6 Hacks To Keep Your Skin Healthy At Every Age

by Sara Tardiff

People are willing to do some crazy things to look a few years younger. Maleficent literally put Sleeping Beauty into a coma because she wanted to be fairest of them all. Today, there's everything from vinotherapy to at-home injections — all for the sake of getting rid of a few wrinkles. As a 20-year-old girl, I don't find myself thinking about wrinkles constantly, but I've also wondered if there's anything I can do to keep my skin healthy and glowing for as long as possible. Who knows what kinds of beauty trends I'll be willing to try out in a decade or two, right? But as it turns out, no matter how old (or young) you are, there are amazing things you can do for your skin that will keep you looking your best, longer.

Even if you're a young adult, don't think it's too early to consider a few skincare tips that will keep your skin and complexion looking its best for years. Your future complexion (and overall health) depends a lot on how you spend your young adult life; meaning how well you take care of your skin, how much pollution you are exposed to, and how stressed out you are. If you only start being concerned for your health later on in life, you'll have missed out on years of prime prepping time. There are a few practices you can start making into habits now, which future you will endlessly thank you for when she's walking around with soft, supple skin and being confused for Dakota Fanning.

1. Moisturize, inside and out

The best thing you can do for your body in pretty much every situation is hydrate it. When you're sick, drink lots of fluids. When you've got dry skin, apply lotion. So, it turns out, the actual fountain of youth might just be your everyday drinking water fountain. Water promotes detoxification — a key factor when it comes to feeling your best. Moisturizing your body has equally positive effects.

"The purpose of any moisturizer is to seal in moisture, keeping your skin supple and smooth," says San Diego dermatologist Jeffrey Benabio, MD. "Whether the moisturizer costs $200 or $20, it uses the same basic ingredients to do that."

2. Consider taking fish oil, or other anti-inflammatory supplements

Those omega-3 fatty acids the health community raves about, claiming they help everything from your joints to your eyesight, come from salmon and mackerel, algae, and certain types of plants and nut oils.

Arlene Noodleman, the medical director of the Age Defy Dermatology Wellness Center in California says, "Anti-inflammatories are the best anti-agers out there. From improving heart and immune functions to helping hair grow and skin look supple, they truly do wonders. I take three 500 milligram capsules of omega-3 fish oil in the morning and at night."

She recommends searching for labels that read "molecularly distilled for purity," which means they are free of pesticides — and the healthiest option out there.

3. Use makeup, if that's your thing

We're all for trying out new makeup techniques and going wild with aqua eyeliner once in a while —because YOLO ideals apply to the makeup realm, too. But the rule tends to go: The less makeup you wear, the younger you look. When trying to keep your skin looking your age or even a bit younger, there are a few sacred beauty rules to follow. First, keep your eye makeup as simple and neutral as possible —limit liner to the top lip and stick with rosier tones to avoid emphasizing dark circles. Second, fill in your brows a bit to give your face a younger, bushier look (because hair thins over time). And lastly, warm your complexion up with a little bronzer because a little golden glow never made anyone look older, that's for sure.

4. Eat more colorful foods

Antioxidants are basically nature's facelift. They contain all kinds of disease-fighting properties and might help your body fight off free radicals like pollution. Find them in some of your favorite green veggies like kale, spinach, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. For a sweeter fix, try to increase your intake of blueberries, strawberries, plums, and oranges. Now you can actually taste the rainbow.

5. Pick anti-aging products with retinol

While there are plenty of liquids and serums promising the skin of an infant, only one ingredient has truly proven to have anti-aging properties: Retinoids. It comes in over-the-counter products as retinol, and in prescriptions as Retin-A, but both come in varying degrees of strength and have the ability to reduce lines and smooth skin texture. Dr. Howard Murad, dermatologist and founder of Murad skincare says that while drugstore products containing retinol might "take longer to achieve results...many find it less irritating than the prescription formula." While most 20-somethings aren't in need of heavy duty fixes, by the time you're in your 30s it should be a foundational part of your skin routine.

6. Don't forget about sun damage

Overexposure to the sun rays can lead to wrinkles, sunspots, and of course, skin cancer. We're not just telling you to wear sunscreen daily to be overprotective — it's for your own good, and your face will thank you! Sun damage doesn't stop when summer comes to an end, you can feel the effects all year round. Make sure to stock up on beauty products with SPF in them, AS WELL AS wearing sunscreen underneath, and visiting a dermatologist regularly to check out any questionable beauty marks.

Images: Dominik Martin, Josefa Holland-Merten, Maja Petric, Julia Caesar/Unsplash; Kaboompics_com, Stux/Pixabay