Your body begins to grow older from the moment you’re born. Aging is a natural part of life that shouldn’t be feared. But just because something is natural and to be expected doesn’t mean you need to accelerate it.
Unfortunately, many people unwittingly speed up their skin’s aging processes by adopting the wrong skincare practices. Here are five of the most common mistakes to avoid if you want to keep your complexion looking young.
1. Using the Wrong Skincare Products
Aging skin requires more TLC than young skin. It’s highly susceptible to damage from harsh treatment. As you age, it’s wise to periodically adjust your skincare products and practices. For example, instead of using an astringent, switch to a mild cleanser that doesn’t contain alcohol. A mature complexion is delicate and can dry out easily with the wrong skincare products.
In addition to switching out your cleanser, you should also consider using a prescription-strength anti aging treatment. Two popular options are topical tretinoin and adapalene. The former is a popular retinoid that combats sun spots and other signs of aging. The latter is a gentler retinoid product that may be more appropriate for people with very sensitive skin. You can get a prescription for either cream online without stepping foot into a doctor’s office.
2. Skipping Moisturizer
Some people don’t like the heavy, greasy feel of certain moisturizers. Even if you’re in this boat, don’t give up on moisturizing altogether.
As you grow older, your skin has a much more difficult time staying hydrated. This is partially because it starts producing less sebum, which is an oil that moisturizes and keeps your skin soft. Dry skin tends to look older and more wrinkled. Make up for decreasing sebum levels by using a quality moisturizer after cleansing in the morning and evening.
Besides moisturizing as part of your twice-daily skincare routines, you should also moisturize after showering. Though it may seem counterintuitive, your skin is often most dehydrated after stepping out of the shower or bath. Hot water removes moisture and oil from the skin, and body washes and bar soaps can further strip skin of hydrating oils. You can avoid these common skincare mistakes by taking lukewarm showers, using gentle soap, and applying moisturizer afterward.
3. Neglecting to Apply Eye Cream
Are you the type of person who consistently forgets to apply eye cream or feels that it’s unimportant? If so, you’re making a mistake that might cause your under eye skin to age even faster. It’s not good enough to just use your regular facial moisturizer or body lotion on the area around your eyes. The skin in this area is more delicate than the skin on the rest of your body or face. It’s also susceptible to unique problems that require specially formulated products to address.
The undereye area is particularly prone to the effects of aging. It’s also more likely to become puffy and plagued by dark circles. When shopping for an eye cream that can help you look younger, search for damage-preventing antioxidants in the list of ingredients. Some great options include vitamins C and E, grape seed extract, or coffee berry extract. These ingredients can help combat wrinkles and firm delicate eyelid skin.
4. Failing to Shield Your Skin From the Sun
Too much exposure to the sun can be harmful to the skin at any age. But as you grow older, sunlight becomes even more damaging. It can prematurely age the skin and lead to the development of wrinkles and fine lines. It can also cause you to develop darkly pigmented areas on your face and any other exposed areas. These are known as sunspots.
People with lighter skin tones may be more susceptible to damage from the sun. This is because their skin contains less melanin, which is a brown pigment that can protect against damage from UV rays. No matter what color your skin may be, avoiding excessive sunlight exposure is important for maintaining your youthful appearance. Apply sunscreen and wear wide-brimmed hats and other protective clothing anytime you plan on spending more than 10 minutes outdoors.
5. Overlooking Your Chest and Neck
It’s good to be vigilant about caring for your face as you grow older, but make sure you don’t overlook your neck and chest. Often, these areas of the body are the most brutal giveaways of your age. Older people commonly have wrinkled and papery skin on their chest and neck because they fail to care for these areas regularly.
No one wants to have a drastic change in appearance from their chin downward. To avoid having a young-looking face but an old-looking neck and chest, use the same skincare routine on all these areas. This includes cleansing, moisturizing, and exfoliating, as well as scrupulous application of sunscreen.
If you’ve ever made any of these common skincare mistakes for aging skin, don’t be too hard on yourself. You can’t go back in time, but you can start making improvements now. Pamper your skin and treat it with extra respect as you go forward. Doing so can help you hold back the hands of time and keep your skin looking youthful for as long as possible.