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There are factors both intrinsic and extrinsic that can contribute to aging of the skin. Avoiding these factors can help to keep your skin looking and feeling younger. To learn more about how to prevent premature aging of your skin, read on!

Stay looking as young as possible by avoiding the sun

We all want to stay looking as young as we can for as long as possible. There are factors both intrinsic and extrinsic that can contribute to aging of the skin. Avoiding these factors can help to keep your skin looking and feeling younger. To learn more about how to prevent premature aging of your skin, read on!

Avoid the Sun

The sun is an external factor which can be controlled to a great extent. In other words, you can protect yourself from the aging effects of the sun. Exposing your skin to the sun can damage skin cells and dry out your skin unnecessarily. Sun exposure is known to cause wrinkles, so if you are concerned about the development of wrinkles and fine lines, avoid the sun as much as possible. This includes the use of tanning beds.

To protect your skin from damaging rays, use sunscreen year round with a high SPF (at least 30). Wear a hat when you are outdoors for extended periods of time. Many skin care products contain SPF, so you may be able to moisturize your skin and protect it from the sun at the same time.

Exposure to sunlight not only ages the skin, but is also a risk factor for skin cancer. The incidence of the most deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma, is increasing in younger people; therefore, younger people should also avoid the sun to prevent premature aging and skin cancer.

Avoid Cigarette Smoking to Keep Your Looks

Cigarette smoking, whether you are a smoker, live with a smoker or work in a smoke-filled environment, is known to age the skin and contributes to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Cigarette smoking also leads to the formation of deep creases at the sides of the mouth and above the upper lip due to the “puckering” mouth movement people make when they inhale. Cigarette smoking is known to decrease levels of vitamin C in the body, a vitamin that is crucial to younger looking skin.

Many experts believe that cigarette smoking is at least as harmful, if not more so, than the effects of sun exposure on the skin. Quitting smoking may be the best thing you can do for your skin if you are a smoker. If you live with a smoker, ask them to smoke outside- you will also be protecting your body from other dangerous effects related to secondhand smoke, such as the risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Exposure to Cold Weather

For those who live in northern climates, their skin may be exposed to temperature extremes, such as wind and cold, for several months of the year. Cold weather and wind can be extremely drying and damaging to the skin and may contribute to the appearance of fine lines.

Using a quality moisturizer regularly can help to combat the detrimental effects of wind and cold. Apply a good quality moisturizer at least twice a day during the cold winter months. In addition, wear a scarf over your exposed skin when outdoors in extreme weather. Be sure to drink plenty of water to combat the drying effects of cold and wind. Dehydration can lead to wrinkle formation, as can be seen in the next segment.

Avoid Dehydration

Our bodies are made up of about 60% water. We are constantly losing water through our skin when we perspire, through our lungs when we inhale and exhale and through excretion of waste when we urinate. We need to constantly replenish fluids lost in order to avoid the effects of dehydration.

Dehydration draws moisture from the skin, adding to the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. When we drink enough water, our skin appears dewy, soft and supple. How much water should you drink? That depends on you- your size, your activity level and other factors. If you are getting enough water, your mouth will feel comfortably moist, your skin will feel smooth and soft and your urine will be light in color. If you are dehydrated, you will void infrequently, your mouth will feel dry and your skin may feel tight and feel dry. Drink fluids according to thirst and comfort as a rule, and increase the amount of fluids you drink when you exercise or are outside for long periods of time.

Get Enough Sleep

Many of us fail to get as much sleep as we need. The average person requires 7 to 8 hours of deep sleep in order to function at our best. When we cheat ourselves out of a full night’s rest, the effects show on our face in the form of tired, sagging skin and wrinkles under the eyes. Getting enough rest can do wonders for your skin, decreasing the incidence of bags and circles under the eyes and the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin. In order to repair itself, our bodies need sleep. If you are not getting enough rest, decrease caffeine consumption, exercise more and change your bedtime routine so that you feel ready for bed when it is time to sleep. Your skin will thank you!

Eat a Well Balanced Diet

Due to our busy lifestyles, many of us don’t eat as well as we should. Our bodies require protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients to repair damage done to our skin and to keep our skin appearing young and healthy. If your skin is dry, appears wrinkled and you have circles under your eyes, your diet may be lacking. To improve the appearance of your skin, be sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, protein and whole wheat grains in your diet. Improving your diet will go a long way towards improving the appearance of your skin.

There is no magical formula that will prevent aging. All we can do is eat well, drink enough water and protect our skin from environmental factors to keep our skin looking and feeling young. In addition, moisturizing and cleansing our skin will stave off premature fine lines and wrinkles.