Diet and lifestyle changes can have a potent effect on the appearance and health of the skin. In fact, published findings indicate that one may have more control over the rate at which their skin ages than any other organ of the body. To slow skin aging and partially reverse it, an individual must take a comprehensive approach to gain control over all of the factors that have been identified in the skin degeneration process. Scientific evidence now indicates that, in addition to proper nutrition and health care, the daily application of a variety of topical agents plays an important role in the preservation and rejuvenation of skin. So besides the large array of cosmetic services available, I would like to share with you some old habits you should look to eliminate and some simple best practices you should start doing to make your skin look and feel its best at little or no cost.
What factors accelerate skin aging (in order):
- sun exposure
- first or secondhand cigarette smoke
- poor diet (including excess sugar)
- harsh soaps or detergent-based moisturizers
- sleep deprivation
Let’s focus on the top three and how they relate to FREE RADICALS pre-maturely aging your skin. Free radicals are highly unstable and powerful molecules that can cause disease and damage to cell DNA. The cells of your body start behaving erratically producing a range of responses that make your skin age faster.
Stop or Moderate the 3 S’s…
SUN – In the last 10 years, with the changes in the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere, it is clear that the effects of UV radiation from the sun are much more dangerous than originally thought. I feel the TOP cause for accumulated skin cell damage is the oxidative processes and related free radical damage that result from UV sunlight. Do not be mislead that a sunblock with UV 50 protection offers ANY UV-A protection. UV-A is not measured in the SPF number! Look for titanium oxide or zinc oxide. If it does not list either of these, do not buy it!
SMOKING – Besides destroying your skin’s collagen and elastin, smoking releases 40,000 Free Radicals every single time you inhale. For smokers, middle-age starts in the early 30’s as the tell-tale wrinkles around the mouth and eyes begin to appear.
SUGAR – Skin aging from glycation and is the latest phenomenon. Dr. Maes, Vice-President of global research and development for Estée Lauder, states; “We now know that between 40 and 50% of skin aging is caused by glycation – the damage directly resulting from eating sugar. It’s one of the worst skin agers; more than sun, more than the environment.”
Simple Skin Best Practices – Antioxidants and Acids
Although antioxidants are well-known for their beneficial effects inside the body when taken orally, in the case of skin, there are a number of antioxidants that are helpful when applied topically (Podda et al. 2001). Vitamin C does more than inhibit skin-damaging free radical activity. It is also required for collagen synthesis that promotes skin cell turnover, which declines markedly in aging skin. The topical application of vitamin C in a skin-penetrating medium is excellent for collagen production.
Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid): Alpha-hydroxy acids have been around for about 20 years and make a marked improvement in skin quality by their exfoliative action. When you exfoliate your skin, it promotes collagen synthesis and also treats discoloration. Glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy fruit acid, functions to remove dead skin cells off the surface so that more youthful appearing fresh cells can be visible. The effect of the topical application of these fruit acids was the disappearance of fine lines and wrinkles and a fresher looking tone to the skin.
Vitamin A (Retinoids): From acne to wrinkles to discoloration, almost everyone can benefit from the use of a retinol in their skin care regime. Studies show that the upper layer of the skin (epidermis) can be easily loaded with natural vitamin A by topical application. The exfoliative properties of retinoids also help stimulate the collagen fibers within the dermis of the skin and help with discoloration. This process helps minimize the appearance of fine lines.
In Summary: Stay out of the sun as much as possible, stop smoking or being in close proximity of those that do smoke and drastically limit your sugar intake. In addition, make Vit C, Vit A (Retinoids) and the above acids a part of your skin care routine to “hold on to 29”! Defy Age – Erin Owoc “An average 50 years olds skin’s cells turns over every 20-28 days, your goal is every 12-15 days”