The Six Things You Can do to Have Truly Younger Looking Skin

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October 22, 2003 | 258,557 views

By Dr. Joseph Mercola
     with Rachael Droege

If you want to have soft, smooth, younger looking skin, then read on. The following information is just what you need to get the skin you've always wanted, no matter what your age.

Limit Intense Sun Exposure

Exposing your skin to intense sunlight for an extended period of time may result in sunburn, which you always want to avoid. Sunburned skin is more susceptible to damage and may age more quickly. During the hottest hours of the day, typically this is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., be sure to limit your sun exposure by wearing a wide-brimmed hat or other protective clothing, particularly during the summer months.

Using sunscreen is not a good way to limit your sun exposure; in fact, sunscreen is one of the LAST things you want to put on your body. Sunscreen is a toxic chemical that can cause problems in your system and increase your risk of disease.

Remember that sunlight is not something to be avoided. You need sunlight in order to stay healthy. The key is to gradually build up your resistance to the sun by going out slowly in the beginning of the season, perhaps 10 minutes at a time to start, and always avoid getting burned.

Avoid "Yo-Yo" Dieting

A recurrent cycle of gaining and losing weight will cause your skin to stretch and become less elastic. As you age, this loose skin will be more prone to sagging and wrinkles simply by the force of gravity.

However, remaining overweight will also contribute to older looking skin, as excess fat can accumulate around your chin, neck and cheeks as you age. Maintaining your ideal weight will keep your skin firm and

If you need to lose weight, my book, The Total Health Program, can help you to keep the weight off for good.

Coconut Oil

Using virgin coconut oil as you would any lotion is an ideal way to rejuvenate skin. Not only does it prevent the formation of damaging free radicals and protect against them, but also it can help to keep the skin from developing liver spots and other blemishes caused by aging and overexposure to sunlight.

Coconut oil keeps the skin's connective tissues strong and supple, which helps to prevent sagging and wrinkles, and in some cases it might even restore damaged or diseased skin.

Coconut oil will not only bring temporary relief to the skin, but it will aid in healing and repairing, unlike most lotions. The coconut oil can help bring back a youthful appearance to your skin by removing the outer layer of dead skin cells, making the skin smoother. The skin will become more evenly textured with a healthy "shine." And the coconut oil will penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and strengthen the underlying tissues.

Naturally, you need to choose a high-quality coconut oil that is free of synthetic chemicals and is not bleached or hydrogenated, all of which can irritate your skin, if you want to experience the maximum healing effects. My team and I here researched coconut oil extensively until we found the ideal source--one that is certified organic and made from the freshest coconuts. I now highly recommend and offer you what is clearly the premier brand of virgin coconut oil in the United States, Tropical Traditions.

If you decide to use another brand of virgin coconut oil, be sure it meets these requirements.

Relax Your Facial Muscles

If you frown (or smile broadly) often, over time lines will form where the muscles tend to contract. Try to become aware of any tense muscles in your face and make a conscious effort to relax them.

Similarly, sleeping on your face may cause wrinkles to appear over time because of the continuous pressure and pulling of your facial skin. Try sleeping on your back or varying your sleeping positions so that you don't create permanent creases in your skin.

Get Plenty of Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to healthy skin, but unfortunately most people are seriously deficient. Making sure you get enough omega-3 in your diet, by taking fish oil or cod liver oil regularly, will help to keep your skin looking vibrant, young and healthy.

Omega-3 fats help to normalize skin lipids and prevent dehydration in the cells. This keeps skin cells strong and full of moisture, which can help to decrease the appearance of fine lines. Fatty acid deficiency can manifest in a variety of ways, but skin problems such as eczema, thick patches of skin, and cracked heels are common. Plus, omega-3 fats may have an anti-inflammatory effect that can help to calm irritated skin, giving you a clear, smooth complexion.

Aside from taking a high-quality fish oil or krill oil, you can also indulge in delicious, omega-3-packed Vital Choice salmon--the only fish I'll now eat. Although I don't recommend eating most commercial fish due to mercury contamination, the Vital Choice brand of salmon, which comes from the cold, pristine waters of Alaska, proved to contain less than .1ppm of mercury and no other toxins when we had it lab tested. If you choose to eat fish from another source, please be sure it has been independently lab-tested and found to be safe to eat.

Avoid Cigarette Smoke

Whether you smoke yourself or are around people who do, cigarette smoke exposes you to damaging free radicals that will accelerate the aging process by damaging the microcapillaries in the skin. This limits the skin's ability to absorb nutrients, which accelerates wrinkling and aging.

Antioxidants, such as those found in fresh vegetables and fruit like organic blueberries, can help to fight free-radical damage and will naturally promote healthy, young-looking skin. A diet with plenty of vegetables will also provide plenty of micronutrients and antioxidants, which will limit damage from the sun and accelerate the skin's repair processes.

Related Articles:

A Surefire Plan to Looking (and Feeling) Younger

Why Did U.S. Have 7 Million Cosmetic Procedures Last Year?

Sunblock Can Actually Increase Your Cancer Risk

Heavy Exercise And Cigarettes Cause Skin Wrinkles

Waging War on Wrinkles Techniques for Turning Back the Clock

Stress Can Cause Your Face to Have More Wrinkles