When you’re in your 20’s the whole world is at your feet, and your entire future lies before you. You have all the time in the world to start an anti-aging regimen of your life: choosing your career, falling in love, thinking about a family.
We’re going to go out on a limb here. The time to think about starting an anti-aging regimen is . . . . well . . . . um . . . . don’t think about it. Act now, think later. The fight against aging skin can be won, but only if you fight the battle before it really gets going. And it’s already started. If you wait until the signs of aging have already taken hold, you may have waited too long.
When Should You Start an Anti-Aging Regimen?
The fight against age spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and saggy-baggy skin should actually start before those signs of aging begin to show.
The best, most effective way to fight all of those signs of aging in the future is to effectively prevent them before they show up.
Thinking so far in advance can be difficult, especially when you have places to go, people to meet, and parties to attend, but how you treat and care for your skin now will set the stage for how your skin will look in 20+ years. The damage we inflict on our skin over time is cumulative. That means it all collects over time. Preventing visible signs of skin aging is much easier and less expensive than trying to get rid of them.
If “now” is in your 40’s, then let’s get started! It’s never too late, though “preventative” care may not be quite as effective as in your earlier years. You can still work now to slow the aging process. The best time to get started, though, is way earlier; in your teens and 20’s.
The process of anti-aging regimen doesn’t need to be difficult. There’s no need to complicate the situation. Preparing your skin now can help you reap the benefits of a glowing and youthful complexion in your later years.
Of course we’re talking about sun protection! Protecting our skin from damaging UV rays is absolutely vital to preventing damage down the road. Without question, sun protection is the best way you can prevent your skin from aging. . . . or at least drastically slow that process down. About 90% of the visible signs of aging come from unprotected UV exposure. That’s because of all the free radicals that are generated from the radiation.
Your skin is going to go through natural aging changes on its own, but photoaged skin will take on a leathery, lax, wrinkled appearance with broken blood vessels (telangiectasia), and age spots (lentigines). UV radiation causes a shortage of collagen by causing cells to break collagen down, instead of maintaining it.
Sun damage accumulates over time, so protecting yourself sooner, rather than later, is prudent! Your skin care routine should incorporate the daily application of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
Show Free Radicals Who’s Boss, Now
All of the toxins that you ingest, environmental pollutants you’re exposed to, and sun exposure you get takes a toll on your skin. These things can result in waste products called free radicals. Free radicals are the byproducts of cellular metabolism and they’re careening around your body looking for another electron, wreaking havoc on everything in their path. That damage accumulates, too, unless you do something about it now.
Free radicals are the unstable byproducts of oxidation, the metabolic process of oxygen metabolism. This is the same process that causes iron to rust and avocados to turn brown. These free radicals cause oxidative stress by way of cellular damage, making cells vulnerable to decay and pathogens. They damage DNA and mitochondria (part of the basic building blocks for all tissues) which can result in many health problems. Once formed, these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction like dominoes.
Lifestyle choices and environmental factors can drastically increase the number of free radicals in the body, in turn dramatically increasing oxidative stress on the body. Things like eating fried foods, environmental pollution, UV rays, and eating charcoal broiled meats will increase this oxidative stress, but cigarette smoking is, by far, the most potent free radical generator in the body.
Prevent and Slow Aging With a Solid Skin Care Routine
Start a solid routine that consists of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. It doesn’t have to be difficult! It’s the ingredients that are important. Choose your skin care products wisely, and they will work ahead of their years for you. When you care for your skin properly, you’re able to nip any excess damage in the bud and mitigate any factors that contribute to aging.
Look for ingredients that are scientifically proven to fight the aging process. You can help your body nab those free radicals by utilizing a skin care routine rich in antioxidant ingredients to counter all that damage. A healthy diet should be your number one choice, but topical antioxidants have been found to be effective, as well.
- Vitamin C to brighten and even out skin tone
- Peptides to send messages to the skin cells responsible for collagen production
- Alpha- and Beta-Hydroxy Acids, which are natural exfoliants, to help with cellular turnover.
Retinoids (derived from vitamin A) have the added bonus of increasing cellular turnover, allowing younger skin cells to replace older ones.
Just a little elbow grease in your early years in the form of a smart skin care routine can really go a long way in combating daily insult. Stick to that routine, and your future self will thank you.