A well-rounded skincare routine complete with the proper ingredients can make a profound impact on your complexion both now and years down the road. But even with the best intentions and the continued use of retinol and other powerful anti-aging products, there are small mistakes you may be making regularly that could be sabotaging the aging process, leading to the premature development of fine lines and wrinkles.
To ensure you’re getting the most out of your skincare routine and not putting your complexion at risk of expedited aging, we spoke with board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Lilliana Ramírez García, MD of Nava MD, and board-certified dermatologist Dr. Adam Mamelak, MD who outlined the major mistakes to avoid in order to secure flawless skin for years to come.
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Sleeping With Makeup On
Falling into the habit of sleeping with your makeup on can not only clog your pores and provoke irritation—it may also speed up the aging process as well. “Do not go to sleep without removing your makeup (if you’re wearing any) and washing your face,” warns García. “Aside from clogging your pores and causing breakouts, leaving your makeup on can block your skin’s natural repair process. As a result, your skin can look dull, rough, and weathered — a far cry from the luminous, youthful-looking complexion you deserve.” Although the last thing you may want to do after a long day is wash your face before climbing into bed, this can make the difference between hydrated and healthy looking skin, and an irritated and aged complexion.
Not Treating Your Neck
It’s important to remember that the skin on your neck ages just as much as your face, and skipping the application of serum and sunscreen to this area can cause you to look older and worsen the appearance of sagging skin down the road. “Don’t forget your neck! Continue your skincare routine to your neck and decollete area to delay the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and brown spots in these areas,” suggests García. This one step only takes an extra second and can make all the difference in maintaining the appearance of your youthful glow and firm skin as you age.
This is perhaps the most important anti-aging skincare step of all, and skimping on sunscreen can certainly cause you to age prematurely as your skin absorbs sun damage and harsh UV rays. “It is crucial to protect your skin from the sun,” emphasizes Mamelak. “Always use broad-spectrum with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply every two hours or more if you’re swimming or perspiring. Hats are always your friend as well when it comes to skin protection.” Self tanning has grown in popularity for a reason, and keeping your delicate complexion out of direct sunlight will allow you to age with grace and not experience the development of age spots and fine lines in your youth.
A Poor Diet
Your diet is actually intricately tied to the appearance of your skin, and eating habits packed with processed ingredients could be doing some major damage to your face over time. “Fruits and vegetables contain an abundance of anti-aging properties. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so what you eat is where it draws its nutrients,” explains Mamelak. “Vitamins A and C are predominantly present in fruits and vegetables which are very important for the skin. Vitamin A aids in cell reproduction and repair. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects tissues from free radicals that cause premature aging and wrinkles.” Following a healthy diet can also naturally promote collagen production within the body, allowing for your skin to be more elastic and firm, slowing the breakdown process.
Tied in with a balanced diet, drinking enough water can also have a significant impact on your complexion, with dehydration making fine lines and wrinkles all the more apparent. “Water keeps your skin looking its best —when you use moisturizer you are hydrating from the outside, but when you drink water you are hydrating from the inside,” notes Mamelak. “A good rule of thumb to remember is to drink half of your body weight in ounces per day.”