing the right moisturizer – something natural and lightweight that doesn’t leave your face feeling greasy – is very important. Here are some excellent all-natural face moisturizers to try:
For those adverse to the idea of putting any kind of oil on their skin, rose hip seed oil is high in natural vitamin A, lightweight, with no odor. Coconut oil is great for hydrating skin and has anti-bacterial / anti-fungal properties. Argan oil is high in Vitamin E and fatty acids which protect and rejuvenate skin. Avocado oil is a vitamin-rich deep moisturizer great for combination skin types.
5. Have Some High-Quality Protein
If your skin is dull, heals slowly, and retains wrinkles, your diet may be to blame. Foods such as top sirloin, eggs, chicken, and cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are excellent sources of the high-quality proteins our bodies need to regenerate strong, healthy skin cells.
6. Eat Foods High in Vitamin C
Strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, kale, and broccoli are just some of the foods high in L-ascorbic acid – also known as Vitamin C – that our bodies need to synthesize collagen. Without collagen, skin loses elasticity which leads to wrinkles and sagging.
The recommended daily intake of Vitamin C is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. (This amount is increased by 35 mg for smokers.)
7. Avoid Cigarette Smoke
Studies have shown that cigarette smoke is damaging to your skin among many other health detriments. If you are frequently exposed to second-hand smoke, find ways to avoid it. Second-hand is actually worse than smoking because there is no filter between the toxic chemicals and your lungs. If you currently smoke and want to quit in order to reduce signs of aging, try chewing on licorice root to reduce cravings or any of these 14 natural ways to stop smoking.
8. Wear a Hat
While some sunlight is good for Vitamin D production, too much exposure to harmful UV radiation can lead to sun damaged skin. Before you go slathering yourself with sunscreen, do your face a favor and pick up a wide brimmed-hat instead.
9. Invest in Glasses
Whether you use them for reading or to shade your eyes from the sun, glasses may help you look younger longer. Repetitive motions like squinting can over-work your face muscles, causing grooves to form under the skin. These grooves translate into wrinkles on the surface.
10. Sleep on Your Back
Studies have proven that sleeping in any position other than on the back eventually leads to wrinkles. For those who sleep on their side, creases form in the cheeks and chin from being compressed for extended periods of time. Face-down sleepers tend to have furrowed brows for the same reason.
11. Enjoy Some Dark Chocolate
Catechins – anti-oxidants naturally found in cocoa – are great for your skin! Enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate as a snack, dessert, or even as hot cocoa.
Not a fan of chocolate? The same catechins can be found in abundance in Matcha green tea!
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