Healthy Aging Month: 10 Skin Care Tips

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The fall season is the perfect time to take stock of your skin if you have been neglecting it over the summer. Here are skin care tips from dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Joel Schlessinger, to help you maintain your natural skin condition throughout the year.

Sunscreen

1. Apply sunscreen every day, rain or shine. For optimal sun protection, choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that defends against UVA and UVB rays. SPF only applies to how well a product protects against UVB rays, not UVA. Both types of UV exposure cause skin cancer so broad spectrum protection is important.

Wash your face before bedtime

2. Don’t forget to wash your face before you go to bed. Falling asleep with makeup on clogs pores, prevents the skin’s natural renewal process and prematurely ages skin. If you’re prone to forgetting, keep makeup remover wipes on your bedside table.

Exfoliate

3. Exfoliation promotes healthy cell turnover and rejuvenates a dull complexion. Use a gentle exfoliator twice a week for smooth, radiant skin. Never use a washcloth to exfoliate as this can be very irritating to the skin.

Eye Cream

4. Always apply eye cream with your ring finger to avoid tugging and pulling on the delicate skin. Because the first signs of aging on the face often appear in this area, everyone could benefit from using an eye cream. Even if you’re only in your twenties, preventative care now will keep your skin looking healthy for years to come.

Neck, Chest, Hands

5. Although often overlooked, the neck, chest and hands get a fair amount of sun exposure. Avoid signs of aging and sun damage by exfoliating these areas regularly and applying sunscreen every day.

Room temperature

6. Cranking up the thermostat may help you stay warm on chilly winter nights, but hot air can be very drying on skin. Put a humidifier in your bedroom to counteract the drying effect of indoor heating.

Sugar

7. Eating too much sugar can lead to wrinkles and sagging skin. This is because sugar molecules break down collagen and elastin proteins in the skin through a process called glycation. Instead, fill up on healthy fruits and vegetables, which are packed with skin-loving antioxidants.

How you sleep

8. Sleeping in certain positions may lead to sleep lines, which can turn into deep-set wrinkles over time. Lay on your back to minimize these signs of aging.

Over heating

9. Sitting too close to a heat source can break down collagen, thin the skin and cause premature aging similar to the damage done by UV exposure. If you use a small space heater near your desk or chair, change its position so it doesn’t continually hit the same part of your skin.

Annual skin checkup

10. Don’t forget to schedule an annual checkup with your dermatologist. Yearly exams will help detect skin cancer and other concerns in the early stages.

Tips courtesy of Joel Schlessinger MD, FAAD, FAACS, Board Certified Dermatologist and Cosmetic Surgeon, President Emeritus, American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery, President, LovelySkin.com

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