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Approaching the age of 30 is scary for a lot of women, including myself. I see my youth fading away every single day.
I’m glad I’m happily married, so I don’t need to worry about the pestering from my family or whether I can find the right man to build a family with.
But as I get older, I find myself worrying about getting wrinkles more often. This fear of aging drives many women to buy expensive high-end anti-aging products.
One time, my co-worker told me she just spent $250 on a jar of anti-aging cream and said I was lucky I didn’t have to worry about wrinkles yet (I was 24 at the time).
In a rush to hold back my fading youth, I have contemplated buying those products, reasoning to myself that I need to preserve my natural beauty at all costs.
However, as I did some research online to see which product I should buy, I realized that those heavily marketed creams only have a temporary effect on your skin.
They also contain many harmful chemicals that are not always made clear by the manufacturers since they’re considered “trade secrets.”
As I looked more into research studies and reflected on my own experience, I have gathered the following 10 tips to help you prevent premature aging and wrinkles for free or at a low cost.
1. Stay a way from the sun/Carry an umbrella
Sunlight contains harmful UV rays that can cause long-term skin damage and sun spots. It’s worst from 10 AM to 4 PM. Research shows that the sun is the number one cause of skin aging.
In the scorching heat of the summer, I always try to cover myself with a light shirt, wear long pants, and carry an umbrella to and from work every day. I invested in a $29 anti-UV ray umbrella from Amazon and have used it for 2 years.
I get a lot of stares from people when I do that. It’s just not what Americans do. Many people go out of their way to tell me “It’s not raining” or “I’ll remember you, the girl with an umbrella.” At first, I got offended and immediately hid my umbrella away.
However, when I saw my sunburned face in the mirror, I decided not to care about what people think anymore. Carrying an umbrella may be weird, but it’s not illegal and definitely doesn’t offend anyone. If people don’t want to see me, they can choose to look away.
If I were to choose between my skin and what people think, I’d definitely choose the former. I don’t know those people anyway. For those who know me, they understand why I do what I do and don’t make offensive remarks.
2. Use moisturizer
I used to not put on moisturizer in my early 20s no matter how dry my skin looked. I just didn’t care. But now I can see how sad my skin looks in dry weather without any moisturizer. Dry skin tends to develop wrinkles faster than oily skin due to the lack of skin elasticity.
I tried various natural moisturizers such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados. I also used all natural products such as Yes to Carrots. In the end, I decided to stick with Neutrogena Naturals ($17). (This post is not sponsored by the company. These are my honest opinions.)
3. Drink lots of water
Water helps our skin stay hydrated. And you can get it for free.
4. Don’t drink caffeinated drinks
I don’t drink coffee or tea since it keeps me up at night even if I drink it early in the morning. Not buying coffee or tea also saves me a lot of money.
5. Drink soy milk instead of cow milk
Cow milk may contain hormones that are harmful to your skin. Organic soy milk may be slightly more expensive than whole milk, but it can help slow down the aging process. It’s also cheaper than almond milk.
6. Eat lots of fruit and veggies
Since I switched to an almost vegetarian diet last year, I’ve found my skin to be more even and have fewer if not no acne compared to when I consumed a large amount of meat every day.
The antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin E will help your skin glow from within.
7. Use fruit/yogurt/natural facials
These will help your skin glow from the outside. To be honest, I’m just too lazy to do all the work associated with the facial making and applying process, so I just consume all the fruit, veggies, and yogurt that I have.
8. Get enough sleep (~7-8 hours)
When I get enough sleep at night, I wake up refreshed, and my skin definitely shows that. It looks rosy, smooth, moisturized, and rested.
9. Sleep on your back
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror after getting up and seen some defined lines on the sides on your lips? I have. Although they eventually disappeared, I freaked out when I saw them in the mirror.
I knew exactly what the reason was. I slept on my side the whole night, pressing my face against the pillow.
Although that sleeping position was super comfortable for me, I started training myself to sleep on my back. Those defined lines never appeared again.
10. Don’t make dramatic facial expressions
Sometimes I catch myself making dramatic facial expressions near a mirror and noticed the lines on my forehead. Needless to say, I now try my best not to do that again. Even when I laugh or smile, I’m conscious about not moving my facial muscle too much to leave lines on my face.
That’s not to say that you should always keep a poker face. But you might want to laugh/smile/appear surprised/mad in the mirror to see where the lines usually appear.
If there’s something you can do to prevent the most defined lines from appearing repeatedly, you can save yourself some money by not buying expensive anti-aging cream.
You will see that I don’t include sunscreen on the list. It’s because I rarely use it. Sunscreen irritates my face really badly. Also, I’m not sure what chemicals are in the sunscreen and whether it’s good for my skin. But I do apply it sometimes when I can’t use my umbrella.
I recently started using the L’oreal renewal oil with SPF 30 when I go out in the sun. It consists mostly of natural oil, so I think it’s a good way to keep my skin hydrated and protected from the sun.
Overall, carrying an umbrella in the sun and eating lots of fruit/veggies is my number once choice and method of preventing premature aging and wrinkles.