Nobody looks forward to aging, much less to its visible effects. Unfortunately, our skin is prone to the effects of aging in the form of wrinkles and change in texture due to a number of factors, including sun exposure, pollution and more. The good news is you don’t have to spend a lot to enjoy youthful skin for a long time. There are many natural solutions, including foods that prevent early signs of aging and some basic skin-care dos and don’ts. But first, let’s understand exactly how the aging process takes place.
What Causes Skin to Sag?
The skin is made up of several layers. The topmost layer, which is just under the layer visible to us, is made of a framework of two proteins,collagen and elastin, that keep the skin supple, smooth and in shape. Over the years, this layer weakens, making the skin lose its elasticity.
Besides this, there are other reasons for skin damage. Skin may naturally thin due to the loss of fat. Gravity can also play a role in causing the skin to sag, as can genetics. Some people inherit firm skin and some don’t. One of the most common reasons for skin damage is too much sun exposure. When the sun’s UV rays enter the skin, it can weaken the protein framework, causing it to sag. It can also cause sun spots and wrinkles.
So, while aging cannot actually be avoided, certain steps can be taken to ensure the skin maintains its shape for as long as possible.
Prevent the Effects of Aging
Here are 10 natural skin-care solutions that will keep your skin looking young:
1. Avoid exposure to the sun. If you have to go out, protect your skin with natural sunscreen. (Don’t forget about protecting your scalp!) Minimize your time in the afternoon sun, as this is when the rays are most destructive on the skin.
2. Stop smoking. Smoking creates wrinkles, in addition to arresting the blood circulation to your face. This results in crow’s feet and drooping skin around the eyes.
3. Cut down on alcohol. Too much alcohol shows on the skin, as well as your overall health. Drinking can also prevent you from making health-conscious eating choices, and the lack of nutritious food can speed up the aging of your skin.
4. Exercise regularly. This keeps up healthy blood circulation, nourishing the skin inside and out, letting it breathe and remain firm.
5. Skip junk food. Include at least five daily helpings of fruits and vegetables in your diet.
6. Get enough sleep. Sleep helps our body rejuvenate and rest itself, keeping us healthy.
7. Maintain good hygiene by keeping your skin clean and free from dirt. If you sweat profusely, make sure to wash your sweat off.
8. Invest in a good moisturizer for your skin to keep it soft and smooth.
9. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.
10. Avoid harsh skin-care products that can rapidly age your skin.
Foods for Healthy Skin
The skin also needs antioxidants and vitamins to stay healthy. Here are 10 foods that can help you keep your skin looking great:
1. Vegetables and fresh fruits must be part of any healthy diet. In particular, focus on tomatoes, leafy greens, carrots, citrus fruits and veggies.
2. Complex carbohydrates such as oats, which have a low glycemic index (GI), help keep your skin healthy. Too much sugar and foods with a higher GI can result in skin problems such as acne and wrinkles. Include whole grains in your diet.
3. Oranges are good for your skin as they keep it moisturized and supply you with the vitamin C you need. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen formation, which keeps your skin flexible.
4. Avocado, a super-fruit, is an excellent source of monounsaturated fat, which is the right type of fat to consume. It gives your skin the vitamins it needs. Other sources of good fats include olives and walnuts.
5. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale and collard greens are a great source of vitamin A and C and folate. These protect your skin from damage due to sun exposure.
6. Grapes, which are a source of antioxidants, also heal inflammation of the skin.
7. Omega-3 have been shown to have anti-cancer effects. Source this essential fatty acid from flax seeds, walnuts, eggs and milk.
8. Antioxidants repair and guard your skin cells. Some additional sources include berries, pomegranate and cherries.
9. Beans are a great source of flavonoids, a group of healthy compounds that promote anti-aging.
10. Water is perhaps the most important anti-aging food for skin. Make sure you drink at least eight to 10 glasses each day. Replace soda and other caffeine-loving drinks with water, as drinking too much caffeine can result in unhealthy skin.
If you suffer from prematurely aging skin, you can still take action and arrest the aging process with the above natural skin-care tips.
Alana is a passionate blogger and writer. She is obsessed with beauty and fashion and enjoys writing about beauty, makeup and skin-care tips. Find her at Your Beauty Advisor.