Although major aging concerns, such as a loss of skin elasticity and deep wrinkles, might be decades away when you are in your 20s, you might still be concerned about age-related changes to your skin. When fighting the signs of aging, taking steps to slow them down or prevent them can often be more effective than beginning to use serious anti-aging products, especially when you’re still relatively young. You may not need a facelift just yet and you’ll want to avoid the heavy duty anti-agers, but there are a number of things you can do now to keep your face looking youthful and fresh for longer.
One of the two best things you can do to protect your skin from the signs of aging and to protect your health overall is to quit smoking. Smoking or other tobacco use is one of the leading external causes of wrinkles. Nicotine plays a big part in contributing to the aging process. Every time you take a puff, nicotine causes your blood vessels to constrict. The smaller your blood vessels, the less able the blood is to flow freely through them, and the less oxygen is delivered to you skin.
Think of it this way: smoking is essentially suffocating your skin. It’s not getting the oxygen it needs. On top of that, smoking keeps skin from getting the nutrients it needs and introduces a host of toxins, not just nicotine, to your system. Plus, the action of puckering up your lips to inhale or exhale can lead to a number of tiny wrinkles all around your lips.
Stay Out the Sun (and the Tanning Bed)
Spending hours and hours in the sun might give you what seems to be an enviable tan. But all that sunning also has a negative impact on the health of your skin. Next to smoking, excessive sun exposure is a leading external cause of signs of aging. Instead of spending your weekend days lying on the beach or sunning yourself on your deck, get in the habit of slathering on the sunscreen, even when it’s cloudy out and even when you’re not planning on spending much time outdoors.
More importantly, don’t replace time spent in natural sunlight with time spent in a tanning bed. Although they might seem safe (why else would they be offered at gyms and health clubs?), tanning beds can be as damaging to your skin as real sunlight. They not only contribute to the aging process by breaking down collagen and making your skin less firm, the ultraviolet rays from the beds can also increase your risk for a variety of skin cancers.
Weigh the Pros and Cons of Botox
Some people might benefit from having injections, such as Botox or Dysport, even when they are still in their 20s and only beginning to show the first signs of aging. Whether you would benefit from Botox or not depends on a few factors. Known as preventative Botox, it’s thought that the earlier you start getting the injections, the less likely you’ll be to develop deeply etched wrinkles when you are older.
There are a few caveats when it comes to considering Botox or Dypsort before you turn the big 3-0. First, a surgeon will generally not perform the injections on people who don’t yet have any evidence of wrinkles or lines. If frown lines form when you furrow your brows, but fade away when your face is at rest, a surgeon will most likely not recommend the injections. In order for the treatment to work, the surgeon needs to be able to see where the wrinkles are. That’s not something he or she can do if there aren’t yet wrinkles.
Improve Your Diet
If, at 25, you’re still eating like you did in college — meaning a diet full of fast food and junk food — it’s time to think things over. While the occasional milkshake or order of French fries can be a treat, if that’s your everyday routine, you could be speeding up the clock when it comes to aging. Sugar plays a big part in the aging process, as it contributes to the development of advanced glycation end products, which disrupt the production of collagen in your skin. Eating a healthy diet also helps protect your skin from the signs of aging by delivering the nutrients it needs to stave off wrinkles.
Want to learn more about what you can do in your 20s to keep your skin looking youthful longer? Dr. Ross Clevens, an Ivy League trained, double board certified, facial plastic surgeon in Central Florida, can help. Call his office at (321) 727-3223 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Clevens today.