November is National Healthy Skin month and it got me thinking about how I could be more proactive in taking care of my skin. While I am still in my early 20s and hope that I have awhile yet to worry about wrinkles, I was curious if there’s anything I can do now to help prevent the dreaded facial lines.
After talking with Rachel Brecht, a licensed aesthetician and certified laser technician at the Banner Health Center – Mohs Dermatology in Sun City West, Arizona, I learned about four practices to help prevent wrinkles.
1. Wear Sunscreen
“About 85 to 95 percent of photo-aging comes from the sun directly, so the main prevention is going to be wearing sunscreen,” Brecht said.
She suggested a sunscreen with a physical block instead of a chemical absorber.
“Most of the sunscreens on the market are chemical sunscreens and they will degrade after about 80 minutes and you have to reapply,” she said.
So what’s the difference between a physical sunblock and a chemical absorber?
- Protects skin by deflecting UV radiation
- Has a thick paste-like consistency
- Active ingredients: zinc oxide or titanium dioxide
- Works by absorbing UV radiation
- Has a thinner consistency and is usually odorless
- Active ingredients: Avobenzone or oxybenzone, for example
Tip: If you have sensitive skin, chose a physical block without preservatives or fragrances, Brecht recommended.
“A physical sunblock will give you a better, more even-covered protection all day,” Brecht said. “It’s still necessary to reapply, as you can sweat it off or rub it off.”
2. Cleanse daily
I make it a daily routine to wash my face twice daily and Brecht agreed that it’s essential. Taking care of your skin by washing your face morning and night helps keep skin healthy and prevents wrinkles, she said.
“Not only does it keep your pores as tight and clean as possible, but it aids in product absorption, so your creams work as efficiently as they’re designed to,” Brecht said.
3. Keep hydrated
If you live in a dry climate, keeping your body hydrated can be difficult. Being an Arizona native, I am used to drinking a lot of water to keep my body hydrated and healthy, but what about my skin? Hydrating skin by using a daily moisturizer is also important.
“All skin requires moisturizing, even if you have oily skin,” Brecht said. “The dryer your skin is, the faster it ages.”
Reminder: Moisturize your face once in the morning and once in the evening. If you find you need moisturizer more than twice a day, that may be a sign you aren’t using the right moisturizer for your skin type, Brecht said.
4. Sleep on your back
Staying in one position, let alone sleeping on your back, is tough to control. While it can be an adjustment, Brecht said people age better when sleeping on their back.
“I can usually tell if a client is a side sleeper,” she said. “A lot of people have more lines on one side verses the other. When sleeping on your side, you are not giving your skin a chance to breathe.”
Tip: Put pillows under your knees or place a pillow on the side you tend to favor to prevent from turning to that side, Brecht suggested.
Facial wrinkles are inevitable as we age. By following these tips, though, it may help slow down the process, keep your skin healthy, and you happy.