Aging – it’s something that we just can’t avoid. Your skin is the first line of defense to all outside forces. It weathers the storm day in and day out for you – protecting you from the sun, harsh weather, harmful chemicals, and other lifestyle habits.
As you age, the organs in your body begin to slow down so it’s no surprise that the largest organ on your body – your skin – starts to naturally lose its functional and structural stability.
But why does it seem like some people age more gracefully than others?
Yes, genes influence how your skin ages, but other extrinsic factors have the biggest influence on how your skin ages. In addition to the normal aging process, environmental factors such as the sun, the foods you eat, and how much sleep you get can have a major impact on how your skin ages.
Aging can be a beautiful thing though – you’ve weathered storms, you’ve learned hard life lessons, and you’ve gained knowledge that no 20 something year old has. And learning the dos and don’ts of aging can help you prevent wrinkles and age gracefully.
How Does Your Skin Naturally Age?
What causes your skin to wrinkle, sag, and dry out? At a cellular level, your skin cells start to lose their youthfulness by:
- Lipid production decreasing – If you’re experiencing dry, dehydrated skin this is due to a reduction in lipid production within your cells. Lipids or essential fatty acids act as a protective barrier in youthful looking skin. These protective oils function as your epidermal permeability layer which helps keep in water and other electrolytes in your skin. This layer also helps block other harmful external factors such as ultraviolet light, bacteria, and toxins.
- Hyaluronic acid levels decreasing – Along with lipids, hyaluronic acid is the key molecule involved in skin moisture. Hyaluronic acid plays an important role in retaining water in your skin because of its unique capacity to bind and retain water molecules.
- Collagen and elastin production decreasing – Who hasn’t stood in front of a mirror pulling their facial skin up and wondering where the time has gone? As you age, your skin begins to naturally droop. This is because your skin’s collagen and elastin production begin to fade leaving you with skin sagging. Your skin is made up of 80% of collagen or connective tissue which lies under your outermost layer of skin. Collagen fibers give your skin strength and support while elastin fibers allow your skin to bounce back with its elasticity.
- Protein fibers weakening– While protein fibers such as collagen and elastin start to decrease, their fibers start to weaken as well. These protein fibers are the foundation of what holds your skin up and when they weaken with age wrinkles begin to appear. Although aging weakens collagen and elastin naturally, ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the main perpetrator in weakening these protein fibers.
- Cell turnover rate declining – Proliferation of your skin cells begin to decline as you age which induces deterioration of your skin’s structure and function. Your skin naturally sheds dead skin cells every 28-40 days on average through a process called desquamation. But as you age this skin cell turnover rate slows which leaves you with damaged dead skin cells. This leaves your skin looking dull and rough. When these cells aren’t removed it can cause irritation, acne, and an uneven skin pigmentation.
Research shows the natural aging process is influenced by hormonal changes that occur with age. This means that the decline in hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and androgens promote collagen and elastin degradation, dryness, loss of elasticity, epidermal atrophy, and wrinkling of the skin.
Foods For Anti-Aging
You are what you eat – you’ve heard this saying more than once I’m sure. But it’s a motto to live by especially if you want to prevent wrinkles and age gracefully. If your foods are healthy – you are healthy.
Foods to eat to age gracefully:
- Dark leafy vegetables
- Fermented foods
- Green tea
- Healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, coconut oil
Foods to avoid to age gracefully:
- Processed foods
- Excess salt
- Excess sugar
- Fatty meats
- Artificial sweeteners
One of the key foods to load up on for its anti-aging effects are antioxidants such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and vitamins.
Loading up on antioxidants every day can help reduce free radicals from environmental factors such as ultraviolet radiation, toxins, and other harmful chemicals. Antioxidants help reduce collagen and elastin degradation, protect your protein fibers, and eliminate free radicals which damage your skin cells. Most importantly, vitamins C, B3, and E promote the production of col-1, col-3 which are important in the production of collagen.
Avoid Skin Damage and Prevent Wrinkles
The sun can give you that bronze tan you’ve been waiting for all summer. But with every exposure to ultraviolet radiation, you’re also damaging your skin’s protein fibers, reducing your collagen and accelerating the aging process.
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is responsible for 80% of visible facial aging. So wearing sunscreen is by far the most important thing you can do to prevent wrinkles, skin damage, sun spots, and uneven skin pigmentation.
Other extrinsic factors to help you age gracefully:
- Wear sunglasses
- Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke
- Don’t over exfoliate your skin
- Wash your face morning and night
- Get enough sleep
- Drink plenty of water
Anti-Aging Skin Treatments in Dallas/Fort Worth Area
Unfortunately, you can’t completely stop your natural aging process. But other environmental factors which cause aging can be prevented.
The natural aging process is influenced by changes in hormones such as menopause, and at Dynamic Life Health Center, Dr. Lyn Berutti specializes in balancing hormones through bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to help you age gracefully.
If you’re in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and looking for anti-aging skin treatment – look no further. Request an appointment today with Dr. Lyn Berutti or call (817) 912-1603.