My Face Looks Dull And Tired
“Everyone has their own idea what constitutes an attractive appearance. Some people seem to have that “”healthy glow”” while others look tired or washed out. No matter how you define your personal beauty ideal, it’s important for you to understand that looking good does not come naturally for everyone. In fact, if you’ve ever looked in the mirror after sleeping on your back with your head propped up by pillows, you know that having great-looking skin doesn’t necessarily mean you woke up like this every day. The truth is that no one looks perfectly fresh all the time. But there are some things you can do to minimize the effects of aging and make yourself appear more vibrant.
It’s true that we age because our bodies don’t renew themselves as quickly as they should be able to. Skin ages faster than other parts of the body because it lacks stem cells (cells that divide into new specialized cells). When you get older, the outer layer of skin — called the epidermis — thins out and becomes less resilient. This results in dryer, thinner skin that tends to develop wrinkles and fine lines sooner than other areas of the body. As these changes occur, the color and texture of skin also change over time. Your skin may become paler, lose its luster and begin to sag slightly when you reach middle age. These changes will even affect facial features such as cheekbones and jawline.
If you feel that your skin isn’t quite where it used to be, you might want to consider using products designed specifically to improve your overall skin tone. If the problem seems to be related to aging alone, however, here are a few tips to help restore your youthful glow.
Keep Moisture Levels Up
Your first step toward improving the way your skin appears is to take care of it properly so you can maintain moisture levels. A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables is essential for keeping your skin hydrated and well nourished. Vitamin C, beta carotene and lycopene are just three nutrients found in lots of different foods that provide your skin with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which damage your DNA and contribute to premature aging. Eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids helps reduce inflammation, which plays a role in many chronic conditions including heart disease and arthritis. Omega 3s also regulate blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides.
Moisturizing lotions and creams are another popular choice among consumers who want to keep their skin smooth and supple. Many moisturizers contain emollients, humectants and preservatives designed to increase water retention on the skin, which prevents dryness and flaking. Emollient oils such as petrolatum, paraffin oil and mineral oil form a protective barrier between the layers of your skin. Humectant ingredients like glycerin work together with emollients to retain moisture inside your skin. Preservatives act as germ fighters, helping prevent fungal infections on your skin from moldy old towels and bed linens.
Using anti-aging cream often makes sense, but you shouldn’t use them daily. Using products containing retinoic acid, alpha hydroxy acids or phytessence wakame extract may actually harm your skin instead of protecting it against signs of aging. However, applying topical vitamin E to your skin once a week or mixing green tea into your shampoo on occasion could produce positive effects on your complexion.
Protecting Yourself From Sun Damage
While sunscreens protect you from ultraviolet radiation that leads to skin cancer, they can also cause irritation, redness and blotchiness. To find a sunscreen product that works best for you, ask your doctor about using a combination of vitamins A and E, zinc oxide or salicylic acid. Make sure you choose a sunscreen that contains a physical blocker — an ingredient that reflects light rather than absorbing it. One example is titanium dioxide. Look for noncomedogenic sunscreens, too; they won’t clog pores and allow you to apply makeup later without worrying about irritating your skin. Finally, check the label carefully before buying any sunscreen, as some products only block UVA rays, which cause the majority of skin cancers.
Although it sounds counterintuitive, avoiding direct sunlight during peak hours — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — is probably the best thing you can do to avoid sunburn. Choose clothing made of natural fibers whenever possible, and wear hats and long sleeves year round.
Aging Causes Wrinkles
Wrinkling happens gradually as collagen and elastin break down under constant exposure to UV rays. Collagen provides strength and support to connective tissues throughout your body. Elastin holds everything together within skin’s elasticity. Both types of proteins are responsible for giving skin its plump, wrinkle-free appearance. While elastin breaks down easily, collagen begins to deteriorate when exposed to UV rays. After reaching your mid-20s, half of your skin’s collagen starts to disappear each decade.
There are several methods available for reducing wrinkling; some require medical attention. For instance, Botox injections temporarily paralyze muscles around the eyes and mouth, allowing the area to relax and preventing sagging eyelids and drooping corners of the lips. Dermabrasion uses a rotating brush to remove the top layer of skin, revealing newer, smoother skin underneath. Laser resurfacing treatments burn away problematic scar tissue and stimulate collagen production. Each type of treatment usually takes weeks to months to show noticeable improvement.
To slow the progression of wrinkles, try taking extra precautions to protect your skin from the sun. Use a broad spectrum SPF 15 or higher sunscreen every day. Protect your face and neck from the sun’s damaging rays by wearing a hat that completely covers your head and ears. Wear sunglasses capable of blocking both UVA and UVB rays. Avoid tanning beds altogether.
After reading this article, you’ll probably want to start thinking twice about those frequent trips to the bathroom during the night. Nighttime bleaching solutions, along with harsh chemical peels and dermabrasion procedures, can leave your skin feeling raw and irritated. Before undergoing any kind of cosmetic procedure, consult a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options thoroughly. He or she can advise you whether you’d benefit from a particular procedure and offer alternatives if necessary.
In addition to caring for your skin, you must also exercise regularly to promote flexibility and mobility. Regularly stretching and exercising your arms, legs and abdominal muscles relieves tension and improves circulation, thus promoting healthier skin. Stretching exercises include yoga, Pilates and tai chi.”