11 Ways to Keep Skin Looking Youthful

Amy Tudor | Sep 27th 2012 Jun 28th 2017

Reviewed by: Michael Lehrer, MD

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Worried about wrinkles?

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Your skin changes not just as you age, but as sun exposure and lifestyle habits begin to form wrinkles and other signs of aging on your skin. But take heart – experts say there are ways you can help reduce the effects of aging. In this slideshow, these experts share natural ways to keep skin looking healthy and youthful.

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Exercise

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Physical activity helps the heart, lungs, and muscles, as well as improves circulation to the skin. Exercise also increases the cell renewal rate and rate at which skin removes toxins, both of which help protect the skin from signs of aging. When working out, remove makeup, especially if prone to breakouts. And remember that exercise has been known to irritate the skin prone to acne and rosacea.

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Eat orange foods

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Orange foods such as carrots, winter squash, and sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene. These natural compounds are known to help the skin repair its tissues to keep it smooth, soft, and properly hydrated.

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Don't smoke

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In 1985, Dr. Douglas Model found he could identify smokers by their facial features alone. People with “smoker’s face” had lines at the corners of their eyes and mouths, grayish skin, and a gauntness in their cheeks. Cigarette smoking causes blood vessels at the surface of the skin to constrict, reducing the oxygen level in the blood there. This thickens the blood and reduces the collagen levels in skin.

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Drink green tea

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Green tea contains a number of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that protect skin from damage by reducing the effects of free radicals. Free radicals can form on skin because of sun damage and exposure to toxins. A 2003 study by the American Chemical Society even found that green tea may prevent skin cancer by blocking the harmful enzyme JNK-2.

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Take fish oil

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Many people take fish oil supplements to help their heart, but fish oil can help the skin as well. An omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil called EPA has been found to reduce the type of damage that leads to sagging skin and wrinkles. Fish oil can also help keep the skin stay supple and moist. as a bonus, it helps keep hair healthy and shiny too!

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Get enough sleep

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The benefits of good quality sleep to your overall health is immense, and the benefits to your skin can also become very noticeable. Sleep relaxes the facial muscles, which helps to smooth wrinkles and lines on your face. In addition, the lying-down position opposes the daily action of gravity “pulling down” on the skin, which helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles on your face.

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Cut down on alcohol

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Every time you have a drink, blood vessels dilate and stay that way until they lose their tone. Alcohol also depletes the body of vitamin A, an important antioxidant that can protect the skin. In addition, drinking can lead to telangiectasias, a chronic dilation of the capillaries that causes a permanent flush on the face.

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Eat berries

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Berries contain concentrated amounts of ellagic acid, a compound that’s been found to fight wrinkles. Ellagic acid also helps prevent sun damage to skin by blocking production of enzymes that break down collagen in damaged skin cells. This means that consuming such foods as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries may lead to less redness, thickening, and wrinkling of the skin.

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Use vitamin-enriched night cream

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The temperature of your skin rises at night, allowing it to better absorb nutrients. This makes using a vitamin-enriched night cream a particularly important part of your skincare regimen. Good choices include creams that contain such ingredients as niacinamide, vitamin E, vitamin B, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

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Stay hydrated

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Drinking enough water is important for all of your body’s organs, including your skin. If your skin is not getting enough water, your skin will be dry, flaky, and tight. Dry skin is less resilient and more prone to wrinkling.

A great way to replenish moisture in your skin is to apply a moisturizer right after you take a shower or bath. Your skin is very porous right after these activities and will absorb a hydrating moisturizer very effectively.

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Avoid yo-yo dieting

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Gaining and losing weight often not only robs your skin of essential nutrients, it can also cause your skin to sag and wrinkle by putting strain on the elasticity of your skin. This means your skin won’t be able to spring back as quickly after a weight loss, or stretch well to accommodate gained weight.