Let's cut to the chase: ANTI-AGE is a BS word and concept. Think about it: how can something realistically "do the opposite of aging"?! So let's be clear on one thing: you're aging, I'm aging, your skin is aging, and that's that. More about my battle against this word in an upcoming blog post.
We’re always looking for products to keep our skin youthful, but when you realize the various factors that actually contribute to aging, you realize that the products you use are just one tiny step in the process of slowing down and preventing the signs of aging.
Keeping your skin youthful involves a holistic lifestyle approach from what you eat to how you manage your stress levels.
In this article we find out what aging means and just 5 factors that speed up the signs of aging.
Why am I aging?
As we grow older, changes like these naturally occur:
- Skin becomes rougher - babies have the softest skin, but also the easiest life! The gentler we are to our skin the softer it will stay, but it will still always be exposed to the elements and all the other things it touches every day. It's like we're one big flab of a forming callous...;-)
- We slowly loose the elastic tissue (elastin) in the skin, which causes the skin to hang loosely.
- Our epidermis (surface layer of the skin) gets thinner so our skin becomes more transparent (that's why veins are more visible). Our skin will therefore also bruise a bit more easily.
- Skin becomes more fragile. This is caused by a flattening of the area where the epidermis and dermis (layer of skin under the epidermis) come together.
- We loose fat tissue under the skin (between skin and muscle), which causes us to have a more "skeletal" look.
- The amount of collagen that our body produces is reduced. Collagen is responsible for skin strength and elasticity, so its degradation produces fine line and wrinkles.
Factors that speed up signs of aging and tips to age beautifully:
1) Repetitive Facial Expressions
Unless you have a face full of botox, you aren’t going to be able to stop your face from moving around as you experience different emotions throughout the day.
While this is completely natural, you are only human after all, repetitive facial expressions from smiling to consistent frowning can leave their mark on your skin over time, and cause you to look older than you are.
WHAT TO DO?
- ensure that it is deeply hydrated at all times
- try facial massage or face yoga. These exercises help to boost blood circulation, promote collagen production and smooth the skin with consistency
- always apply nourishing moisturizers to make sure your skin is as elastic as it can be
- take collagen supplements daily
2) A Poor Diet
A poor diet is a sure way to speed up aging in your skin.
Processed, fatty and sugary foods actually increase sebum in the skin contributing to breakouts, as well as break down collagen for skin that wrinkles easily and has a saggy appearance.
WHAT TO DO?
- Fill your diet with whole, natural foods such as a rainbow of fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, fish and healthy grains and just watch your skin glow for days!
- These foods nourish the skin cells from the inside out and fight aging free radicals to help your skin look just the beautiful way it should!
- Growing up I learned something: if I don't buy it, I won't eat it. So make grocery lists and stick to them. Don't tempt yourself!
Stress is the body and skin’s enemy and will drastically speed up the aging process if not properly managed over a long period of time.
Stress increases the production of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body, which can sap moisture out of the skin and break down structural proteins responsible for keeping the skin firm and plump.
WHAT TO DO?
- We are all different so find something that you truly love that helps you to relax and do it every day!
- 15 minutes of meditation, a power walk or a quick yoga flow can help to relieve tension in the body and leave you feeling empowered again!
- Take time to unwind at the end of the day. 10 minutes in the bathroom of sacred me-time can go a long way. Go through a simple beauty routine, take a warm shower focusing on your breath, do some extra grooming.
- Take a weekly bath using epsom salts and calming essential oils: magnesium rebalances the melatonin in your system and helps melt tension away
4) Smoking and drinking
Alcohol and smoking are known to increase the production of free radicals, once-healthy oxygen molecules that are now overactive and unstable. Basically, they produce shitty-cells that are now roaming around your body reading havoc with your healthy cells. Why ruin the party? This gives you a gray, dull tone and causes the formation of wrinkles, dark spots, and, yes...tumorous cells.
WHAT TO DO?
- Wine is A LOT less harmful than booze, so if you are out with friends or must unwind with a "substance", pick wine.
5) Exposure to sun
I kept it for last, but it's the first factor for the skin's aging.
Seriously. Vitamin D is great, but nowadays between the ozone layer not protecting us from the UV rays like it should, and the truly harmful SPF products out there, your best bet is to just stay in the shade. FACT: You will still be "exposed" to the sun when you're outdoors, even under a tree! It get reflected off surfaces and is all around you.
WHAT TO DO?
- Wear and always carry with you some SPF protection of at least 30
- If there is a choice, choose the shades
- Drink more water than you can possibly imagine
- Alcohol and sun? NO BUENO.
- Wear a hat to at least protect your face
- Just...be smart. You ain't invincible, and the sun harms YOU TOO.