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How to Reverse Aging Skin, Say Dermatologists

Six ways to stay youthful looking and prevent skin aging.

Who says you have to look your age? While we can't stop the process of aging, we can make lifestyle choices that help slow it down. Having good skin is a must to maintain a youthful look, and Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with Dr. Enrizza P. Factor, a clinical dermatologist and researcher with ThankYouSkin, who revealed her top tips for preventing the signs of aging. "Many things cause our skin to age," she says. "Some things we cannot do anything about; others we can influence. One thing we cannot change is the natural aging process. With time, we all get visible lines on our face. It is natural for our face to lose some of its youthful fullness. We notice our skin becoming thinner and drier. Our genes largely control when these changes occur. The medical term for this type of aging is intrinsic aging."

However, we can influence another type of skin aging. "Our environment and lifestyle choices can cause our skin to age prematurely," says Factor. "The medical term for this type of aging is extrinsic aging. By taking some preventive actions, we can slow the effects that this type of aging has on our skin." Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Stop Smoking

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Cigarette smoke accelerates the aging process through the excessive formation of free radicals that damage the skin, says Factor. Smoking is also a risk factor for many diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory problems. "Non-smokers have a much higher life expectancy than smokers, and the suspension of smoking is accompanied, even in the elderly, by an increase in survival time due to the reduction of smoke-induced biological damage," she says. "Non-smokers can delay the appearance of diseases and of the aging process."

2

Stop Eating Sugar

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Sugar directly ages skin by creating substances that damage the fibers that make it look plump and youthful. "Glucose and fructose link amino acids present in the collagen and elastin that support the dermis, producing advanced glycation end products or 'AGEs,'" says Factor. "This process is accelerated in all body tissues when sugar is elevated and is further stimulated by ultraviolet light."

3

Protect Your Skin from the Sun

middle aged woman applying sunscreen lotion on face on the beach
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"Protect your skin from the sun every day," says Factor. "Whether spending a day at the beach or running errands, sun protection is essential. You can protect your skin by seeking shade, covering up with sun-protective clothing—such as a lightweight and long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses with UV protection—and using sunscreen that is broad-spectrum, SPF 30 (or higher), and water-resistant. You should apply sunscreen every day to all skin that is not covered by clothing. For more effective protection, look for clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) label."

4

Avoid Repetitive Facial Expressions

Woman applying face cream in front of the vanity mirror.
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"When you make a facial expression, you contract the underlying muscles," says Factor. "If you repeatedly contract the same muscles for many years, these lines become permanent. Wearing sunglasses can help reduce lines caused by squinting."

5

Don't Be Rough with your Skin

Woman washing face
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"Cleanse your skin gently," suggests Factor. "Scrubbing your skin can irritate it, which accelerates skin aging. Gentle washing helps to remove pollution, makeup, and other substances without irritation."

6

Wash Your Face More Than Once a Day

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"Wash your face twice a day and after sweating heavily," says Factor. "Perspiration, especially when wearing a hat or helmet, irritates the skin, so you want to wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating." And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather
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