Flip through the pages of any beauty magazine and you’re inundated with pages upon pages of articles, ads, and products that claim to make your wrinkles “almost disappear.” The fact is, nothing but serious procedures and lots of time (and money!) can completely eliminate our creases and crinkles, but if you’re in the early stages of anti-aging, there is a way to keep them at bay for a little while longer. Laugh lines are badges of honor from a happy life, but if you could avoid a premature wrinkle or two, you would, wouldn’t you? Avoid the furrows with these smooth skin savers:
Any dermatologist and meddling mother will tell you that sun protection is the be-all-end-all for keeping skin young and healthy. There is absolutely no excuse for not wearing sunscreen every single day (not just when it's sunny). The two main factors to focus on are the level of protection (SPF 20 or above) and the frequency with which you reapply (every two hours, minimum). Most of your daily skin care products already have some SPF built in, but a little extra protection never hurt, so be sure to layer on some kind of protectant as part of your regular routine.
The occasional sweet is a fun indulgence, but knowing this about your favorite over-processed sugary snack could cut the craving: sugar molecules can attach to and deform proteins in the skin, causing it to sag and wrinkle; i.e. eating super sweet goodies and foods with a high glycemic index can actually make you look older. No cookie tastes as good as smooth skin feels, remember that!
If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, reach for fruits like blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries, which contain a high concentration of antioxidants that help fight free radicals and protect against the formation of wrinkles. Berries also help fight against UV rays, defending the skin from collagen damage.
Afternoon tea seems like such an unassuming way to maintain all-over health, but many varieties actually pack quite the punch when it comes to delivering high levels of free-radical-fighting antioxidants, especially polyphenols. Rooibos, one of the key ingredients found in our BikiniBOD Beauty Sleep Tea (buy here!), contains polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimutagenic qualities (preventing cells from mutations that can lead to cancer, etc.). No matter what flavor you choose, drinking two to four cups of tea daily also hydrates your skin, helping to maintain its natural elasticity. Pinkies up, wrinkles out!
Pulling skin taut around the eyes to apply eyeliner or define your brows may ensure a crisp line; however, you're playing tug-o-war with a weak opponent, and this is one game you don't want to win. Forcing the delicate skin in this area to stretch every which way can cause wrinkles down the line, resulting in creepiness and crow's feet showing up way before they're due. Keep your hands off your face as much as possible, and try moving your facial muscles in different directions to aid in applying your makeup.
Failing to protect your eyes from the sun can cause severe damage to the cornea and lens, up to and including blindness. Slightly less critical but still something to avoid: wrinkles. A great pair of sunglasses will look cute while also sparing you from squinting your way to a case of fine lines and a permanently furrowed brow.
Also, for those of you who are ignoring a pesky, little eyesight problem and prefer straining your way through a dinner menu or your daily emails, please just go see an eye doctor. A sassy pair of spectacles or set of contacts is way worth not having deep frown lines at the ripe old age of 25.
Aside from the hefty dose of protein they’ll add to your diet (#gains), legumes like beans and lentils contain minerals that support connective tissue health. Studies have found that enjoying legumes as part of a healthy diet is linked to lower signs of wrinkles, as they contain beneficial phytonutrients that support collagen production. A boost for your muscles and for smooth skin? We think that calls for a second helping.
Consider everything your face comes into contact with throughout the day: dirt, pollution, chemicals, sweat. Factor in a full face of makeup and you probably couldn’t run to the sink at the end of the day any faster. Always, always, always wash off the makeup, oil, and bacteria, every night. Make it a habit and commit to it for life: before bed, you should cleanse, exfoliate, tone, apply an anti-aging serum, and moisturize.
That being said, washing your face too often or with too harsh of products can strip your skin of necessary hydrating oils. Dry skin is the gateway to premature wrinkles. Make sure you use products that are formulated for your skin type (using any extra-strength products on sensitive skin will not do you any favors) and cap your cleansing ritual at once or twice per day.
It’s tough to control which way you toss or turn at night, but if you’re serious about wrinkle prevention, consider paying a bit more attention to your preferred sleep position. Sleeping stomach-down or on your side with your face smushed into the pillow case can cause increased pressure on the skin, which can eventually lead to more noticeable fine lines. To avoid this, attempt to sleep on your back, or invest in a contoured pillow that comfortably holds your head in position to prevent a midnight foray to side-sleeping. This minor change will cause less tension on your face over time.
Many women will argue against disguising their wrinkles, stating that they've earned them through life lessons, amazing memories, and a few good laughs (and cries) and that they should be celebrated. We couldn't agree more! The aforementioned tips are simply meant to be guidelines to prevent these lines of wisdom from showing up before the experiences that yield them have run their course. Smooth, healthy skin is the vehicle through which we show off our Bikini Beauty glow; might as well keep it polished!
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