We’ve all seen older women with incredibly smooth, young-looking skin. And we’ve all seen the opposite—women whose weathered appearance makes them seem older than they are.
Genes account for part of the difference, but “it’s also in how you take care of your skin,” says Aureliz Myers, a licensed cosmetologist at WellSpan Plastic Surgery & Skin Care Center in Chambersburg. Follow her top five skin-care tips for women of any age.
"Your skin is made up of cells, and they’re made up of water,” says Myers. “If you’re not properly hydrated, this can result in dry, flaky skin, and over time you can start seeing more wrinkles.” Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
“Chemicals from smoking have an adverse effect on the skin,” warns Myers. “If you’re constantly putting those chemicals on your face and into your body by smoking, your skin is definitely going to have an adverse reaction in color and texture.” The pucker you make when smoking can create deep wrinkles around the mouth, too.
Use a moisturizer sunscreen
Look for one with an SPF of at least 30 and apply it daily, including in winter—especially if you enjoy outdoor activities. “Winter’s rays can still reach you and be damaging,” Myers explains. She’s a fan of moisturizing formulas that contain zinc oxide, a physical protectant that works well and tends not to have a strong “sunscreen smell.”
Don't overdo it with abrasive scrubs
“Overusing them can overdry the skin or in some cases leave it open to free radicals or bacteria that can cause breakouts or premature aging,” says Myers. Your skin-care professional can help you decide which exfoliant is right for you.
Avoid changing products too often
It takes about four to six weeks for your skin to adapt to a new product. If you stop sooner, you may not reap any antiaging benefits. Above all, says Myers, keep up your good habits. “Over time,” she explains, “you can keep your skin looking and feeling younger as long as you are consistent with what you’re doing.”