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Preventative Skincare: The Steps You Should Be Taking

Preventative Skincare: The Steps You Should Be Taking

It’s never too early to start

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Your skin can reveal a lot about your overall health. And if you’re ready to start a reliable skincare regimen, but you don’t know where to start, don’t worry. Some of the easiest and most effective ways to take care of your skin are basic. If the thought of preventative skincare still feels daunting, these are the steps you should be taking, according to the Mayo Clinic and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

Use sunscreen

Use sunscreen

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Spending time outside at the pool, beach and more is a great way to unwind, but it’s important to protect your skin when doing so. It is recommended that you wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and reapply it every two hours.

Avoid smoking

Avoid smoking

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If you want to prevent premature aging and wrinkles, you should avoid smoking, according to The Mayo Clinic. The medical center reports that smoking can make the skin appear paler due to its narrowing of the blood vessels.

Limit bathtime

Limit bathtime

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Sure, taking a bath is a great way to de-stress at home, but excessive baths and showers with hot water can cause the skin to age prematurely. To avoid stripping your skin of necessary oils, try using warm water instead.

Avoid strong soaps

Avoid strong soaps

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In the same vein, when washing your skin, be sure to avoid using strong soaps, as well as detergents when washing your clothes. Like hot water, strong soaps can also strip the skin of its oils.

Shave gently

Shave gently

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Being gentle is key. When shaving, it’s important to first lubricate the skin with a shaving cream or lotion. Shave with the grain of your hair, using a clean and sharp razor.

Moisturize

Moisturize

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Be sure to use moisturizer, especially when the weather is colder. The harsh winter months can dry out the skin, and using a thick cream or ointment is a great way to trap needed moisture.

Don’t use products that burn

Don’t use products that burn

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Finding skincare products that work best for you can be difficult. If you come across a product that makes your skin burn, stop using it. If you have sensitive skin, it’s good practice to do a patch test on your upper forearm before using the product all over your face.

Maintain a healthy diet

Maintain a healthy diet

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You don’t need to pour hundreds of dollars into your skincare regimen, all you need are some fruits and vegetables. According to The Mayo Clinic, some research suggests a link between a diet low in unhealthy fats and refined carbohydrates and younger-looking skin.

Manage stress

Manage stress

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There are plenty of ways that stress affects the body, and breaking out can be one of them. Whether it’s reading, going for a walk or meditating, one way to practice preventative skincare is to find ways to manage your stress.

Avoid indoor tanning

Avoid indoor tanning

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We’ve already covered the ways in which sun exposure can impact your skin, and the same applies to indoor tanning. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, whenever you get a tan, you age your skin. Instead of using a tanning bed, the organization recommends using self-tanners for that bronze glow.

Use products that are water-resistant

Use products that are water-resistant

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Going in the hot tub or for a swim in the pool can be fun. But it’s important to protect your skin when doing so. Buying products that block UVA and UVB rays is key, but you should also double-check that the products are water-resistant.

Seek shade during peak UV hours

Seek shade during peak UV hours

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Another way to protect yourself against the sun is to stay in the shade during peak UV hours. According to the American Cancer Society, those hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Wash your face

Wash your face

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Sweat can do a number on your skin. Whether you were working out or just running errands, the AAD recommends that you wash your face twice a day.

Avoid repetitive facial expressions

Avoid repetitive facial expressions

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This one might be surprising, but the AAD recommends that you avoid making repetitive facial expressions. When you do this, you contract muscles, and contracting the same muscles for years can cause some lines to become permanent.

Rest up

Rest up

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Premature aging can occur if you don’t get enough sleep. The Mayo Clinic’s website states that getting enough sleep can help you manage your stress, and in turn give your skin a boost.

Blot skin with a towel after washing

Blot skin with a towel after washing

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Instead of completely drying off your skin after a shower or bath, try patting it dry. This will keep some of the moisture on your skin.

Drink a lot of water

Drink a lot of water

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Dry skin is one sign that you’re not drinking enough water. Be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day — your skin will thank you.

Wear protective clothing

Wear protective clothing

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The easiest way to keep your skin safe is to wear protective clothing. Along with SPF, wearing hats, long-sleeved shirts and long pants is a great way to shield yourself from the sun.

Exercise regularly

Exercise regularly

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The AAD reports that exercise is a great way to prevent premature aging. Moderate exercise can improve circulation, which can give the skin a younger-looking appearance.

Buy products that cater to your skin concerns

Buy products that cater to your skin concerns

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If there’s a certain aspect of aging that you want to avoid, whether it’s dark spots, wrinkles or something else, it’s important to target that specific concern directly. The AAD advises that treating more than one concern at a time can irritate the skin. But, if your concerns span beyond aging, check out our guide for what certain skin conditions reveal about your health.

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