Mark Twain is often quoted as saying, “Wrinkles should only indicate where smiles have been.” While it’s true that every fine line on your face was earned by experiencing a myriad of emotions — laughing, loving, stressing, crying — these badges of growth tend to make us look older than we feel. These days, with the current social distancing climate, we have to do a lot of our personal upkeep at home, so here are five at-home solutions to implement into your skincare routine today to start overcoming challenges your skin faces as you age.
1. Must-have Eye Cream
The delicate skin that surrounds your eyes is super thin, so the first signs of aging usually become apparent in that region of the face before any other. To combat the inevitable development of crow’s feet and fine lines, begin your at-home skin repair routine with a quality product designed for the area around your eyes. The best eye cream for undereye crow’s feet, lines, and wrinkles will likely be a multi-functional product that can visibly reduce these issues while also moisturizing your skin.
2. Roll Out the Sunscreen
The sun offers plenty of healthy benefits — it supplements vitamin A, fortifies bones, and boosts melatonin — but too much sun can wreak havoc on your delicate skin. In fact, sun damage is one of the top offenders when it comes to the destruction of skin cells, which so happens to be what causes the skin to age. Considering this, SPF is non-negotiable. For those with sensitive skin who are prone to breakouts, choose sunscreen formulas that are non-greasy. Usually, those made with zinc qualify — zinc oxide or titanium oxide formulas will deflect the UVB and UVA rays of the sun without clogging your pores.
3. Avoid Salty Foods
Combating the signs of aging isn’t just about what you put on your skin — you also have to consider what you put in your body. If you have ever awoken to puffy eyes, the culprit may not be lack of sleep. Too much salt in your diet can cause you to retain water, especially in that sensitive area around your eyes. Excessive sodium can also make your skin feel parched, so to delay the signs of aging in the skin of your face, make a list of the forbidden fruit, or rather, foods that will provide too much salt such as any kind of fast food, french fries, and snack foods like chips and popcorn.
4. Consume Fishy Foods
Replace those forbidden foods with items that will actually help your skin retain its youthful glow. Omega-3 fatty acids, despite the unappetizing name, do wonders for the skin in creating a smooth appearance. A deficiency in this fatty acid can make your skin dry and lifeless. Foods such as herring, mackerel, salmon, and trout include healthy doses of omega-3 that keep skin cells lubricated and reduces inflammation, redness, and can even help prevent acne.
Once upon a time, you had to go to an expensive boutique and pay out the wazoo for a good exfoliant, but modern conveniences (and social distancing) means making due at home. When done properly, exfoliation can help fade scars, lines, and dark spots while reducing redness and brightening your complexion. Now, there is physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation. Though the name is misleading, the chemical exfoliant is actually the gentler of the two methods since a physical exfoliation means to literally scrub the skin off with force. So ditch the grainy face scrub and scratchy brush and try a chemical exfoliant.
The safest at-home version is likely one made with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which exfoliate the surface of your skin while keeping your face hydrated. If you are new to chemical exfoliants or if you have sensitive skin, try a lactic acid exfoliant. It should be applied to dry, clean skin and left to sit for 10 minutes before adding anything else to your facial skin. Use it about three nights a week and always discontinue use immediately if your skin becomes irritated.
Yes, Twain is right — wrinkles should only indicate where smiles have been, but unfortunately, they tend to indicate that we are aging, and usually we are aging a little faster than we would like. But if you exfoliate, use the right high-quality eye cream, apply sunscreen regularly, and eat plenty of omega-3 enriched foods while avoiding the overly salty ones, you can slow down the quantity and severity of lines in those areas where smiles have been.