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Even though you may feel as good as ever, it is a hard reality that putting your best face forward can become more difficult as you get older. Time and gravity eventually take their toll and your skin shows the results - wrinkles, sagging and dryness. Ageless celebrities seem to demonstrate that anyone with access to a big enough bank account and plenty of leisure time can look decades younger than they are. But what about us "regular" people? Can the fountain of youth be put in a bottle and sold at a reasonable price?
The market for anti-aging creams and cosmetic surgery is skyrocketing. Anti-aging skin care products comprise an estimated $1.6 billion market worldwide. Cosmetic procedures, such as Botox injections and laser therapy to improve the skin's appearance, rose to 4.9 million in 2005 in the United States, a 20 percent increase from just two years prior.
Yet, there currently is no marketed intervention that has been proven to slow, stop or reverse aging or its effects. While most of the ingredients in skin care products aren't harmful, there are no government standards for the use of marketing phrases on cosmetic labels like "dermatologist-tested," "allergy-tested," "hypoallergenic," "non-irritating," "herbal" or "natural." Even if the ingredients aren't harmful, at often exorbitant prices, they could remove more cash from your wallet than wrinkles from your skin.
Products may have a pleasant fragrance or texture, or produce temporary results, but think twice about investing too much hope or cash in them. Expensive lotions, peels, vitamins, cosmetic procedures, spa treatments and high-end potions may help treat the visible signs of aging at first, but their effects may fade with continued use and may disappear completely if you stop using them.
Many of the external causes of aging skin are determined by the health and lifestyle decisions you make every day. Making unhealthy choices can cause prematurely aging skin, and this makes you look older, faster.
Here are six key lifestyle factors that contribute to aging skin, and simple things you can do to keep them from making you look older than your years:
While some signs of aging are inevitable, there's a lot you can do to look your best at any age, but there isn't yet a simple potion that will do it for you. Taking good care of yourself is the most important thing you can do to feel and look younger.