#1 Overdosing on Sun
The number one cause of unnecessary skin damage is, quite simply, the sun. If you notice that the skin on your hands, face and neck seem to age faster than other areas, it’s because these areas typically remain uncovered so get tons or sun exposure.
Skin becomes wrinkled and thinner with repeated exposure to ultraviolet light. UV damages important proteins, like collagen (think of collagen as skin scaffolding), and elastin (the element that provides resilience).
Young people are not immune to sun damage. You’ll frequently see fine wrinkles on younger women who spend a lot of time at the beach or pool.
In California it’s hard not to have abundant UV exposure. That makes it even more important to maintain a habit of sunscreen use.
Water keeps the skin hydrated and smooth and helps toxins be released. Excessive alcohol and coffee consumption dehydrate your body and consequently your skin.
It is important that you drink a sufficient amount of water (not teas or sport drinks). If you habitually drink less water than you should, you’ll notice a near immediate difference once you increase water intake. Some young adults with persistent mild acne even discover that their breakouts stop once they start drinking the advised 8 glasses of water a day.
Include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables so your body has the resources to rebuild skin cells. Processed foods are essentially “dead” foods and provide little support for healthy skin.
Smoking unfortunately seems to be making something of a comeback. Don’t smoke – it adds years to your skin and the repeated lip pursing can cause smoker’s lines. Smoking starves cells of oxygen and this oxygen depletion makes the skin look sallow and malnourished.
Your skin will show the care – or lack of care – that you give it.
If you’ve already accumulated sun damage, your most important next step is to stop the bad habits. Cleaning up what’s already happened can often be managed with peels (like Cosmelan for pigmentation), Fraxel or Micro Needling.
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