We tend to become much more aware of our wrinkly ol’ face and skin as we approach the 40’s and even more so after the big 4-0. We look at ourselves closely in the mirror wondering how long those crow’s feet have been there and why we haven’t noticed them sooner. We look at pictures from 10 years ago and wonder just how much we’ve changed. As a man, I wonder if those wrinkles give me that distinguished look. At the same time, my wife is wondering how to get rid of ’em because there’s no desire to look distinguished there! So what should you do to prevent wrinkles as the years go by?
Don’t lie and say you’ve never done that. If that were true you wouldn’t be reading this right now. Preventing wrinkles wouldn’t even be on your radar.
Is it possible? Can you really prevent wrinkles? Or is botox and other plastic surgery methods the only way?
I don’t know if it’s possible to eliminate wrinkles after they’ve arrived. But I do know a few tips on how to prevent wrinkles. Well, not prevent them for an eternity, but delay their arrival – and even severity.
I’ve searched over a few text books, and of course the interwebz, and a few recommendations were consistently in my face. I’ve listed those 5 here for your convenience. I think 5 is plenty. Let’s face it, we’re busy and set in our ways so to think that we would change our lives to implement 39 tips for the sake of preventing wrinkles is a bit .
How To Prevent Wrinkles
1. Limit Your Time in the Sun
The sun’s ultraviolet rays are the number 1 cause of wrinkles. Studies have documented this many times over. One such study performed on identical twins proved that those with limited exposure to the sun had fewr wrinkles than their sun-soaked siblings.
Don’t get me wrong, you need some sun in your daily life to naturally produce Vitamin D, but 10 minutes per day is plenty. Use a sunscreen with SPF of 25 or greater to minimize those UV rays after that.
1a. Wear sunglasses and / or a wide brimed hat
Sunglasses will help reduce squinting that leads to those undesirable crow’s feet. A wide brimed hat will also help reduce squinting and keep the UV rays off the tops of your ears.
2. Antioxidants – Liquid and Solid
When the skin absorbs UV light, it creates free radicals. Exercise and other strenuous activity is another producer. Antioxidants prevent damage from free radicals that can wreak havoc on your body inside and out.
Drink green and white teas as they are less oxidized and offer the most antioxidant power. Herbal blends are not included. Drink coffee and cocoa. All these sources are known for their catechins and epicatechins.
Eat a decent variety of berries, fruits and veggies. Antioxidants work best as a team so give your body a full spectrum.
3. Don’t Smoke
Some of the research is still a bit convaluted, but the mounting research is confirming that cigarette smoke ages skin. Cigarette smoke release’s an enzyme that breaks down collagen and elastin, vital elements of the skin’s elasticity. Those sibling studies done at the Twin Research Unit at St. Thomas Hospital in London found the brother or sister who smoked tended to have skin that was more wrinkled and up to 40% thinner than the non-smoker.
Gotta love sibling and identical twin studies. Click here to see a slideshow on webmd.com
4. Fish Around for Omega-3 Fats and Oils
Body fat helps to create a smooth appearance by giving skin its surface area, like hills rolling under sod. Dietary fats also improve skin health by nourishing skin cells. In the discussion of vitamin E on the previous page, we mentioned that fatty acids are a key component of cell membranes. Those membranes in turn help retain moisture, which plumps and firms up the cells. Getting adequate amounts of fats and oils in your diet helps return wrinkled skin to its former glory.
The fats and oils that are most helpful for reducing wrinkles come in the form of omega-3 fatty acids. These are abundant in oily fish such as tuna, salmon, herring and sardines. Good vegetarian sources include almonds, walnuts, flaxseed and sunflower seeds and oil.
As a bonus, omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated, meaning they can also improve cardiovascular health.
Last, but definitely not the least, is getting adequate sleep. Anywhere from 7 – 9 hours per day of good, uninterupted sleep. Inadequate sleep time increases your stress hormone (cortisol – maybe you’ve heard of it), which prevents your body from maintaining skin tissues at it’s normal rate. It also has been linked to drying your skin out.
At the same time, lack of sleep reduces your production of human growth hormone. HGH does the opposite of cortisol, it maintains the skin tissues, keeps skin thick, and helps it keep it’s elasticity. This fantastic hormone naturally drops off in production as we reach middle age so do everything you can to keep production high as possible.
How to Prevent Wrinkles – Summary and Action Steps
Those are the top 5 most commonly recommended steps for reducing skin wrinkles. Just to show them to you in a quick glance now that you’ve read them over, the action steps are
- Get 7 – 9 hours of sleep daily
- Take a good omega-3 fat source
- Eat plenty of colorful fruits, veggies, and berries. Drink green and white teas.
- Get outside in the sun for 10 minutes per day. But don’t overdo it and wear sunglasses
- Quit smoking
Easy enough right?
Stay Young and Wrinkle Free,