Fine Lines and Wrinkles
No one wants to even think about those age related changes that happen to your skin. And once they start to appear, we agonize over them, making things even worse.
Your best bet to thwart unwanted crinkles and crevasses is to take precautionary steps in your younger years. Sadly most people aren't thinking about older skin in their teens and twenties.
Where Do Fine Lines And Wrinkles Come From?
Fine lines and wrinkles are the result of multiple processes. Decreased production of natural oils has a drying effect, creating a crepey texture. With skin no longer plump due to lack of moisture, the first wrinkles become noticeable. Collagen and elastin, responsible for maintaining your skin's form and shape, become weaker and less flexible. Your skin starts to droop and wrinkles appear. Adding insult to injury, fat in the deeper layers of skin diminishes, so once plump, firm skin turns saggy.
What Causes Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Inflammation from the sun, stress, a poor diet, alcohol, skin sensitivities, and environmental toxins trigger the aging process early on, speeding up damage. Sunlight exposure is implicated in causing a loss of collagen. Smoking is even worse, triggering faster aging changes.
What Can You Do To Head Off Fine Lines and Wrinkles?
Whether you're trying to prevent those telltale signs of aging or counter them, you need to take care of your skin not just on the outside, but from the inside, too.
Basic daily habits that can help you combat lines and wrinkles include:
- Protect yourself from the sun. Avoid it when you can, and apply broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30 every day.
- Get enough sleep. Without it, you produce a stress hormone, cortisol, that breaks down cells. You won't replenish your collagen stores, either. Sleep on your back so sleep lines don't stay etched on your face.
- Eat a varied, balanced diet containing plenty of omega-3's, antioxidants, and flavanols to protect from sun damage, increase hydration, and nourish your skin. Include oral probiotics from foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, miso, kombucha, pickles, buttermilk, natto, and some cheeses or take a probiotic supplement. They've been shown to help balance the microflora and pH of the skin. They can reduce inflammation, having long-term effects against the premature formation of wrinkles.
- Employ quality skin care products.
- Use a gentle cleanser to avoid stripping skin of protective barrier oils and moisture.
- A good moisturizer will make lines and creases less noticeable.
- An anti-aging serum can work wonders to fill in tricky areas and leave your skin feeling soft, healthy, and youthful.
- Look for ingredients known to combat aging and moisturize like alpha-hydroxy acids, retinoids, vitamin C, growth factors, peptides, and Hyaluronic Acid. Topical probiotics are beneficial in soothing inflammation, guarding against oxidative stress and free radicals, and protecting your skin from the dangers and aging effects of pollution.
- Drink plenty of water to maintain your skin's hydration.
- Don't squint, overworking your facial muscles. Get reading glasses and wear sunglasses.
- Don't smoke.
Skin Nutrition for Fine Lines & Wrinkles
Physics literally governs our daily lives; think of gravity's "what goes up must come down" principle. Then there's what I dub "nutritional physics." Never heard of nutritional physics? If you're ever heard the expression "you are what you eat," you've already been introduced to the concept; the law of nutritional physics is simply the sum total of your dietary choices, whether good or bad, will be mirrored in your overall health and ultimately, your skin.
The natural "law" of nutritional physics dictates that choosing an abundance of nutrient-dense foods like leafy greens and color-rich fruits, translates into glowing, healthy, youthful skin. Processed and fried foods devoid of nutrients, guarantees illness and/or disease, along with premature lines, wrinkles and a variety of glaring skin issues.
But take heart, you don't have to live in a vegan monastery to have great skin; even small changes can impact skin's appearance (and total health) over time. For example, sipping lemon water aids hydration and reduces inflammation (it's alkalizing). It also lends the antioxidant affects Vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which naturally reduce dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles by targeting the free radicals that cause oxidation.
There are other nutritionally robust, simple additions you can make to slow the fine lines/wrinkles process. The plant-based world holds an entire arsenal of youth-restoring foods that support the body's largest organ - your skin. Here are just a few of the nutritional dynamos you'll want to consistently include:
- Avocados - offer healthy fats to keep skin supple, plus antioxidant rich Vitamins C and E.
- Sunflower Seeds - superb source of linoleic acid, supporting skin's elasticity and thickness.
- Sweet Potato - concentrated source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that protects skin from sun damage.
- Walnuts - high in essential fatty acids, in addition to zinc; zinc is important for skin's wound healing.
- Japanese Matcha tea - just 1 cup of (true Japanese) matcha has the equivalent polyphenols (cancer and inflammation fighting properties) of 7 cups of regular green tea.
- Cruciferous Vegetables - contain sulforaphane, or SFN, neutralizing skin-aging free radicals, in addition to helping your skins own UV protection mechanisms.
- Kiwi - more Vitamin C than an orange, the kiwi's Vitamin C not only promotes collagen and tightens skin's pores, it deactivates damaging free radicals.
- Asparagus - the darling of skin repair enthusiasts; it's a powerhouse of quercitin - the building block of glutathione (a "master antioxidant") and proven youth-restoring, wrinkle-reducing nutrient.
The dairy category has one notable option - fermented (unsweetened) dairy like yogurt and kefir from organic grass-fed milk, which feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut. Acne sufferers - be aware that bioavailable hormones found in milk may contribute to outbreaks.
Harder to digest, meat puts your body into an acidic state, which aggravates inflammation, eventually showing itself as lines and wrinkles. Unless it's organic grass-fed or wild-caught options, assume it's filled with toxins and/or hormones. Toxins not readily eliminated through your inner organs, are often released through your skin's pores!
For grains, whole is best. The fiber found in whole grains slows digestion - keeping insulin from spiking and absorbing toxins in your digestive system.
The food we eat is a choice. If you are motivated to improve your skin's health and reduce lines and wrinkles, then put the laws of nutritional physics to work for you. Start replacing "empty" foods with nutrient-rich options and your skin will reward your efforts with glowing results; your overall health will reap countless benefits too!