Photo by AntonioGuillem/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by AntonioGuillem/iStock / Getty Images

Skin, like all parts of our body, ages. As time passes the collagen and elastin keeping our skin firm begins to weaken and our skin loses it's support structure, leading to sagging and wrinkles. Loss of fat, gravity, and genetics also play a major role in the appearance of our aging skin. These are all factors that we cannot control - however, there are modifiable factors than contribute significantly to our skin's appearance, and it is never too late to make an effort to maintain our youthful appearance. 

 

1. SUN EXPOSURE
The most avoidable cause of premature aging is sun exposure. UV rays damage elastic fibres that keep the skin firm, causing the development of wrinkles. Avoid unnecessary sun exposure by wearing broad spectrum SPF30+ sunscreen and a hat, stop sunbathing, and avoid the sun between 10am and 3pm.

 

2. SMOKING
Smoking decreases blood flow to the skin, deposits toxic chemicals, and encourages squinting to keep smoke from the eyes, all which likely cause wrinkles to appear sooner and more pronounced. One more reason to quit.

 

3. DIET
Skin is constantly regenerating and repairing, and needs adequate nutrition to do so. Eat 5 to 7 serves of fruit and vegetables a day to ensure you provide it with vitamins C, E, A and B it needs. Fruit and veggies are also just good for you. 

 

4. WASH AND MOISTURIZE
Use a gentle cleanser to remove pollution, makeup, and perspiration that can irritate the skin. Additionally, applying moisturizer once daily traps moisture and gives skin a youthful appearance. 

 

5. ALCOHOL
Alcohol dehydrates and exposes the skin to toxic metabolites, further contributing to the premature aging process. To minimize this, limit intake to 1 standard drink for women and 2 standard drinks for men daily.