Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #63 -- Create your own Fountain of Youth


I got this idea from Allure (April/Mariah Carey cover), with its headline about 203 ways to help us turn back time. It’s intriguing and it sure drew me in, but really, who has time to learn and implement all 203? Besides, I wanted this TT to be non-gender specific, so here are 13 of the best (or at least the most doable) for all you boys and girls in the blogosphere.

1. Everybody needs a good sunscreen. And to be good, it has to have an SPF higher than 15 to block the evil UVA rays. These rays not only cause melanoma, they also damage the collagen and elastin in your skin and make you look older.

2. Fall in love with salmon. This fatty fish helps keep your arteries clear and keeps that blood pumping everywhere it needs to go, including your skin. Walnuts are good, too.

3. Cut back on alcohol. There’s evidence that liquor may deplete the important fatty acids like those in salmon, and eventually that will have an impact on your complexion and appearance.

4. Exercise. Yeah, yeah. It’s good for your heart, it’s good for your blood pressure, it enhances your muscle tone, whatever. Just as importantly, like salmon, it helps your blood course more efficiently through your veins, which leaves your skin looking better.

5. Floss. It’s not sexy but it’s important. Receding gums can give away your age (hence the phrase, “long in the tooth”). It’s important to your general health because gum disease can lead to more serious problems, since bad gums give bacteria an easy way to enter your blood stream.

6. Stop smoking. There are a million health reasons, but how about this vanity-based one? Smokers squint more than the rest of us (an involuntary reflex when presented with smoke and flame), and that causes crow’s feet. Smokers also have more tell-tale wrinkles around their lips.

7. Reduce stress. No, really. Doctors theorize that stress puts a drain on your adrenal system, which can allow skin conditions from acne to psoriasis to worsen. And, since nothing is more important to a youthful look than a healthy-looking complexion …

8. Eat fruits and veggies. As with eliminating smoking, adding fruits and vegetables is good for your general health. But this post is dedicated to the deeply superficial, so I must note that it’s also VERY good for your skin because it helps balance your pH level. If your body has too much acidity (which can come from eating too many proteins and refined sugars), you can find yourself with poor skin color and tone.

9. Wash your face. Perhaps not as often as you wash your hands, but do it twice a day. It’s exposed to tobacco, pollution, and other environmental factors that simply do damage.

10. But be gentle! Those who exfoliate their skin too often with alpha-hydroxies or scrubs can deplete the natural oils and even exacerbate acne and discoloration. FELLAS, THIS GOES FOR YOU, TOO! Remember, if you’re clean-shaven, you already exfoliate your face daily with a razor.

11. Moisturize as soon as you get out of the shower. This is the best time to apply moisturizer to your body – after toweling yourself but before your skin has a chance to dry completely.

ABOUT THE FOLLOWING TWO -- Find moisturizers that contain these products. I imagine swabbing a tea bag all over would be time consuming and, well, icky.

12. Don’t just drink green tea. Slather it on your skin, too. Green tea is easy for the skin to absorb, so a moisturizer fortified with it comes with antioxidants that help protect against the damage from pollutants.

13. Same with Vitamin C. Studies have shown it can actually help REPAIR skin damage because Vitamin C has been proven to enhance collagen production.

If you enjoyed these, pick up the April issue of Allure for
more tips and greater detail.

Leave your link in the comments section and I'll add your name here:
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