Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay
What is skin aging?
You look in the mirror every day. Gradually, you notice things. A wrinkle developed that you hadn’t seen before.
Over time you continue to notice more evidence of skin aging.
You start losing volume in your face, especially your cheeks. Your skin becomes thinner.
The amount of elastin declines. The skin below your chin starts sagging. These things happen to everyone, some more than others.
As time passes, your skin has less collagen. The amount of hyaluronic acid, which creates volume in the skin, declines. You lose moisture, resulting in drier skin.
Some of skin aging is determined by genetics. But other causes of skin aging are environmental and can be controlled.
Fortunately, you can reverse or prevent skin aging with a holistic approach.
How to prevent skin aging
Protect yourself from the sun
The biggest culprit when it comes to aging skin is the sun.
You increase the risk of skin cancer with excessive exposure to the sun. Ultraviolet rays damage the elastin in the skin.
Getting out in the sun everyday increases vitamin D production, but you still need to protect your skin.
Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher, water resistant if you’re swimming.
Optimally, sunscreen should be worn daily. Otherwise, seek shade, cover up with clothing and wear sunglasses with UV protection.
Smoking will age your skin faster than almost anything. Not to mention, it increases the risk of a multitude of health problems and accelerates the aging process.
Get plenty of sleep
Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night will go a long way to prevent skin aging. The statement about getting your beauty sleep rings true.
When you’re sleeping at night, the skin rejuvenates and regenerates.
It’s a good idea to use a moisturizer at bedtime on your face and hands, especially one designed for anti-aging.
Eat a healthy diet
You are what you eat, especially when it comes to taking care of your skin.
Less inflammation will reduce your risk of disease, as well as protect your skin.
Cooking your foods at low temperatures will lower the levels of inflammation and glycation in the skin.
Since loss of collagen is a result of aging, eating foods high in collagen, such as beef bone broth, egg whites, spirulina and sardines are a good idea.
As levels of collagen decline in your body, you may want to consider supplementing with collagen. Collagen is also available in convenient gummy form.
The following foods will support healthy, younger looking skin:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Dark chocolate
- Leafy greens
- Bell peppers
- Flax seeds
- Green tea
Stay physically fit
Improving your circulation with exercise will help your skin as well.
The increased circulation in your skin will flush out waste products, such as free radicals, and improve the oxygen and nutrient supply to your skin.
Drink alcohol in moderation
Too much alcohol dehydrates the skin. Eventually, chronic dehydration will age your skin, resulting in wrinkles and less volume.
Opt for red wine, which has resveratrol, and limit yourself to one drink per day.
Cleanse your skin properly
Regular exfoliation of your face will remove dead skin cells dirt and encourage new skin cell growth and renewal. You should use a gentle cleanser daily before applying moisturizers or creams.
Microdermabrasion a couple times a week is a great way to remove fine lines around your eyes. Your skin will be softer and more youthful looking.
Regarding soap for cleansing your whole body, the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology recommends soap that won’t dry your skin, such as Dove, Olay or Basis.
Use a moisturizer
Since your skin tends to dry out with age, hydration is imperative.
A moisturizer that encourages collagen regeneration will have your skin singing your praises. Retinyl palmitate will promote renewal of skin cells.
Your moisturizer should have ingredients that block free radicals and enhance DNA health. Apply a moisturizer early in the day and at bedtime.
Ingredients to look for in your moisturizer are retinoids, vitamin C, hydroxy acids, CoQ10, peptides, tea extracts, grape seed extract, niacinamide.
All of these ingredients have demonstrated some clinical effectiveness in promoting youthful skin.
Nutrients to prevent skin aging
Eating foods high in vitamin C will help your body synthesize collagen.
A good multi-nutrient formula with vitamin C is a good place to start when it comes to supplementation. You should try to get as much vitamin C as possible from whole, unprocessed foods.
Getting adequate vitamin E is important since it can help prevent free radical damage to skin from ultraviolet light (UV) from the sun.
Zinc is essential for collagen formation and commonly used for treatment of skin disorders such as acne. So it’s imperative you’re not zinc deficient, especially since zinc is vital to wound healing. Zinc deficiency can also lead to coarse skin. Good forms of zinc are zinc monomethionine and zinc citrate. Foods highest in zinc can be found on MyFoodData.
Selenium deficiency is linked to increased risk of skin cancer and epidermal atrophy.
The three forms of selenium are L-Selenocysteine, L-selenomethionine and sodium selenite. You can get selenium from a wide range of foods.
While a good multinutrient formula should have vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and selenium, it’s not a substitute for a balanced, healthy diet.
Discover the new you
Now that you’ve got the basics, preventing skin aging using a holistic approach just got a little easier.
You’ll be surprised at how much better your skin will look by following these guidelines.
Your friends are likely to ask what you’re doing.
Others may think you’re younger than what you are.
Not only will you look better, you’ll see benefits for your health as well.
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