There are lots of things you can do to reduce the signs of aging, but there are also things you shouldn’t do. Here are the 30 anti-aging mistakes that most people make. And forgive me if I sound like a mother hen. Think of me as your M.D. friend.
1. Not Wearing Sunscreen
Sunscreen is one of the best defenses you have against aging. In fact, there’s no substitute for wearing sunscreen and no remedy to correct problems if you don’t. If you want to have younger looking skin now and in the future, you must wear sunscreen. We know that damage from UV rays is cumulative, so everyday you go without protection, damage is adding up to create older skin. Also, UV damage is not totally reversible. Skin treatments can do a lot to erase the visible signs, but damage is done at deep levels.
2. Relying on Sunscreen 100 Percent
Sunscreen is important, but it doesn’t offer 100 percent protection. This is particularly the case on very hot days or at those times of the day when the sun is at its hottest. During these times, you should cover up with a hat, clothing, and/or get into the shade.
3. Forgetting About Sun Exposure When in Your Car
Even if you follow the above two tips, the sun still poses dangers when you’re in your car. Covering up when in your car and getting darker tints on your windows can help. Getting a nice pair of driving gloves will keep hands from getting those telltale dark sun spots.
4. Not Wearing Sunglasses
If you don’t wear sunglasses in the sun, you’ll have to squint, which can lead to wrinkles. In addition, sunglasses offer a certain amount of UV protection for the skin around your eyes and can protect your eyes as well.
5. Washing Your Face Too Frequently
Using top-quality skin care products will keep your face clean, clear, and beautiful, but it’s possible to wash too much. Twice a day is the limit for most women. If you wash more than this, you’ll remove too much moisture, making your skin look older.
6. Being Too Stressed
Leading a high-stress lifestyle is bad for your health and your skin. As a result, you not only look older, but you feel older too. It is, therefore, important you try to reduce stress as much as possible. There are lots of ways you can do this, including getting enough exercise and sleep. You can also try yoga, meditation, or mindfulness techniques. In addition, stop trying to multitask. It is rarely a good way to get things done, and it almost always causes increased levels of stress.
7. Wearing An Overly Long Hairstyle
Long hair does look youthful, but it’s not always the answer. In fact, long hair that lays too flat, is not in top condition, and doesn’t have a definite style can make your face look drawn, which will make it appear older. On the flip side, you probably want to avoid a cut that looks too mature and isn’t in sync with current fashion. The right option is to get a hairstyle that flatters your face shape and has lift and volume.
8. Using Makeup as a Cover-Up for Wrinkles
Makeup is not a solution for wrinkles. Trying to cover up wrinkles with makeup can actually draw more attention to them. If you have facial wrinkles, the best option is to treat them by using a daily regime of high quality skin care products that lessen their impact. Look for moisturizers with effective ingredients that plump up your skin and enhance collagen.
9. Relying on Products to Cover Up An Unhealthy Lifestyle
There are some excellent anti-aging products on the market and other solutions to make your skin look younger and more vibrant. However, you cannot take a passive approach to anti-aging, continuing to do things you know are not good for you in the hope that an anti-aging product will correct or cover up the problem. Instead, you need to be proactive about following a healthy diet, proper sleep habits, exercise, and stress reducing methods while using products to enhance the anti-aging effect.
10. Believing Everything You Read About Anti-Aging Products
You don’t have to watch TV or browse the Internet for long before you see products promising the moon. Every brand has a story to make you believe. But some homework will save you money, and time. You should always research the claims, read detailed material on the ingredients, and look for genuine testimonials or other forms of validation. It’s also vital to know your skin’s behavior and needs. A product may be a miracle for someone but actually pose a problem for you.
11. Not Eating a Balanced Diet
There’s lots of advice on diet and anti-aging, but the most important thing to remember is you should eat a balanced diet. Following fads or cutting one bad thing while continuing to consume others will not get you the results you want. Instead, you should eat a diet that contains a healthy amount of fiber, fruit, vegetables, vitamins, proteins, and minerals. You can take this a stage further by eating foods known to have anti-aging properties. These include blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, and cabbage. One of the things about the foods on that list is that they are all colorful. Colorful meals are a good indicator of a balanced diet. If most of your food is white, brown, or gray, your diet is probably making you old.
12. Using the Same Cleanser You Used When You Were Younger
Many women find great products that work brilliantly on their skin when they are in their 20s. This includes cleansers. The problem with continuing to use the same cleanser when you are in your 30s, 40s, or 50s is that your skin changes. In particular, it likely doesn’t produce as much oil, so some cleansers will be too harsh. Always use a cleanser that’s appropriate for the oil levels of your skin. If your skin looks red and feels dry after cleansing, your cleanser is too strong. Find one that is milder. Don’t count on your moisturizer to fix the stripping that a harsh cleanser does.
13. Not Exercising Enough
Exercising as you get older is not as easy when you were younger, but it’s still important. In fact, it’s arguably more important. Regular exercise increases blood flow, which can help your skin, plus it keeps your muscles tight and prevents your skin from sagging. In addition, exercise boosts your mood and can help lower levels of stress. The exercise you do doesn’t have to be vigorous. If hitting the gym to train with weights or running 10 miles doesn’t interest you, you can try walking, yoga, or swimming. In fact, the most important thing is you enjoy the activity so you’ll continue with it consistently.
14. Not Wearing Sunscreen in the Winter
Sunscreen has already been mentioned in some of the points above, but there’s another sunscreen mistake that some people make – not wearing sunscreen in the winter or on cloudy days. The sun’s UV rays still affect your skin in the winter and on cloudy days, causing wrinkles, discolorations, and reducing your skin’s elasticity. You should, therefore, wear sunscreen all year. Think of it as part of your everyday skin program.
15. Thinking You’re Old
Some people start dwelling on the fact they are aging. This can lead to depression and can result in them giving up on looking their best and living a healthy lifestyle. To look younger and remain healthier for longer, you should enjoy life, embrace getting older, and lead a life that’s as active as possible.
16. Not Applying Sunscreen Correctly
Yep, here’s another point about sunscreen. As many experts agree the sun is the biggest cause of the visible signs of aging, this is understandable. This tip is about the correct application of sunscreen. The first part is ensuring you reapply regularly throughout the day. Normally, this is about once every two hours. In addition, don’t just apply sunscreen to your face as there are other parts of your body that can look aged. You should also apply sunscreen to your neck, ears, décolleté, and lips. Use a special lip product with sunscreen in it. Also, always apply sunscreen last, just prior to any makeup.
17. Continuing to Smoke
Smoking is bad for you in many ways, but it also makes you look older. Smokers don’t sleep as well as non-smokers so are more likely to have bags under their eyes. In addition, smoking stains your teeth and fingers, causes wrinkles, and makes your hair thinner. It creates many deep, visible lines around your lips. In fact, most experts agree that you will look 1.4 times older than a non-smoker if you smoke.
18. Sleeping Without a Pillow
Not everyone likes using pillows when they sleep. In fact, using a pillow can result in aches and pains for some people. That said, not using a pillow can make your eyes look puffy, as the fluid around them doesn’t flow as well. Take time to find a pillow that supports your neck and spine, isn’t too hot, and that feels comfortable. Now there are so many pillow options, everyone can find a good pillow.
19. Eating Too Much Sugar
There’s increasing knowledge of the damage eating too much sugar can do to your body. This includes making you look older. This is because eating sugar triggers a process that can make your skin look dull and puffy and increase the appearance of dark circles under your eyes. Ideally, you should cut the number of sugary products you eat as much as possible.
20. Ignoring Your Hands, Neck and Décolleté
These areas are exposed to the elements as much as your face. If you don’t look after them, they can make you look older, giving the game away. Be sure the neck and décolleté is part of your skin cleansing, moisturizing, and protection program. Using sunscreen on these areas will help keep the skin firmer looking, brighter, and free of those telltale brown spots.
21. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Your body needs time to recuperate and regenerate overnight. This applies to your skin as much as it does to other parts of your body. For example, your skin produces collagen when you sleep, and your cells renew. Therefore, if you don’t get enough sleep, you will look older. You will also feel more tired and stressed, which can lead to other health problems that can also impact the way you look. So make sure you get enough sleep. And have an effective sleep routine that helps to relax you before you go to bed so that you fall asleep quicker.
22. Washing Your Face with Very Hot Water
Hot or steaming water will dry out your skin, particularly as you get older. It is much better if you cleanse each day using lukewarm water.
23. Rubbing Your Eyes When Tired
This feels nice and can be comforting, but rubbing your eyes like this is not good for your skin. This is because the skin in this area is very delicate and can be damaged by intensive rubbing.
24. Ignoring Your Vitamin Intake
Vitamins are important to your overall health and to your skin. Getting enough vitamins is essential to keep you looking young and healthy. So long as you are healthy, you will get most of the vitamins that you need if you eat a balanced diet that includes fruit and vegetables. However, you can top up your diet by taking vitamin supplements to ensure you get the right amount every day.
25. Using Skin Products That Do Not Suit Your Skin
This is common, particularly if a friend raves about a product that gives them great results. If you and your friend have different skin, however, the product may not work for you at all. Of course, take advice, but always do your own research to see if the products and ingredients are recommended for the type of skin you have.
26. Not Using Eye Cream
The skin around your eyes is incredibly important when it comes to reducing the signs of aging. So, prioritize this part of your face by using specially designed creams that moisturize, promote collagen production, and tighten the skin. Find the formula that’s good for your skin type. For example, oily skin often does best with a light textured gel formula. Very dry skin needs a richer cream.
27. Not Moisturizing Correctly
The best time to moisturize your skin is straight after cleansing. The heat and moisture leaves skin more open and receptive to product absorption. Cleanse, tone your skin to restore its natural pH balance, and then moisturize. If you wait until later, your moisturizer- and other anti-aging treatments-will not be fully effective.
28. Not Exfoliating Often Enough
However old you are, cells on your skin’s surface die, making your skin look dull and lacking in vitality. Exfoliating removes these dead skin cells to get to the healthier, younger looking, and more vibrant skin underneath. Exfoliating two to three times a week is right for most people. In addition, you should use products that exfoliate gently so you get the best results. An example is EMK’s 24K Gold Peeling Gel, which provides an excellent alternative to much harsher chemical treatments.
29. Sleeping on Your Side
When you sleep on your side, the creases in the pillow can create wrinkles on your skin. As you get older, your skin doesn’t have the same elasticity so it won’t smooth out as well once you wake up. Often, these wrinkles can become permanent. If you must sleep on your side to get a good night’s sleep, you should use satin pillow cases as they’re less likely to crease and cause marks on your skin.
30. Not Embracing the Fact You Are Getting Older
This point has already been touched on, but it is worth expanding on it. This is because, sometimes, you can look older than you are (or older than you want to look) because you don’t embrace your age. Instead, you try to look young, but in the process, achieve the opposite. Examples of specific mistakes that people make are wearing clothing that’s too trendy or youthful, using makeup designed for younger people, and being stuck in old makeup application habits that no longer work. Of course, you should take steps to make your appearance as youthful, vibrant, and healthy as possible, but embrace each new season of your life. Explore new makeup techniques, hair color, and clothing that express who you are now. Maybe give up those high heels for cute shoes that are comfortable.
By avoiding these 30 mistakes, you’ll start to look and feel younger and healthier. You will also age more slowly physiologically. After all, research has shown that those who look young age at a slower rate than those who look old.
Good skin care is not only for looking vibrant and young on the outside, but also for keeping you young on the inside.