If you don’t have time for intensive skin care, you can still pamper your skin with good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices, which can help delay the natural aging process and prevent various skin problems. Get started with these basic tips:

  • Protect yourself from the sun. One of the most important ways to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. Why? Because a lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin issues, like cancer. So if you want to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, you should use sunscreen with at least an SPF of 50 or higher. Make sure to reapply it every two hours. You should also avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest. Lastly, you should wear protective clothing like long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and wide-brimmed hats.
  • Don’t smoke. It may seem like common sense, but even when you’re young, you shouldn’t smoke because it can have lasting and detrimental effects. Smoking not only makes your skin look older, but it also contributes to wrinkles. This is because smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow, depleting the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin, the fibers that give your skin strength and elasticity.
  • Treat your skin gently. This means using lukewarm water when washing your face (hot water can remove oils from your skin, drying it out even more). You should also choose mild cleansers for the same reason. Finally, moisturize your skin every day. If your skin is dry, use a moisturizer that fits your skin type. Use a morning moisturizer that contains SPF.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Make sure to load up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Research suggests that diets rich in unprocessed foods and vitamins and low in processed foods containing lots of dairy, white carbs, and sugar actually help you age more gracefully. It’s also true that diets rich in vitamin C and low in unhealthy fats and refined carbs might promote younger looking skin.
  • De-stress. If you’re super stressed out, your skin can actually become more sensitive, triggering acne breakouts and other skin problems. So take steps to manage your stress by getting reasonable limits, scaling back your to-do list, and making time to do the things you enjoy. You should also consider meditation, which is a great stress buster.