Rather than concentrating only on your face, Hilt suggests focusing on keeping your entire body youthful. Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables, eat organic whenever possible, and exercise regularly, she says. "Your entire body will benefit from the food nutrients, complementing the effective topical skin care products you apply to your skin," she adds. Beyond keeping you toned and energized, exercise is a great stress reliever -- and, as Hilt says, stress shows up in your skin in ways such as breakouts or an overall lack of glow.
Check out our guide for best beauty-boosting health habits. >>
In case you need to be reminded, sunbathing is always a no-no where a youthful complexion is concerned. Despite the fact that too much time baking can leave you looking like a wrinkled mess, so many people continue to forgo sunscreen and expose their delicate facial skin to indoor or outdoor tanning.
"You can undo a year's worth of effort to improve the tone, texture and smoothness of your skin with just a few days of sunbathing," Hilt says. "The sun damage breaks down your collagen, resulting in wrinkled, mottled skin that lacks firmness. " Wear sunscreen daily, even if you have darker skin and even when it's cloudy. If you want that sunkissed glow, opt for sunless tanning alternatives.
Find out how to choose the best self tanner. >>
Need another reason to butt out? Cigarette smoking ruins your skin, Hilt says. "It's been shown to not only cause greater acne breakouts but also to speed up the normal aging process of your skin, contributing to wrinkles on your face and body," she explains. Cigarette smoking restricts blood flow to your skin, depriving it of oxygen and important nutrients. It also damages the collagen and elastin fibers in your skin, resulting in fine lines.
To really make a difference in your skin, the trick is to use skin care products with proven powerhouse ingredients such as lactic, glycolic and salicylic acids, peptides, antioxidants and humectants (ingredients that draw moisture to your skin).
"When you begin to see telltale signs of aging, make sure your skin care strategy is focused on correcting the aging you see right now and minimizing the appearance of future aging," advises Hilt. She says that, to correct visible signs of aging, use products that contain AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) salicylic acid, peptides, antioxidants, safe skin-lightening agents and water binders in your skin care routine. "This will help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, boost skin firmness, plump skin cells and minimize uneven skin tones," she adds.
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