Eating right, taking care of your skin, and following healthy lifestyle practices while you are still in your twenties and thirties are the secrets to lasting beauty, youth, vitality, and good health. Taking the time to treat your body well and making the right food choices today will definitely pay off in later years. Some simple daily steps can help delay the onset of the signs of aging and prevent wrinkles, fine lines, and dark blemishes.
Dermatologist and skin disease consultant at Dr. Ghassan N. Pharaon Hospital in Jeddah, Dr. Hisham Al-Boraei, shared with Saudi Gazette the anti-aging regimen that he recommends to all his patients seeking a healthy and young-looking face.
“The number one rule for healthy skin is: drink plenty of water. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day because if you are even slightly dehydrated, your skin will look dry, dull, and lifeless, and wrinkles and fine lines will become more apparent. Drinking plenty of water keeps skin supple and glowing,” said Al-Boraei.
The obsession among young women to sun tan in order to get that perfect bronze colored skin not only contributes to premature aging and wrinkling of the skin, it also increases the risk of skin cancer. With frequent exposure to the sun, the facial skin over a period of time will become thick, wrinkled, and leathery. The changes occur gradually, and premature aging due to the sun can be avoided by protecting the skin from UV rays. Physicians estimate that up to 90 percent of the visible skin changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun and are not a result of just naturally growing older.
“Excessive sun exposure is damaging to the health of the skin and it causes blemishes, irritability, redness, dryness, wrinkles, and fine lines. I strongly recommend regular use of sunscreen every morning when leaving the house, reapplication every two to three hours when outdoors, and more frequently if swimming. Smoking is the next worst culprit behind aging of the skin,” said Al-Boraei.
Smoking has several negative impacts on the skin: firstly it damages the collagen and elastin that keeps the skin soft and full, and secondly it constricts the blood vessels in the skin which reduces the delivery of oxygen and nutrients that maintain healthy skin. One study found that smokers were 5.8 times more likely to develop wrinkles prematurely than non-smokers. Smokers in general have slower wound healing and their skin texture develops a dry, flaky, scaly, and unattractive appearance. Cigarette smoking also causes staining of the teeth and fingernails.
To prevent wrinkles and get that healthy beautiful look, doctors advise women to regularly apply a good moisturizer to trap in water and keep the skin smooth and hydrated. Al-Boraei also warned ladies against the use of excessive make-up and foundation on a daily basis, as it can also negatively affect the skin.
Other skin care tips include washing the face with a special facial cleanser and not just the regular bar soap. Follow the cleansing by dabbing on a toner and then the moisturizer. Wear sunglasses regularly to protect the delicate skin around your eyes from the sun. Wearing sunglasses will stop you from squinting when you are in the sun, which directly contributes to the fine lines and creases around the eyes.
Dr. Al-Boraei encouraged women to take supplements of the anti-oxidant vitamins like vitamin A, C, and E or food rich in these vital elements. Antioxidants protect skin tissues from getting damaged because they counteract oxidation so the skin’s aging process slows down.
Food that are excellent sources of anti-oxidants and have huge health benefits in addition to delaying signs of aging are: green tea, oranges, red grapefruit, peaches, red grapes, berries, pomegranate, sesame seeds, turmeric, and olive oil.
Eat a healthy balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat proteins such as fish, lentils, and other legumes. A diet high in fats and fried foods can increase the secretion of oils on the surface of the skin, making the skin more prone to spots and acne.
A golden rule which all ladies should follow is take care of your body today, and you will thank yourself tomorrow.