Keep skin youthful and healthy the natural way from the inside out!
23rd April, 2014
We can all achieve good-looking skin – and it needn’t cost the earth. Of course, genetics plays a large part in how we look and age, but there are other ways to boost your complexion - and give Mother Nature a helping hand!
I am often approached by young women concerned about facial lines; I reassure them that the lines they see are expression creases, and without these they would look very odd. Lines and wrinkles do not actually start until into your thirties, when repeated facial muscle movements start to leave their trace. As with any muscle, the more it is used, the bigger and stronger it becomes, and towards a person’s late thirties lines can be seen even when the face is not moving – lines that deepen as ageing continues.
Sadly, wrinkles are inevitable and of course as a plastic surgeon I am fully equipped to deal with them – I treat patients on a daily basis with botulinium toxin, lasers and/or chemical peels. Thankfully, there are also more natural ways to tackle line formation: from the inside out. As we learn more about nutrition as well as the ageing process, we are better equipped to keep healthy, whilst looking and feeling great.
We know that collagen is vital to skin support; these protein strands form a type of skin scaffolding which helps keep skin taut and tight. The ageing process destroys this collagen matrix, resulting in sagging skin that is unable to fight the ravages of gravitational pull! Collagen production is possible but needs some sort of stimulus: most commonly, skin cells are artificially “damaged” using a cosmetic procedure so collagen is produced to help “heal” the area.
In addition, here are some foods you can add to your diet that will help stimulate collagen production: * Carrots * Sweet potatoes * Mangoes * Butternut Squash * Tomatoes
Collagen cannot re-group without vitamin C, so it’s a vital component of a healthy diet – and healthy skin!
Keep your levels up: * Topically: in serum form, I like the Obagi Vitamin-C serum * Vegetables: yellow and red peppers, parsley, kale, sun-dried tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower * Fruit: guava, kiwi, oranges, peaches, strawberries and lemons
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
This important food group doesn’t really help with skin tightening but it’s essential to skin health. Your skin loves Omega-3’s! They help battle inflammation, redness, swelling, acne and some skin cancer
A few good sources include: * Fish Oils * Cold Pressed Flax Seed Oil * Fresh Ground Flax Seeds * Salmon * Raw Walnuts
Food boffins have derided this oil for the last few decades but now we are discovering how fabulous it actually is! Not only is it great for your overall energy, it's anti-microbial and anti-fungal. In fact, coconut oil can be used topically to lighten sun/age spots and as an easy go-to lip balm.
It’s very stable, meaning it doesn’t break down easily. Why is this important? Cell-attacking free radicals are released as a by-product when most fats break down – and as coconut oil is tough to break, free-radical release is limited.
A few ways to get your coconut oil include: * Melted and drizzled over air-popped popcorn * Added to your morning oatmeal * For sautéing vegetables * For baking sweet-potato fries * Added to just about any recipe which calls for butter or vegetable oil
Sulphur helps eliminate toxins from the body and on a cellular level it helps neutralise damaging free radicals. It can also help stimulate collagen production. The third most abundant mineral in our bodies, sulphur is easily found in most everyday food sources. Those of us who suffer sulphur shortage usually have dry, dull and itchy skin.
A few foods that are rich in sulphur include: * Eggs * Garlic * Onions * Broccoli * Asparagus * Fish * Grass-fed Beef
I’ve written about the importance of water before: remember, once you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated! A few tips to make sure you get enough water each day include:
- Drink 12 - 16 ounces of room temp or warm water first thing in the morning. Add a little lemon for flavour!
- Keep a bottle of water on your desk or at your side, filled and ready to drink, throughout the day.
- Drink a cup of water 10 to 15 minutes before every meal or snack.
- If you work out, ensure you drink 12 to 20 ounces more to make up for what you lose in sweat
I promise that you can make a difference to your skin, from the inside out. Why not try these tips, and let me know on Facebook if you notice a change?