By Alexa Santory
It can be rather off putting to notice those first signs of aging. I remember how freaked out I was seeing a grey hair on my friend’s head when we were only 21, and it wasn’t even my hair! As natural as it is, people in their 20s don’t want to think about what happens to our bodies once we hit a certain age, let alone our skin. Dealing with the stresses of daily life, on top of the stresses of being a woman, signs of aging are starting to show up sooner and sooner. Today’s Beauty School lesson is all about learning how to handle and slow down those super early signs, plus some of our favorite anti-aging tips from around the world!
So you’re 25 and you have crows feet...now what?
You’re probably thinking, “wow it’s all downhill from here!” But that’s where you’re wrong! This is just an opportunity to step your skincare game up and give it more of the stuff it needs, which is also an opportunity to make some healthy lifestyle changes! Yay positive change! Since we live in a time of uber-easy accessibility, it’s become rather simple to cultivate a skin care routine that’s just perfect for you and your skin. We trust you enough to know your skin type and have an idea of what it needs to flourish, but taking extra care of your insides is just as important! Here are some of our top tips to stopping early signs of aging in their tracks!
#1. Try a facial oil
Intimidating, sure, especially for those of us with oily skin. But there are so many amazing, natural oils out there that work wonders for preventing signs of aging. Rosehip oil, for example, has some amazing anti-aging benefits. It’s full of essential fatty acids like oleic acid, linoleic acid, and palmitic acid, all of which work together to keep the skin hydrated and slow down the appearance of fine lines.
I started using rosehip oil consistently when I was about to turn 24, so hopefully I’ll look 24 forever! Lavender oil is great for more than just easing stress and promoting good sleep. It’s also full of antioxidants that protect our skin from the free radical damage that can age us. It’s also antimicrobial and antibacterial. You can mix it with a humectant like aloe for some intense hydration. Another excellent facial oil to try is pomegranate seed oil. It’s full of bioflavonoids (which gives it its color) and fatty acids that help protect the skin from sun damage. It also has an SPF of 8, so it’s a natural sunscreen on its own!
#2. Try an ice facial
Super cold water is excellent for shocking the pores at the end of a good wash. But have you ever considered the benefits actual ice could provide? Cold treatments are all the rage right now (cryotherapy, coolsculpting, etc.) and that’s because cold air and water increase blood flow, giving the skin a much healthier appearance. Skin icing is a common practice among Korean women and essentially a K-Beauty secret. Ice has been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines, tighten the pores, and prime the face for makeup. It’s also great for fighting acne and getting rid of blemishes!
#3. Fill up on antioxidants, healthy fats, and fermented foods
A healthy, balanced diet is just as important in aging prevention as taking care of your skin topically. Antioxidants in your diet help protect your skin cells against free radical damage from the inside. Fruits and vegetable that are rich in antioxidants are full of vitamins B and E, two vitamins that are vital to our skin’s health. Foods with healthy fats, like avocados that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, help smooth and refine the appearance of skin. They also help reduce inflammation and issues like acne and psoriasis. Fermented foods are gut balancers that help reduce inflammation and are rich in antioxidants. Incorporating more of these foods into your diet will not only balance out your gut, it’ll also help the overall appearance of your skin!
#4. Take care of your neck and hands, too!
These two areas are some of the first to show obvious signs of aging. Taking care of the skin on your face is important, but all those age prevention tricks will be for nothing if you forget about your hands and neck!
When doing your skincare, always make sure to bring your products down your neck and decolletage, that way those areas get all the benefits of the products too. Don’t be afraid to rub any excess product into your hands either, because chances are, it’ll help with any signs of aging there as well. If you’re anything like me and have weird sensory issues when it comes to having dry hands, keep a travel sized vitamin E-rich lotion in your purse. You’ll never have to deal with the discomfort of dry hands and you’re getting those anti-aging benefits wherever you go!
#5. Vitamin A is a sure bet
You want to give your skin as much of this essential nutrient as possible. It’s excellent for rebuilding collagen and elastin, which both help keep the skin plump and youthful. You can apply it topically on its own as an oil, use it in a retinol, take supplements, or eat foods that are full of it like carrots, kale, and sweet potatoes! This is the number one anti-aging vitamin out there. Use it to reduce fine lines and even acne!
Anti-Aging Tips from Around the World
One of the coolest things about other cultures, is that they all have their own traditional beauty remedies that they swear by. They’re also usually all natural and made with ingredients you can probably find in your kitchen right now. Like the way Russian women use coffee to tone their skin, or the way women in India use ginger to stimulate collagen production. Keep reading to find out some of our international anti-aging secrets.
Using coffee grounds to exfoliate the skin is something that’s become more popular in the states recently. I’ve seen at least 10 coffee scrubs pop up within the past year, every one promising to polish and brighten the skin. In Russian saunas, women use coffee grounds on their wet skin to slough off dead skin cells.
Coffee is great for stimulating blood flow, which helps increase cell turnover, keeping the skin firm and toned. It’s also a great anti-inflammatory. I’m a big fan of coffee scrubs, personally. I’ve used them on my arms for my KP and on my face for overall maintenance. I was pleasantly surprised by how well they exfoliated my skin to reveal a much brighter, glowing complexion. 10/10 would recommend.
#7 Lemon and sugar scrubs in Mexico
Women have been using this scrub because it has the dual purpose of chemical and physical exfoliation. Sugar is a no brainer when it comes to physically exfoliating dead skin cells. People have been using sugar scrubs forever because they’re so effective.
This scrub packs the added punch of lemon, which is full of antioxidants and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), a chemical exfoliator that helps reveal brighter skin. AHAs are commonly found in anti-aging products because they’re so good at getting rid of dead skin and speeding up cell turnover. This is great for those of us with drier skin types because all the exfoliation helps moisturizers and serums penetrate deeper to deliver more benefits. It’s good all around! Add some honey to it and you’ve got yourself a nice hydrating mask. Be careful with sun exposure afterwards! Lemon makes your skin photosensitive so layer on the SPF!
Tea leaves in general are full of antioxidants. These two in particular, though, are amazing for the skin. I used green tea Korean sheet masks religiously when I first got into skin care heavily a few years back. They absolutely changed the game and it was the first time since puberty that my skin looked completely clear. This is because green and white teas are full of an antioxidant called EGCG, which helps prevent cell damage. This is useful for fighting wrinkles and keeping the skin youthful. Whether you’re drinking it or using it in a mask, green and white tea leaves are sure to provide your body with a ton of skin friendly antioxidants.
#9 Ginger tea in India
Ginger has been used for centuries as an alternative medicine method. It’s amazing for nausea, digestion, and the common cold. This is because it’s high in a substance called gingerol, which is super anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Gingerol is great for our skin because it helps slow down collagen reduction. Adding honey to the mix provides us with its antibacterial properties, as well. So if you want to slow down the reduction of collagen in your skin, start your day with a cup of warm water, shredded ginger, and honey.
#10. Get lots of beauty sleep!
I know, that's what they all say. But it's called "beauty sleep" for a reason, you know. Sleep is really good for us and a lack of it can show up on our skin. Everyone neglects sleep sometimes, though, especially us millennials. Pay closer attention to not just how you feel on a few hours of sleep, but how your skin looks too. Poor sleep could promote signs of aging! This is because of a little stress hormone called cortisol. When you sleep less, your body produces more of it, and at high levels it can start to break down collagen, making you look older than you are. Lack of sleep also contributes to physical and mental stress, which has its own effects on our skin as well. Basically, get more sleep and stop stressing so much. Easier said than done, I know, but committing yourself to a strict sleep schedule will significantly reduce the amount of stress you feel in your daily life, and your skin will thank you too!
Aging and growing old can seem very scary, especially in a time where social media pushes for perfection at every age. It’s important to never lose sight of the things that matter. Yeah, growing old and getting wrinkles sounds less than exciting. But aging gracefully will never go out of style. Nature will have your back as long as you allow it to. Continue to grow up and grow into every new crevice of your skin. You’re beautiful no matter what.
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