The Best Way to Firm Your Skin

Use natural products to firm your skin.

Photo: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

As you get older, your skin is going to follow the rest of your body -- south. You can take steps to prevent "bureau disease," when all your skin falls into your drawers, while you still have the chance. One benefit of youth is tight skin, which will stay tight longer if you take protective steps. Do what you can to keep your skin firm and enjoy the years as they pass.

Stay Out of the Sun

The ultraviolet rays of the sun are important to life on the Earth and to your health. The sun provides important vitamin D that works with calcium in your body to keep your bones strong. But you're only talking a few minutes a day to get a good vitamin boost. The sun is one of the biggest causes of sagging skin. With its free radicals and radiation, it zaps your skin of elasticity and speeds the pace of old age. Avoid the sun with hats and light clothing when you do go out and wear sunscreen every day. Apply it often if you're sweating outdoors while running or working out. No matter what color skin you have, melanin will not protect you completely from the damage like a good slathering of 30 SPF sunscreen can. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that screens out UVB and UVA rays even when the clouds are out.

Quit Smoking

You hear about the dangers that smoking poses to your lungs and circulation, but did you know that smoking causes your skin to sag? The chemicals in cigarettes destroy elastin and collagen, the two ingredients that keep your skin plumped and firm. The smoke also depletes vitamin A and other important nutrients your skin needs badly. Your circulation is cut down as you probably notice when you take a long flight of stairs, and that too shows in the capillaries that bring youth-preserving blood to the surface of your skin.

Chill Out and Eat Right

While you can spend like crazy on age-defying creams and lotions and go under the knife to have sagging skin removed and tightened, you can do a lot to restore your skin's firmness by taking care of yourself and changing some lifestyle habits that are causing your skin to rebel. Eat a balanced diet that's low in fat and on the low side in the carbohydrate department. A diet high in vitamin C helps skin keep its youthful tightness. Stress is at the root of a slew of skin problems, from acne and wrinkles to sallow complexions and loose skin. Take it easy and include some form of relaxation in your day that could include long bubble baths, listening to soothing music for 30 minutes or practicing mediation or yoga.

Be Gentle

Think of your skin as an expensive Gucci silk blouse. Be gentle when you wash and treat your skin. Stay away from harsh exfoliants and rough washcloths. Scrubbing is for floors, not your skin. Use gentle cleansers and rub them in softly with your fingertips. Wash in lukewarm water and rinse in cool water to tighten pores and prevent dryness. Pat or blot your skin dry and apply your moisturizer immediately after bathing to seal in age-defying natural moisture.

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