We spoke with an anti-aging skin care expert to get his top tips for keeping your skin looking its youngest.
"Inflammation is at the basis of aging skin," says world-renowned dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone of his skincare philosophy.
What does that mean for your beauty regimen? Read on for his advice on how to slow down the clock from the inside out.
What causes inflammation
"Inflammation is caused by many things – sun exposure, pollution, psychological stress and pro-inflammatory foods," says Perricone. "This puts stress on your body's cells and they stop functioning as well as they should."
Inflammation not only leads to aging-related diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, but it also causes your skin to start showing signs of aging, he explains.
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Anti-aging diet plan
"Beauty is really from the inside out," says Perricone, who believes that the foods you eat can really change the look and texture of your skin and suggests trying an anti-inflammatory diet in addition to updating your skincare routine.
Perricone recommends eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as coldwater fish, and to reduce your intake of sugars, starches and trans fats. Drink eight glasses of water a day and steer clear of artificially sweetened drinks. Taking an omega-3 fish oil capsule every day will also help your skin (not to mention your brain) stay its healthiest.
Re-evaluate your skincare regimen
Steer clear of harsh ingredients that could cause your skin to react, says Perricone, who recommends choosing products that are tailored to your skin type.
It's also important to be very careful when exfoliating, he says. When you're forceful with your skin – over-exfoliating or using harsh products or manual tools – it's possible to strip the surface of your skin of its natural moisture barrier, which can potentially accelerate the aging process. Test drive products to see if your skin reacts. If your skin is dry, tight or red after using a product, it's time to reconsider. You should also look for skincare products with anti-inflammatory ingredients like vitamin C.
Learn to relax
Your lifestyle is very important when it comes to reducing inflammation, says Perricone. If you're overwhelmed with too much stress, exercising either too much or not enough, drinking too much alcohol or not getting enough sleep you're going to see the effects on your skin.
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