Our skin is one of the most obvious indicators of our age and if you ask someone to predict how old you are it’s your skin that they’ll look to make their estimate. For this reason, anti-aging skin care is one of the surest ways to look younger and healthier to make sure that there are no awkward moments when someone mistakes your sister for your daughter.
Using the correct techniques, it’s possible to cut up to 25 years off your appearance, maybe more and not only look better but feel better too.
Protecting Your Skin with the Right Nutrients
The first facet of anti-aging skin care is in our diet, and the more healthily we eat, the smoother and healthier our skin will be. This stands to reason when you consider that it’s our food that provides our body with the building blocks required to make look after our skin and every other tissue and muscle in the body.
You literally are what you eat, and if you want healthy skin you need a healthy diet. When thinking specifically about trying to look younger, there are three main things we need in our diet – antioxidants, vitamins and fats.
First of all the antioxidants, found in foods such as citrus fruits and fish, will help protect our skin cells (and every other cell) from oxidization and attack from free radicals. We’ve touched on this idea briefly already but to reiterate every cell in your body is under constant attack from free radicals which damage the cell walls when they come into contact with them.
Enough of these bombardments and eventually, that microscopic damage becomes macroscopic and your skin appears tired and wrinkled. Worse is that this damage can eventually penetrate through to your DNA at which point your cells will become mutated and look damaged when they divide. In the worst case scenarios, this can lead to the formation of cancerous tumors.
Antioxidants manage to neutralize these free radicals so that there are less available to attack the skin. This will mean that the skin cells come under less fire and so appear healthier. At the same time this will help protect the skin and other cells against cancer by lowering the chance of the DNA behind the cell walls being damaged or mutated.
There are countless sources of antioxidants in your diet but the best way to make sure you’re getting plenty is just to consume a lot of fruits and vegetables which tend to be packed with them. Antioxidants also include things like resveratrol and CoQ10.
You may re-member from our section on nootropics that these enhance mitochondrial function and this makes sense, seeing as damaging oxygen is a common byproduct of the mitochondria and this can end up damaging the cells and eventually the DNA otherwise.
Resveratrol is found in red grapes and red wine and is actually thought to be the reason that people living on the continent are so much less likely to suffer with heart disease and other conditions!
Vitamins meanwhile, particularly vitamin A and E, are used in rebuilding the skin and are a great way to encourage the body to heal both scars and wrinkles. These are used to help encourage the production of collagen and other important substances that give the skin its elasticity and generally, they will keep your skin looking more youthful and healthy. Again, this all comes from eating a diet high in nutrients.
Essential fatty acids meanwhile will provide your skin with oil to keep it subtle and prevent it becoming dry and flaky. Omega 3 fatty acid will act as both a source of oil for your skin and a source of antioxidants. Saturated fats in general are an important part of your diet and will help to keep your skin naturally moisturized while also encouraging the production of hormones that further help to keep your skin glowing.
Fats get a lot of bad rap when it comes to your health but more recent studies show that we have mistakenly made them into scapegoats. Fat does not increase LDL (bad) cholesterol, nor does it make us fat. Fat is actually an important part of our diet! Oh and eating lots of protein is also important. Protein provides the body with all the building blocks it needs to create more tissue and that includes the skin (not just muscle!).