Wondering what you can do to look younger or slow down the aging process without plastic surgery? Dr. Phil invites Dr. Tom Diaz, a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Physicians, to the show to offer some proven anti-aging advice. Tips on Preventing Wrinkles and Promoting Longevity
- Avoid the sun. Sun exposure is the number one cause of premature wrinkles. If you must be out in the sun, wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30. Tanning beds have also been proven to cause cancer and wrinkle your skin.
- Don't smoke. Smoking is the second leading cause of premature wrinkles. It upsets the body's mechanism for breaking down old skin and renewing it.
- Minimize alcohol consumption. Alcohol dehydrates the skin, depleting it of moisture. It can also cause broken or distended capillaries on the nose and face.
- Exercise. Exercise is the number one anti-aging medicine, and the benefits are immense. For starters, it is a great anti-stressor. It also improves circulation, which in turn improves skin complexion. It can help maintain healthy body weight, increase bone density, and build muscle. Exercise also strengthens the heart, and can reduce risk of certain cancers. We lose 4 percent of muscle mass for every 10 years after the age of 20. Running is good for the heart and weight training increases metabolism and bone strength. Stretching and yoga are also extremely beneficial.
- Get plenty of rest. The body needs time to repair itself. Lack of sleep can upset the body's metabolism and possibly hasten the onset of age-related conditions.
- Drink at least eight glasses (64 ounces total) of water daily. Water flushes waste out of our system and keeps the skin hydrated, acting as an internal moisturizer.
- Over-the-counter products. Dr. Diaz recommends Glycolic Acid 15 percent, and Alpha Hydroxy Acid. Use at night and use it regularly. You can also ask your doctor about Retin A, a vitamin-based product that works really well.
- Avoid chemical peels and outdated laser machines. "I've seen the worst scarring in my life on people who have had chemical peels," says Dr. Diaz. There are some new products that can make you look younger. Ask your doctor about intermittent pulse laser and fluorescent pulse laser. "They actually stimulate the collagen and remove the discolorations from your skin, actually reversing the signs of aging skin," Dr. Diaz says. "But they will do nothing to prevent cancer."
- Buy green and red vegetables. These foods contain natural nutrients and anti-oxidants that prevent the formation of free radicals, which damage cells and can contribute to disease and premature aging. The high water content found in vegetables is also good for skin.
- Buy fish. Fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower heart-disease risk and stimulate the immune system. These oils are also good for skin and act as a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Supplement your diet with 12 ounces of fish a week. Some fish have high levels of mercury and should be avoided: Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel and Tilefish.
- Incorporate oils into your diet. Extra virgin olive oil and fish oils in a healthy diet are really good for the skin.
- Limit your sugar intake. Sugar acts as an oxidant, having the opposite effect of an anti-oxidant. It does not promote healthy body weight or healthy skin. Sugar also causes the body to release more insulin, increasing the risk of diabetes.
- Drink lots of water. Remember to drink 64 ounces a day.