by Lisa Benest M.D.

Our skin is very important. It covers our entire body and people often see it first when they look at us. Most people (yes, men, that includes you!) want to present a healthy and youthful image. There are some very simple ways of doing this – ways that will fit right into your daily routine, but will make a big effect on your skin’s health and appearance! They are simple secrets to healthier, younger looking skin.

1. Sun Protection – This one is no secret! Over-exposure to the sun can cause wrinkling, pigmentation, thinning of the skin (that horrible crepe-y texture), broken blood vessels, and skin cancer. Daily use of a sunscreen, or a moisturizer with a sunscreen built in, will do wonders for protecting the skin from the aging effects of the sun. It is easy to add this step into daily morning regimen.

2. Antioxidants – There is a lot of literature and hype out there about antioxidants – and for good reason! Environmental damage, such as pollution, cigarette smoke, pesticides & radiation all damage cells, creating what is called free radicals. Many of the aging effects we see are caused by the break down of skin cells from free radicals. Antioxidants halt this process and can even reverse some of the effects! Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, especially berries as these naturally contain antioxidants. Drink green tea. Begin juicing! Additionally, you should add products with antioxidants into your beauty regimen. Your skin will absorb the nutrients directly.

3. Omega 3 – Taking Omega 3 oils can help decrease the appearance of fine lines. This is because this oil helps normalize the skin lipids and prevents dehydration of the cells, which keeps them strong and full of moisture. Get a good quality fish oil supplement, and take 1500 mg or more daily of EPA+DHA. Store your bottle in the fridge to keep it from oxidizing and forming free radicals—and a fishy taste.

4. Cigarette Smoke – Avoid cigarette smoke. Whether you smoke yourself or are around people who do, cigarette smoke exposes your skin to free radicals and other damaging chemicals that rob your skin of moisture and cause the cells to be unable to absorb nutrients. In effect, cigarette smoke “strangles” your skin cells (not to mention your lung cells) so they can’t “breathe.” This accelerates wrinkling and the aging process.

5. Relax! – Relaxing your stressed facial muscles will go very far in preventing further wrinkling. Excessive frowning or scowling tends to cause wrinkles to appear where muscles contract often. When you get stressed, make an effort to relax your facial muscles. This will make a difference in the long run, and may even help you with your stress!

6. Cosmetic Procedures – There are many cosmetic procedures around today that are of varying intensities. Among the procedures that are available are lasers, peels, and injectables. All of these procedures can be very effective in treating wrinkles, discoloration, and other telling signs of aging. They can make wrinkles smooth out, remove discoloration spots, increase collagen production, or relax the muscles for a smoother, younger appearance. Talk to a Cosmetic Specialist to decide what procedure, and what intensity, is best for you.

These are some simple solutions to healthier and younger looking skin. Everyone can implement most of these into a daily routine and see a difference in no time! Call our office for a consultation and discover other ways to halt the process of time on your skin and see a beautiful, healthy, and younger looking appearance.

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