Natural Anti-Aging Skin Care: Tips for a Youthful, Radiant Glow
In some ways, your skin is like a road map of your life. The chin scar from when you fell off your bike in second grade, the crinkles around your eyes from decades of laughter, the crease that appears when you’re deep in thought. These signposts mark your unique journey. Yet some signs of aging — sagging skin, wrinkles, or spots — are preventable and reversible, and you can slow them down with healthy lifestyle and nutritional choices. Whether you’re just starting to see signs of aging or want to reverse skin damage caused by past choices, read on for our best natural anti-aging skin care tips.
The aging process is a natural part of life, and the way you look as you get older is a reflection of where you’ve been. When you start noticing differences in your skin’s appearance, remember how you earned them through time, love, loss, and laughter. That can help you accept and even revel in them. While you can’t turn back the hands of time, you can help your skin stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
How to Tell If Your Skin Is Aging
Even if it’s not obvious when you look in the mirror, every day, your skin is aging gracefully, just like the rest of your body. Signs of aging vary according to your age, lifestyle, genetics, and external factors like sun exposure and environmental stress and pollution.
Lines and wrinkles are a fairly universal signifier of aging skin, often appearing first around the eye area. Other signs your skin is aging include:
- Sagging skin due to loss of collagen and elastin
- Age spots/sunspots
- Dark spots on the skin
- Visible blood vessels
- Dry skin
- Rough texture
- Thinning skin
- Enlarged pores
Tips for Glowing, Youthful Skin
Keeping your skin healthy or improving its appearance means making beneficial lifestyle and skin care choices and avoiding harmful habits (like smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating poorly) that can cause skin to age prematurely. It’s never too late to change your habits — and the health of your skin. Below, we list few of the best natural anti-aging skin care tips to get glowing, youthful-looking skin.
Limit Excessive Sun Exposure
This one is more about what not to do than what to do, but it’s very important! While excessive sun exposure is a primary cause of premature aging, we need to remember that sun helps our body make vitamin D, so balance is essential.
Stay in the shade between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest. If you need to be in strong sunlight for an extended period of time, wear organic sunscreen. Look for a mineral-based product that contains active mineral ingredients like zinc oxide, which provide natural and chemical-free sun protection. Avoid non-organic sunscreens and those with chemical ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, parabens, titanium dioxide, or fragrance.
You can also protect your skin from excessive strong sun exposure by covering it up — wear long sleeves, and invest in a high-quality hat to shield your face.
Remember that sunrays have great benefits for us, and moderation is the best.
Eat Healthy for Healthy Skin
The way you eat has a profound impact on your skin’s appearance. Did you know that chemical- and preservative-containing processed foods, as well as refined sugars, contribute to skin aging?
Instead, focus on eating an organic plant-based diet that’s rich in whole foods. This type of eating will give your skin the nutrients it craves to look youthful and radiant.
Here are some of the best anti-aging foods:
- Carrots, squash, and other orange produce are high in carotenoids, which protect against photoaging.
- Red grapes are high in resveratrol, a polyphenol that may prevent free radical damage.
- Citrus fruits are a good source of vitamin C, which can help maintain collagen levels to prevent sagging skin.
- Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a carotene that can protect against sun damage.
- Walnuts and olive oil are both excellent plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which keep skin moist.
- Aloe vera, whether used topically or taken internally, is excellent for skin health. It provides anti-aging benefits, adds moisture, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Drink Plenty of Water
In addition to filling your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables, make sure to drink plenty of water. Water performs many essential functions in the skin, such as forming part of its protective barrier. And skin appears older when it’s dry, while hydrated skin is plump and dewy. Drinking water moisturizes your skin from the inside out.
How much water should you drink to keep your skin looking youthful? Some experts say two liters of water per day is the ideal amount to produce anti-aging results. Since everyone has a different weight, I like to say drink at least half your body weight in ounces daily (so a 70 kg person needs to drink minimum 1 liter of water per day, besides other fluids such as natural fruit juice or soup). That’s an excellent way to ensure you stay hydrated.
When it comes to cleansing your skin, less is more. Use your hands or a soft cloth, and resist the urge to scrub or pull your skin. Although you should be gentle when cleansing, don’t forgo it. If you wear makeup, always remove it before going to bed at night. Wash your face daily to remove dirt and other toxins that have accumulated on your skin. It’s also a good idea to cleanse your face immediately after working out.
Choose a natural cleanser that’s free of sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, a foaming agent which can strip the skin of its protective moisture barrier. Avoid chemicals in your cleansers, too. Natural cream- or lotion-based cleansers are a good option, as are cleansing oils. As always, pick organic skin care options.
Exfoliants can brighten aging skin, but they shouldn’t be used more than once a week as you get older. Excess exfoliation may irritate the top layer of the skin and disrupt its natural barrier. If you do exfoliate, look for one that features natural exfoliants like papaya or pumpkin enzymes. Try dry skin brushing on clean skin, but use a brush with very gentle bristles, especially on the delicate skin of your face. Follow up with a good moisturizer.
The right moisturizer can help your skin maintain its natural moisture balance. Nourishing plant-based ingredients like olive, aloe vera, vitamin E, hemp seed oil, and avocado oils are natural emollients, meaning they help to smooth and soften the skin. You can use plant oils on their own, or as part of a richer moisturizing cream.
If you want to add another treatment to your anti-aging skin care routine, consider a serum made with hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide that helps your skin and connective tissues retain moisture. The amount of naturally-occurring hyaluronic acid in your skin decreases as we age. Applying hyaluronic acid topically helps pull water to the surface, keeping skin hydrated. Select only vegan sources for best results.
You may also want to run a humidifier at home during the winter months or if you live in a dry climate. Your skin loses moisture when air is too dry, while humidity keeps it dewy.
Take Supplements for Radiant Skin
To nourish your skin from within as you age and enhance your natural beauty, make sure you get enough of the vitamins necessary for healthy skin, as well as other nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, resveratrol, and CoQ10.
CoQ10, or coenzyme-Q10, is a naturally-occurring antioxidant in your body that improves the appearance of aging skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. It is found in high amounts in every cell’s mitochondria, the cellular organelles that create energy. As a potent antioxidant, CoQ10 neutralizes free radicals that can damage the skin. The CoQ10 you produce reduces with age.
Vitamin C is essential for healthy skin, stimulating collagen production and protecting the skin from damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays. This powerhouse vitamin is a strong antioxidant that is well-known to boost the immune system, as well. Topically, vitamin C has been shown to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Vitamin D plays an important role in forming the skin’s barrier, which protects it from external factors like pollution. It may also help prevent UV damage and can promote wound healing and tissue repair. If you don’t get vitamin D in foods you eat, choose an organic plant-based supplement using cholecalciferol (D3) with 5000 IU.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant, so it protects your skin cells from damage caused by free radicals. It also supports healthy collagen levels, helping to keep skin firm and prevent sagging. Vitamin E works together with vitamin C. Your body requires both to get the benefit from each of them!
Sometimes called the longevity molecule because of its anti-aging effects, resveratrol has skin-supporting benefits like minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reducing age spots, and improving skin texture.
How to Shop for Natural Skin Care Products
Never cut corners when it comes to skin care — your skin is your body’s largest organ. Its high surface area and exposure to the outside world means that what you put on it matters. Be gentle with your skin. Seek products that are:
- Carefully formulated with all-natural, organic ingredients
- Free of harmful chemicals, irritants, or preservatives
- Never tested on animals
If you are looking for a natural anti-aging skin care solution, use a completely natural, premium product. Choose one that is antioxidant-rich, deeply hydrating, for example one with hemp seed oil or coconut oil, vitamin E, aloe vera, essential oils of frankincense, neroli, rose, and other healing plants chosen for their skin-protecting powers.
Author: Dr. Edward F. Group
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July 20, 2023