As we grow older our bodies become less and less capable of fully repairing the damage to the molecules which give skin its strength and resilience. There’s nothing to be done about intrinsic aging, except perhaps adopting the right approach to it, which is one of acceptance. As a result of intrinsic aging, after age 20 we begin to produce around 1% less collagen (the protein that gives skin its strength and firmness) per year. Our bodies also begin to produce less elastin which is responsible for giving skin its elasticity, meaning that with every year that passes our skin becomes weaker, thinner and more fragile. It is very important to note that although the effects of intrinsic aging are inevitable, they are also slight.
Extrinsic aging is the kind of aging that really causes the serious skin damage because this is the form of aging that occurs as a result of sun and environmental damage. By far the greatest enemy to clean, clear complexions and youthful skin the world over are the lifestyle choices we engage in on a prolonged, day to day basis.
The greatest accelerant of aging skin is unprotected exposure to the sun. By ensuring that you take prudent measures to protect your skin you will in effect be combating 90% of the unwanted effects of extrinsic aging. Applying a moisturizer containing a sunscreen with an SPF of no less than 30 before heading out the door, come rain or shine, summer or winter, will ensure that you stay way ahead of the premature skin-aging curve.
Health is holistic.
So to take care of the skin you also need to ensure you take care of the whole body, and that means feeding it right. Including foods rich in healthy, skin-boosting antioxidants, healthy fats and oils will ensure that you provide your cells all the nourishment they need to fight off the aging effects of free radicals, which occur in more plentiful numbers in the skin than anywhere else in the body.
Add blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries to your shopping list and you’ll be arming your anti-aging cells with a powerful source of antioxidants. Salmon is packed with omega fatty acids which are essential to giving skin it’s healthy, moist sheen and sunflower seeds provide and unrivaled source of vitamin E. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of clean water and green tea, which boasts an impressive number of anti-aging qualities.
Also be sure to get enough aerobic exercise to ensure that your skin cells are provided with enough oxygen to stay vibrant and healthy. Finally, round off the day with a good, solid, refreshing and rejuvenating night’s sleep. Caring for your skin should be simple. Limit your time in the bath or shower to 15 minutes or less, as too much time in hot water strips essential oils from the skin leaving it dehydrated, dry and itchy. Also, be sure to wash the skin gently using a good cleanser.
Moisturizing is a must and the rule of thumb is to avoid alcohol based moisturizers if your skin is predominantly dry. If you have oily skin, then opt for a water-based moisturizer. Another essential is exfoliating as it removes dead, complexion dulling skin cells and reveals the fresh cells underneath. Exfoliating helps to even out the skin’s surface and gives it that healthy, peachy glow. For dry and sun-damaged skin stick to an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) based exfoliant but if you struggle with acne and have skin that is prone to oiliness and blackheads then a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) exfoliant is for you. Be sure to limit your exfoliating to twice or at most three times a week. Finally, enlisting the skin beautifying help of a good anti-aging Serum like MitoQ, a very effective antioxidant protectant that has been scientifically proven to replenish and rejuvenate the skin puts an ace up the sleeve of anyone playing to keep their skin looking brighter, lighter and younger-looking for longer.