What Is The Cause of Premature Aging?
Premature aging may appear as sudden rapid aging of the skin but, in fact, these visible signs of aging you’re noticing in the bathroom mirror can be the result of many years of an unhealthy lifestyle and neglect.
Can You Reverse Premature Aging?
To a degree, yes. I wrote a very long post on ‘Skin Nutrition’ because there is so much scientific data to support the link between skin aging and nutrition. While we cannot stop the aging process, slight adjustments to your lifestyle from your diet, to your sleeping patterns and how you handle stress can help to slow it down
Just a few tweaks to your daily habits can boost skin hydration, promote collagen and elastin production, whilst increasing cell renewal. This won’t stop the aging process, but it can certainly give your skin a more youthful glow by diminishing fine lines and dull, sagging skin.
Adopting a healthier lifestyle will also prevent future skin aging.
Here are 7 easy ways to combat wrinkles and slow down the aging process.
Oxidative stress is a process instigated by an imbalance of free radicals in the body that accelerates skin aging. Free radicals are triggered by environmental hazards such as pollution, excess sun exposure, pesticides/toxins, medication, and also our body’s natural biological processes.
One way to counteract oxidative stress by incorporating antioxidants into your daily diet. Antioxidants are molecules that are capable of neutralizing harmful free radicals before they damage healthy cells. Leafy greens, colorful fruits, root veggies, nuts, seeds, protein-rich meat, and oily fish will provide your body with powerful antioxidants. Furthermore, they are all packed with ‘beauty nutrients’ such as healthy fats, protein/amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. This kind of healthy diet will help to restore and protect your skin, thus slowing down the aging process. I swear by skin nutrition is a huge part of my anti-aging regime.
Check out my recent post on "The Ultimate Guide To Natural Supplements For Skin, Hair & Nails" to get the scoop on ‘Beauty Nutrients
What Foods Make You Age Faster?
Likewise, overindulging in sugar, alcohol, and processed foods can exponentially speed up the aging process. Sugar, in particular, causes a process called ‘glycation’ that leads to rapid skin aging. When sugar enters your bloodstream it attaches and binds itself to your skin’s proteins (collagen and elastin). This process produces Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs), which are a type of free radical. The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs develop and accumulate leaving dried, brittle, and hardened collagen and elastin fibers in their wake.
Thanks to Chinese Face Mapping we can connect the dots between diet and premature skin aging.
In her book, Younger Skin Starts in the Gut, Dr. Nigma Talib uses a combination of nutrition, naturopathy, medical aesthetics, and Traditional Chinese Medicine/Chinese Face Mapping to connect the dots between diet and premature skin aging... Or "digest-aging" as she brilliantly terms it!
Dr. Nigma has identified specific skin aging symptoms for wine, gluten, sugar, and dairy; Wine face: shows signs of fine lines around the eyes and mouth, dehydration, enlarged pores. Gluten Face: puffiness, dark circles, pigmentation marks/age spots. Sugar Face: forehead wrinkles, dark circles, saggy skin, breakouts, pasty skin. Dairy Face: dark circles, undereye bags, swollen eyelids, pimples on chin spots.
Specific skin aging symptoms of a poor diet, excess wine and sugar are dehydration, fine lines around the eyes and mouth, enlarged pores, dark circles, and loss of skin elasticity.
Working out Slows Aging
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to slow the body’s natural aging process. It also increases blood flow bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells promoting skin rejuvenation. Just 15-30 minutes of daily exercise is enough to trigger endorphins and reduce stress levels that contribute to premature skin aging.
Beauty Sleep is Real!
Adjust your sleeping patterns to support the body’s circadian rhythm. A biological clock that synchronizes every cell in the body with the movement of the earth and the moon. As day turns into night, the shift in light sends a message to the pineal gland through the eyes and cells begin to adjust. The 90-minute phase of sleep before midnight is the most powerful sleep you can get. the body is being replenished and rejuvenated on every level. Try going to sleep an hour earlier and waking up an hour earlier.
Drink More Water
Stay hydrated, drink more water! Along with sleep, water is one of the simplest ways to improve the health of your skin. It increases blood flow and detoxifies your skin by flushing out toxins and waste. When you’re dehydrated, it can cause a toxin buildup in the body, leading to inflammation, dull skin, and dark circles. Start with drinking the right amount of water for your body.
5. SKINCARE ROUTINE
Commitment is key! Turn your daily skincare routines and weekly treatments into mini rituals of self-love you simply cannot skip. It’s also vital to your anti-aging goals that you choose the right skincare products to create your routines. Go for clean beauty brands and always check the ingredient lists. Any products containing harsh alcohols, detergents, and silicones belong in the bin as they only help to speed up the aging process! Double cleansing at bedtime is vital to prevent premature aging as it removes all of the day’s dirt, oils, makeup, and pollution from your pores. This creates a clean slate for the active ingredients in the rest of your nighttime routine to properly penetrate the deeper layers of skin. Where they do their best work!
As previously mentioned, free radicals accelerate skin aging. We need to neutralize these pesky molecules with antioxidants. We can do this through both diet and topicals. Include active skincare ingredients into your routines. For example, Vitamin C is an incredibly powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C serum applied in the morning will act as a suit of armor protecting your skin from daily environmental hazards. Hyaluronic Acid serum and Retinol night cream can help diminish fine lines and wrinkles by boosting hydration and stimulating cell turnover.
This is because massage has proven anti-aging benefits. Studies have shown that when combined with a device, facial massage boosted muscle thickness and skin rejuvenation in women who used the device for only 30 seconds, twice a day for 8 weeks.
Protect Your Skin!
Sunscreen needs to be a staple part of your skincare routine if you don't want to undo all of the hard work and commitment you put into your skincare routines and treatments. As we age the sun begins to have a detrimental effect on our skin. UVA rays (A is for Aging!) cause the most damage in terms of premature aging because they are longer than UVB rays and therefore penetrate deeper into the skin.
UVB rays wreak their own kind of havoc, like sunburn and skin cancer, but let’s focus on UVA for now as these rays have the ability to travel through all 3 layers of the skin; the epidermis (the outermost layer), the dermis (the 'scaffolding' layer), and the hypodermis (the fatty layer).
The middle layer —the dermis, houses most of the skin’s collagen and elastin. These protein fibers make up the structure (scaffolding) that holds your skin up giving it a firm, youthful and supple appearance.
When UVA rays hit the dermis, collagen and elastin fibers become fragmented, hardened, and brittle. Causing your skin's ‘scaffolding’ to collapse!
Self Care is Self Love
Make time for self-care. Stress creates physiological changes in the skin that directly affect its elasticity and collagen levels. Manage stress levels and feel more at peace to instantly reduce this form of premature aging. Meditate, stretch, do yoga, light a luxury candle, and take a bubble bath. “Me time” and self-care routines are highly underrated anti-aging skin remedies.
NEED SKINCARE HELP?
I make sense of skincare. Together we create better routines and lifestyle habits to empower you to feel more confident and in charge. I want everyone to be able to have a Skin Coach in their life, which is why I’ve designed 3 Skin Coaching Plans to fit any budget.