From a wrinkle here to a sunspot there, the signs of aging can develop quickly. While growing older is inevitable, the process of aging can be slowed through dietary and lifestyle changes. Follow these tips in order to combat the two most common signs of aging skin.
1) Wrinkled and Sagging Skin:
While there are many causes of premature skin aging, the loss of collagen is the primary reason for the development of fine lines, wrinkles, and loose skin. Collagen is one of the main structural proteins found in the skin. It gives the skin strength and elasticity and replaces old and damaged skin cells, keeping the skin vibrant and healthy. Collagen works along side elastin, another important protein that helps keep the skin tight and free of wrinkles. As we age, both collagen and elastin begin to decrease. In fact, collagen production decreases by about 1% each year after the age of 20.1 While this decline in structural proteins is inevitable, there are ways to slow and even reverse the signs of aging associated with decreased collagen and elastin.
The Remedy: Eat a Healthy Diet.
Your diet can either accelerate or slow aging, depending on the foods that you eat. In order to slow the loss of collagen and elastin, avoid added sugars and processed foods. A diet high in sugar leads to a process called glycation. When sugar is consumed, it attaches to proteins in the body forming harmful compounds known as advanced glycation end products or AGE’s. AGE’S build up over time and causes damage to proteins in the body, including collagen and elastin. These delicate proteins become stiff and brittle from structural damage. The destruction of the skin’s main proteins causes wrinkles and loose skin.2 A diet low in added sugar and high in whole foods helps to protect collagen and elastin by providing the nutrients that help to regenerate these important proteins. Vitamin C, a nutrient that is necessary to produce and regenerate collagen, is found in bell peppers, oranges, kale, and strawberries. Adding these foods into your diet is a delicious way to protect your skin from premature aging.
2) Dry and Dull Skin:
A common sign of aging is a dull, dry complexion. In our younger years, sweat and oil glands function optimally, keeping the skin hydrated and bright. Aging causes these glands to malfunction, wreaking havoc on the complexion.3 In our prime, oil-secreting glands keep the skin nourished by providing a protective and hydrating layer. As we grow older, these glands shrivel, leading to dehydrated and dull skin. This dehydration causes fine lines and wrinkles to become even more pronounced. The skin’s ability to heal also declines with age, making the skin more likely to crack and become dry.
In order to keep skin looking plump and healthy, proper hydration is essential. The cells responsible for skin health rely on water in order to transport nutrients, remove waste buildup, and repair damaged cells. Supplying these cells with adequate hydration will keep the skin plump and full, minimizing the appearance of wrinkles. While fluid needs vary, consuming at least eight glasses of water per day will provide your skin with the hydration that it craves.