Oct17th

Anti-Aging Skin Care Checklist

Categories: Anti-aging
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anti-aging skin careAnti-Aging Tips!
You may blame bad genes for the reason you aren’t aging well, but there are several proactive steps you can take to reverse the physical signs of aging, and to help you look as good as possible as the years go by. I don’t believe in miracle wrinkle creams, but I do believe in taking a whole-body approach to anti-aging skin care:

1. Cut out sugars, simple carbs, trans fats, and processed foods from your diet. These foods age you, and literally break down your skin’s collagen and elastin, which lead to wrinkles and sagging. There are a million different diets and “experts” out there telling you what to eat, and even I have a hard time knowing what to believe. However, I believe the evidence is there to prove that sugars, simple carbs, trans fats, and processed foods will absolutely age your skin prematurely.

Currently I’m experimenting with variations of The South Beach Diet, eating less carbs but more protein and healthy fat, eating foods low on the glycemic index, the Mediterranean diet, and following the advice of Dr. Oz. My experimentation with trying to find the healthiest eating habits is an ongoing process, and it changes all the time.

2. Eat more antioxidants and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Foods that are high in antioxidants protect your skin by neutralizing free radicals, which are created in your body by eating bad foods, exposure to pollution, and stress. Vegetables and fruit bright and rich in color mean that they are packed with antioxidants – spinach, berries, and tomatoes are just a few examples. Foods that contain Omega 3 Fatty Acids, such as wild salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed, reduce inflammation in your body, and they not only help your body as a whole, but they can give your skin a “glow.”

3. Stop using tanning beds, and limit sun exposure. I believe 15 minutes a day of natural sun exposure is healthy, and generates Vitamin D, but anything more than that will just age your skin, leading to preventable wrinkles and sagging. Tanning beds offer no value to your skin at all, and only harm your skin.

4. Wear a Zinc Oxide-based sunscreen every day. Even if you don’t actively go out in the sun, you’re still going to get a lot of incidental sun exposure. Running errands, driving, and sitting all day by a window will lead to sun spots, wrinkles, and sagging. A good sunblock will help to prevent this sun damage. If you do go outside for long periods of time, reapply your sunblock every few hours, consider wearing a hat, wear sunglasses, and stay in the shade.

5. Use topical retinols, peptides, and antioxidants. When it comes to skin care creams, few ingredients are proven to actually help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Retinoids and retinols are one of the few ingredients that give visible results by increasing cell turnover and promoting collagen renewal. Retinoids are sold in prescriptions creams - Retin-A, Renova, Differin, etc. A non-prescription high-strength retinol cream (such as TX Systems Afirm) can give good results as well. You can work up to using these nightly, or every other night. Using an antioxidant serum or cream in the morning, or a sunblock with antioxidants will give you added preventative protection from skin-damaging free radicals. Products with peptides have also been shown to help reduce wrinkles. If you have dry skin, a moisturizer can help to keep your skin appear hydrated and plumper.

6. Wear sunglasses with 100% UV Protection. Big, wrap-around sunglasses are even better since they protect the delicate skin around your eyes more effectively. I don’t care if big sunglasses are in or out – I wear them every day! Sunglasses also prevent you from squinting, so you prevent unnecessary muscle-created wrinkles from forming around your eyes and between your eyes.

7. Stop smoking and limit second-hand smoke. Stopping smoking is obviously tough, but there is no denying that smoking prematurely ages your skin. Make active choices to limit your second-hand smoke exposure. I refuse to work in places that allow smoking, I boycott restaurants that still allow smoking, and I have never allowed anyone to smoke in my house. When I was single, I refused to date anyone that smoked.

8. Reduce stress in your life. The emotional effects of stress manifest themselves physically by prematurely aging your skin. When you’re stressed out, the hormone cortisol rises in your body, and extended periods of stress take a toll on your appearance. Re-evaluate your priorities in life, and do whatever you need to do to reduce your stress. Maybe take life a little bit less seriously, take more time to have fun, exercise, do yoga, or anything that de-stresses you.

9. Sleep 7 to 9 hours a night. No one thinks they have the time to sleep, but it’s essential for your body to function optimally. If you sleep more, you’ll be more productive during the day, since you’ll be able to focus better. Sleep is essential for the health of your skin – if you want to wake up looking rested – sleep more! When your body has time to repair itself, undereye bags and wrinkles seem less prominent, and the tone of your skin improves. And sleeping more helps regulate your hormones, which helps with weight loss.

10. Drink enough water. 8 glasses of water (64 ounces) is the median recommended amount of water to consume daily – some experts say you don’t need that much, and others say you need way more. Drink an additional glass of water for every coffee, soda, or alcoholic beverage you consume. By keeping your body properly hydrated, it’s able to function better, and your skin will appear healthier.

11. Limit your alcohol. Too much alcohol dehydrates you, and taxes your body as a whole. Aim for no more than a few drinks a week.

12. Exercise regularly. Exercise improves your body’s circulation, it de-stresses you, and overall makes you healthier. Anything that improves your health will improve the look of your skin. Exercise (and eating well) will also possibly prevent you from getting Diabetes (which ages your skin), or needing as many medications. There are a lot of medications (Prednisone, for example) that will speed up your skin’s aging process.

13. Consider taking vitamins. There are so many different vitamin and mineral supplements out there, which makes it extremely confusing to choose which ones to take. A daily multivitamin is usually a good idea, and when it comes to improving the look of your skin, Vitamin C, Essential Fatty Acids, and various antioxidants are just a few supplements to look into. I recommend researching vitamins, and talking with your doctor before you start taking vitamins.

14. Consider Botox. Botox works by relaxing muscles around your eyes, and in your forehead, thus reducing wrinkles. It also works as a preventative, and can prevent muscle-related wrinkles from forming in the first place. I personally wouldn’t recommend getting Botox until you actually start seeing wrinkles, but it really does work well. Restylane, or Juvederm, are also good options if you have lines around your nose and mouth that you want “filled in.” There is speculative evidence that Restylane and Juvederm can promote new collagen to form where it is injected, but the studies are not yet conclusive. Even though there are a lot of ways to prevent aging, you can’t prevent it completely, which is why seeing a Cosmetic Dermatologist can be a good addition to your anti-aging routine, if you can afford it.

 Before you begin on an exercise regimen, take vitamins, or completely change your lifestyle, make sure to first consult your doctor. While I mostly focus on what you can do to specifically improve the look of your skin, by adopting many of these suggestions, you will not only seen an improvement in your face, but in your body as well. I will write more thorough articles about a lot of these topics individually. Over the past 5 years, I’ve worked on all 14 of these suggestions (my weaknesses are exercising and eating well), and I can say I feel like it has really helped with the appearance of my skin. And as the saying goes, when you look better, your feel better, or is it the other way around?

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25 Responses to “Anti-Aging Skin Care Checklist”

  1. Curtus Says:

    Hi Jeni

    This is a great article, and your suggestions are very important!

    I’d just like to add a couple thoughts. Trans-fats are bad, there is no doubt. Unfortunately, back when they did the studies that said saturated fats were bad, they didn’t distinguish between saturated and trans fats, so saturated fats got blamed for the actions of tran-fats.

    Saturated fats don’t oxidize well (compared to unsaturated fats), so they cause less free radicals and require less antioxidants. Coconut oil is nature’s most saturated fat, and it can sit on your shelf (without preservatives) for two years without going bad (oxidizing). Since your cells’ walls are built with fats, these are the fats you want it to build with. So eat your butter, eggs, and meats, and get healthier skin!

    Now, if you cook with corn, canola, or other cheap (poly) unsaturated fats, you’re building your skin with oils that go bad quickly and require you to eat more anti-oxidants. Olive oil is good, because it is a (mono) unsaturated fat, thus less likely to oxidize than the (poly) unsaturateds. The more saturated the better.

    All the junk food you see out there is cooked in cheap poly-unsaturated fat. It seems the only way to eat healthy is to cook everything yourself!

    One last thing: eating cholesterol has no effect on your cholesterol levels, almost all scientists agree on this. But the drug companies are making so much money, they won’t tell you this. So don’t worry about the cholesterol that comes with some of your saturated fat.

    Hey, I made it through this whole comment without mentioning carbs! I’ll wait on that, but its great you mention cutting out simple carbs.

    Again, great article. Lifestyle is number one for health.

    Curtus

  2. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    I don’t know if I ever told you, but coconuts are my favorite fruit! Does coconut oil taste good? You can mention carbs if you want. Like I said, at this point I am so confused about food! If I wasn’t concerned about my weight, I would experiement more – like I do with skin care stuff.

  3. Marina P Says:

    Great article. I totally believe in taking on aging from both avenues: inside and out. I think eathing health, drinking enough water and sleep are essential. But what you put on your skin is so essential too. I love, love, love peptides. Ever since I’ve discovered them, I can’t live without them. I am pretty much addicted to my hydropeptide. If I go without using it for a while, I can totally see a difference in the health of my skin. I don’t know if I’d do Botox yet though; hydropeptide seems to be doing the trick.

  4. Curtus Says:

    Hi again!
    -
    Although coconut oil is the consistency of Crisco at around 72 degrees, if you buy the “Extra Virgin” version, it has a light taste of coconuts, and I fake myself into thinking it’s coconut frosting to get 4 tablespoons down my throat. I’ve only found the extra virgin at $10 a pound unless you buy it by the gallon. You find it next to the vitamins at Wal-Mart.
    -
    I just started using the cheaper refined oil in my cooking, since it is 32oz for $3 at Wal-Mart. It’s pure coconut oil, called LouAna brand, and it has no coconut taste. Other “refined” coconut oils had a funky taste, and I stopped adding it to my eggs, but LouAna tastes great, and I’ve been adding it to everything. You can substitute it everywhere you use regular oil.
    -
    Lastly, olive oil is second best, and you can get it in a spray can, so I recommend people use at least this when cooking.

    As for carbs, I’ll sum up everything in a few sentences. Your body cannot store fat without high insulin levels, and insulin is secreted only to digest carbs, and that is why low-carb diets work. My low-carb diet allows me to eat all I want, and never be hungry, as long as I keep my carbs below 20 grams (80 calories). Lastly, cross-link damage is caused by “glycated proteins”, which are created by oxidizing blood sugars. Remove the sugar, there is nothing to glycate, and you don’t need to eat as many anti-oxidants to avoid damage.

    Thanks for letting me post this, I know I’ve been dumping tons of info on you. I guess I get so worked up about it because they still lie about it on TV all the time. Gary Taubes, an expert on all this, will be on Larry King on Friday, so check it out!

    Curtus

  5. Jackie Says:

    Dear Jeni — I am not an expert like the previous writers but I can only attest to the benefits of the Omega 5 oil to my skin.

    If you realy want to have great look and smooth skin you ought to consider using Omega 5 [ five] oil that is extracted from the seeds of pomegranates.

    I have been using products of two CA based companies that specialize in Omega 5 oil and my skin looks great, it is the best anti aging cream that I have ever used, and the girls around me tell me that it helps them with cellulite problems.

    Omega 5 oil is one of the most potent anyoxidants and is used to make skin care that can easily compete with the likes of La Mer, La prairie etc.

    I take a daily dosage in the form of an Omega 5 soft gel pill and also apply the cream to my skin.

    You ought to try the products of one company: pomega5. I personally adore them

    Enjoy it.

    Josh

  6. Julie Says:

    I can attest to alcohol being bad for the skin and it’s overall health. I am not a big drinker by any means. That is probably why I notice what drinking alcohol does to my skin. I may not drink anything for a few weeks and then there is a party – I have a few drinks and can definately see it on my face the next morning. When I was younger, it was not such a big deal; but now that I am in my mid 40’s, I can really see the havoc alcohol causes and how my skin does not bounce back as fast. As you said, don’t drink too much or you skin will show it! Thanks for the great article. Julie http://www.better-skin-care.com

  7. lovy Says:

    Dear Jenni, i’m sorry i posted this here, not sure where i can found answer to this, i want to ask you, have you posted any article about eye cream? What eye cream you use now? We are the same age now, but i live in tropical country. And you know what? I’ve been to Vegas once, and i loved it there (only for 4 days), cause Vegas make my hair straight (because of the climate i guess, cause in my country my hair is curly and frizzy, vegas made it straight and shiny, and the i went to LA and the curl come back just a little, and then at my country when i back home, it was curly again, it is a funny and fun experience. also, i have oily skin in my country, in Vegas my skin become smooth and all make up just looking better. But i guess if i stay too long wont be good cause Vegas is too drying?) THanks Jen, looking forward about the eye cream

  8. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    Hi Lovy,
    It’s funny because the things you like about Vegas are what I don’t like! My hair gets really flat here and looks really thin (in humid climates it’s curly and looks a lot bigger). And I have normal/oily skin in humid climates, and it’s dry here. If you were here a few days and your skin looked good, it would probably still look the same if you lived here. And your hair would continue to look straight too!

    I haven’t written about eye creams yet because I haven’t used any I have liked enough to write about! Currently I use my moisturizer as eye creams (Clinique Moisture On-line) and I also apply Differin (a prescription retinoid for acne/wrinkles) around my eyes to help with wrinkles. And then I use sunscreen every day to prevent future wrinkles, and then I wear sunglasses outside. I generally don’t wear a specific eye cream, since I think it’s more important to use a retinoid, and sunscreen around my eyes than anything else. But if I find an eye cream that helps with puffiness, I will write about it, since I’m trying to get rid of that!

  9. lovy Says:

    well jeni, why dont we try to switch palce to stay for a while, remember that movie “The Holiday”, it was basically what Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet did, i know you will love it in my country, since it is tropical and you’ll get what you wish, hehe… You know Bali island? You’ll love it there! About eye cream, currently i tried Neostrata, but only bought it today, so cannot review now. i have Differin, but my derm told me that Differin (adapalane) cannot be use for wrinkles, only for acne, for wrinkles only tretinoin (something like retin -a) can work. What is your opinion? From my opinion, to look young, the eyes are the most important area to take care since the eyes can really tell about our age… By the way, have you tried Neostrata line, what do you think of them? It is a new comer in my country….

  10. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    Lovy,
    Oh that is nice that you live in Bali! I am from Hawaii, so when I go home to visit family, I go to a tropical island! I love it! From what I’ve read, Differin will work for wrinkles. I’ve been using it for a few years and my wrinkles do look slightly better, but it could be a combination of things. Another prescription cream I want to try is Tazorac. It’s supposed to work well for wrinkles and acne, but I think it dries out your skin, like Retin-A. Actually, you might like it. I haven’t tried the Neostrata line yet.

  11. stacey griffith Says:

    I appreciate your article. I also love my peptides as someone else above mentioned. I use a product called hydropeptide face corrective cream. It’s a great anti aging cream and makes my skin feel smooth and refreshed. I have so so family gene’s. The women in my family are beautiful, young and older. I know my mom has felt lately that she isn’t as pretty as she use to be. She is 75 and told me recently to take good care of my skin and to use sunscreen. This coming from a woman who has never worn sunscreen a day in her life. I love that she still watches out for me. I tried some of my Hydropeptide products on her when she visited last and she loved how they made her skin feel. I would recommend this anti aging product line to anyone. It’s by Azure Cosmeceuticals. It smells great as well.

  12. Tip Diva Says:

    Carnival Of Tips – January 19, 2008…

    Welcome to the January 19, 2008 edition of Carnival of Tips. We had over 40 great entries this week on:
    Career:

    James Feudo presents Self-expression during an interview posted at Overnight Sensation, saying, “Some people have a unique style that…

  13. Tip Diva Says:

    Thank you for submitting your post to Carnival of Tips!

    If you’re allergic to zinc oxide, what’s the second best sunscreen to use? There are so many options out there, I just don’t know what to go for.

  14. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    Tip Diva: My preference for sunscreen ingredients goes in this order: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, mexoryl, helioplex, avobenzene. I would make sure your sunscreen has one of those ingredients in it. A lot of people (myself included) have problems with helioplex and avobenzene, which is why I recommend the physical sunscreen ingredients first (zinc and titanium dioxide).

  15. anna Says:

    Hey Jeni!

    Still loving the Shiseido! :) Passed on the info to a friend who thought that an SPF that high would be too thick, so hopefully she discovers the wonder that is Shiseido too! :)

    I have a question–what do you use for antioxidants on your skin? In the morning, I mix a tiny bit of Eucerin with Shiseido and put that on my face and neck. I want to put on an antioxidant first but have no clue where to start. At night, I give my face a break one night, use alpha-hydroxy acid (Neutrogena) one night, then Retin-a 0.1% cream the next night, then start the cycle over again. Since I am nervous about mixing an antioxidant with the Retin-A, I’d prefer to use the antiox in the morning. Any ideas? Also, how does this skin care regimen sound? :)

    You’re the best! Thanks for all your help :)

  16. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    Anna,
    I see all the comments, so it doesn’t matter if you comment on an old post. I just have a hard time answering right away sometimes.

    I am going to write about antioxidants soon. The Shiseido sunscreen has some antioxidants in it, but not a lot. When I’m not lazy, I use Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate in the morning. I think she has a few different antioxidant serums available. Then I apply moisturizer, then the sunscreen, which I mix with Maybelline Pure Makeup (which is probably not the best idea, since I know I am diluting the sunscreen a bit).

    Sometimes instead I will mix Philosophy vitamin c powder into my moisturizer. I really like my Clinique Moisture On-line moisturizer, but it would be nice to find a moisturizer in a tube (so that the antioxidants don’t become inactive) that has antioxidants in it.

    Your regimen sounds good (as long as the Eucerin comes in a tube, or some sort of packaging so that the cream isn’t in contact with air, which will make the antioxidants ineffective).

  17. anna Says:

    Thanks Jeni! :) The Eucerin isn’t really a face cream–it’s in a tube, but it’s mostly for chapped and dry skin when you’re outdoors. It’s really simple and would probably clog most people’s pores, but my skin gets so dry with the Retin-A that it’s the only thing I’ve found to keep me from peeling before afternoon! :)

    Thanks again for such a great site!

  18. m Says:

    Thanks for the comprehensive article, I admit I have become somewhat obsessed with the tiny lines around my eyes and am always trying to find ways to prevent/get rid of them. One cream I found that actually does seem to help is Lumiere Bio-restorative Eye cream, which my dermatologist recommended. It only does so much since it’s a cream, but it really seems to soften my eyes and moisturize well.

  19. Lindsay Says:

    I’m so glad to have found your blog. My acne is almost under control so I’m about to try the things you suggest that I’m not currently doing. Hopefully that will put an end to it.

    In regards to your food questions, here are my suggestions so you don’t go crazy.
    1. 5 servings of veggies & fruit per day
    2. 2 servings of dairy per day.
    3. 2 teaspoons of healthy oil a day (olive, flax, canola), in your cooked foods, in a dressing, or on their own.
    4. Limit your caffeine.

    Make sure you don’t neglect good fats in your diet. I will warn you about diets in general – they don’t help you maintain. If you are happy at your present weight you might try weight watchers for a few months. If you use their maintenance system you can fiddle with your foods without going overboard.

    Essentially, eliminating processed foods will do you the most good. I will say that you should occasionally allow yourself treats in moderation. Whether that’s chocolate, a drink, or pasta, you should know that you don’t have to completely shun them in order to sustain the benefits of a healthy diet.

    Thanks for the time and effort you put into your blog.

  20. Stefanie Says:

    This blog entry and all the comments are so great! I know it was written a while ago, but perhaps this comment will be helpful to someone. There is so much information and disinformation out there — it is hard to know what is “good” and what is “bad” when historically we have been told one thing and then the other.
    What I have found through a lot of research into oils (and I don’t say this is “true” but I do say it is likely) is that oils must be virgin (cold pressed). Like Curtus said in a comment above, avoid cheap oils.
    Olive oil and flax oil are great but not to cook with. For veggies with uncooked olive oil, one can steam them and then toss with olive oil afterwards. Canola oil has a lot of negative info out there and it can’t all be untrue. I would shy away from it. Virgin coconut oil is great stuff. It stimulates the thyroid and the metabolism and is good for a host of maladies. I don’t really cook with oils, but I have heard that if you do, this is the one to cook with. All of the negative press that coconut oil got was due to tests done with hydrogenated coconut oil, and we know now that hydrogenated anything is..well…bad!
    Lastly, with regard to your recommendations in the blog about diet, the raw food diet fits right in with what you suggest. A good place to start is with Alissa Cohen’s book, DVD, website. The DVD answered a lot of questions I had after trying recipes from the book.

  21. Kiran Says:

    “The more saturated [fat] the better” – this is completely wrong. Eating too much saturated fat (in foods like butter, cheesem fatty meats) increases the risk of heart disease and stroke – this WILL age your body.

  22. Benefits of Pomegranate Skin Care Says:

    So many people think that just a simple cream can change everything. While an anti-wrinkle cream full of antioxidants, peptides and what not can help, lifestyle is also a big factor.

    I personally love skin care ingredients with pomegranate in it as it contains so many antioxidants, but remember, you have to change your lifestyle and habits as well if you are serious about younger looking skin.

  23. skinglow muse Says:

    Really enjoyed the anti-aging tips review…preventative methods and those that sustain us within and without are sound and fairly simple to follow…thank you!

  24. Layla Says:

    I love your site, thanks for sharing such great info. I have been using Paula’s Choice products for years and recently switched from using the 2% beta hydroxy acid gel at night to using TX Affirm with moisturizer over it where needed. In the morning I use Paula’s antioxidants and Clinique’s City Block. My QUESTION for you: Should I be using the beta hydroxy in the mornings or is the TX Affirm 3 enough?

    Thank you!

  25. Liz Says:

    I love this blog! Just found it as I am always looking for ways to stay young! What would be great is if there was a way to show pics of your bloggers so as to check out the results of their regimens! I will be 50 this year (wow) and nobody would ever guess- I blend in very well with 30 somethings! I agree lifestyle- exercise, diet, and skincare create the total package- and have been using Renova for at least the last 8 years. Love it but wanted to find a lower priced alternative.
    Anyway, thanks for the great site!

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