It seems that the older we get, the faster time flies. The days of our youth creep by slowly; before you know it, half of our lives are behind us.
With every year, the signs of aging seem to become more prominent. Whether it’s wrinkles or just running out of breath while walking, the older we get, the more difficult it can be to fight off the aging process.
Everyone wants to look and feel young forever, but unfortunately, that isn’t something we can achieve, no matter what our parents promised us when we were kids.
What is aging?
In a nutshell, aging is when cells stop dividing and replicating, leading to slower cell turnover. The skin’s surface includes three layers: epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue.
As we age, our subcutaneous tissues become less elastic, causing wrinkles and folds. Collagen production also slows down, which makes it more fragile and susceptible to damage from sun exposure.
Aging is an inevitable process that affects everyone. Age spots, wrinkles and sagging skin are all signs that our skin is losing its elasticity and natural oils. This occurrence can make you feel less confident and lead to a higher chance of developing cancerous cells.
If you wish to become a specialist in aging prevention, an online Master’s in Adult-Gerontology Care with an emphasis in geriatrics might be for you. Spring Arbor University’s online BSN to MSN Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program provides students with clinical experience working with older adults.
Students can explore different aging theories while learning about the physical and psychosocial aspects of aging through online lectures and videos.
Is it possible to reverse aging?
It is impossible to entirely reverse aging; however, it is possible to slow down the visible signs of aging by employing a variety of treatments and procedures. Here are 10 ways you can fight off wrinkles and other visible signs of aging:
Eat a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet is vital when it comes to combating aging. Studies show that diets high in vegetables, fruit and whole grains can reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
These foods also contain antioxidants and other nutrients that help fight wrinkles, joint stiffness, memory loss, poor eyesight and more. It’s no secret that a healthy lifestyle reduces many signs of aging.
Eating foods high in antioxidants can help strengthen your skin’s immune system and fight against cancer-causing cells. In addition, high-fiber foods are great for keeping your gut healthy and help prevent diabetes and heart disease, which are two major causes of premature aging.
Limit your calorie intake
Another effective way to fight the signs of aging is by limiting your calorie intake. If you monitor what you eat, you are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, reducing your chances of developing age-related diseases.
This strategy can be as simple as exercising portion control or choosing a low-calorie diet. For example, if you choose to use portion control to drop a few extra pounds and cut back on 500 calories daily, you could lose up to 15 pounds in just one year.
With all that excess fat gone, your risk for age-related diseases will significantly decrease. Additionally, this tip has the added benefit of being an instant mood booster as you will feel lighter and look slimmer.
Smoking is proven to significantly increase your risk of cancer and other health problems, but it also affects your appearance. Smoke substances contain chemicals that not only affect your lungs, heart and circulatory system but also cause premature aging as well.
These substances exist in smoke particles breathed into the body and deposited in tissues, such as the skin, lungs and fat cells. They reduce the amount of oxygen-rich blood flowing through your veins by damaging delicate capillaries and slowing circulation, which causes sagging skin.
Smoking causes wrinkles and age spots, making you look older than you are. If you want to avoid these effects, it’s best to quit smoking altogether, but at the very least, you should limit your smoking to outside the house.
Adopt a culture of regular exercise
Getting your body moving is one of the most important steps you can take to combat aging. Exercise helps prevent weight gain, improves muscle tone and strength, boosts energy levels and increases bone density.
The key here is to find a physical activity you enjoy so it doesn’t feel like a chore. For some people, this might be playing tennis on weekends or going for a long run.
Regular exercise will make you feel better now, and also help improve your quality of life as you age. Schedule time into your day for activities that energize you and make you happy.
Apply sunscreen regularly
No matter your age, it’s essential to always use sunscreen. UV rays are harmful and can damage your skin, which may increase wrinkles or even cause cancer.
Sunscreen products help protect you from premature aging by preventing sunburns and pre-cancerous cells that could lead to melanoma. Applying sunscreen daily can also reduce dark spots caused by prolonged exposure to UV light and prevent new ones from appearing over time.
For a sunscreen product to be effective, it should have a sun protection factor and protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Look for a product with broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays for maximum coverage.
Ensure you get enough vitamin C
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that fights free radicals in the body. It does this by donating electrons and by being converted into an even more powerful form: dehydroascorbic acid.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for human health, playing a role in collagen production, iron absorption and immune function. With regards to combating aging, vitamin C ensures you have enough antioxidants in your system to fight off oxidative stress.
You should eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as peppers and citrus fruits. You can also take vitamin supplements to ensure you’re getting enough of this vital nutrient.
Avoid using skin care products that sting or burn
Many products on the market promise younger-looking skin, but not all of them are created equal.
Some of these products can cause an adverse reaction, such as a rash or stinging sensation. Some can even aggravate an existing skin condition, such as rosacea or eczema.
To avoid this discomfort, look for products that contain soothing ingredients, such as aloe vera. Always test a product before committing to it by applying it to a small area on your arm.
If you feel burning, itching or tingling, discontinue use of the product immediately. Additionally, consult a dermatologist who is knowledgeable about your skin type.
They will be able to guide you in finding the best products for your specific needs and give you instructions on how to apply them safely.
Drink less or no alcohol
Cutting down on alcohol is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to fight the signs of aging. Alcohol has been known to damage skin cells and contributes to wrinkles, age spots and liver spots.
Drinking too much can also lead to dehydration, which can cause skin dryness, flaky patches and a dull or sallow complexion. Reducing your intake just a little bit can go a long way towards keeping your skin looking youthful.
Use a gentler face wash
Sometimes when washing our faces, we forget that we’re also scrubbing off essential oils and natural moisturizers. These substances protect skin cells from the harsh effects of UV rays and pollution.
Try using a gentle cleanser that washes away grime without stripping your skin to combat this. It’s important to remember to moisturize afterward with a lightweight lotion or cream. This action will ensure you have fresh, healthy-looking skin.
Moisturizing helps keep wrinkles at bay by preventing water loss from your skin’s epidermis, which is the skin’s outermost layer, and reducing the appearance of fine lines and pores.
Retinoids are a group of vitamin A derivatives found in many over the counter and prescription treatments. These medications help improve skin cell turnover, lighten dark spots and spots from sun damage, reduce wrinkles and fine lines and smooth away roughness.
Retinoids work by increasing the production of collagen in the skin to improve elasticity. They also inhibit the expression of enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, which is essential for healthy-looking skin.
As people age, their ability to produce retinol naturally decreases, so this ingredient should be introduced into your beauty routine now. The only downside is that retinoids can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays, so it’s important to always wear sunscreen.
No matter what your age, there are many ways you can keep your skin healthy and looking young. Your diet, your exercise regime and the way you handle stress can all have an impact on how your skin looks.
You can try keeping a journal with detailed descriptions of your daily habits and thoughts to track any potential changes in your appearance. If anything seems different, consult a dermatologist for treatment options that work best for you.
That way, you’ll know if something is making your skin worse or better. Some easy changes could include eating more vegetables, drinking more water, getting more sleep, reducing alcohol intake and smoking cessation therapy.