All skin eventually succumbs to signs of aging, but what's behind the changes to aging skin, and how can we slow it down?
There are loads of ways! Here are some of the best:
We all know what changes to expect as we get older: lines and wrinkles, dullness and discolouration, lost elasticity, less firmness, more sagging. What a party!
There's no single factor causing these changes. Rather, it's a combination of elements over time that produces these outcomes. And while cosmetic enhancements may be all the rage, they're not for everyone.
For those who wish to age naturally, it's good to know that while we can't stop the aging process, there are plenty of ways we can slow it down!
Here's a look at the drivers of aging skin, and how we can slow them down...
Loss of oestrogen, reduced skin-cell renewal and less production of natural oils are the main reasons skin becomes dry with age. Less natural oils means more fluid loss from skin's surface, so it's a double whammy. Dry skin is a major cause of lines, wrinkles and lost fullness.
Here's how to combat dry skin:
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink enough water to meet your body's need for hydration.
Avoid dehydrating habits. Alcohol. Coffee. Sugar. Too much sun. Excessive heat and sweating. Avoid or minimise these as much as possible, and when you can't, make sure you drink extra water.
Eat more healthy oils. These are essential for cell structure, strength and fullness. Get them from avocados, salmon, olive oil, nuts and seeds. These foods also add antioxidants and Vitamins A and E, all of which which have other antiaging benefits for skin as you'll see below.
Use healthy oils on your skin too. This will replace the oils you no longer produce and provide a barrier to prevent fluid loss. The combined effect is that skin looks fuller and lines are less visible. Jojoba Oil is possibly the best and most natural product to do this. It can be used on your face and your body. Apply oils liberally and often. They're mature skin's best friend.
2. Dullness and Discolouration
These are mostly due to cell damage and poor cell renewal. Damage to skin cells is caused by increased reactive oxygen species (ROS); molecules that damage cells and cell function. ROS are produced naturally by the body but increase dramatically with smoking, alcohol, drugs, pollution, poor diet and sun damage. Until menopause oestrogen provides some protection against ROS. Oestrogen loss in the menopausal years is another reason this time is associated with increased signs of aging.
How to fight dull skin and discolouration:
One word: Antioxidants. Whether you're eating them or rubbing them into your face and body, antioxidants are the most effective way to reduce numbers of ROS and the damage they can cause. Antioxidant substances often contain other nutrients that repair, heal or support healthy skin too. Jojoba oil shines here too, but Propolis is our favourite. It has potent antioxidant activity plus vitamins A, C & E that support collagen and tissue repair. That's why Propolis is the key active ingredient in our skincare products. You can take Propolis orally for antioxidant support too.
Eating antioxidants is a must. All the foods noted above are great, plus berries, leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits and spices like cinnamon, oregano and turmeric.
3. Elasticity and Sagging
We've left this until last because dry skin, increased ROS and all the factors listed above contribute to lost elasticity and sagging too. Add the natural reduction in collagen produced as we age, you see why sagging skin becomes an issue.
Here's how to improve skin elasticity and slow the sag:
Everything noted above PLUS...
Quality dietary protein: eggs, nuts and salmon are great because they offer high protein for structure building PLUS antioxidants and oil support.
Bone broth. It's a wonderful way to obtain collagen and other tissue building proteins like glycine, proline and glucosamine, plus hyaluronic acid. Win!
Facial Massage. Massage draws fluid and nutrients to the skin. Skincare products aside, this is probably why facials leave skin looking so fresh and vibrant. Give yourself a mini-facial every time you cleanse, tone or moisturise!
Products that may support your mature skin health journey...