How to combat the effects of aging in your everyday life
While a growing number of Americans are turning to plastic surgery to help fight the effects of aging, very few people begin their adulthood planning to need a facelift in the future. Unfortunately, many do not proactively care for their skin, and over time, the effects of sun, smoking or stress take their toll. While aging is inevitable, a few everyday activities can help slow the process of the effects aging has on your skin.
Stabilize Your Weight
Focus on maintaining a healthy, consistent body weight throughout your adult years. While small fluctuations in weight are natural, years of yo-yo dieting negatively affect both your body and your face. Gaining and losing large amounts of weight cause the skin to stretch. As you age, your skin naturally loses its elasticity and its ability to bounce back after shed- ding weight.
One of the quickest ways to age your skin is by smoking. Smoking restricts blood flow in your face, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the skin, and it breaks down your supply of collagen, a vital component to elasticity. While these effects can result in a dulling and sagging of the skin, even the act of smoking itself is harmful. Besides the obvious, the continuous motion of puckering your lips and squinting your eyes while inhaling a cigarette can help form deep-set wrinkles around the eyes and mouth.
While stress may be unavoidable, extreme stress can speed up the aging process. Our bodies naturally react to stress by increasing the stress hormone, cortisol. High levels of cortisol can damage your skin, causing an increase in oil production or a decrease in your skin’s ability to retain fluids, leading to either oily or dry skin. Stress can also impair your skin’s natural ability to block bacteria. Repeated frowning caused by stress levels can also speed up the appearance of frown lines.
Adopt a Skin Care Regimen
It is never too late to adopt a skin care routine to help your fight against aging. A good skin care regimen includes four basic products: cleanser, exfoliator, moisturizer and sunscreen. For optimal skin health, wash your face at night with a gentle cleanser. Always use warm or lukewarm water and be delicate with the sensitive skin around your eyes. Weekly exfoliation is also a good practice to help remove dead skin and clear your skin’s pores. Moisturizing is a necessary step for all skin types, but especially for those with dry skin. Apply a basic moisturizer at night and one with SPF in the morning.
Change Your Sleep Habits
It’s estimated that the average person spends one third of their life sleeping. Depending on your sleep position, your time in bed may increase the appearance of wrinkles. The act of pressing your sen- sitive skin into your pillow every night can encourage permanent wrinkles over time. Instead, sleep on your back, keeping your face pointed upwards and away from your pillow.
Fight Sun Damage
The single most effective thing you
can do to slow down the aging process is to protect your skin from the sun. Ultraviolet (UV) rays are damaging to your skin and too much sun will speed up the wrinkle process. Always wear at least SPF 30 on your face, regardless of the weather. Also wear sunglasses and a hat whenever possible, to reduce the wrinkles caused by repeated squinting.
While everyone is encouraged to practice these basic skin protection tech- niques, some will always be more sensitive to the effects of aging.
If you are not happy with your appearance, there are a number of non-surgical and surgical options available today to help you achieve your desired results. Consult with an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon to determine if facial fillers, laser treatment or a facelift may help complement your cur- rent skin care routine.
About IMAGELIFT®, Dr. Richard Castellano, and Dr. Randall Weyrich: The IMAGELIFT® Experience is performed by both Richard Castellano, MD and Randall Weyrich, MD, who are both Double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeons with the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology in Head and Neck Surgery. Based in Tampa, Florida, and Ocala, IMAGELIFT has performed more than 5,000 face lifts, minilifts and eyelifts, treating patients across the country and internationally. For more information, visit www.IMAGELIFT.com or call 800-893-2237.