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Over time, the skin loses elasticity, and wrinkles and imperfections form. Although these signs of aging seem unavoidable, they can actually be slowed by implementing a few good daily habits.

1. Quit smoking

Aside from all the other health risks smoking causes, it also accelerates aging. The nicotine found in cigarettes causes blood vessels to narrow, which limits blood flow and limits the amount of oxygen and nutrients delivered to the skin. Because of this, the skin can appear unhealthy and tired. The chemicals found in smoke also weaken the skin’s collagen and elastin, which can lead to premature wrinkles and sagging skin.

Woman breaking a cigarette in half

A recent study published in the November issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® (the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons) compared multiple sets of middle-aged twins; in each set, one twin had either not smoked at all or had been smoking five years fewer than the other twin. In just about every case, the twin who smoked longer – even for the short amount of time of five years – appeared older. Wrinkles especially around the lower two-thirds of their faces were deeper and more apparent than their non-smoking twin. This goes to show that the best time to quit smoking is right away. However, if the damage has already been done or you can’t quite kick the habit, the facelift procedure will target the exact area of the face on which smoking has the strongest effect. Injectable fillers can also restore lost facial volume and minimize wrinkles that result from smoking.

2. Wear sunscreen

Woman applying sunscreenUltraviolet rays from the sun damage the skin and cause it to wrinkle prematurely. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that out of 900 participants under the age of 55, those who applied sunscreen daily showed 24 percent less skin aging compared to those who applied sunscreen part of the time. Even middle-aged participants who used sunscreen regularly were less likely to have increased skin aging after 4.5 years.

Sun spots, wrinkles, fine lines, and pre-cancerous growths can all be caused by the sun’s damaging rays. Dr. Roussalis can help reverse the damage and provide a smoother, blemish-free appearance with a chemical peel or dermabrasion.

3. Improve your diet

In a previous blog post, we explained what free radicals are and how to protect yourself from them. Free radicals are caused by smoking and other environmental factors, but they also occur naturally in the body and can lead to premature aging. They are unavoidable, but they may not cause as much damage if there are more antioxidants than free radicals present in the body. Fortunately, we can get antioxidants by consuming antioxidant-rich food, such as blueberries, kidney beans, cranberries, artichokes, prunes, apples, and pecans. A diet rich in plant-based foods gives the body vital nutrients that will give the skin a healthy glow.

If damage from smoking, the sun, or a poor diet have already affected your skin, Dr. John Roussalis offers several minimally-invasive skin treatments that can help reduce wrinkles and improve your overall facial appearance. To schedule your consultation, please call (307) 234-4585 or fill out our online contact form today.