As a culture, we seem to be more afraid of looking old than actually being old.
If you've experienced the metabolic state of an old person, even though you're young, you may have rather looked old if it meant you could feel younger. The good news is, the younger you are when you start working on building a healthy body and skin, the better. Anti-Aging is a buzz word that we've all seen on various skin-care products or used when referring to slowing down the aging process and looking youthful. Taking care of your skin when you are young is much more efficient way to avoid aging than trying to reverse the damage later. The truth is, we all age and it's part of a natural life cycle; however, we can age gracefully and even enjoy it. And the sooner you start paying attention to your lifestyle choices, the longer you will live a fulfilling life while radiating your natural glow from inside out.
Your skin is made of cells, which are powered by mitochondria. If those cells are full of waste products or can't produce energy efficiently, you're going to look old no matter how much $$ you spend on that anti-wrinkle eye cream. Some of the primary culprits to aging are inflammatory foods and toxic environment. Of course, you can apply specific techniques to reverse visible signs of aging, but you'll get much better and faster results after you remove those culprits that are making you age faster and once you've done that you'll get much better return on your investment on the recommendations that follow:
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, and it acts as a building block for your bones, teeth, muscles, skin and other connective tissues. It makes up nearly 80 % of your skin and it's found in the middle layer called the dermis. To stay younger and regenerate you need healthy collagen in all your muscles and tissues, too. Your body contains at least 28 different types of collages, but the vast majority are type 1, 2, or 3. Type 1 and 3 provide structure for your skin, muscles, and ligaments, while Type 2 is found in cartilage and your eyes. Collagen works together with a protein called elastin to strengthen the skin and help it snap back into place when stretched. Sagging skin is a clear sign of a lack of healthy collagen. Excess sun exposure, smoking and too much UV light exposure all degrade collagen even more quickly.
Vitamins such as A (beta-carotene precursor) and C (high levels of antioxidants that reduce inflammation) work together to make collagen within the body. while many plant-based foods contain both of these vitamins, some are more concentrated than others. Papaya, kale, berries, almonds, spinach, citrus fruit, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, and carrots are a few of many examples. To start off the day with a nutrient- loaded and collagen promoting boost, try drinking 8oz of water, sprinkle of cayenne pepper and juice of 1 whole lemon. This will also help balance your stomach acid and allow for better digestion, without an insulin spike following breakfast or your first meal of the day.
Cryotherapy, a brief exposure to cold, increases collagen production and blocks the inflammatory enzymes and hormones that destroy the collagen you already have. Taking a cold shower may sound worse than it actually is, but it increase your production of the antioxidants glutathione and superoxide dismutase, which help fight the free radicals that age your skin. And an extra bonus, cold also helps body burn extra calories. This may sound shockingly uncomfortable, but cold shower is so effective because it helps mitochondria and also stimulates capillary beds to increase circulation in your skin promoting a healthy glow.
Aim for the coldest water that will come out of your shower at your face and neck area for one minute. It will be unbearable for three days, and that's if you can do it for a full minute. But trust me, after your mitochondria change their membrane, to produce heat more quickly, you will go from painful to strangely relaxing and invigorating. Stepping out of that shower, you'll be prepared to tackle anything that the day brings your way. Try it, even if it's just for three days, you can do anything for 1min - right?
Micro needling you can buy a micro needling roller for less than $30 that uses tiny needles to prick invisible holes in the top layer of your skin. This disrupts collagen and stimulates the body to form new, youthful collagen fibers. This stuff is really powerful, one study showed that 100% of patients with deep facial scars showed significant improvement after just 3 sessions. Basically what's happening is that your skin cells realize there are needles pricking top layer, so they toughen up and get younger and stronger while weak or damaged skin cells are killed off. If you choose to try it, make sure that the roller is sterilized and free of contaminants each time you use it, or ask your esthetician for this treatment next time you get a facial.
Retinol is a pure form of vitamin A, it's basically an acid which purges old skin cells and promotes growth of new, healthy cells to form quickly leading to reduced wrinkles and fine lines, faded age spots, smoother skin and it increases firmness and elasticity. There are a few downsides though if you have sensitive skin, you may find it irritating and you will need to wear sunscreen when using retinol, since it makes your skin more sensitive to sun. Also, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid it. Alternative, which is plant based, is bakuchiol and has been shown to mimic the activity and benefits of retinol without dryness and flakiness typically produced by the use of retinol. Bakuchiol comes from seeds and leaves of the psoralea corylifolia which has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat skin diseases. In one study, people who used bakuchiol twice a day for 12 weeks, saw a significant improvement in fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, skin elasticity, firmness, and collagen production. You can find it most health stores, but as always look for organic.
Melanin pigment that gives skin and hair their color and protects cells from damage that can lead to aging and even skin cancer. Our eyes and brains require melanin to efficiently produce energy. You can produce more melanin by consuming foods high in polyphenols, which help your body make melanin by linking polyphenols together. Berries, vegetables, herbs and spices, coffee, tea and chocolate all have polyphenols which is what makes your gut bacteria healthy too, so eating more of these polyphenol rich foods is a win-win for your longevity inside and out.
Interested in learning more about anti-aging and healthy glowing skin from inside and out? Reach out and set up your free 15min session to receive personalized recommendations to get you started.