What To Do Now To Ensure Your Skin Looks Great In A Decade

Human skin is subject to a near-constant onslaught of elements like sun, wind, chemicals, and wayward hormones. These annoying things threaten to make skin wrinkle, sag, or otherwise lose its luster prematurely. Although every trip around the sun is a good thing, nobody wants their skin to reflect their age, especially once middle age hits. People are willing to drop big bucks to look younger, with the North American anti-aging market valued at $17.44 billion in 2022, and expected to reach a whopping $22.47 billion by 2027, per Market Data Forecast.


For those who want to defy the aging process, all it takes is a few simple habit adjustments to ensure the best future skin possible. Although there are some treatments and techniques that will undoubtedly improve skin now, allowing for the buzz that comes with instant gratification, it's even more important to take the "long game" approach to skincare. Truly, how you treat your skin consistently in the present will be reflected in 10 or 20 years and beyond. Those days will come a lot quicker than you think they will, so get prepared now!

Limit sun exposure

The single biggest cause of age-related skin issues is sun exposure, which causes pigmentation changes (freckles, spots, etc.), wrinkling, redness, broken capillaries, and rough or uneven skin, per Yale Medicine. This all happens because ultraviolet light exposure wreck's the skin's inherent structure, accelerating the aging process by a significant margin.


To avoid looking like you're from another generation altogether, reduce sun exposure consistently, even in the winter! Wear a wide-brimmed hat when outside to protect the face, ears, and neck. Also, make a daily habit of applying sunscreen, especially on days when the arms, legs, and chest are exposed. Fortunately, many foundations and moisturizers come packed with SPF capabilities these days, but make sure that all parts of the face are liberally covered with the good stuff. Many people miss the bridge of the nose when applying such products, and as a result, it's one of the most common spots for basal cell carcinoma and other skin cancers to pop up. Where there's potential for carcinoma, there's almost certainly age-related sun exposure happening.


Establish a daily skincare regimen

No matter your age, if you don't have a daily skin care regimen, it's past time to start one. Everyone, even people who don't use makeup, should wash their face with a gentle cleanser designed specifically for the area. This is not the time or place for a standard bar of soap, as it's far too harsh for the delicate facial skin and will dry it out.


Next, use a gentle exfoliant to remove built-up dead skin cells. Then, apply a serum that contains retinoids and vitamin C, because these active ingredients have an antioxidant effect and can improve collagen levels. People with sensitive skin should probably test the product sparingly in an inconspicuous spot before going all out though (or even consult a dermatologist), as retinol can cause irritation. Lastly, apply a moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated and minimize fine lines. It might seem like a lot at first but shouldn't take more than a few minutes to perform once you get the routine down.

Solicit some expert services

It's important to visit the dermatologist for a skin check on an annual basis so that expert eyes can assess any potentially problematic moles or other skin issues. The earlier skin cancer is caught the better, as it can be treated more fully and easily. This often translates to less scarring than if the situation gets out of control.


Dermatologists are also a fab resource for those who want to keep maximize skin longevity, thanks to a smorgasbord of services like dermabrasion, chemical peels, facials, laser therapy, and more. Although at a higher price point, they offer medical-grade services that can literally wipe years off of one's face in a way that most over-the-counter products can't. Depending on the treatment and personal need, the dermatologist can successfully reduce or eliminate sunspots, minimize reddening, restore collagen levels, and more. It's possible to do some of these treatments at home, thanks to portable microdermabrasion and facial kits, but the results won't be as impressive as if done by a pro.

Avoid tobacco products

Everyone knows by now that tobacco products are terrible for just about every part of the human body, even the skin! This is because toxins found in tobacco can actually wreck elastin and collagen, Manhattan Dermatology says. These proteins are what help skin look healthy and supple, so they're pretty important to our overall appearance. The destruction that tobacco causes to collagen and elastin is exactly why smoker skin starts to wrinkle up earlier than their non-smoking counterparts, and also the prime cause of those trademark smoker's lines around the lip area.


Smoking also drastically reduces the amount of oxygen the skin receives because it causes the blood vessels to become constricted, which hastens the development of wrinkles and fine lines. As if that's not enough, smoking causes extra melanin production, which results in unsightly spots, almost always on the face. The habit can also exacerbate or outright cause inflammatory skin problems like eczema or psoriasis. Even secondhand smoke can cause a lot of damage, so steer clear of those who light up!

Eat, drink, and sleep right

Beauty really does shine from the inside out. Nutrition and hydration are key components to helping skin stay luminous and young-looking for as long as possible. Be sure to drink plenty of water every day to keep skin hydrated and supple, thus reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. For men, that's about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) per day, and for women, it equates to 11.5 cups (2.7 liters), theĀ Mayo Clinic says. So steer clear of (or at least limit) dehydrating beverages like soda and alcohol, and turn to nature's fruit juices instead.


Skin also strongly reflects nutrition habits, especially in the long term. Diets that are high in fat are particularly perilous to aging, as they cause oxidative stress to the skin, which produces inflammatory damage, per an article in the journal Nutrients. This constant stress is shown to accelerate the speed at which skin ages. So try to limit fat content in the daily diet and leave it instead to a once-in-awhile treat. While you're improving all of these habits, make sure you're getting enough sleep (at least seven hours per night) because inadequate nightly zzz's are linked to premature aging.