Our skin changes as we age. Although we can’t turn the hands of time back on our skin, there are many things we can do to care for it. Properly caring for our skin is a combination of our skincare routine, nutrition, and lifestyle.
What we eat impacts our skin for good or bad depending on our choices. A typical diet full of refined carbohydrates, processed foods and sugars promotes aging of the skin and wrinkles. A high-sugar diet, including refined carbohydrates such as crackers, chips, bagels, bread and orange juice, quickly turn into sugar in our bodies. In turn, these sugars feed harmful bacteria in the gut, leading to low-grade inflammation throughout the body and can cause skin problems. Whereas, whole foods nourish and repair our skin and bodies. Striving to eat more plants, lean, unprocessed meats, healthy fats such as olive, avocado or coconut oils, nuts and seeds and adding bone broth will lead to improvement in the skin. Powerhouse foods for great looking skin include:
• Bone broth, which is high in collagen, improves elasticity and promotes plumper, more youthful looking skin.
• Dark green leafy vegetables, loaded with antioxidants, improve skin elasticity.
• Vitamin C, most commonly found in citrus fruits and other colorful plants, is important for the production of collagen which makes the skin supple and smooth. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights aging of the skin.
• Healthy fats contain omega 3 and DHA that help prevent skin dryness. They also contain vitamin A and vitamin E, more powerful antioxidants which fight aging of the skin.
• Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce the damage caused by the sun’s UV rays. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants. It is high in vitamins- C, D, K, and B2 (riboflavin), and minerals- zinc, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Sunlight is good for our mood and for making Vitamin D. However, avoid excessive sun exposure and definitely avoid sunburns, which damage the elastin in our skin which leads to premature aging.
Water – hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Dehydration causes the skin to look more dry and wrinkled. Need I say more?
Sleep is essential for a healthy skin. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep a night. While we sleep our bodies make new collagen, and as we’ve been talking about, collagen makes our skin plumper, which translates into fewer wrinkles and less sagging. Skimping on sleep can wreak havoc on our complexion. Who hasn’t noticed a dull, tired complexion complete with dark circles and bags under the eyes after a poor night’s sleep? There’s a reason it’s called beauty sleep!
Exercise boosts blood circulation to our skin, which speeds up healing and lends itself to that healthy glow we all hope to have. If that weren’t enough, it also increases collagen production, which by now we all know is a really awesome thing! As we exercise, the body heats up causing the pores to open, allowing the sweat to push out oil and dirt, so be sure to shower shortly after exercising to wash all that off so it doesn’t reabsorb into the skin. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, which also helps our skin. More on this in another blog.
No matter what your skincare routine involves, make sure what you apply to your skin contains healthy, non-toxic ingredients!
Many skin care products found at the drug store or department store cosmetics counter are made with inexpensive and harmful ingredients. The ingredient list is long and a chemistry degree would be helpful to decipher it. When buying skin care products, look for a short ingredient list with names you can read and understand. Shop for real and preferably organic ingredients made in nature. These products provide numerous benefits to your skin, including improved resiliency and reduced signs of aging. Finally, make sure to apply your moisturizers to when your skin is damp to seal in and retain moisture.