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Here’s How To Look Young — Even When You’re Really Not

Don’t we all wish that we could keep our flawless, wrinkle-free skin forever? Even though we can’t stop our skin’s natural aging process, it is definitely possible to slow it down by looking after the most important component in our skin that keeps it firm and youthful – collagen.

As you age, fine lines and wrinkles become more prominent and gravity begins pulling it down, causing it to sag

Collagen fibers are the most abundant protein in our skin which make up for more than 70 per cent of our dermis and act as strong pillar underneath the outer layer of the skin, keeping it elastic and smooth. When we’re young, our body constantly repairs the skin and makes new collagen fibers but, this ability to regenerate, slows down drastically with age.

However, certain environmental, emotional and dietary factors such as harmful UV rays, pollution, smoking and stress can speed up the aging process by producing free radicals inside our skin. These free radicals work against your body’s ability to create new collagen fibers and as a result, the skin starts to thin, showing signs of premature aging.

The free radical effect is much worse with exposure to sun which is why it is often advised to wear sunscreen before going out in the sun. But there’s only so much that a sunscreen can do to protect your skin from damage. As you age, fine lines and wrinkles become more prominent and gravity begins pulling it down, causing it to sag. But there are four things you can do now to prevent your skin from damage and keep it looking youthful for longer.

Use Sunscreen Every Day

UV rays from sun are the biggest culprit for causing premature aging and wrinkles and the only way to fight is by wearing sunscreen every day. But the use of sunscreen shouldn’t just be limited to beach days or the summer season – dermatologists recommend the use of broad spectrum sunblock with SPF30 or above every day, no matter the weather conditions.

It’s important that you get into the habit of looking after the collagen in your skin when you’re young and your body still has the ability to generate new cells, because once the signs of aging start to show, it becomes much harder to reverse the damage.

Retinol is Your Skin’s Best Friend

Vitamin A derivatives such as retinol (also known as retinoic acid), have been used in anti-aging beauty products for decades and are often recommended by dermatologists for reversing the effect of aging. Scientists have proven that using only 0.1 per cent retinol for one month reduces visible signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol works by activating the cells in our body responsible for collagen production but it is extremely potent and should only be used sparingly in extremely small quantity.

Develop a Skincare Routine

It’s never too early to start looking after your skin with a consistent skincare routine. Products with ingredients like vitamin C, E and ferulic acid are the best skin food for maintaining healthy collagen and slowing down its degradation, according to researchers. Collagen stimulators like peptide and growth factors also work the same way as retinol in maintaining collagen without irritating the skin.

Other skin rejuvenation procedures such as chemical peels, can drastically improve the texture of your skin, even though the effects are short-lived and you may need more frequent treatments to keep up the results. Laser treatments, although pricier, are the more effective than chemical peels and work by destroying existing collagen under the skin in order to boost the creation of new cells.

Keep Your Skin Healthy from the Inside

Your skin is a reflection of your diet so, in order to keep it healthy, you need to be healthy as well. Exercising and taking good care of your diet goes a long way in keeping you looking youthful. Intense physical activity increases the blood supply to collagen fibers, giving your skin a healthy glow whereas a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, protein and vitamins can boost your skin’s ability to regenerate collagen. Make sure to hydrate your skin from inside and outside by drinking plenty of water and applying an SPF moisturizer.

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