In my first blog, I focused on what NOT to do to prevent skin aging. In part 2, I will share some more tips to incorporate into your daily routine to keep your skin at its best regardless of your age. And remember:
“It`s not how old you are, it`s how you are old.”
― Jules Renard
Having youthful skin has more to do with what you put in your body than on it. So, you can spend a lot of money on expensive skin products but you have to feed your body right FIRST. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and maintaining your body’s collagen level is critical to youthful, anti-aging skin. Collagen has gotten very popular recently with a number of diets like Primal, Keto and others advocating its use. It has become a superfood with benefits like keeping arteries clean, easing joint pain, and boosting mood and energy. This study has shown that oral collagen consumption increased skin hydration and improved collagen density.
It’s important to note that there are five specific types of collagen we need to help the body absorb and utilize it where it’s needed most:
- Type I is 90% of the collagen in your body and used to maintain bones, hair, tendons, ligaments and teeth
- Type II is found in cartilage and this type of collagen promotes pain-free joints
- Type III is the second most abundant type of collagen in the body and it keeps your skin and lining of organs and arteries smooth and flexible
- Type V is found on the surface of all your cells and promotes full and healthy hair.
- Type X also helps with bone and cartilage formation and prevents arthritis and osteoporosis
I recently switched to a food-sourced multi-collagen powder that has all five types of collagen. I use this to add to my morning shake. Here are some brands to try:
This one includes vitamin C which is an essential vitamin for collagen production.
We all need our beauty sleep to restore and repair our body and our skin. Aim for a solid seven hours a night – you can read more about how to optimize sleep and create your perfect sleep sanctuary in my blog here.
Protecting your skin from harsh UV rays is not only important to avoid skin cancer but to keep your skin youthful. While the normal aging process is characterized by a thinned epidermis and fine wrinkles, photoaging caused by chronic sun exposure produces uneven skin tone (dark spots), deep wrinkles and skin laxity. I still regret tanning myself during my teens with coconut oil every summer to get the then sought-after bronzed look – if I had a dime for every dumb thing I did… You need to spend time outside and get adequate sun exposure to balance your circadian rhythm but do it before 10-11am or after 2-3pm to avoid the peak hours. Stay away from synthetic ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate and look for mineral sunscreens or reef-safe titanium dioxide and zinc oxide sunscreens. Here are some options to try:
If you have mature skin and feel the need to amp up the free radical fighting power, consider supplementing your anti-aging diet with vitamins A, E and additional C. Vitamin A is readily available in foods like eggs, cheese and fish so only supplement if necessary as it can be harmful if consumed in excess. Vitamin E helps skin cells regenerate and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a fat-soluble vitamin so make sure not to overdose as your body cannot flush out the excess (unlike Vitamin C). Vitamin E can also be topically applied as a face treatment.
Here are some to try:
Vitamin A from cod liver oil:
Liposomal Vitamin C:
Vitamin E skin oil:
Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables are nutrient dense, contain antioxidants to combat skin aging and also high amounts of vitamin C which is necessary for collagen production. This study found that oral consumption of Vitamin C increased the radical-scavenging activity of the skin. You can use a vitamin C serum on your skin but why not just consume it with a high vitamin C diet of kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and spinach? You’ll also get vitamins and nutrients like folate, vitamins A, K, potassium, and iron.
Omega-3 Rich Foods
Wild-caught salmon, small mackerel, almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, and olive oils are all rich sources of omega-3 and will help replenish moisture and repair the skin. Salmon contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin which gives the fish its pink color – this carotenoid, when combined with collagen has shown to improve skin elasticity and overall hydration after only 12 weeks. So a shake of multi-collagen powder for breakfast with leafy greens and wild salmon for lunch or dinner would make a perfect anti-aging skin diet for the day.
Work up a Sweat
Do you notice how clean your skin feels after a vigorous workout that produced consistent sweating? Exercise does this by stimulating the blood flow and supporting the natural detoxification process to de-stress and de-age your skin. This study showed that exercise moderates against oxidative damage to the skin. So work up a good sweat! If you are like me and need a lot of effort to get sweating, try getting in a sauna or a hot bath with some Epsom salts. It will help you relax, sweat comfortably, detoxify and fight off those reactive oxygen species that promote skin aging.
I’m a strong believer that beautiful skin starts from within, so you have to start with a healthy diet, incorporate lots of movement and get adequate sleep to stay looking youthful. In a future blog, I’ll talk about some topical treatments to add to your regimen to combat aging.