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How To Slow Down Aging Skin
Learn the best nutrition advice to slow down ageing skin
Are you finding it can be difficult to come to terms with the signs of ageing skin?
However, getting older doesn’t necessarily mean your skin needs to reflect your age.
Ageing skin is not just about genetics and sun exposure. Your food choices directly impact your skin ageing process.
When the visible signs of premature ageing start to appear, this can negatively affect your self-esteem. And whilst it’s true that skincare products might dull your fine lines, wouldn’t it be better if they were stopped in their tracks before they transformed into wrinkled skin?
You can sit back and let the natural ageing process progress, try to prevent damage and wear a wide brimmed hat, apply sunscreen and treat fine lines, liver spots or age spots with vitamin c and hyaluronic acid or you can determine what it is that’s really responsible for triggering the premature ageing process – Let me get to the point it is your metabolic health!
In this article, you will learn about your metabolic health and how the food you eat has an impact on your metabolism and the natural ageing process.
It all starts by making some changes to how and what you eat.
I’m Jen Adams, and as a functional nutritionist and aesthetics skin therapist, I have a wealth of knowledge and expertise to share with you. My role is similar to that of a professional dermatologist but I see myself as more of a therapist than a doctor. I have ten years of clinical experience in nutrition advice and natural aesthetic treatments.
Let me share with you what I have learnt and discovered over the years about how your nutrition influences your natural ageing process and what you can do to address ageing skin and prevent signs of sagging skin.
Nutrition advice to reduce signs of ageing skin
Your skin cell turnover is influenced by three essential metabolic pathways: the blood sugar levels, liver function and gut microbiome that form your metabolic health.
Understanding the function and role these three pathways play in determining your early signs of ageing and how it has the potential to affect the rate at which your skin ages is integral to understanding how to slow down the visible signs of ageing.
We’re often told that eating little and often is the best thing for our bodies, but this causes more issues than it claims to solve. This advice can have a detrimental effect on your skin cell turnover.
It often leads individuals to eat low-calorie, processed food, and refined carbohydrates, which are low in nutrients and high in fake ingredients such as fructose corn syrup and aspartame.
Such ingredients lead to excess insulin being produced, which causes an imbalance in your blood sugar. These ingredients often do more than just cause your blood sugar to skyrocket.
They also clog your liver and reduce its ability to function to the best of its ability, which directly influences your metabolic health.
When metabolic pathways lose the ability to function efficiently, you create the perfect conditions for fine lines and wrinkles to form.
If such lifestyle habits are sustained, it can lead to a process known as glycation.
Glycation occurs when the sugar molecules in your system latch onto fats and proteins. This results in advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and these newly formed structures lead to protein fibres becoming deformed and stiff.
The proteins that are likely to be affected are the same ones that influence the ageing process and the ability for your skin to look plump and youthful: collagen production and elastin. When collagen and elastin fibres become AGEs, they become weaker and less supple, which results in sagginess, a loss of radiance and the emergence of fine lines and wrinkles.
How do you slow down signs of ageing?
- Reduce blood sugar to lower insulin production
- Remove toxins in foods as they disrupt the gut microbiome
- Increase consumption of essential minerals and nutrients
Reduce blood sugar levels to lower insulin production
AGEs are more likely to occur when your blood sugar is too high, as there are more sugar molecules in your bloodstream during this time. One way to combat this is by partaking in intermittent fasting. I am not saying you should attempt to compensate for a bad diet by fasting. Instead, you should allow your body to rest between meals as opposed to maintaining your body’s fed state.
Intermittent fasting can trigger a process known as autophagy.
Autophagy encourages the metabolism to clear out damaged old cells and proteins and replace them with new ones. It is also associated with a range of other benefits, including enhanced brain health, blood sugar control and radiant skin.
Remove toxins in foods as they disrupt the gut microbiome
When your gut microbiome is unbalanced, it can also lead to much more than just an upset stomach. If your cell membranes are weak and sensitive, your immune system can trigger an inflammatory response.
Damage in the gut lining stimulates an immune reaction to external factors, so your body might recognise the food you consume as a threat.
This can result in redness or swelling on the surface of your skin, often manifesting as itchiness and flaking.
Read my article about What Causes Sensitive Skin to learn more
Increase consumption of essential minerals and nutrients
Furthermore, you won’t absorb as many essential fatty acids and lipid-soluble vitamins (vitamins that dissolve in fats and oils) such as vitamins D, E, A and K. When this happens, the lipoproteins in the skin cells become vulnerable and are then unable to work effectively and maintain their integrity in times of stress.
This causes your skin to become noticeably drier, creating the perfect conditions for wrinkles to form.
How to keep your skin from ageing
In order to create the optimal environment for your cells to function at their very best, you need to rethink your relationship with food.
Foods high in sugar should always be enjoyed in moderation to best protect your skin and improve your skin health.
Relying on skincare products to solve your skincare woes won’t help when they’re rooted in how often you eat, and the quality of the food you consume.
When it comes to meals, you should aim for 3 meals a day that revolves around protein, vegetables, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats, commonly referred to as good fats.
These include foods such as avocados, nuts, oils and soy-based goods like tofu. A diet such as this is typically called a Mediterranean diet across most of the Western world.
You can also enjoy food in its most natural form without any worries. By this, I don’t mean raw food per se. Avoiding processed foods and sticking to simply prepared meals is also best practice for younger-looking skin.
In order to do this, you need to check the ingredient lists on the food you buy.
High numbers of additives and E numbers might prolong shelf life, but they should be avoided if you want to look younger.
To achieve younger-looking skin, you should wait at least 5 hours before you eat your next meal, as this reduces the body’s demand for insulin.
Waiting too long between meals can lead to low blood sugar levels. When this happens, you will also start to notice a distinct lack of energy, which isn’t good for anyone.
So, if you feel the need to snack, turn to protein such as nuts or seeds rather than sugar, even natural sugar found in fruit.
Learn more about the effects of blood sugars – 10 Early Warning Signs You Are Pre-Diabetic
Skincare can only do so much. If you’re not addressing the issues that lead to the visible signs of ageing, they will continue to appear.
Even if you’re spending your hard-earned money on skincare products and treatments, it will make little difference by itself.
Once you have addressed your nutritional needs, your skin and metabolic health will improve and you will begin to see a reduction in the number of fine lines and wrinkles on your skin.
The key to achieving this is incorporating more nourishing food into your diet. Consuming more nutrient-rich food will give you the results you desire, but only when this diet is sustained over a long period of time.
It’s not enough to eat some broccoli and hope for the best!
In summary, the three most effective ways to improve the appearance of your ageing skin are:
- Enjoy three meals a day and consume them at least 5 hours apart
- Prepare meals based on food in its most natural form
- Increase vitamin and mineral consumption by eating more nutrient-rich foods
If you follow the above steps, you’ll be sure to notice a difference when it comes to your skin health. Eating the perfect plate will enable you to cut down on the number of AGEs your body produces and in turn, you’ll see fewer fine lines and wrinkles appearing, leaving you feeling not only more confident but healthy and nourished too.
In conclusion, when looking for a solution to ageing skin, take a moment to think about what exactly is causing your skin to age prematurely.
If your current eating habits involve snacking between meals or grazing all day, you could be creating an imbalance in your blood sugar. Such eating habits have the potential to raise your blood sugar to unsafe levels, causing glycation to occur, resulting in the production of AGEs, which will attach to the collagen and elastin fibres in your skin. This will cause it to become drier and thicker, resulting in wrinkles.
By a few lifestyle changes such as having three meals per day, five hours apart with food in its natural form, you will reduce the production of AGES by stopping glycation as a process. This supports your gut microbiome in the absorption of essential nutrients from your meals, and will therefore improve your skin ageing.
Premature skin ageing is just one example of how the skin can make us aware of the effects of our food and how it influences our skin health.