How to Keep your Skin Firm
There are hundreds of products formulated to help keep your skin youthful, and there are dozens professional skin tightening treatments that can also polish your complexion, add volume where needed, freeze, firm, minimize or remove lines and wrinkles and more. And let’s not forget about the myriad of surgical techniques that are designed to turn back the clock and help you look fabulous.
But those are reactive strategies – things you can do after aging has set in. What about being proactive? What can you do now to keep your skin firm, toned and conditioned so it stays tight and firm longer than you thought possible? Believe it or not, there just a few basic rules to this strategy – and if you adhere to them, your skin will reward you in the long run.
Don’t smoke – of all the things that adversely affects the skin, smoking ranks as one of the worst. That’s because smoking robs your skin of oxygen, destroys collagen and elastin. If that is not bad enough, smoking lowers your level of estrogen which is essential for firm skin.
Avoid Excessive Alcohol – drinking in excess is never a good idea. As far as the skin goes, alcohol consumption dehydrates the skin which leads to premature lines and wrinkles. More importantly, alcohol increases insulin levels which creates inflammation in the skin (causing sagging), and it can have a huge negative impact on your vitamin A level, which is a very important antioxidant for your skin’s ability to regenerate new cells. So drink responsibly, not just for your safety, but for your skin too.
What You Can Do
Use Sunscreen – yes, you’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating. The daily use of sunscreen is the first line of defense when guarding against premature aging, lines, wrinkles, brown spots and sagging skin. Nothing damages the skin more than UV exposure – it breaks down collagen and elastin, promotes cell mutation which can lead to brown spots and worse – skin cancer.
Using sunscreen does not need to feel like you are greasing up for a day at the beach and it does not need to be expensive. There are dozens of products that have sunscreen in them – like moisturizers, foundations, mineral powders, even anti-aging, anti-oxidant rich creams and serums to tackle free radicals at the same time as it protects your skin. Try products like
- Roc Multi Correction 5 in 1 Daily Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF 30
- Neutrogena Glow Sheers with SPF 30
- Colorscience Sunforgettable Mineral Powder Sun Protection SPF 50 Brush
Use Peptides and Retinoids at Night – Both peptides and retinoids are proven collagen boosters. Retinoids are a derivative of Vitamin A. Prescription grade retinoid creams are very effective at increasing the production of new collagen, stimulating new blood vessels in the skin, fading age spots and more. Over-the-counter retinoids are not as powerful, but they can achieve similar results (it may just take a little longer). If retinoids are used with products containing alpha hydroxy acids, you will notice additional skin-smoothing effects. Peptides are short chains of amino acids that act on collagen in a variety of ways to slow the aging process. These amino acids boost the production of collagen and elastin, both of which plump the skin and prevent it from sagging. While peptides are found in a variety of products, ranging from the affordable to the very expensive, you don’t have to get the most expensive skin care product in order to reap their benefits.
Exfoliate – The importance of regular exfoliation cannot be overstated. That’s not to say you should not over do it – that can damage the skin. But exfoliating the skin to slough off dead skin cells allows skincare products to penetrate 400% more effectively. Exfoliating also keeps your pores clear – and we all know that clear pores are key to preventing breakouts and other unwanted skin conditions. You can exfoliate with a gentle scrub with microbeads, with enzymes, or with an electronic cleansing brush like Clairsonic® Mia 2 Sonic Skin Cleansing System. Don’t forget the skin below your chin and exfoliate your neck once a week.