Posts Tagged ‘enhancing skin health’
Skin Care by Decade
Never have we had more decisions to make about how to take care of our skin nor number of products and approaches which to choose from. Cosmetics, lotions, serums,
treatments and procedures… natural, organic, plant-based, hypoallergenic, botanical…Dry brushing, sonic cleaners, morning applications vs. bedtime. As we see the “mature”
population exploding and life expectancy now well into our 80’s, Like other medical concerns, we do have a genetic predisposition related to how we age. Good practices however, can contribute
substantially to maintaining younger, fresher skin and these should be established early and practiced for a lifetime.
Here’s what’s happening by decade as your skin evolves and matures.
The 30’s – Add A Topical Antioxidant
Collagen and elastin production begin slowing, and hormones may be fluctuating with
pregnancy. Even some symptoms of peri-menopause can occur in the late 30’s. Skin
may begin to feel a bit drier and become splotchy. Hormone changes can also trigger
acne. Anti-oxidant products containing Vitamin C can improve skin quality and even
The 40’s – Boost Your Moisturizer
Many women say “my skin changed overnite” in their 40’s… Significant drying, dulling,
hollowing, and more visible wrinkles, capillaries, broken blood vessels, and age
spots—there are typically dramatic changes in the 40’s, especially when it comes to
loss of elasticity. Be generous with your moisturizer and consider a richer formulation
for your skin type.
The 50’s – Increase Cell Turnover By Exfoliating
Collagen levels really wane and skin begins to show laxity. Skin may become even
dryer, and brown spots may begin forming from sun exposure. Use a sonic cleaning
device several times per week or cleansing product that exfoliates and removes dull,
The 60’s – Boost Circulation By Staying Active
Skin loses tone, circulation decreases, lips thin and more wrinkles form around the lips.
Daily exercise increases blood flow to the skin and has multiple heath benefits including
the color and appearance of the skin.
Regardless of your age, the best habits can start now and include things that sound
simple but actually have a very large impact:
1) We have heard it over and over but number one, hands down, is sun protection –
using a sunscreen of at least every day, wearing a hat, choosing to stay in the
shade. We all love the so-called “healthy” glow of a tan, but today there are
terrific self-tanner products easily selected by reading product reviews and
2) Stop smoking. It is estimated that a 40-year- old lifetime smoker’s skin may look
similar to a 70-year- old non-smoker. Smokers will prematurely develop more
significant facial wrinkles and furrows, crows’ feet, vertical ear creases, smoker’s
lines around the lips, baggy eyelids and slack jawline as well as dry, coarse skin.
3) Drink water, drink more water, then drink some more. Establish the habit of
always sipping, including during the night.
4) Exfoliate your skin using a product suited for your skin type to remove dead cells,
refresh your skin surface and maintain a smoother appearance.
5) Don’t wear your makeup to bed, wash your face with a gentle cleanser and
remove eye makeup with a product that isn’t harsh on the delicate eye area.
6) Use cosmetics that are as free of additives as possible. There are a number of
product lines that are considered “green” that avoid any number of added
chemicals and fillers.
7) Use a moisturizer with sunscreen in the morning and moisturize again at night.
Even oilier skins need moisturizer and doing so can balance the skin and actually
reduce oil production.
8) Be disciplined to get consistent, adequate sleep. The older we get the more we
“wear” our sleep loss.
In addition to this important self-care for the skin, the good news is that science and
well- trained medical specialists offer a number of topical and procedural choices that
can improve tone, texture and overall appearance.
Over-the- counter choices for topical products continue to improve with serums,
moisturizers, peels and more that when carefully selected, offer good results and a
budget friendly option.
Professional medical grade skin care products have also come a very long way. While
these products are typically more expensive, they have higher concentrations than
many over the counter products, reach deeper levels of the skin and are backed by
clinical studies and testing. Regular facials can also improve skin appearance and
eliminate dullness and dryness.
The new generation of non-surgical youth-boosters—injectables, lasers, and
radiofrequency—address small age-related changes over time. They’re also safer,
easier, cheaper, and require much less downtime than solutions in the past. The
challenge is, that there are so many options out there—seemingly more every week—it
can be tough to know which will give you the best return for your investment. Do your
research and consult with a strongly recommended dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
Following the recommended self-care for skin in combination with quality choices for
skincare products will bring out the best in your skin. Stay informed about new
innovations in skin care treatments and procedures that offer great results, less
recovery, and affordable options to keep you looking fresh and youthful.
Great Foods for Healthy Skin
As it turns out, a healthy diet has even more benefits than we may have considered, including those affecting the appearance and quality of the skin. Our skin needs care from the inside and from the outside, and selecting foods that contribute to healthy glowing skin involves learning about super foods and those high in antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. These substances may prevent or delay the cell damage leading to a number of diseases, including cancer. Antioxidants appear in many fruits and vegetables and other foods listed below.
Most health experts will agree that it is optimal to obtain nutrition mainly from food however, the following factors may indicate smart use of supplements:
- The foods we purchase may vary in terms of nutrient levels
- Extended periods of stress can deplete the body’s reserves
- Certain medical conditions may benefit from targeted supplements
Super Foods High in Antioxidants
Blue, Red, Purple Grapes
Dark Green Vegetables
Sweet Potato/Orange Vegetables
High Impact Foods for Enhancing Skin Health
Carotenoids include: Beta-carotene (β-carotene) and A-carotene (α-Carotene), lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene. Along with active vitamin A, carotenoids help prevent premature skin damage and skin cancer. Diets high in carotenoids are beneficial for preventing UV light damage, which can lead to melanoma, aged-looking skin, wrinkles, drying, scaling and thickening of the skin. Great choices for foods high in carotenoids include:
- Acorn Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Sweet Potatoes
Selenium is an essential mineral found in small amounts in the body. It works as an antioxidant, especially when combined with vitamin E. Antioxidants like selenium help fight the damaging particles in the body known as free radicals. Foods containing selenium include:
- Brazil Nuts (2-3 per day will fulfill this requirement)
- Sunflower Seeds
- Wheat Germ
Alpha Linolenic Acid
Alpha linolenic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid that must be obtained from the diet or supplementation. Omega-3s have been shown to reinforce the skin by protecting it from dryness and reducing skin sensitivity. Other benefits may include protection from autoimmune skin disorders like psoriasis or inflammatory conditions like acne and eczema. Great sources of alpha linolenic acid include:
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Hemp Seeds/hemp oil
Vitamin C is an antioxidant powerhouse with multiple benefits. For the skin, Vitamin C fights free radicals and protects from sun damage, contributes to collagen production, better wound healing, prevents skin discoloration and improves skin texture. The overall health benefits of Vitamin C intake are considerable, and many dermatologists and aestheticians also recommend topical application of Vitamin C which is present in a wide variety of products from lotions to serums. Great dietary sources of Vitamin C include:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Bell Peppers
Long Chain Omega-3
Omega-3 fatty acids have powerful anti-inflammatory effects and, in general, increasing intake will improve skin moisture and appearance and may improve eczema. Even psoriasis may benefit from increased omega-3 intake. While cold water fish has always been high in omega-3, grass-fed beef has a higher level of omega-3 fatty acids and is generally leaner in total fat. Good sources of these omega-3s include:
- Grass-Fed Beef
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin necessary for the breakdown of fatty acids. Often referred to as the beauty vitamin with benefits for hair, skin and nails, it is easy to obtain the recommended amount in the diet. Including regular consumption of these foods with high nutritional value that ensure adequate intake of this vitamin:
Water, Water and More Water
Food choices can have wonderful skin benefits along with a recommendation we just can’t hear enough: maximize water intake, and minimize alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates the skin, and those who overindulge may see it on their faces the next day. Chronic overuse negatively affects skin tone, dryness and reflects an aged appearance. Re-think those couple glasses of wine or cocktails you may be having each day…Water is your skin’s best friend, and the formula for staying hydrated is the amount of water it takes to consistently produce urine that is colorless.
What NOT to Eat for Beautiful Skin
Nutritionists and aestheticians recommend avoiding foods that cause inflammation especially for those who may be suffering with skin disorders. Inflammatory foods include sugars, refined starches, vegetable oils, dairy products, wheat, processed corn, and many food additives. Foods with a high glycemic index that produce a quick rise in blood sugar are not recommended for several reasons including the negative effects on your skin.
Following these nutrition and diet recommendations will result in multiple benefits, including better health and higher energy as well as keeping your skin feeling and looking its best.
* This information is not intended to substitute for the advice or direction normally provided by a licensed medical professional. See your physician or a registered dietician for optimal dietary recommendations that are consistent with your comprehensive wellness plan, treatment you may be currently receiving, and to avoid interactions with prescription or over the counter medications you may be currently taking.