Aging is a natural part of life. It can be hard to see our skin showing signs of aging – dullness, uneven pigmentation, dryness and wrinkles. Taking proper care of our skin, from the inside and out, can help keep skin healthy. Premature aging of our skin is related to free radicals. Free radicals are produced when sunlight hits the skin, and toxins in our environment like cigarette smoke and air pollutants. The result for our skin is a loss of elastin and collagen. When collagen breaks down, our skin wrinkles and sags. Our skin is a reflection of the health of our insides, so what we put in our bodies is as important as how we care for the exterior skin.
Our bodies have a defense system to combat free radicals. Antioxidants, like vitamins C & E, prevent damage by free radicals by attaching to them, preventing them from damaging our tissue and cells. Our bodies are overwhelmed by free radical damage, known as oxidative stress. Hundreds of research studies suggest that we can keep oxidative stress to a minimum by ingesting antioxidants, avoiding environmental toxins, and maintaining emotional equilibrium.
External Skin Care Tips:
- Cleanse skin regularly, and don’t forget the neck. Look for a product that is PH balanced. Be sure to remove makeup nightly.
- Close pores after cleansing. Use a toner or cool water to close pores.
- Renew skin. Use an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells, and apply a topical antioxidant (vitamin C & E are particularly helpful in repairing free radical skin damage). Avoid products with alcohol, or harsh chemical ingredients. Look for natural products free of parabens, phthalates, SLS, 1,4 dioxane or propylene glycol.
- Sunscreen. Use a sunscreen everyday on your face, neck and hands. Many anti-aging skin moisturizers contain SPF 15, making it simple to protect your face and neck from further sun damage.
- Moisturize. Keeping moisture in your skin cells keeps them plumped up and healthy.
Internal Skin Care Tips:
- Fiber. Make sure you’re getting enough fiber. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber and anti-oxidants. Eating ¼ cup ground flaxseed each day provides 11 grams of fiber, and skin beautifying omega-3 fatty acids.
- Fish. Salmon, sardines and swordfish are rich in omega-3 fats which help build healthy cell membrane throughout the body.
- Soy. 100 – 160 mg of soy isoflavones daily can improve skin tone, hair and nails. Soy’s phytoestrogen strengthens collagen everywhere in the body.
- Skin Aiding Supplements. Antioxidants are particularly important for your skin (coenzyme Q10, Vitamin C, Vitamin E).
Here’s to a beautiful you – inside and out!