When we were younger, all we cared about was growing up and the marvelous things we’d be able to do then. Now, though few of us in college are over 30, the obsession with growing up has morphed into a desire to emulate those celebrities who never seem to age. This dream, however, comes in a small container filled with expensive chemicals. Nowadays, cosmetic companies are constantly coming out with new products that promises to reduce wrinkles or shed years off your face at prices no regular college student can afford.
Just how necessary are those $100 serums and creams? The answer’s “not at all” for us 20-something college students, especially since so much of our money has already been spent on books and tuition. Most of the common culprits behind aging are already very well known: smoking, dehydration, sun damage, sleep deprivation, and sadly, even genetics, can all contribute to the process. The good news in all this? Most of these can be easily prevented or slowed with proper daily care, and here’s some easy ways.
First of all, the saying “you are what you eat” is very much applicable here. Healthy foods contain fats, vitamins, and antioxidants that can dramatically slow the process of aging. A diet full of nuts, fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and even dark chocolate can have a huge impact on how the skin ages, as they contain nutrients that nourish the body and antioxidants that protect you it free radical damage. Processed foods and excess sugar should all be avoided, as they do nothing for the body but contribute to metabolic stress. Drinking plenty of water is also another way to slow aging, as it hydrates the body as a whole.
Now, remember when we were little, we thought that smoking was what older kids did? Leave it to the “older” folks. Smokers are more likely to develop wrinkles and an unhealthy skin tone, which can make them appear older. And without a good night’s sleep, everyone can look distraught, stressed, and older, so avoid those late night cram sessions, no matter how many pages you still have left to read. As for suncreen, SPF 15 or above should always be applied on the face and neck, even if no glimpse of sunshine is in sight. UV radiation is everywhere, and it’s constantly damaging the skin and promoting aging, regardless of whether we’re walking to school or waiting for the bus. (UV rays can even penetrate cloud layers!)
However, if you absolutely want to be in with the trend and dip into your wallet to buy anti-aging skincare, make sure you know what you’re putting on your face. The must-have products include a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, and make sure you’re not using years-old sunscreens, as they do expire. Antioxidants such as açai oil and α-lipoic acid are primary ingredients in many skincare products because of their ability to fight free radicals, and vitamins A, C, and E have also all been shown to slow aging. Be aware, though, that in the end, wearing sunscreen and eating will still outshine these pricey products. The key is early prevention!
Article by Jessica Kuo
Feature Image Source: Fashionista