If you’re trying to thwart the signs of aging but you’re limiting your skincare routine to just your face, you’re probably not fooling anyone at all. According to Elle magazine, the skin on a woman’s hands, arms, and chest largely influences her perceived age. So even if your face tells one story, your dull, dry skin may be telling another. Since these areas of skin are most prone to visible signs of aging, pay them a little extra attention if you want to preserve your skin’s youthful glow. Here’s how…
1. Make sure your skin is properly hydrated. Not only does hydrated skin look healthier, it’s also more resilient. The best way to add moisture to the skin is by using a body wash or bath soap that contains moisturizing ingredients, such as jojoba oil, almond oil, shea butter, and oatmeal; and by using moisturizers that contain ingredients like glycerin, that draw water to the skin, and mineral oil, that allows the skin to retain its moisture.
2. Get rid of old and dead skin cells that are trapped on your skin. Exfoliate your skin 3 or 4 times per week using a body scrub and loofah, natural bristled brush, exfoliating gloves, or something similar. If you have sensitive skin and want the benefits of a body scrub without the harshness and irritation, use baking soda instead. Mix 1 parts baking soda with 2 parts warm water to form a paste. Massage the paste into damp skin, then rinse off with warm water.
3. Apply a skin firming cream that contains caffeine, collagen, aloe, vitamin A, or vitamin E. All of these ingredients can help stimulate the skin and improve its circulation, which helps to give the skin a tighter, smoother appearance. For best results, massage the cream into your skin twice a day for about 30 seconds.
4. Even out those dark spots. Brown spots may be caused by everything from aging and sun exposure, to smoking and stress. No matter what causes them, they’re guilty of aging you. Reduce the appearance of brown spots by using skincare products that contain glucosamine and vitamin C. Quick tip: you can also use strawberries and lemons to even out skin and help reduce the appearance of dark spots. Gently rub a clean strawberry, or fresh, sliced lemon on discolored areas of your skin three times per week. Allow the fruit acids to penetrate your skin for about three minutes before rinsing away.
5. Make some additions to your diet. It probably goes without saying, but what you eat has as much of an affect on your skin as it does the rest of your body. Fruits and green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that promote healthy skin. The vitamin C in oranges, strawberries, kiwi, and broccoli helps generate collagen; while the antioxidants in kale, spinach, blueberries, and sweet potatoes protect skin cells. Your skin also benefits greatly from coconut milk, and green and herbal tea.
6. Stop stressing, get more sleep. A lack of sleep isn’t only responsible for causing bags under your eyes, it also causes your skin to age. According to WebMD, “When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.” A breakdown in collagen isn’t only responsible for causing wrinkles, it also prevents delicate skin from repairing itself. Although it may seem impossible, your body generally needs about seven hours of sleep nightly for your skin to repair itself.