Let’s face it, we all want to look young forever. Retaining our youth has become something like a badge of honour in modern society. The cosmetics industry is constantly concocting new products, innovations and technology to slow down the aging process. But is there really a fountain of youth?
Unfortunately, we cannot stay young forever. But we can optimise our skin. Aging gracefully is a delicate art, that doesn’t really cost anything. The key is understanding that beauty comes from the inside out.
SLEEP YOUR WAY TO HEALTHIER, YOUNGER LOOKING SKIN
It's very important to get adequate sleep. Getting your beauty sleep is essential for skin optimization, and here’s why:
PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE FOR GOOD SLEEPING HABITS
The position which you sleep in is very important. Be mindful of sleeping on your face or on your side, as you can get sleep wrinkles. To avoid positional wrinkles, try to train yourself to sleep on your back.
The average person spends approximately 33% percent of their life sleeping, which is potentially etching deep facial furrows into your tissue and lines into your face. This can be avoided with a simple change in behaviour patterns.
STAYIND HYDRATED: THE BENEFITS OF DRINKING WATER
Drinking water is very good for the skin (indirectly). When we drink water it doesn’t go directly to our skin. When consumed, water hydrates cells by being absorbed into the bloodstream. This keeps our bodies hydrated on a cellular level, and also flushes out toxins from the bloodstream.
The skin loses more water when you sleep than during the day. Drinking lots of water during day, and applying a rich moisturiser at night will help your skin stay hydrated overnight. Transepidermal water loss can contribute to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. As we age, the water content in the skin is depleted, causing the skin to sag and lose elasticity. Therefore, it’s important to stay properly hydrated.
PROPER NUTRITION: EATING YOUR WAY TO HEALTHY SKIN
As the old saying goes, “you are what you eat”. Nutrition plays an extremely important role in skin health. If you want to optimise your skin, pay close attention to your diet and the types of foods which you consume.
Beauty begins from the inside. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in anti-oxidants, along with healthy fats and protein.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR HEALTHY GLOWING SKIN
Supplements are an excellent way to obtain healthy glowing skin. Micronutrients are important for maintaining skin health. For example, vitamin C helps protect the skin against UV damage, free radicals, boosts collagen production, and assists in wound healing.
Implementing supplements to your diet will help to protect your skin, and slow down the formation of wrinkles. You can also eat foods rich in micronutrients by changing your dietary habits.
SUN EXPOSURE AND SKIN DAMAGE
The sun emits UV rays that can damage our skin if not properly protected. Wearing sunscreen protects the skin against harmful UV rays. But minimising your sun exposure can be beneficial as well.
Exposing your skin to the sun during the midday hours (from 10am-2pm) puts your epithelial cells at risk for exposure to UV radiation. This causes cellular damage at the DNA level. Minimise your sun exposure if you want to avoid skin cancer, melasma, hyperpigmentation, brown spots, freckling, and premature wrinkles.
LIFESTYLE HABITS AND SKIN HEALTH
We all have vices in life, but many of them are not good for our health (especially vanity wise). Bad habits can wreck our skin, and cause premature aging.
3 Things To Avoid For Healthy Skin
These things must be avoided if you want to have healthy glowing skin. Keep in mind that these things speed up the aging process and aren’t good for fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet or glabellar furrows.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MANAGING STRESS FOR YOUR SKIN
We live in an extremely stressful world. Sometimes it can be hard to manage the stress in our everyday lives, plus dealing with stress added from the outside world. Anxiety and stress can wreak havoc on our skin. Studies show that chronic stress can have negative effects on our skin health.
Psychological stress can disrupt the epidermal barrier, and prolong its repair. When we enter a state of distress, the brain secretes hormones that induce the release of cortisol from our adrenal glands. Cortisol is a stress hormone, which when activated results in various changes to our skin.
High amounts of cortisol can cause wrinkles. Chronic stress causes inflammation, breaks down collagen and elastin, which causes the skin to age and accelerate the formation of wrinkles. High levels of cortisol can also aggravate skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, and acne.
Decreasing stress levels will help to improve your skin. It's important to be mindful of your thoughts, and what triggers you. Stay away from anything that gives you undue stress. Implementing techniques like deep breathing, tapping, yoga, and meditation will help to decrease stress levels.
It always baffles me how people are more concerned with putting vitamins on their face than ingesting them. I have always been an advocate for supplements, and have been taking them for more than twenty five years. I am a big fan of vitamin C and vitamin E, both well known for their antioxidant properties; as well as essential fatty acids for it's benefits on the skin. I can personally attest that the benefits of taking supplements outweigh the benefits of using them topically when it comes to aging.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ANTI-OXIDANTS
Antioxidants are extremely important when it comes to protecting your skin. They fight against free radicals which are caused by pollution, UV radiation, and environmental toxins. Free radicals accelerate the aging process, damage the structure of your DNA, and cause inflammation. This ultimately leads to the breakdown of collagen and elastin in your skin, causing wrinkles and loss of firmness.
It 's important to take antioxidants on a daily basis, whether through food sources or taking supplements. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables are an excellent source, or you can choose to supplement your diet with vitamins for an extra boost. I personally eat whole foods that are nutrient dense to provide myself with the necessary antioxidants. But I also take vitamin C and vitamin E on a daily basis as well.
Apart from boosting your immunity, vitamin C is has many benefits for the skin. I take 2000mg-3000mg of vitamin C daily. Vitamin C is water-soluble, and not dangerous when taken in large quantities. The quantities of vitamin C not absorbed by your body will be flushed out when you urinate.
Here are some more benefits of Vitamin C:
Vitamin E is an another powerful antioxidant. This fat-soluble vitamin is produced in the sebaceous glands (the glands in the skin that produce sebum). Sebum is needed to keep the skin healthy and conditioned by preventing dryness. When combined together with vitamin C the duo make a potent pair, and the benefits of vitamin E are increased.
Benefits of Vitamin E:
THE IMPORTANCE OF ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
Essential Fatty Acids or EFAs are needed to maintain the skin barrier, and help the skin function and look healthy. Without the presence of EFAs, the skin barrier would be compromised. Fatty acids are naturally present in your skin, and have three main functions:
Sources of EFAs
omega-3s: fish oils, flaxseed oil, soybean oil, canola oils, nuts, seeds, seaweed, algae, fish and other seafood
omega-6s: borage oil, evening primrose oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, soybeans, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, poultry and eggs
Benefits of EFA's on the skin:
I make sure to get a good dose of EFAs through maintaining a diet filled with nutritious whole foods. But I particularly like to take supplements as well. I've been taking EFAs for the last fifteen years or so. If you're searching for a good blend of omega 3- 6, there are many brands on the market (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian). I particularly like Borage Oil, as it helps treat PMS symptoms such as bloating and breast tenderness. Evening Primrose oil helps to smooth the skin, improve moisture, increase skin elasticity and firmness as well as combat fatigue.
If you are at the stage in life where you're experiencing the first sign of aging, and would like to prolong your youthful appearance or are trying to regain some of your skin's firmness and elasticity then adding supplements to your diet is an option. Remember to take an holistic approach to aging gracefully, because beauty starts from the inside out; not the outside in.