Did you know you can slow down or even reverse the effects of aging with a few simple tips? Try incorporating these healthy habits and watch your skin retain its youthful glow:
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium, boosts the immune system, and lowers inflammation. It can also help prevent heart disease and cancer. Sadly, most adults in the United States do not receive sufficient Vitamin D. In fact, a study released by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition said that “Vitamin D deficiency [is now] a worldwide problem with health consequences.” We recommend 600-800 IU each day, which can be found in supplement form.
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that captures free radicals that cause damage to cells. Lycopene produces the bright red color found in many fruits and vegetables. Some of these include red peppers, grapefruit, watermelon, tomatoes, and mango. In addition to combating age-causing free radicals, lycopene contributes to growth and repair of metabolic functions including those occurring in the skin.
3. Eat Your Greens, Blues, Reds, and Oranges
Eating a diet packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is crucial for aging well. Eat a diet that is composed of a variety of vegetables in a rainbow of colors. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables doesn’t have to be bland or boring - there are tons of recipe websites and recipe ebooks to help you incorporate more delicious options and variety into your diet.
4. Remove All Makeup Before Bed
So often people fall asleep with makeup on because they are tired, but this adds an additional 8 hours where your face is sitting in the toxins of your make-up and also the environment your face has been exposed to throughout the day. Be sure to always take your makeup off and wash your face with a gentle cleanser before bed.
Retinol is another name for Vitamin A1. It is used in cell communication and is effective at ensuring the cells, especially skin cells interact in a healthy manner. Retinol also combats free radicals similarly to antioxidants. Additionally, studies have shown that retinol increases collagen which is what keeps your skin young and supple looking.
6. Wash Your Face Gently!
Many use oil stripping face wash with exfoliating properties and rub their face aggressively thinking that will provide a better result… This is untrue. Your face has a natural pH that, when maintained, will keep your skin looking fresh and healthy. Try using a natural and detergent-free cleanser. Lots of cleansers use natural cleaning oils such as lemon and grapefruit which do not require detergents because they cleanse naturally.
7. Omega -3
Most famous for decreasing inflammation in the body, omega- 3s also may slow the aging process by slowing the time in which structures at the end of our chromosomes (telomeres) shorten over time and cause aging effects. A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that over 5 years of regular omega-3 consumption there was a significant decrease in telomere length and burden to the chromosomes in the patients. Foods that are high in omega-3s include seafood such as halibut, herring, mackerel, oysters and salmon. Also, nuts and seeds such as flaxseed, chia seed, walnuts, and soybeans are high in omega-3s.
A great plant based source of omega-3s is algae. It has the longer fatty acid molecules called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These supplements are great because algae is easily grown, harvested, and it has less contaminants than fish. The ocean's mercury levels have risen 30% in the last 20 years and this has led to increased mercury levels in fish. Try supplementing your diet with algae pills, which also doesn't contribute to over-fishing issues.
We cannot emphasize the importance of hydration enough! Your skin is 64% water and your body needs between 2.2-3 liters of water a day just to survive. To thrive, your body needs much more than that. Though you will ingest some of this water through food, try drinking at least 2-3 liters of water a day.
9. Avoid Excess Sun
In fact, some recommend using daily facial moisturizer that contains sunscreen everyday. The UV rays from the sun damage elastin in your skin over time. Elastin is what keeps your skin from developing wrinkles and allows it to go back to place after stretching. Ways the sun can damage your skin includes:
- Discoloration and sunspots
- Benign tumors
- Pre-cancerous and cancerous tumors
- Telangiectasias - visible blood vessels under the skin
10. DIY Face Mask
Face masks are great for your skin because it allows the beneficial ingredients to have more time to absorb into your skin. Here we’ve given you our favorite DIY face mask that is composed of household ingredients. This is for all skin types, enjoy!
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1/3 cup oatmeal
- 2 tbsp yogurt
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 egg white
- 2 drops of your favorite essential oil - we like lavender, lemon or grapefruit
- Combine these ingredients in the hot water
- Stir until the oatmeal is cooked through
- After the mask has cooled to room temperature, apply to your skin
11. Eat Less Processed Foods and Sugar
It's hard to precisely know what you’re consuming when you eat processed foods. Every day we discover chemicals that we’ve been adding to our food that end up being bad for us, followed by a jump to remove these chemicals throughout the industry. We know that processed foods have more sugar, additives, chemicals, and other unknown elements that have a negative impact on your health, so it's best to avoid these as much as possible.
Glycation is a process where sugar molecules such as glucose or fructose bond to the collagen in your body. Collagen is what prevents wrinkles and keeps your skin elastic, and when sugar molecules bond to collagen it essentially damages it and prevents it from doing its job. One study found that the process of glycation was damaging to the body as a whole and increased aging of the skin significantly.
12. Decrease Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol dehydrates your body and skin. It also robs your skin of Vitamin A which we now know is essential to keeping your skin looking healthy. Alcohol also increases inflammation and increases blood flow which can cause blood vessels to burst leaving behind red spots caused by broken capillaries. Drinking should be kept to a minimum to help maximize your anti-aging effects.
13. Be Happy
Living a happy, stress-free life is one of the most important factors in trying to age well. Studies have shown that psychological stress has a negative effect on skin health and aging. Cortisol is stress hormone that has massively negative effects on the body. To regain balance and reduce stress, take deep breaths, long walks, enjoy a cup of hot tea, do some yoga, and get a massage.
Maintaining a healthy mind helps with maintaining a healthy body - and vice versa!