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Graceful Aging – for Your Skin

Statesman Journal Living Well July 2014
Graceful aging for your skin

A large part of aging gracefully is proper skin care, but are you taking all the right steps?  Here are some tips for keeping your skin looking younger and healthier:

  1. Apply sunscreen daily.  You probably know you need to use sunscreen when you’re at the beach, out in the pool, or working in the garden for a few hours, but did you know that the sun’s harmful UV rays can damage your skin even when you’re inside?  Light filtering through windows, even on overcast days, can reach your skin.  To protect it, add sunscreen application to your morning routine, and reapply throughout the day, especially after sweating, getting wet, or when you are outside for longer periods of time.  If possible, avoid the sun altogether between the hours of 10am-2pm, when it is at its zenith.  Studies show this will keep your skin looking youthful longer.

  2. Diet matters.  Staying hydrated and reducing your intake of processed foods goes a long way.  Start with a diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and small portions of healthy fat.  Consume plenty of vitamin C and lemon juice.  Lemon juice can also be applied directly to skin to naturally bleach age spots and boost collagen production.

  3. Wash up before bed.  It’s important to remove your makeup before you turn in for the night, but washing your face before bed is essential even if you don’t wear makeup.  Dirt and other toxins build up on your skin during the day, so a good swipe with a cleanser at night can help prevent future breakouts.

  4. Speaking of sleep... make sure and get plenty of it.  Cell turnover occurs the most rapidly when the body is at rest.  Seven to eight hours of sleep per night gives your skin the time it needs to repair damage caused by stress hormones, UV rays, and pollution when you’re awake.

The better you feel, the more your healthy, youthful glow will shine.

Janet Dow, RN
Santiam Hospital