Younger looking skin may well be the hallmark of good health. After all, who wants to look their age — or worse yet, older than they actually are? As one television ad puts it, “Age gracefully? Not me. I’m going to fight it every step of the way.”
Sure, there are a ton of products out there that promise to keep your skin looking young, but so far, no one has guaranteed access to the Fountain of Youth. Besides, there has to be a better way to defy Mother Nature, and keep younger looking skin naturally. Here’s three tips from the experts:
Protect your skin from sun damage
“Ultraviolet radiation is known to cause several forms of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell cancer and deadly melanoma,” said Dr. Kerry Hanson, a senior research scientist at University of California at Riverside.
Dr. Hanson, who has consulted for the sunscreen industry, studies the effects of UV light upon reactive oxygen species generation in the skin.
As a post-doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois, her research showed sunscreens with a sun protection factor of 15 can block up to 94 percent of the ultraviolet light but the residual light that does penetrate the skin creates free radicals -- highly reactive molecules that can weaken or destroy cell membranes. Free radicals can also damage DNA, create age spots and wrinkles, and depress the immune system, increasing the risk of skin cancer.
By simply using a sunscreen infused with antioxidants, such as vitamins E or C can help prevent skin cancer and keep skin firm and young looking. Dr. Hanson found antioxidants added to sunscreen significantly reduced free-radical generation. She said vitamin C works best.
“There are natural enzymes in your skin that cleave the phosphate group and form a reservoir of vitamin C. The best results were achieved after multiple applications of the antioxidants when a significant amount of vitamin C accumulated within the skin. Any free radicals that are generated will be quenched by the vitamin C stored in your skin,” she said.
Research shows that smoking alone ages skin.