Although aging is imminent, premature aging is not. According to medical experts, aging is either intrinsic, in that it is caused by genetics, which we have little to no control of, or extrinsic. Extrinsic aging, however, is caused by personal lifestyle and environment (smoking, stress, pollution and sun-exposure). But the good news is, with proper self-care and modification of lifestyle, premature aging is avoidable, and restored elasticity to damaged skin is achievable. Learn how to naturally restore elasticity to your facial skin, and turn back the hands of time.

Things You'll Need

Eat healthy. The old adage, “You are what you eat,” is actually true. In fact, most dermatological ailments are due to a poor diet (pro-acidic, other). Eliminate high fat, processed and white foods from your diet, and replace them with green leafy vegetables, ripe fruits and fatty fish. Green leafy vegetables are high in vitamin K and antioxidants, which are beneficial to anti-aging. Salmon and tuna are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin C strengthens the immune system, which affects hair and skin.

Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when it is at its hottest. This will reduce the process of photo-aging. Use the correct sun-blocker, even with cosmetics. Aging Skin recommends SPF 30 or higher. “Photo-aging” is a major contributor to wrinkles. “Without protection from the sun’s rays, just a few minutes of exposure each day over the years can cause noticeable changes to the skin,” asserts Aging Skin Freckles. These changes can include age spots, loose skin and a blotchy complexion.

Get sufficient rest. A well rested face is a beautiful face. Insufficient sleep or rest produces “baggy” eyes and dark circles. This intensifies the look of premature aging, and causes stress marks to the face. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average healthy adult needs approximately 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. If you are fortunate enough, try for a midday nap as well, for approximately 3 to 4 hours. Psychologist, William Anthony, M.D. of Medicine Net, encourages midday napping. He asserts, “A short nap increases productivity, sharpens the senses, and lifts the spirit.”

Exercise, perspire and relieve stress. Exercise is not only good for the body, but great for the skin. Exercise causes blood flow to various parts of the body, which releases oxygen to that area. Consequentially, immune systems are restored, which in return enables the restoration of cells and the elimination of toxic stress. These toxins are emitted through the skin as we perspire, leaving the skin cool and refreshed.

Watch your facial expressions and stop smoking. According to Aging Skin, if you are a facially expressive person who is concerned about maintaining a youthful appearance, stop with the dramatic expressions. “Repetitive facial movements actually lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Each time we use a facial muscle, a groove forms beneath the surface of the skin, which is why we see lines form with each facial expression. As skin ages and loses its elasticity, the skin stops springing back to its line-free state, and these grooves become permanently etched on the face as fine lines and wrinkles,” informs Aging Skin. Also, stop smoking. Smoking is not only unhealthy for the body, but it is pro-aging to the skin, causing defined lines around the lips from constant inhaling/exhaling (puckering).

Wash your face without soap. Soap actually dries the skin. Sulfates, dye, fragrances and other harsh chemicals customarily added to soap and shampoos, work against healthy skin care. Washing with warm water only and rinsing with cold water, or washing with a deep-conditioning, cocoa butter lotion and warm water, will not only leave you with softer, clean skin, but conditioned skin as well, minus the soapy film. It also removes make-up and seals in moisture.

Wear your tea. The next time you brew a cup of fresh chamomile and ginger tea, with lemon and honey, don’t just drink it, but wear it. Natural herbs, roots and botanicals such as rosemary, sage, ginger, chamomile and peppermint, brewed in distilled water and refrigerated, serves as a wonderful skin toner post-washing. The added lemon juice actually tightens the skin, and the honey seals in moisture. This tea combination also lightens hair.

Use a home-made facial butter. In a blender, blend 1 tbsp each of Shea butter, mango butter, Illipe butter and coconut oil and 2 tsp. of vitamin E oil until creamy. Pour half of the mixture into a clean container and add 1 tbsp. of honey. This will be used as a night cream. In a second container, pour the remaining mixture (without honey). This will be used as a day cream. Store creams in a cool place.

Fill a large porcelain or stainless steel bowl with ice and water, as part of your daily regimen. After washing your face, plunge it into the bowl for 3 seconds. Pat dry and spritz with your home-made tea toner.

Tips

  • Vitamins A through F give shea, mango and Illipe butters an enriched healing property. Their overload of minerals and vitamins, according to Mountain Rose Herb, promotes moisture and produces collagen (which is an anti-aging agent). They also revitalize damaged skin, induce circulation, and accelerate wound healing, including stretch marks. Mango and Illipe butters in particular, fight wrinkles and other dermatological ailments, according to Mountain Rose Herbs and Exotic Butters.
  • According to Coconut Oil Central, “Coconut oil contains predominantly medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) or medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). MCFAs while making connective tissues stronger for that much desired softness and elasticity… also has superb antioxidant activities that neutralize free radicals and slow down aging. Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of MCFAs.”