How to keep your skin healthy as you age.
Taking care of your skin does a lot for your health, looks, and confidence. And while it is impossible to completely stop the aging process, there’s plenty you can do to look, feel, and preform younger than you are.
Skin naturally starts breaking down as you age, but at the rate it does this depends on how well you take care of yourself. The health of your skin is visible to everyone, with three main signs – skin tone, wrinkles, and sagging.
There are three layers of skin, the Epidermis, Dermis, and Hypodermis.
The Epidermis is the outer layer and the part of the skin that is visible. It keeps you and your skin hydrated, and protects your body from things like germs and toxins. The epidermis is where melanin (skin pigment) and new skin cells are made. Forming in the deepest layer and then working their way to the surface, giving your skin tone.
The Dermis is the middle layer that is made up of connective tissue, sweat glands, nerves, and blood vessels. When the collagen and elastin proteins in this layer become depleted, the skin loses it’s support which causes wrinkles.
The Hypodermis is the deepest layer and consist mainly of fat which stores energy and keeps you warm. It’s also the layer that connects your skin to the muscle. This is the layer that is responsible for tight or saggy skin.
Taking Care of Your Skin
Since the epidermis is the outer layer of your skin, it takes the blunt of everything that your skin comes into contact with, such as soaps, lotion, sun and environment.
Soaps & Lotions – It’s important to use soaps and lotions that do not use chemicals that strip your skin of its natural oils, dry it out, or block your pores. Common soap ingredients such as parabens, formaldehyde, synthetic fragrances and colors are all damaging to the epidermis and should be avoided. Instead, look for nourishing ingredients such as Vitamin E, aloe vera, glycerin, olive oil, avocado, almond oil, and shea butter in your soaps and lotions.
Sun Exposure – Vitamin D is healthy for your skin and the best way to get it is from the sun. But too much sun can be damaging to the skin so make sure you know your limits. Bring shade such as an umbrella if you are planning a day outside. If you are sensitive to the sun, the best time for exposure is in the morning or afternoon when it is less intense.
Most skin care products are marketed as providing nutrients to your skin through the epidermis. But this is not how your skin absorbs most of its nutrients. Each layer of your skin, including the epidermis, get most of their nutrients from what you eat a drink. And while it is beneficial to keep your skin moisturized and clean, it takes more than that to maintain your skins healthy.
Diet – Eating foods rich in Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants help protect each layer of the skin and are important for the production of collegian and elastin, the two main proteins your skin is made of. Make sure to eat fruits and vegetables every day along with healthy proteins and fats.
- Best Fruits and Vegetables – Look for the color orange such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, cantaloupe and oranges. Hydrating fruit and vegetables such as watermelon, lemons, coconut, pineapple, and cucumbers. And dark leafy greens such as spinach, chard, and beet greens.
- Healthy Protein – Grass fed beef and wild game, free range chicken and eggs, and small wild caught fish (sardines, cod, salmon, trout, and bass).
- Healthy Fat – Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter, cod liver oil, and avocados.
Avoid toxins such as smoking, drinking, eating processed and fried foods, and consuming processed sugars, artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners.
Hydration – Staying hydrated is equally important as any other nutrient that supports the skin and is necessary for the health of each layer. But make sure the fluids you drink are not full of toxins and sugars. You can tell your skin is dehydrated when the lines in your skin are more defined, your skin is often itchy or dull, and/or circles appear under the eyes.
Nutrients for Your Skin
B-Vitamins and Vitamin C – All your water soluble vitamins are necessary for healthy skin. But Vitamin C, B1, B2, and Biotin are the most important. Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen and is an antioxidant that protects the skin. Vitamin B1 supports the dermis and Vitamin B2 helps with skin tone.
Omega 3s and Fat Soluble Vitamins – Your skin needs omega 3 fats to stay healthy and vibrant. The fat soluble Vitamins A, E, and D support all three layers by protecting, hydrating, and nourishes them.
Herbs for Healthy Skin – There are many herbs that support healthy skin but some of the best and used for centuries are Yucca, Burdock, and Rose Hips.
- Yucca was discovered and used by the Native Americans to protect and nourish their skin.
- Burdock purifies the blood and encourages blood flow to the skin.
- Rose Hips has been used for centuries to keep the skin young and vibrant. Rose Hips are high in Vitamin C and other antioxidants that protect the skin.