Your skin is the most obvious reflection of the consequences of ageing. The health and appearance of your skin, like the health of your other organs, is linked directly to your eating habits, physical and psychological stress, genes, environmental pollution, exposure to ultraviolet radiation and your lifestyle. The combination of these internal and external factors leads to thinning, dryness, wrinkling, and sagging of the skin. You will see how these strategies will dramatically improve the appearance of your skin, helping you reach your ultimate age-extending wellbeing and beauty goals.
Here's an interesting video about why we age:
Limit sun exposure - Always wear a hat, sunglasses, broad-spectrum SPF30+ sunscreen and avoid sun tanning. Sun exposure burns the surface of the skin (UVB) and causes ageing at the deeper levels of the skin (UVA). UV rays depresses skin immunity, stimulates oxidative stress, inflammation and alters normal skin metabolism leading to the destruction of collagen and various skin conditions including premature ageing, hyper-pigmentation, inflammatory conditions and skin cancers.
Defend the skin from free radicals – Incorporate a potent antioxidant moisturiser, containing free radical fighting ingredients such as Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Green Tea. The skin is constantly exposed to UV radiation and environmental pollution which generate free radicals and cause oxidative stress. This breaks down collagen, alters cellular renewal cycles, damages skin DNA, triggers inflammatory skin diseases, causes blotchy pigmentation and weakens the structure of the skin, giving rise to wrinkles and sagging skin.
Boost skin hydration – Use a cosmeceutical moisturiser that contains hydrating humectants like Panthenol, Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin and Sodium PCA which will help plump up and draw moisture to the skin, like Youthphoria’s Revitex moisturiser. Try using a humidifier or steam vapouriser for drier climates to increase skin moisture. Age-related dryness and skin dullness can be further exacerbated by skin irritants such as perfumed soaps, harsh surfactants like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate in body and facial cleansers, heavily chlorinated swimming pools and long hot showers.
Eat less processed food and sugar (90% for the body 10% for the soul) - Examples include biscuits, soft drinks, chips and pies. Choose these foods sometimes (10%) to satisfy the soul. There is new research that shows a process in the body called glycation which occurs when large amounts of sugar reacts with amino acid groups of tissue proteins such as collagen to form advanced glycation end products. This creates an environment within the skin that favours degradation of collagen, affecting the integrity and regeneration of skin tissue.
Eat a balanced and healthy diet - Eat regular meals to maintain blood sugar levels and metabolism. Eat colourful fruit and vegetables, at least two servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables every day. Research shows that eating more vegetables and fruit increases your body's production of an antioxidant called glutathione which counteracts glycation. Include protein-rich foods in each meal and a handful of nuts and seeds daily. Include starchy carbohydrates, preferably wholegrain at one to two small serves a day. Try and eat oily fish two to three times a week containing essential omega oils, which help with skin cell integrity and fluidity.
Manage your portion sizes - Overeating is a major cause of obesity and stresses the liver and digestive tract. Overeating occurs when we skip meals or eat too quickly. Don’t skip meals and always eat a healthy breakfast (e.g. bowl of high fibre cereal with sliced banana and milk).Try to spread meals evenly throughout the day.
Drink water - Drink about two litres of water between meals each day and try adding Chia seeds to your drink bottle to help with satiety and for an added boost of nutrients. Not drinking enough water can lead to dry skin which is more likely to show fine lines and wrinkles.
Restrict your alcohol intake - Alcohol is a diuretic and dehydrates your skin, making it look dull and grey. Regular drinking deprives the skin of vitamins and nutrients that is required to keep the skin elastic and supple. Alcohol can dilate blood vessels and cause red blotches.
Don’t smoke cigarettes - Smoking promotes skin wrinkling and is thought to accelerate the damage caused by sun exposure. Tobacco smoke produces oxidative stress, impairs circulation and triggers DNA damaging reactions, making the skin more vulnerable to disease and aging.
Exercise - Aim for thirty minutes three to four times a week, including weight bearing exercise. Exercise nourishes skin cells by increasing blood flow to the skin. In addition to providing oxygen and nutrients, blood flow also helps carry away waste products, including free radicals from skin cells.
Stress Less - Try mediation, yoga and balance work with a happy lifestyle. Long term stress activates the body’s natural stress coping hormone Cortisol, which can weaken the protective functions of the skin to microbes. Additionally, skin immunity naturally declines with age, increasing the chances of infection, malignancies and structural skin deterioration.