Our skin is a very vital and complex organ; a strong envelope to keep us intact and everything else out. It is an organ of sensation and touch, closely connected to the great nerve center of our bodies. It has many life-preserving functions. It is a temperature regulator because it helps prevent the loss of heat when we are exposed to the cold. In over-heated conditions, the skin relies on tissues helping the heat to escape through profuse sweating. Sweating is also a response to sudden fear or emotional stress. Our skin maintains its health by excreting sebum, a fatty substance which comes to the surface where it mixes with sweat. This helps keep our skin pliable and moist.
Over-production or underproduction of sebum can cause excessively dry or oily skin. At puberty, the sex hormones affect the skin through the bloodstream and stimulate the sebaceous glands. The sudden increase of sebum activity may clog the pores and cause blackheads, pimples, or other skin problems. In premature aging, the sebum production slacks off considerably, causing the skin fibers to lose a lot of their elasticity and tone, resulting in dry, leathery looking skin that is wrinkled.
Your skin will give back to you what you put in
The surface of our skin is also normally acid, and this protective covering is called the acid mantle. It acts as a barrier against any bacterial invasions. If you wash with harsh alkaline type soaps, you will wash off the entire protective acid mantle and it takes quite a lot of hours before the body is able to restore it.
The skin breathes, drawing in oxygen and exhaling impurities, continuing steadily through the day and night. Other toxins are excreted in the form of perspiration which generally collects like tiny beads of droplets on the surface of our skin. Often the skin will take on increased elimination in order to relieve the workload of some distressed organ, like weak kidneys or liver, and even when the lungs are not working adequately. Toxins from the bowels are sometimes eliminated through the skin too. Were it not for these fantastic arrangements for removing the poisons from the body, the blood would become so polluted it would not even be able to support our life.
Another function nature has given to the skin is the ability to absorb certain external substances such as ointments or lotions that are applied to it. This absorption also means that unless the skin is properly bathed and cared for, the impurities deposited on the surface through perspiration accumulate and the waste may be absorbed in the body, causing the skin to become toxic.
Our skin consists of four layers which are constantly being renewed. The surface layer which is the epidermis flakes off and depends upon the layers underneath for constant renewal. That is why it is so important to use a little friction when bathing so that the dead flaking cells can be thoroughly removed. We also need to use cosmetics sparingly, taking care never to apply fresh makeup over the stale makeup.
Dry brushing has many benefits. When you do dry brushing, you brush towards the heart, starting with your feet and hands. It is an excellent anti-aging skin care method that supports lymphatic drainage, it exfoliates your skin, keeping it soft, and it cleans the pores of your skin, and reduces cellulite, giving you a natural energy boost. Dermatologists agree that gently brushing the skin rates similarly to massage, which has well-documented benefits.
Even though we might look after our skin, there are problems that we can experience such as brown spots, acne, eczema and other skin disorders.
The appearance of brown spots on the hands and face is a cosmetic problem that affects many older men and women. Different methods of removing these tell-tale aging signs have been used by many people. An old time favorite remedy is castor oil which is rubbed onto the brown spots every night until they disappear. Some sources recommend external applications of fresh juice from some ground up parsley.
Perhaps no skin diseases cause people so much distress as acne. Cleanliness and nutrition are extremely important in preventing this unpleasant skin disorder. Diets which are high in fat content stimulate the sebaceous glands. The increased activity forces oil to the surface where they often get clogged which results in pimples and acne. Doctors will often recommend retinol products for treating acne, but in discovering that, they also discovered how effective it has proved against wrinkles.
Eczema and psoriasis
If you add fatty acids to your diet, you can greatly improve the conditions of eczema. Unsaturated fatty acids have also been found to have huge beneficial effects on the skin disorder, psoriasis. What are the ideal fatty acids to add to your diet? Omega 3 is the one.
Tick the anti-aging boxes
Even though aging is a natural process of growing older there are still many factors that play a role in whether we will age faster than our biological age, or whether we will grow old gracefully. A lot of people do look older than they really are because they do things that advance the aging process. Look at these factors that can cause you to age prematurely:
The mind sure does play a role in whether we will age slower or faster. Happier people look younger, always. When you hope, have optimism, joy, and contentment in your life, youthful vigor exudes from the face and body. Studies prove that happier people live longer with fewer health problems. Continual anger and stress etches itself in the skin causing deep lines and wrinkles. How your body and face reveal your emotions and expressions can determine how prematurely you develop wrinkles on your skin.
Smoking and drinking
When you smoke and drink in excess, you are not doing your skin any good, because these two habits deplete your body of necessary nutrients. The skin requires much collagen, elastin, and hydration to look youthful and healthy. If you smoke, you deprive your entire body of oxygen. Drinking, too, can leave permanent marks on your body. Not only are you damaging your kidney and liver, but facial skin can become discolored over time. There are 4 aging things that smoking and drinking bring to your skin: Dehydration, swelling, collagen depletion, and inflammation.
Cold, Sun, and Moisture
It is so easy to accelerate the aging process just simply by basking in the sun’s rays. Damage caused by the sun is the top cause of wrinkles. Age spots, too, and other discoloration forms worsen under the harmful UV rays of the sun. Someone who has spent years working on their tan will ultimately end up with leathery and wrinkled skin. Once you extend your time in the sun over 20 minutes, the benefits that you would receive from taking in some essential vitamin D are all counteracted by the UV rays damage to your skin. Cold weather too, is just as dangerous, causing thin, wrinkled skin. If you have acne and you use harsh treatments that deplete your skin of natural oils, you damage its natural elasticity.
Food has a huge impact on the skin. When you choose foods high in sugar and fat, i.e. processed foods, with few vegetables and fruit, you create something inside your body that goes completely against anti-aging methods. When you replace all that ‘bad food’ with foods that are healthy and organic, you avoid creating inflammation from building up in your body which is one big aging factor.
If you are not at a normal weight, you probably are too heavy or too thin. Being too overweight or too underweight adds years on to the aging process. Being underweight, you will lose the natural fats in your face, resulting in sagging skin; jowls and wrinkles. Not even a facelift or Botox treatments can help a thin and underweight face to replace the natural youthful fattiness that used to fill out your face in earlier days. When you add on a couple of extra pounds to a very underweight body, you can make yourself look softer and more wrinkle-free.
Too much weight creates the appearance of being older than you are because you have poor muscle tone. People who are overweight become less active as they age. Because of all that inactivity, they create for themselves chronic health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
Malnourishing your body can add on anything from 10 to 20 years to your appearance and health. It is never too late to fix things. A rich diet that is full of antioxidants, fresh and natural foods and plenty of muscle building exercises can kick-start your metabolism again. If you are serious about your weight and trying to reverse some aging habits, it might be a good start to see a nutritionist periodically so they work out a high energy, age-fight low fat program for you to adhere to.
Every day we make choices that will hinder or delay or help the process of aging. You should involve yourself in regular workouts to keep your body looking toned, healthy, and full of energy. It’s your choice to opt for the television set with your bowl of chips or it’s your choice to get ‘out there’, exercising and building your body for a youthful and more disease free body.
When you make the right choice to work for your body and not against it, you help the anti-aging process big time. That means listening to your body and what it is telling you. Don’t just carry on eating when you are full. Rest when you are tired. Focus on your body’s needs, turning towards natural inventions and natural interventions rather than the chemical solutions, if you want to turn back the hands of time. Because these choices to work with your body and its natural rhythms will pay you back in dividends that you would never have dreamed of.
Stress, unfortunately, is a very good recipe for aging. And we all suffer from time to time. Chronic stress can ruin your health and your mental state too, which is a top aging factor. All those worries, frowns, and negative feelings encourage the aging process. It’s not that easy just to say, get rid of stress, but it is necessary to find ways to de-stress like a wonderful massage, calming and natural herbs, foods that de-stress and certainly exercise.
We all know that those late nights, the early starts, the work stress, drinking the night before, lots of sugar – all this FOMO takes a major toll on your skin. When you can’t bear to miss a party, to watch every hot Netflix movie, or try every new cocktail bar, busily spending hours on social media to keep your friends updated, it all takes its toll. In your 20s, you are probably too busy to see the warning signs coming. But they are all adding up to premature aging of your body, your health, and your skin. By the time you hit your 30s, you can expect to be starting to see the results, dry eyes, sagging skin, puffy and red face, wrinkles, dry hair …. The list will get longer over time.
Nobody said there’s anything wrong with aging, its life’s natural process but if you don’t look after your body and skin, you might just be ‘old’ 20 years ahead of your time. Check out these 7 subtle ways that your skin gets older by the day, faster than it should be:
1. When you spend too much time on social media
Ever heard of ‘tech-neck’? It can cause you back and neck problems with all that peering down at your phone, aging your neck and jawline faster. The pull of gravity from looking downwards all the time means sagging in the lower face starting earlier than it should.
2. Lying in bed using your phone
All that bright light from your phone screen or laptop can certainly hamper your sleep – let alone the damage you do to your eyes when you stare at that bright light in a dark room as well. It can definitely cause dry eyes and eye infections because your blinking mechanism is all suppressed.
3. Computer lighting
When you spend too long staring at your computer or television, it’s a no-no when it comes to trying to keep a youthful skin. The light, known as high energy visible light can break down elastin and skin collagen structures that are responsible for keeping your skin youthful and firm.
4. Drinking too much
A big negative side-effect of drinking too much alcohol is it dries out the skin. It acts as a diuretic too, causing your skin to become dehydrated and flaky.
5. Not sleeping enough
When you don’t get enough sleep, or you don’t drink enough water, you can wake up with puffy skin and even extra makeup will not take that away. When you don’t get your 40 winks every day, your face can start looking pale and lifeless.
6. Turning the heat up
When you are cold you want to be warm, but over-hot temperatures can dry out the skin caused by central heating. Combinations of hot and cold weather are harsh on the skin leading to dry, sallow and dull complexions caused by dehydration. People need to realize that drinking water in winter is just as important as in the summer.
7. Sleeping on the wrong bed linen
Did you know that the wrong kind of bed linen can add lines to your face? Ideally, what you are looking for are soft, pillowcases made from silk, so much gentler on the skin, and particularly if you are someone who likes to sleep on your side. Pillowcases that are made from synthetic materials can result in small folds and creases on your face and body which, over time, develop into premature wrinkling, say the skin experts.
8. Eating unhealthily – or not eating enough
It should not be a surprise to anyone that sugary, oily foods aren’t going to do your skin any good. When you are too busy in your life to maintain a healthy lifestyle and eat nutritional foods, you accelerate the volume loss from your face.
Detox your body and life from bad habits and bad food
A detox is an excellent idea to benefit your skin. You feel wonderful and you look younger. There are certain superfoods that are packed with nutrients to get your skin in reverse again. When you detox, you are not starving yourself, it really means cleansing your body from all the toxins that have built up from the consumption of too many processed foods. The body naturally detoxes all the time but when you incorporate a detox regime into your life you put that natural process to its maximum benefits. Including these foods into your diet, you are going to notice stuff happening, very good stuff, inside and out:
Fresh fish (e.g., sardines, salmon, tilapia)
Fish truly has health benefits, which is why fish forms a big part in most anti-aging diets. Reason being, they have such high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in them and plenty of essential vitamins that are proven to make people healthier and younger looking.
Herbal tea (e.g., green tea, black tea, peppermint tea)
Herbal teas detoxify the body which is ideal for an anti-aging diet. They are safe and easy to use, to help you look younger from the inside out. They act as purifiers, helping to fight bacteria, cleanse impurities from your body and heal broken skin or wounds.
Greens (e.g., spinach, broccoli, Swiss chard, basil, etc.)
No anti-aging diet would work without leafy greens, because they are so detoxifying. They supply all the necessary vitamins and minerals to look younger. When you are short of iron you become tired, particularly for the older woman, and which can be so easily remedied by taking more vegetables. Look younger because your blood is clean and healthy.
Citrus (e.g., limes, lemons, oranges, grapefruit)
These fruits make you look younger because they supply abundant antioxidants, to fight off free radicals that accelerate getting old. Citrus fruits flush out the intestines, clearing your body of bacteria and toxins and keeping your body hydrated.
Pineapples contain bromelain, enzymes for digestive health because they clean out your colon. Pineapples have been used for hundreds of years for digestion problems.
By adding the above, you also need to take away. That means taking away refined sugars, processed foods, alcohol, excessive eggs, and dairy and meat. You need to be consistent in the process of natural anti-aging skin care because then only will it be a beautiful canvas that tells your story of love and care.