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HOW TO ADDRESS THE TOP CAUSES OF SKIN AGING

September 30, 2019 by Renee Tavoularis

HOW TO ADDRESS THE TOP CAUSES OF SKIN AGING

Age isn’t just a number. Many factors can speed up or slow down the signs of skin aging—and these go beyond the number of candles on your birthday cake. Extrinsic (external) factors, including pollution, pesticides, sugar, and stress, all contribute to sun spots, wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging. They also damage dermal collagen, a protein that keeps skin smooth and supple. When collagen breaks down, nutrients and oxygen can’t repair the skin or eliminate toxins.

You might be surprised to hear that this is actually goodnews. It means that skin aging, to some degree, is well within your control. If you can identify the causes of skin aging, you can take steps to address each one and slow the progression.

CAUSES OF SKIN AGING

1. FREE RADICALS

Reactive molecules known as “free radicals” harm healthy cells, and have been associated with heart disease, memory loss, and premature aging. Free radicals are derived from pollution, pesticides, cigarette smoke, alcohol, prolonged sun exposure, and chronic stress, to name a few. These toxins break down collagen, resulting in wrinkles and sagging. They also cause skin discoloration and dullness.

2. CHRONIC INFLAMMATION

Inflammation is your body’s way of defending itself. When you eat something you’re allergic to or stub your toe, your body sends white blood cells to heal the affected area. When the threat is gone, the inflammation dissipates. However, unhealthy foods and ongoing stress, among other factors, can make your body think it’s under constant attack, causing chronic and widespread inflammation. Inflammation on the inside appears on the skin in the form of hives, rashes, blotches, and breakouts. It can also cause collagen damage.

3. GLYCATION

Does your diet contain refined carbohydrates and sugars like white bread, candy, and soda? These types of foods can react with proteins and sugars to form dangerous molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are another cause of skin aging, as they bind to the skin’s connective tissue and alter its natural structure. Glycation can also lead to inflammation and oxidative stress, which break down collagen.

4. STRESS

Stress signals your glands to produce hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. While this process is important for survival, prolonged secretion of stress hormones can wreak havoc on your health. Common side effects include anxiety, memory loss, inflammation, immunosuppression, leaky gut, and insulin resistance. Like inflammation, the culmination of long-term stress shows on your skin in the form of rashes, breakouts, and fine lines. But stress doesn’t just impact your skin; it’s also correlated with a litany of diseases and health conditions.

 6 WAYS TO SLOW THE SIGNS OF AGING SKIN 

Ready for the silver lining? Simple shifts in diet and lifestyle can transform the way you look and feel. Fighting inflammation, limiting toxic exposure, eating nutrient-dense foods, and engaging in deep breathing can do wonders for your skin and your health. Adopt Well Within Beauty’s 6 nourishing tips to slow the signs of aging skin. 

  1. LIMIT TOXIC EXPOSURE. Keep free radicals at bay by reducing your exposure to toxins. A few ways to start? Avoid smoking and minimize alcohol consumption. Decrease pesticides on your plate by opting for organic, fresh, and plant-powered foods. Purchase an air-purifying plant and choose skincare products that contain all-natural ingredients
  1. REDUCE INFLAMMATION. Enjoy a wide range of colorful, anti-inflammatory foods, such as dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, citrus fruits, and nuts and seeds. Fermented foods such as raw sauerkraut and kimchi repair the gut, which assists in skin healing. If you’re looking for a satisfying sip, turmeric lattes, green juices, vegetable broth, and warm lemon water are tasty beverages that calm an overactive immune system. Discover even more foods that prevent premature aging: 10 Foods That Combat Inflammation
  1. (UN)REFINE YOUR DIET. In addition to filling your plate with vibrant, healthy whole foods and beverages, reduce or eliminate refined sugar and carbohydrates, caffeine, and trans fats. These foods are not only damaging to your health, they contribute to glycation. If you struggle to cut these foods out of your diet, look for satiating swaps. Trade sweets for fresh and dried fruit, refined grains for whole grains, coffee for green and herbal teas, and trans fats for unrefined olive and coconut oils.    
  1. COOK LOW & SLOW. High-heat cooking and charring can also cause glycation—and release carcinogens. To avoid these dangerous toxins, eat more raw foods. Lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, and cauliflower are just a few that can be transformed into delicious, enzyme-rich salads, snacks, smoothies, and chilled soups. When cooking, gently heat foods at low temperatures. Ideal methods are sautéing, steaming, simmering, and baking below 250°F.
  1. CULTIVATE MINDFULNESS. Yoga and meditation are excellent gateways to invite more peace and calm into your life. If you’re a beginner, find a yoga studio near you or search for tutorials on YouTube. If you’re on the go 24-7, deep breathing is one of the easiest and most effective practices you can harness at any time, any place. Simply focus on taking deep inhalations and exhalations for 1 to 3 minutes. Increase the duration when time allows. Click here for more top tips on managing stress.
  1. BREAK A SWEAT. Cardiovascular activities like biking, running, and skiing increase your heart rate and trigger your sweat glands to produce sweat. Sweat regulates your internal temperature, carries toxins out of the body, and promotes a clear, clean complexion. The key is to find cardio activities that you love. Once you do, aim for 30 minutes of your favorite exercise three times per week to radiate from the inside out.

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