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5 Tips to Protect Your Skin from Premature Aging

We're lucky to be living in the "anti-aging" era. Countless non-surgical treatments are available to relax our wrinkles, pull up our sagging skin and smooth our complexion. Looking ten years younger is as easy as booking an appointment with your cosmetic nurse injector. As amazing as these treatments are, however, nothing beats not having to need them until you're much older. You know what they say: "prevention is the best medicine" and it applies first and foremost to your skin. Here are five tips that can delay expensive cosmetic procedures and keep you looking younger well into your 40's.

Prevent Photo-Aging: The Number One Cause of Wrinkles

Although some aging is genetic, you may be shocked to learn that 90% of visible complexion changes are due to sun exposure. UVA rays, specifically, are the biggest culprit since they can penetrate quite deep into the dermis. Cumulative UVA exposure can damage DNA and cause collagen breakdown, resulting in wrinkles, skin laxity and texture changes. Therefore the best way to protect yourself from photo-aging is to cover up and use broad-spectrum sun protection.

When choosing a good sunscreen make sure to look for physical UV-blocking ingredients such as Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Our staff at Therapeutic Aesthetics love AlumierMD's Sheer Hydration Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 Versatile Tint. It's light-weight and offers a tint that can double as a light coverage foundation during the day.

Protect Your Skin from the Inside-Out with Food

Did you know that you can make your skin more UV resistant by eating a diet high in antioxidants and other beneficial phytochemicals? It turns out our bodies need some sun to produce sufficient levels of Vitamin D for optimum health. To offset UV exposure and absorption eat foods that fortify your skin against DNA mutations. Here are some examples:

  • Carrots - these contain beta carotene, the orange pigment that provides your skin with protection
  • Soy products - such as edamame and tofu contain isoflavones that have shown to protect collagen breakdown due to UV exposure
  • Leafy greens - are teaming with green pigments that contain chlorophyll and antioxidants which neutralize free radical damage
  • Berries - are superfoods that contain powerful skin-protecting antioxidants

Avoid Common Foods That Prematurely Age Your Skin

On the flip side of beneficial foods that you should be eating are some that speed up the aging process and should definitely be avoided. Processed sugar is the worst offender because it causes glycation. It's a metabolic process that causes sugar molecules to bond with protein, the building blocks of collagen. Excess sugar consumption can literally age your skin by breaking down your body's collagen.

Caffeine and alcohol should be limited if you want to have beautiful, vibrant skin. Both substances can severely dehydrate your complexion when consumed in large quantities. Over time your skin can start to look dull, dry and lackluster. If can't give up your daily coffee or Merlot with dinner then make sure to drink plenty of water to compensate. Experts recommend drinking two glasses of water for every cup of coffee or alcoholic beverage.

Watch How You Sleep: Lying on the Side Causes Creases

Your sleeping habits can mean the difference between wrinkle-free skin or a complexion that has permanent creases. Permanent or "static" lines are more difficult to treat because they're not caused by muscle movement. Neuromodulators such as Botox may not work on "sleep" wrinkles. Therefore they're best prevented by training yourself to sleep on your back. If you're finding this a challenging task then consider investing in a silk pillow that many beauty experts agree helps to minimize unnecessary lines and wrinkles.

Use a Topical Anti-Oxidant to Neutralize Free Radicals

Just when you thought ultraviolet radiation was all you had to worry about scientists gave us more bad news. It turns out the UV light isn't the only enemy raining down on us every day. Studies confirm that Infrared radiation can damage the skin in the same way as UVA/UVB energy. What's worse is that even the most powerful sunblock doesn't offer any protection. The only way to guard your skin is by using a daily topical antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals caused by infrared radiation.

Topical Vitamin C has proven to be a highly effective antioxidant as long as it's stabilized. When choosing a Vitamin C serum make sure it's cosmeceutical-grade as these are property tested for efficacy and potency. Our best selling product is the Vitamin Rich Smoother (C&E) which contains a powerful 15% concentration of USP grade L-ascorbic acid.

Ada Shim N.P is an experienced Dysport Toronto and Burlington + dermal filler practitioner who works out of her Toronto and Burlington clinics.

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