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6 Things to do for younger looking skin in 30 days or less

I'm a pediatric ICU doctor and beauty fanatic. I've been blogging about beauty since 2007, my site features tutorials and reviews with a scientific bent.

Aging doesn't have to mean dull, dry skin

Age is just a number, and that has never been more true than now. 40 is the new 30, and 30 is the new 20. If you're feeling and acting younger than your age, it makes sense that you would also want to look great for your age.

There are a lot of changes that take place in our skin as we age. The skin becomes thinner and more translucent. You'll notice unevenness in your skin tone, perhaps even age spots or hyperpigmentation. Fine lines and wrinkles appear initially around the eyes, mouth and forehead and gradually become deeper and more wide spread. Your skin becomes looser and less elastic, an effect that becomes more pronounced as the fat pads under the eyes and cheeks becomes smaller with age and weight loss. The skin will also become drier with time, because your skin produces less oil. This can result in small lines and even cracks in the skin due to the dryness. Finally, you may notice that overall the color of the skin changes, becoming lackluster and less luminous.

One of my favorite products to use is No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum, which includes highly effective peptides to increase collagen production, to help restore more youthful skin, Vitamin C to help fight aging and smooth skin tone and hyaluronic acid to provide a lot of moisture without feeling heavy.

While the list of skin changes in aging skin sounds daunting, it really isn't! Fortunately, in order to have younger looking, glowing skin you don't need to undergo invasive procedures or use lasers. There are lot of changes you can easily make at home that will have quick results.

1. Take care of your skin daily

It is easy to say you want better skin that is clearer, smoother and looks younger. However, to get that skin you need to make your products a daily habit that you don't skip. When you decide to amp up your skin care routine and want to see big changes in your skin, it is very easy to go overboard and want to add every product that appeals to you. Add targeted serums and treatment products, and finally a night cream. Make your skincare routine easy to follow and a habit that you won't skip.

2. Minimize skin irritation

"Feel the Burn" was Jane Fonda's mantra, but it isn't a good approach to take to your skin care. Skin irritation leads to inflammation, as white blood cells infiltrate the skin and release cytokines, chemokines and even free radicals in their attempt to fix damage. Unfortunately, they damage the skin cells and advance the aging process in addition to making your skin uncomfortable and unsightly.

To minimize irritation, look for gentle skin care that won't strip your skin of oil and moisture. Serums and treatment products should not sting or burn as you apply them. Instead, your skincare should leave your skin smooth and glowing. Avoid any products that irritate your skin.

3. Add in a retinoid

Retinoids are Vitamin A derivatives, when applied topically to the skin they increase cell turn over, they actually increase the thickness of your skin's dermis, increase production of collagen and even decrease hyperpigmentation. Retinoids are frequently recommended for aging skin and to help fight acne because they have been extensively studied and there is a lot of evidence in the medical literature showing that they live up to the hype!

As great as retinoids sound, there are some issues. There are many forms of retinoids out there, some of which need to be activated within the skin before they are effective. Retinoids can also be very irritating to the skin, and many people can only tolerate using a retinoid product every two to three nights rather than every night. They are also a known teratogen, so they should be avoided if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

Choose a retinoid that will be likely to work with your skin. Prescription retinoids are more effective with more dramatic results in a shorter period of time, but they are also more irritating. An over the counter product will be more gentle if your skin is sensitive, but you will need to be more patient to see results.

When the retinoid's benefits start, you'll notice that your skin has more even skin pigmentation, feels smoother and your fine lines and wrinkles are improving. If you have acne, your blemishes will be improved as well. Retinoids are considered the gold standard for anti-aging skincare ingredients if you can find the magic combination of retinoid type and frequency of application that lets you avoid irritation. No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum contains a form of retinol, Retinol Palmitate.

4. Add multi-purpose vitamin C

While Retinoids are often touted as the best anti-aging ingredient, Vitamin C is an ingredient that you should also be looking to add to your skincare routine. This antioxidant will increase your skin's collagen production, has been found to decrease wrinkles and helps to fade hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C, which is also found in No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum, is effective even at lower concentrations in your skin care, so you can use it in your night cream or a multipurpose serum.

5. Gently exfoliate your skin

The very outer layers of cells in your skin are actually already dead, they're just waiting to be sloughed off. If those cells stick around longer than expected, or don't slough off evenly, the results can be lackluster skin, clogged pores and uneven skin tone.

Exfoliating your skin should be something you do regularly, whether that is every day with a deep skin cleansing brush or weekly with a gentle face peel. As those outer layer of skin are sloughed off your skin will pick up creating new skin cells, making your skin thicker, improving issues with uneven pigmentation, and helping minimize fine lines and wrinkles. However you decide to exfoliate, it needs to be done gently and should be something you do regularly.

6. Increase your skin's hydration level

As we get older, our skin's production of sebum (oil) decreases. Initially this is great, especially if your skin has always been oily. However, with less sebum helping it hold on to moisture, your skin will start to dry out. Dehydrated skin is dull in appearance and often has lines and even flaking from the moisture loss.

Luckily, it is easy to increase your skin's moisture levels! First, you should avoid drying out your skin. Use gentle cleansers on your skin to remove dirt and makeup. If you find that your skin is still dry, increase the moisturizing power of your products by switching to a thicker product such as a cream, or add in a face oil. Using a moisturizer will also have the added benefit of plumping up the outer layers of the skin, minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Look for hyaluronic acid as an ingredient in your moisturizer which contains moisturizers in addition to its anti-aging benefits.

This post is part of a sponsored collaboration between No7 and SheKnows

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