When it comes to skincare, many people are on the quest for the holy grail—a product or treatment that's so effective, it single handedly transforms your skin. This is just one reason why procedures like lasers and chemical peels have become so popular in the past several years.
But, there's more to great skin than dropping hundreds—or even thousands—on specialized treatments a few times a year. In fact, you'll be pleased to know that great skin doesn't require you to dig deep in your pockets or invest in a complicated 8+ step routine of skincare products.
Great skin begins with lifestyle changes. After all, your skin is your largest organ and it is a reflection of your overall health. Add the right skincare routine on top of that, and you're golden.
In this blog, I'll walk you through the causes of aging skin, ways you can prevent skin aging and wrinkles, and natural anti-aging tips. And if you're worried that it might be too late to start, no worries there. In many cases, taking the right steps can actually help reverse signs of aging skin. So without further adieu, let's dive in.
Causes of aging skin
Aging is a natural part of life. But what can make skin aging so distressing is that it can cause a rift in the mind-body connection. If you feel young but what you see in the mirror doesn't reflect that, it can be hard to come to terms with.
Before going over the solution, it's important to learn what's happening to your skin as you age. Let's take a look at the most common signs of skin aging and what causes them:
- Dry skin: Estrogen promotes water retention and plumpness in the skin, so decreased levels of estrogen can cause dryness or skin irritation.
- Thin skin: This is caused by the breakdown of collagen and elastic fibers, decreased estrogen levels and shrinking of cells that make up the layers of the skin.
- Wrinkles and fine lines: Natural, repeated use of certain muscles over long periods of time can cause wrinkles to form. Decreased collagen production, dehydration, and environmental factors like smoking and UV light exposure can also contribute to wrinkles.
- Loss of firmness: As a person ages, the natural production of new skin cells and collagen decreases, which can create a loss of firmness in the skin.
- Dullness: With skin cell turnover slowed down, you may experience an increase of dead skin cells. This "pile-up" can cause dullness on the surface of the skin. At the same time, decreased collagen can make skin appear duller since collagen fibers support skin elasticity and strength.
Ways you can prevent skin aging the natural way
Now that you understand what causes skin aging and wrinkles, let's move on to what you can do to prevent it.
And remember, while starting these habits earlier is best, it's never too late to make healthy changes. In many cases, a lifestyle overhaul can actually help reverse the signs of skin aging. The key is to be consistent and commit to these habits over the long-run.
IT ALL STARTS WITH HEALTHY LIFESTYLE HABITS
Think of it this way: you need to heal from the inside out. Diet, exercise, and your overall lifestyle habits are the key starting points to healthy, youthful, and glowing skin. Ultimately, how you treat your body will reflect on your skin.
- Proper diet and good nutrition: The skin is an organ—the largest organ of the body, in fact. And because of this, the skin is a reflection of our health, the way we eat, and what we eat. Vitamins D, C, E, and K, in particular, are beneficial to the skin. However, at the end of the day, simply focus on eating a nutrient-rich diet that works for your personal health needs, and the results will follow.
- Stay hydrated: Hydration is an incredibly important part of skin health. If your body is dehydrated, your skin will look dehydrated and can appear older. The amount of water you should drink will vary based on your age, gender, weight, physical activity, and other factors. Generally, aiming for around eight cups a day is a good rule of thumb but if you have any concerns, check with your doctor to figure out the right amount for you.
- Minimize alcohol consumption: Alcohol can dehydrate the skin. And as we've learned above, hydration is so important for your skin's health. The skin needs moisture for a radiant and youthful complexion, and for healthy elasticity. Alcohol can also contribute towards depleting levels of vitamins, which is another no-no for your skin's health.
- Avoid smoking: According to studies, tobacco smoke can be damaging to skin. People who smoke have fewer elastin and collagen fibers in their skin compared to people who don't smoke, which can contribute to premature wrinkles.
- Protect yourself from environmental stressors: While you can't stop the natural course of aging, you can help prevent skin aging by avoiding exposure to environmental stressors. For example, too much sun exposure can damage the skin and accelerate the aging process—which is why it's so important to wear sunscreen daily. Poor air quality and air pollutants can also accelerate skin aging.
- Get adequate sleep: Just think of how you feel and how bright you look when you wake up well-rested, compared to waking up after a bad night. People who are sleep deprived may wake up with puffy eyes, dark circles under their eyes, and an overall duller appearance in their skin. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation is associated with reduced elasticity in the skin, uneven skin pigmentation, and fine lines. Never underestimate the power of a good night's sleep.
INCLUDE THE BASIC BUILDING BLOCKS IN YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE
Protect: The starting point of a good skincare routine is UV protection. Too much sun exposure is an environmental stressor that can speed up the aging process, so it's critical to get into the habit of applying sunscreen daily.
Cleanse: A good quality cleanser should thoroughly cleanse your skin of impurities and makeup but still be gentle on your skin. Pro tip: If your cleanser foams up during use, chances are it is not gentle enough. Most foaming agents can be irritating and dehydrating—which can cause inflammation and even increase your skin's production of oil and sebum.
Moisturize: Finish off your skincare routine with a lightweight moisturizer. There's a common misconception that oily skin types don't need to moisturize, but this is actually an important step for any skin type. When you have a good quality, lightweight moisturizer, it will actually help balance your skin's oil production.
- Exfoliate (on occasion): As the skin accumulates dead skin layers and skin cells, the epidermis (outermost layer of skin) gets thicker and more dull. This tends to become more prominent as we age, since our skin cell turnover naturally slows down. The process of exfoliation helps clear out dead skin cells so you can achieve a brightness to your skin.
NOURISH YOUR SKIN WITH PROVEN INGREDIENTS
The basic building blocks of an effective skincare routine are fairly straightforward. Choosing the right ingredients, on the other hand, isn't quite as simple.
Here's a starting point of what ingredients you should include in your skincare routine:
- Retinol — for lack of firmness, lines and wrinkles, and collagen stimulation
- Squalane — for lack of firmness, lines and wrinkles, and collagen stimulation
- Acetyl tetrapeptide — for lack of firmness, lines and wrinkles, and collagen stimulation
- Hyaluronic acid — to increase moisture and hydration
- Vitamin C — stimulates collagen synthesis, helps with even skin tone, antioxidants help fight against free radical damage
- Glycerin — pulls moisture to the outer layers of the skin
- Niacinamide — helps increase skin brightness and luminosity, helps retain skin moisture, helps improve skin texture
- Aloe — soothes and calms the skin, improves skin hydration
SEAMLESSLY PUT IT ALL TOGETHER WITH THE KARAMMD TRIFECTA
Piecing together a skincare routine with all of these science-backed ingredients isn't easy to accomplish on your own. Finding products that bring all of these ingredients together can easily turn into a 8 or 10-step routine.
The other hurdles you may come across are determining the quality of each ingredient, the amount of each ingredient you want to use, and the ideal order to use them in.
For example, what forms of Vitamin C does your product use? Unlike many other Vitamin C products, KaramMD's Quench uses all three active forms of Vitamin C to tackle multiple skin concerns in one sitting.
Another example to consider: hyaluronic acid has become widely known for its hydrating properties, but not everyone knows that hyaluronic acid should always be applied to damp skin or with a moisturizing cream. When hyaluronic acid is applied directly to dry skin, it can actually leave skin drier—which is a common mistake that has adverse effects.
Building a skincare routine shouldn't be confusing. And that's why I spent years developing the KaramMD Trifecta—a seamless skincare system that takes out all of the guesswork and brings you proven, beautiful results.
Rinse: Our Rinse cleanser is gentle, non-foaming, and formulated with anti-inflammatory ingredients to soothe and calm the skin, decrease the presence and size of pores, and thoroughly cleanse the skin.
Quench: The only serum you'll ever need, Quench is loaded with Vitamin C antioxidants and other powerhouse ingredients that work together to hydrate the skin, stimulate collagen production, and give your skin a bright glow.
Illuminate: The final step in the daily KaramMD Trifecta system is Illuminate, an all-in-one cream that moisturizes the skin, promotes collagen production, prevents and minimizes wrinkles and fine lines, brightens the skin, and improves skin tone.
- Polish: Exfoliation can help brighten your skin. And for many, it just feels really good. With most at-home exfoliation products, you have to be careful with how often you exfoliate. But to make life easier, we formulated Polish to be gentle enough for daily use if desired. (However, exfoliation a few times a month should be more than enough if you use the daily Trifecta system.)
What about targeted procedures and surgery?
The beautiful thing about healthy, youthful looking skin is that it's well within reach for anyone if you start with a strong foundation: healthy lifestyle and a good, consistent skincare routine.
Take a look at the visual below. Good skin starts with a healthy lifestyle and then you implement a consistent routine. Over time, surgeries and procedures can help with targeted issues like loss of facial volume or shape.
But keep in mind that there is no one-time procedure that can help you improve your skin's radiance, elasticity, youthfulness, and overall health—that's all dependent on lifestyle habits and your skincare routine.
The bottom line: start with a strong foundation and build up
I like to think of it this way: a skincare routine is like your toolbox that directly addresses what's happening to your skin over time. Anything short of that and you're making a compromise.
In my experience, many people sadly have to make that compromise because a skincare routine that addresses all the aspects of aging typically adds up to 10 to 12 products—which is simply too complicated and expensive to maintain over time. Often, many of my facial rejuvenation patients would share with me their complex (and very expensive) multi-step skincare routines, followed up with disappointment about subpar results.
I'm a firm believer that achieving healthy, youthful skin shouldn't be complicated. Proper skincare management should be easy to understand and attainable for anyone. That's why I developed the KaramMD Trifecta—a seamless three-step system for beautiful results. To learn more about how the Trifecta works, click here.