Aging isn’t about losing our youth, and it’s not about chasing after eternal beauty. It’s about the experiences we have, the people we meet, and the things we do for others.
Even though we can’t prevent wrinkles and blemishes from appearing we should still take care of our skin. In fact, a lot of us form these bad skin care habits that damage our skin and speed up the aging process.
Here are 3 of the biggest skin care mistakes that take their toll on your skin’s health.
1. NOT WEARING SUN PROTECTION
This one should be obvious by now. The sun’s UV rays are excellent at damaging our skin cells’ DNA and speeding up the signs of aging.
When we don’t protect our skin from the sun, we're letting UV rays damage our skin unrestrained.
This damage can result in things like:
- loss of elasticity
- sagging, "leathery" skin
- large pores, and
Not to mention the risk of developing skin cancer is about 1 in 5 Americans.
Another one of the biggest skin care mistakes that people make is not protecting their lips with an SPF. Many of us neglect the delicate skin on the lips, which is thinner and more susceptible to damage. Wrinkling, sunspots, and cancer can all occur on the lips, so it’s especially important to protect them.
We can avoid this unchecked UV damage with smart sun exposure and protection. Use a sunscreen, sunblock, or physical protection like umbrellas, thick clothing, or hats.
2. NEGLECTING THE NECK
The second common error of the 3 biggest skin care mistakes that age you, is neglecting the neck area.
We spend a lot of time and money on taking care of our facial skin, yet we neglect the rest of our bodies. We especially neglect to care for the neck, décolletage (the chest), and the backs of our hands.
Whether we realize it or not, our neck, chest, and hands get a lot of sun exposure. These areas also show some of the first visible signs of aging. If we want to preserve our youthful appearance, then we need to pay special attention to them.
A good rule to follow is anything you're doing to your face, your other age-sensitive areas need, too. This means cleansing, moisturizing, treating, and protecting. And then at the end of the day, we need to wash it all off and treat these areas with our nighttime routine.
These delicate, exposed areas of our skin need the same tender love and care that we give to our face. Neglecting these areas can result in the same signs of premature aging we see on our faces.
3. TRYING TO STOP TIME WITH SKIN CARE
And one of the biggest skin care mistakes that we make is trying to outrun our genetics or stop time with a serum.
Signs of aging can be a difficult thing to accept but no matter what we do we can’t stop them from happening. We can, if we’re lucky, only slow them down or reduce their appearance.
Some signs of aging improve with the use of retinol, hydroxy acids, and enzymes. These products work to plump, brighten, and promote healthy cell turnover. But, slathering on too many anti-aging products can irritate, dry out, and damage our skin.
To see improvement in our skin we need to use a product for several weeks. Unfortunately, the results will only last if you continue to use the product.
It's important to have realistic expectations for our skin care products (and our skin). Nothing will age us faster than bombarding our skin with a bunch of stuff and expecting to never grow old. This isn’t Wonderland, after all.
At the end of the day, you can’t help getting older. Those of us who experience signs of aging skin should consider ourselves fortunate. We've been around long enough to earn them.
The best thing to combat some of the biggest skin care mistakes we make is to be gentle with our skin as we age. Take care of your skin and protect it as best you can, but don’t get discouraged by the signs of aging.
Enjoy the journey and the memories you’ve made along the way.
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