Relaxed girl sitting in bath with cup of herbal tea
Image: Shutterstock/Pressmaster

The most important thing you can do for your skin is to prevent premature aging at an early age. Many women don’t think about preventing fine lines, wrinkles, scarring, or sagging skin until they’re already seeing these things happen to them. It’s much better to start your anti-aging routine now, even if you’re in the prime of your youthful years. Here is a daily anti-aging routine that every woman should incorporate into her daily routine.

Hydrate first

Before you do anything else, drink a full glass of water upon waking. In the morning you want to consume two glasses of water within the first couple hours. Add juice from half a lemon to promote detoxification. Make sure you use a water filter on your faucet, or you can get fresh spring water from your local health foods store. The quality of your water is highly important when it comes to skin health. Be sure to drink at least 8 8oz. glasses of water per day. Eat fruits and vegetables that are concentrated with water, like cucumber. If you drink coffee, make sure you’re drinking those two glasses of water before you drink coffee. Consider switching to green tea for optimal skin health.

Cleanse the right way

Use a mild and gentle cleanser that is free of harmful chemicals. You want your cleanser to cleanse your pores and wash off makeup (in the evening), but you never want your cleanser to strip your skin of its natural oils. You can give your skin a healthy boost, but you ultimately want your skin to replenish dead skin cells on its own so it can create new, healthy cells. When we scrub hard at our skin to wash away acne and other blemishes, we damage the protective barrier. This causes the skin to produce more oil which leads to more breakouts. Keep it gentle.

Use facial oils

If you suffer from acne and you’re prone to breakouts, your skin is producing too much sebum oil. In this situation, you’ll benefit from a nourishing topical oil. Oil tells the skin that it has the oil it needs and doesn’t need to produce more. When it comes to aging, we lose our collagen and elasticity over time. A high-quality oil will keep your skin looking youthful and at its best. Don’t buy into the “miracle” creams and serums. A natural blend of oils will do the job. A good place to start is with an organic (always buy organic oils) cold-pressed extra virgin olive, coconut, or castor oil.

Use a shower filter

This is highly important considering your shower water contains chlorine and chloramine (chlorine with ammonia). More chlorine enters our bodies from inhaling the steam in the shower than from drinking tap water. Chlorine bonds to skin and hair to remove moisture and disrupt the balance of healthy bacteria on the body. Avoid long, hot showers as well. Hot water dries out your skin and hair. For your best-looking skin stick to a 10-minute shower with lukewarm water.

What to eat and not eat

Stress not only affects our overall health, but it also directly impacts the skin. Foods that grew in a stressful environment can actually help our skin combat stress. These foods are typically called adaptogens. Some of the best adaptogens to prevent premature aging include maca, a root that grows at a high altitude, and astragalus, a bush that can thrive in extreme environments.

You’ll also want to incorporate superherbs like goji berries, reishi, chaga, and schizandra because they contain photo-chemicals that feed your immune system and boost your beauty organs—your kidneys and liver.

Make sure to eat plenty of healthy fats like avocado, coconut, cacao, and black sesame oil. Add your fats topically too! Cacao butter is great for nourishing your skin when applied like a lotion.

When it comes to what not to eat, the main culprit is sugar. Sugar spikes your insulin levels and wrecks your metabolism, which leads to rough and leathery skin. White carbohydrates like pasta and bread will cause a blood sugar spike, so avoid these as well. Combat sugar cravings with organic fruit that is lower in sugar, like blueberries.

Get your beauty sleep

Make sure you go to bed early and log at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Aim to get 8 hours of sleep as much as possible. Get rid of any light in your bedroom and turn off technology at least an hour before bed. Spritz a little lavender on your pillow and take magnesium glycinate if you have trouble getting to sleep.