1. Exfoliate daily, but be gentle!
Removing dead skin cells is your single most important step to younger looking skin. As we age, we lose the ability to turn over dead skin cells. Over time, this adds up to as many as 15 to 20 layers. As these layers accumulate, they start to weigh the skin down. This creates wrinkles and dulls the overall appearance of your complexion by hiding the fresh, healthy layers far below the surface. It is important that your exfoliator be gentle so that you can use it often.
2. Hydrate your skin throughout the day to keep it soft and supple.
We are all born with plump, round skin cells that are full of water. With time, the barriers that surround these skin cells start to weaken, allowing free radicals, pollution, and UV rays to "ping" these cells and make holes large enough for water to leach out. Without enough water to keep them plump, the cells soon become flat, dry, and dehydrated. In order to combat this process we must strengthen the barrier with antioxidants, vitamins, and protecting extracts.
3. Skip the extractions to avoid enlarging your pores.
If you have ever had your pores emptied, you have noticed that they begin to fill up again within 24 hours following the extraction. This is because the emptying and filling of your pores on a regular basis stretches out the delicate skin and allows room for additional oil to seep in. The extraction process is incredibly harsh on your pores, breaking down collagen and elastin–-two things none of us can afford to lose as we age. So what can you do to help yourself? First, realize that we are all born with a certain pore size. You can never truly make pores smaller, you can only make them appear smaller. The best way to accomplish this is to avoid unnecessary extraction procedures and to bleach out the melanin that affects the color of your pores, often mistaken for blackheads and removed only temporarily.
4. Carry products down to allow skin to age evenly through your neck and chest.
It amazes me how many times my clients have told me they never thought of putting product on their neck and chest or their hands. Don't make the mistake of allowing your neck and your hands to age faster than your face. If you are going to get facial treatments, request that your therapist apply this same theory.
5. Layer your sunscreens for ultimate UV protection.
I am not just talking about the common liquid form of sun protection. To truly protect your skin from the harsh rays of the sun, mix your liquid sunscreen moisturizer with a mineral foundation, then dust with a mineral powder. Be generous with the powder around the outer edges of your face where the sun creeps in first. Finally, throw on a hat or carry a sun umbrella–even when you're walking between buildings or from your car to your house you're exposing your skin to the sun. Keep in mind that the most damaging UV rays usually find you in your car as you drive around every day.
6. Use mineral cosmetics.
Mineral cosmetics are a new trend in makeup, using micronized zinc and titanium tinted to match your skin tone. They also include antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, making them the perfect cocktail for the skin. It is no secret that physical sunblockers are more stable and pack more punch. Makeup that also acts as a layer in sun protection benefits all of us.
7. Vitamin C is the leading antioxidant for combating free radicals – take advantage of this science!
Free radicals can undo all of your hard work to promote a more youthful complexion. Using Vitamin C daily will help!
8. Sleep on silk to avoid abrading your skin with coarser materials.
There are very few people outside the field of dermatology who are aware of how abrasive the majority of fabric materials can be to the face, even natural fabrics like cotton. At night as your face rests against your pillow, this thin, delicate skin is exposed for a long period of time to the material of your pillowcase. With most other fabrics, the act of constantly compressing your face as you sleep will eventually begin to leave impressions. Over time these impressions may turn into permanent wrinkles. In an ideal world, we would all sleep face up, never needing to think about speeding up the aging process while we are resting. Fortunately, for those of us who don't live in an ideal world, there is an alternative: sleeping on silk. Silk is a natural, breathable fabric recognized for its kindness to the aging process. It is also hypoallergenic by nature, so there is no risk of sensitivity.
9. Stop smoking.
Collagen is produced naturally by the body and aids in plumping up the skin, which helps to keep wrinkles and sagging at bay. While we are young and healthy, collagen continues to break down and regenerate. As we age this process slows, enabling wrinkles to creep into the depressions left unfilled by new collagen growth. Research has shown that collagen production is stunted in smokers, speeding up the onset of visible signs of aging.