Today’s post us about inexpensive ways to delay aging. Anti-aging. I may have used this term loosely in the beginning stages of my blogging stint so if I haven’t changed or updated the titles yet (we’re talking 7 years worth of writing), be it known that ever since I started working as Aesthetic RN Specialist (lasers, radiofrequency, body contouring, etc), I have been very careful not to use this marketing jargon because no such thing exist. I mean come to think of it, anti-aging is a misnomer. We all age, because that’s how our bodies are programmed the moment we are born. However, you and I also know that some, barring medical conditions (i.e progeria), do exhibit signs of aging faster than others. I have discussed various ways to rejuvenate aging skin via aesthetic procedures but they don’t come cheap, to put it bluntly. And I’d be blunt again. If you have very obvious textural issues like deep wrinkles or thick leathery skin, the following tips I am sharing may not completely reverse the damage that has already been created as a consequence of years of neglected skincare, unprotected sun exposure or belligerent use of tanning beds. And as always, my opinion as Aesthetic RN should not be considered as sole basis for diagnosis or medical advice. Consult your doctor or dermatologist or get a second opinion for that matter. *Contains some affiliate links*
Start early with skincare, use sunscreen. There is no exact science as to when you should start but if there is one particular product you should be using early on in your life, it is sunscreen! This is the most inexpensive, albeit effective way to delay signs of aging. I have discussed chemical versus physical sunscreen here. But really, you can buy a drugstore brand for as long as you use something that has at least SPF 30. And please, don’t forget to reapply every 2 hours if you’re staying out longer! Sunscreen in makeup is not enough so layer up ladies!
Cost: Currently I am using sunscreen from eltaMD which only costs $33 and it lasts me about 3-4 months. There are other cheaper alternatives (no more than $10) so it really boils down to your personal preference. / eltaMD is cruelty-free but not vegan /
Quit smoking, don’t start the habit if you haven’t yet. You have read and heard it many times but it’s true and I can personally attest to it because I don’t smoke myself and I have seen (and treated patients aesthetically) the big difference in the skin’s texture between a habitual and non-smoker. HUGE difference! The nicotine in cigarette affects the circulation in your skin by constricting blood flow which in turn affects how the oxygen and vital nutrients are being delivered. Nicotine also affects collagen and elastin found in the dermis which gives the skin supple appearance. Will it reverse aging when you quit smoking? no but you can delay further progression of damage and degradation of your skin.
Cost: Free. You will save more money in the long run! Plus you minimize the risk of developing all forms of cancer!
Cut back on junk food and start eating healthy. Not only they are bad for your health (think cholesterol-laden, high-salt and sugar-spiked food) but junk food is also traced to premature wrinkles. Similar to nicotine, these trans-fat and hi-carb/hi-sugar affect the circulation in your skin which potentially deprives it from oxygen as well as accelerates collagen damage. Instead, snack on fruits (i.e. grapes, orange, apples are rich in antioxidant), vegetables (i.e carrots, celery) or even nuts (almond, walnut). Bust the myth! The “sugars” in fruits and vegetables as well as “fats” in nuts are packed with vitamins and nutrients that are vital to the body unlike the empty calories a.k.a zero-nutrition you get from junk food. The amazing women I have so far featured on my Beauty Over 40 series were pretty consistent in advocating eating healthy food as one of the reasons why they look young!
Cost: Anywhere from $1-$10 a week depending where you live or shop. I snack on grapes, celery, cantaloupe, pineapples, or any fruit or vegetable within my reach at work or at home.
Drink water, lots of it! It won’t happen overnight but trust me, I have seen great improvement with the elasticity of my skin ever since I quit drinking soda and increased my water intake. That combined with the aforementioned tips I shared. Water helps in flushing out toxins, as well as providing protective barrier in the skin. I know it’s hard to drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday and really, there is no hard and fast rule. Just chug water!
Cost: Free (if you don’t buy bottled water like I do. Hawaii boasts of having one of the best quality tap water in the US if not around the world)
Moisturize but know that it can’t do anything more than preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL).Moisturizer is another marketing term we all grew fond of using for many years. It’s a multi-billion dollar business anchored on the promise of youth. It has metamorphosed by being a plain humectant (preserving moisture) or occlusive (occludes, provides a thick barrier) to emollient (smoothing out skin) or combination of all if we are to listen to all the claims of various cosmetic companies. Dry skin accentuates fine lines or wrinkles. Oily skin still needs moisturization because you are addressing the TEWL and not sebum . Have you ever had that experience where your skin feels tight yet your face is reeking in grease? I do, and that’s because of TEWL! There are plenty of moisturizers in the market that promise to do this and that, has this and that, layer this and that. I too was very much into layering and stuff when it became a “norm” few years ago. But let’s be practical and realistic, what our skin really need is to keep it hydrated and prevent TEWL.
Cost: Currently I am using eltaMD Barrier Renewal Complex which only costs $45 (lasts anywhere 3-4 months). There are cheaper alternatives for sure so buy something that’s compatible to your skin type. / eltaMD is cruelty-free but not vegan /
Sometimes over-the-counter topical medication does help! I started retinol when I was in my late 20s and used it every so often. Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that helps with cell turnover, collagen production and acne (in combination with other treatment modalities). I can tell if a patient has been using retinol for years because of the texture of her/his skin. There is a certain inexplicable radiance from within. Recently, adapalene which is a third-generation retinoid (with over 30 years proven efficacy and safety profile) was approved over-the-counter, in particular the 0.1% Differin. Its primary indication is for acne but since it exhibits the same action albeit more tolerable than retinol per se, it can although anecdotally, help delay aging. I discussed more about it in this video. Sunscreen is important to use if you are considering retinol or adapalene because UV exposure without protection renders it inefficient that’s why most dermatologist and doctors advice its usage in the evening, and sunscreen in the morning.
Differin 0.1% costs $12 and can last 3-4 months. Apply thinly in the evening, followed by moisturizer. If it’s your first time and have never used any kind of topical vitamin A medication, introduce this to your regimen slowly. Typical side effects include peeling and redness. Stop if irritation occur and see your doctor. /Galderma, makers of Differin (and Cetaphil) is not cruelty-free /