SKINCARE: IT’S ALL ABOUT CHEMISTRY!
So your skin is aging? You already know that smoking, sun exposure, and stress are bad for your skin, but do you know WHY? Furthermore, do you know the best ways to counteract these proven skin mishaps, and what ingredients you should look for in your beauty regimen? And YES, you ARE what you eat! Vitamins and minerals DO affect the skins vitality, and youthfulness…and loading up on vitamin supplements is not always the answer.
Your skin has aged the way it has due to genetics, and several environmental factors which include environment, lifestyle, and habits. These unhealthy habits are the main accelerators which age skin. Smoking increases free radicals in the body, which consume nutrients before they can be delivered to cells. Sun exposure breaks down collagen, and elastin, key components to skin celluar structure and are responsible for skin “springing” back when pinched. Stress often results in a recurrent facial expression which in turn causes lines where the expression lays (frown lines). Luckily, its not too late to halt and rerpair this damage with the proper care!
ANTIOXIDANTS are all over health reports nowadays and prevent the oxidation of certain chemicals in the body which can result in the production of free radicals. Free radicals harm the skin by making it look aged through lines and wrinkles, age spots, and dark circles. High concentrations of antioxidants can be found in superfoods like cranberries, blackberries, blueberries, pomagranate, and acai berry, or you can add a supplement such as Alpha Lipoic Acid or DMAE to your diet which are among the most powerful antioxidants known to man. (These supplements retail for around $15 for a 30 day supply)
VITAMIN C is the obvious antioxidant choice because of its ease of ingestion in common fruits and vegetables, especially citrus and aids collagen production. Research has even show that when Vitamin C is applied as a topical cream, it is shown to reduce the signs of sun damage. High concentrations of Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, kiwi, and papaya or can be taken as a supplement. (Supplement retails around $10 for a 90 day supply)
VITAMIN E is a favorite for its benefits to skincare and its ability to diminish the appearance of scars. Vitamin E can be taken as a supplement or used as a serum (you can even break open the capsules and apply the oil directly onto the skin). A word of caution: an excess of Vitamin E in your diet can cause serious heart problems so taking a supplement orally isn’t recommended. Vitamin E can be found in oils, corn, and many nuts.
VITAMIN A is extremely beneficial to the eyes, has been shown to reduce bacteria in the skin which can cause acne. Most people get enough Vitamin A in their diet, commonly as beta-carotene, found in carrots. In your anti-aging skincare, you will often see Retinol or Retin-A as a key ingredient, which are A vitamins applied topically as a cream. Fish, milk, eggs, tomatoes, and strawberries are also foods very high in Vitamin A.
VITAMIN B comes in many form though there are two which are crucial to skin health. Niacin (B3) and Biotin (B7), both easily available in foods, with Niacin in dairy, poultry, fish, nuts, and eggs and Biotin in bananas and avocados. A recommended supplement is a B Complex, which contains these and other B vitamins to improve overall skin health, brain cognition, and energy production. (Supplement retails for around $20 for a 90 day supply)
VITAMIN K is made through a chemical reaction that occurs from the sun, and is found in most leafy vegetables, reducing rosacea, dark circles, and bruising.
VITAMIN D is the new “hot vitamin” in the health world today in which experts are saying reduces the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and even death. If you are currently living a fairly unhealthy lifestyle, experts say that Vitamin D is a great way to start combating the signs of aging and is found in high levels in fish and eggs. A great way to supplement your diet (and skincare) is to take fish oil tablets. (Supplement retails for around $15 for a 60 day supply)
So now that you have had your chemistry lesson for the day leave with this: Eliminating or reducing smoking/drinking/sun/stress is the VERY BEST way to keep the skin looking young and fresh, as all of these are suggestions and in no way are proven medical fact. Many of these vitamins are offered in combinations in various skincare products, but your best bet is to eat right, sleep at least 8 hours a night, and MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE!!!