So many things affect the health of your skin over time like aging, stress, ultraviolet rays from the sun, air pollution and dehydration. Each of these affects the smoothness of your skin in some way and makes it more susceptible to wrinkles, age spots, blemishes, bruises, rough or dry patches and a loss of elasticity. Older women who have had chemical changes due to perimenopause and menopause are especially vulnerable to an overall loss of skin smoothness.
While it may not be possible for adults to regain picture-perfect, baby-soft skin, we can still get pretty darn close. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. David Horowitz of Coast Dermatology Medical Associates helped us put together a list of eight tips for smoother skin from head to toe.
Add more berries and skip sugary treats to help fight premature aging, loss of collagen, cancer or other health concerns. Eat fish twice a week to get plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for all-over smooth, radiant skin. And be sure to drink plenty of water to flush toxins from your body.
Sleep your way to beautiful skin. Seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night rejuvenates your body and skin. Regular physical activity helps reduce inflammation, regulates skin-significant hormones and prevents free-radical damage.
Over-washing may cause excess oil production and lead to breakouts, especially on the face, neck, chest and back. Remove makeup with a gentle cleanser and follow with a toner to remove any dirt, oil, makeup or cleanser that was left behind, and then moisturize. Exfoliate only as needed to slough off dead skin cells, improve circulation, increase collagen production and support smoother skin—once or twice a week is typically enough for your face and up to three times per week for your body. Clean your makeup brushes once a week (ideally) using unscented soap to avoid breakouts.
If you suffer from dry, flaky or cracked lips, gently brush your lips with warm water and a toothbrush to remove dead skin cells. If you’d like to exfoliate further, try a gentle lip scrub for smoother lips that look healthier. Wearing moisturizing and hydrating lip products (balm, lipstick or intensive treatments) will keep your lips kissably soft.
Your hands and feet go through a lot of wear and tear every day, so it’s important to take special care of them. Find an antioxidant topical cream or lotion that contains shea butter, coconut oil and vitamins A, C and E to help feed and protect these areas of your skin, which are prone to roughness and overuse.
If you need a little extra help getting smoother skin, there are dermatologist-recommended skin-resurfacing treatments available.
This procedure uses very concentrated beams of light to improve skin tone, texture and appearance by minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. It is also effective in treating brown spots, redness and discoloration, encouraging collagen production and removing unwanted body hair, acne and surgical scars. Dermatologists recommend using a cream or ointment containing lanolin for five days after treatment or until the skin no longer appears raw. Once the skin begins to heal, it’s time to moisturize. Dr. Horowitz recommends light moisturizers like Cetaphil or CeraVe lotion. After two weeks, a regular moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher may be used.
Chemical peel treatments help tighten, tone and brighten the complexion while minimizing the appearance of age spots, blemishes, fine lines, wrinkles or mild-to-moderate scarring. During treatment, a solution is applied to the skin and left for a period of time, typically two to seven minutes. Your skin will experience peeling for three to five days following treatment. It is important to keep your skin moisturized following a chemical peel. After washing with a mild, unscented soap, Dr. Horowitz suggests CeraVe cream for his patients. Applying a hydrating moisturizer at least two times a day may relieve dryness and peeling.
Microdermabrasion is a mild procedure that may be used on the face, neck, hands or body. The area is exfoliated by either a fine-tipped instrument or by applying a fine mist of abrasive particles. Dermabrasion is a more powerful resurfacing technique that reaches deeper skin tissues. This technique may affect skin pigmentation and is not recommended for all skin types. Both treatments remove top layers of skin to encourage new cell growth to promote fresh, youthful skin. After these treatments, Dr. Horowitz recommends copper-based at-home care like Neova face moisturizer because it helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well as speed healing and recovery. Microdermabrasion creams containing vitamins A, C and E are also very effective for improving elasticity.
This article has been reviewed by board-certified dermatologist Dr. David Horowitz.