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Years of exposure to glossy magazine ads and slick television commercials for anti-aging serums have taught us that our faces tell our stories. They reveal damage from all those summers as a lifeguard or camp counselor, lines from a nasty breakup or two, and the perfect "11" of a furrowed brow.
Most of us fret about wrinkles as we reach middle age, yet carrying an extra dress size ages a person much more than a few wrinkles ever could. Managing weight is also a more realistic goal than getting rid of wrinkles.
According to the Mayo Clinic, smoking can accelerate the skin’s aging process. The more you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more likely you are to have wrinkling of the skin.
Quitting smoking improves your circulation, lowers your risk of developing varicose veins, reduces the likelihood of obesity, and makes exercise easier and more enjoyable. You'll also have a better sense of taste and smell as you age, and the smell of smoke won’t cling to your hair and clothing.
Eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens. It is also important to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is the one of the easiest, most effective ways to keep your skin looking healthy.
Participate in sports, dancing, or other activities you enjoy. Follow the federal government's most recent Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which recommends that adults ages 18 to 64 should engage in two hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, combined with strength-training exercises two days a week.
Use sunscreen on your face and exposed skin every day. Wear a hat and use sunglasses to protect your eyes, since some evidence links sun exposure to later formation of cataracts. Exposure to sun also increases your risk of wrinkles or "leathery" skin.
Lack of sleep is responsible for the development of "dark circles under the eyes" and can result in other issues like weight gain and depression. Adequate sleep is important for skin cell rejuvenation.
You may think about having a facial rejuvenation procedure like Botox or pursuing a surgical option such as a facelift, brow lift, or neck lift. These procedures can tighten or remove sagging skin beneath the chin, at the jawline, or around the eyes or remove puffy fat pads beneath the eyes that give you a prematurely aged look. However, these enhancements can be obvious to the trained eye if the outcome is not as good as you expected. There are also potentially very serious risk associated with these procedures. Your money might be better spent on a gym membership and healthy foods.
Written by: the Healthline Editorial Team
Medically reviewed on: Sep 15, 2014: George Krucik, MD, MBA
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