“I’m growing old gracefully!”. That’s what we tell our friends, families, colleagues and even ourselves. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re happy about the aging process. It can be extremely jarring when we look in the mirror and the face that stares back at us drifts further and further away from the version of us that we remember from our “glory years”. Not only is it an unwelcome reminder of our own mortality, it can rob us of our self confidence and feeling of self worth.
Nonetheless, we don’t want to be one of those women. You know the ones. The ones who are relentlessly chasing the fountain of youth and spend a fortune on treatments, ointments, serums, primers, plumpers and even procedures. The results don’t necessarily make them look any younger. In fact, all it does is make them look like Mickey Rourke.
Let’s just say that the acceptance process is easier for some than for others. There’s a lot to be said for wearing your age with dignity, but that doesn’t mean that you should resign yourself to spending the rest of your life unhappy with your appearance. You can wear your skin gracefully and still look good in it without attempting to claw back the years with expensive treatments. Indeed, it’s perfectly possible to wage war on surgery without painful and expensive procedures. And while you may want to build an arsenal of trusted products to facilitate this, we’ll teach you to weed out the sincere from the charlatans.
Ready? Let’s declare war on wrinkles, in a healthy and natural way…
Turn away toxins
It never ceases to astonish me when I visit friends whose bathrooms are absolutely jam packed with anti aging products. They use one product in the morning, sneak away to use another on their lunch break and use yet another before turning in… Yet still smoke 20 cigarettes a day, drink alcohol nightly and have diets that are heavily comprised of processed foods. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a robust skincare regimen, you’re not allowed to get indignant at the lack of results when your lifestyle is doing so much to toxify your skin. One of the most fundamental changes you can make is eliminating toxins from your diet that can age your skin before its time. There are many processed foods that can actually increase the signs of aging, beyond the ability of any beauty product to rectify. These include;
- Margarine and other trans fats
- Energy drinks full of sugar and artificial sweeteners
- White bread, pasta and other refined carbohydrates
- Bacon, sausage and other processed meats (which, by the way are type 1 carcinogens– you may as well be eating cigarettes)
- Deep fried fast foods
- High salt foods like potato chips and pretzels
- Charred meats
- And, of course, alcohol
Alcohol depletes the amount of collagen your skin is able to retain which can cause it to lose its elasticity. For women this is especially problematic as women metabolize alcohol differently than men, and their blood alcohol levels tend to become more elevated. Thus, when it comes to drinking, it needs to be little and rarely. Drinking excessively or often is a passport to prematurely aging skin. When it comes to alcohol, we need to not only reconsider the amount that we put into our bodies, but what we put on our skin as well. Avoid putting alcohol based perfumes directly onto your skin and use a non-alcoholic or moisturizing hand sanitizer.
Stop spending money on products that don’t work
There are products on the market that can be useful weapons in your war on wrinkles, but it’s crucial that you can recognize the ones that work and the ones that don’t. The trouble is that the beauty industry has become quite adept at bamboozling us with pseudoscience and technical sounding terms so that we’re unable to ascertain the science that will help us achieve healthier, smoother skin, while recognizing the quackery for what it is. Check out Siobeauty.com for an example of what you should be looking for. The landing page makes some impressive claims but has the medical endorsement to back them up. The results shown are from real women who have experienced fine lines and wrinkles; not 23 year old models and the pictures have been taken with an iPhone and there’s a disclaimer saying that they have not been altered or filtered.
The more bogus products, however, will make outlandish claims with no evidence or medical endorsement to support them. They may even bamboozle you with impressive sounding ingredients like;
- Stem cells- plant stem cells are antioxidants which is fine but they should be consumed in your food cells, not in a cream. Even human stem cells would need to be alive to be of use to you.
- Collagen- Cannot be absorbed into the skin. It must be replaced through your food sources.
- Elastin- See collagen.
It’s all about diet
As with any aspect of your health, your diet is among the most crucial factors in determining the health of your skin and the rate at which it ages. If you have a healthy diet and drink more than 8 glasses of water (you’d be astonished at how much of a difference good hydration makes) a day while steering clear of cigarettes and alcohol, your skin stands in better stead than that of your chain smoking peers. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for specific foods to help you on your way to youthful, glowing skin, you could do worse than fill your refrigerator with…
- Bananas- Rich in vitamin E which can protect your skin from the damage done by free radicals.
- Citrus fruits– These are full of vitamin C which will help you to produce more collagen.
- Pumpkin seeds- All nuts and seeds are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids to help your skin to retain moisture and stay as full and firm as possible. Pumpkin seeds, however, are also high in zinc which boosts immune function and prevent any imperfections such as spots or outbreaks of acne.
- Kale, spinach and bok choy– These leafy greens are amongst the most nutrient rich superfoods you can buy, but among their many nutritional gifts chlorophyll which improves circulation to your skin, giving it a healthy glow and allowing it to better absorb nutrients and oxygen.