Keeping Our Skin Healthy for Longer
"We cannot turn back the hands of time, but we can take steps to slow down and even reverse some of the signs of premature aging."
Nobody wants to show premature signs of aging like wrinkles, laugh-lines, sagging, sun spots, or crow’s feet around the eyes. Today’s live show with Dr, Nancy Lin, PhD covers what works to help prevent premature aging of the skin. Dr. Nancy will share her top tips to keep your skin looking young and healthy — including a specific type of collagen peptide powder that works best for turning back the clock on aging skin. Plus, you’ll learn some face yoga tips. Sound strange? Well keep reading to find out more!
- 04:39: Interesting Skin Facts
- 09:15: What Doesn’t Work to Prevent Premature Skin Aging
- 11:51: Healthy Skin is an Inside Job
- 14:19: Collagen
- 18:57: External Factors that Contribute to Premature Aging
- 22:24: Tips to Prevent Premature Skin Aging
- 32:16: Face Yoga for Younger Skin
- 38:35: Wrap-Up
Interesting Facts About the Skin
- This skin is the largest organ on your body. It plays a vital role in detecting hot or cold, and regulates your body temperature. It protects your muscles, your bones, and your internal organs from outside infection and outside diseases.
- The average person has six square feet of skin on their body. That is a lot of skin! The skin counts for nearly 15% of your body weight, and contains more than 11 miles of blood vessels. That's almost a half marathon! The average person has about 300,000,000 skin cells.
- One square inch of skin contains about 19 million skin cells and 300 sweat glands.
- The skin on your feet is the thickest, and the thinnest skin is on your eyelids
- On average, it takes the skin 28 days to renew itself.
- Dead skin makes up about one billion tons of dust in the earth's atmosphere.
- Your skin is home to more than 1,000 species of bacteria. Your skin constantly sheds dead cells — About 30,000 to 40,000 cells every minute. That's ten pounds per year.
- The skin is a window into what is actually going on inside your body. Your skin is a direct reflection of the health of your internal organs, especially your liver and your digestive system.
What Doesn’t Work to Prevent Premature Skin Aging
Well, first, let’s talk about how not to prevent premature skin aging. You're not going to prevent premature aging of your skin by listening to the self-appointed skin health experts that recommend that you spend thousands of dollars on skin creams that contain collagen or collagen boosters.
Collagen boosters are products that supposedly help you look younger because collagen is something that your skin already makes. Unfortunately, these creams don’t actually help because collagen is too big of a molecule to be absorbed by your skin. That means you're spending potentially lots of money on creams that are not delivering the collagen where you need it most.
Now, that doesn't mean that collagen isn't what your skin needs. On the contrary, collagen and collagen replacement therapy is actually the most important step that you can take to achieve healthier, younger looking skin. But you have to let the collagen work from the inside. You have to consume the collagen orally through food or supplementation for it to be effective.
Healthy Skin is an Inside Job
It's been said that healthy, vibrant skin is an inside job. If you want to see how healthy somebody is, look at their skin. As we said already, the skin is a direct reflection of the health of internal organs, especially the liver and digestive system.
The liver works non-stop to remove toxins from your blood and organs, including the largest organ — your skin. Toxins are also eliminated through the skin via sweating. As toxins are filtered through your skin, constant inflammation and the constant release of toxins can cause your skin to age at a much faster rate than it really should.
As this occurs, you start to see fine lines to develop, and you might notice crow's feet and laugh lines starting to show. But it's the gradual loss of collagen that most contributes to the wrinkles and causes the sagging and the loss of elasticity in places like your cheeks.
Everything you eat either helps or harms your skin. We’ve discussed this in previous articles, so today’s focus won’t be primarily on what you need to eat for healthy skin. Instead, we’ll take a closer look at collagen.
Collagen is a structural protein and is the stress-resistant material of the skin. It makes up nearly 80% of your skin, and it's found in the middle layer called the dermis. Collagen works together with another protein called elastin to strengthen the skin and help it snap back into place when it is stretched out.
Our body's production of collagen starts to slow down around the age of 25. At that point, we actually start breaking down more collagen than we make. In fact, after age 25, we start to lose collagen at a rate of about 1% each year.
There is also a similar decline in the production of elastin, and the hydration molecules in the skin as well. The decline of these three is what causes wrinkles, sagging, and other signs of aging to appear in our late 30s and early 40s. After the age of 40, we produce 25% less collagen than we did in our 20s, and by the age of 60, we’re producing 50% less collagen.
Increasing Your Collagen Intake
Once our body stops making is much collagen as it loses, we need to boost our collagen levels by supplementation or food. We can try to get collagen from food sources like seafood, dark leafy greens, organic bone broth, and citrus fruits. But it’s very difficult to get the amount that you need for younger, healthier looking skin unless you supplement daily as well, with a high-quality skin-specific collagen supplement.
You need a collagen supplement that provides three things:
- The right type and amount of collagen peptides for your skin.
- A support ingredient to help your body efficiently produce collagen again
- Support ingredients that help preserve the collagen that you have now.
You need all three of these in order to counter the combination of internal and external factors that cause skin aging. Unfortunately, most skin supplements provide only one of the three.
External Factors that Contribute to Premature Aging
There are also several external factors that can make the skin start to age faster than it should, including:
UltraViolet Radiation From The Sun
Dermatologists refer prolonged sun exposure as “photo aging”. Everyday sun damage causes inflammation and DNA damage to the skin. You want a certain amount of sunlight — 10 to 15 minutes twice a day maybe — but not too much sunlight, and no tanning beds!
Air pollution contains very fine microscopic particles that penetrate the skin resulting in inflammation and free radical damage, which over time is visible as dry, stiff, and wrinkled skin. So make sure that you check out Dr. Nancy’s recent series on both indoor and outdoor pollution to learn how to reduce your exposure to harmful pollutants in the air.
Smoke, even secondhand, contains toxic particles that irritate and inflame the skin. These chemicals seriously degrade the skin's collagen. Smoking itself also causes a constriction of the tiny blood vessels that weave their way through the skin, leading to further collagen loss. So, if you're really serious about good looking skin and you're still smoking or around people who smoke, make it a priority to quit.
Stress causes the release of a hormone called cortisol, which directly accelerates the decline of collagen.
An unhealthy diet, especially one that is high in sugar, will generate a steady stream of free radicals, which attack and break down your skin's collagen.
Alcohol is one of the worst toxins for your skin. It not only dries out the skin, but like smoking, it also shrinks the same tiny capillaries that feed the skin its vital nutrients needed to promote healthy collagen.
Tips to Prevent Premature Skin Aging
Now let’s go over some great prevention tips from the AAD, the American Academy of Dermatology
Protect Your Skin From The Sun
You should be protecting your skin every day, not just on vacation days. This may sound pretty basic, but how many of us actually do it? Whether you're planning a day at the beach or just running errands, sun protection is essential. Use a mineral-based (not chemical-based) sunscreen that is broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher and water resistant. You really need to apply sunscreen to any skin that is not covered by clothing. There's a lot of organic mineral-based powder foundations that include sunscreen, so that’s a great day-to-day face protection option.
If you smoke, please stop. Smoking greatly speeds up how quickly your skin ages. It causes wrinkles and a dull sallow complexion. Check out Dr. Nancy’s addiction series for some tips on kicking the habit.
Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Studies show that eating plenty of fresh antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to help prevent damage that leads to premature skin aging.
Foods containing lots of sugar and other refined carbohydrates will accelerate skin aging, so keep sugar and refined carbs to a minimum. The perfect diet to reduce premature skin aging is Dr. Nancy’s anti-inflammatory diet. It'll tell you what to look for, what to buy, and what not to buy when you're out shopping.
Drink Less Alcohol
Alcohol is very bad for your skin, as well as everything else. It dehydrates the skin, and in time damages the skin, making you look and feel older. So take measures to cut back or eliminate alcohol altogether.
You should be exercising most days of the week. Exercise improves your circulation and boosts the immune system, which in turn, will give you a more youthful appearance on your skin. Get in at least 30 minutes per day, five days per week if at all possible. When you sweat, it just helps to further detoxify the skin, and exercise releases endorphins so you’ll look and feel younger.
A lot of people use scrubs and chemical peels, and things like that. But scrubbing your skin clean with a loofah will irritate your skin, which can accelerate skin aging. Gentle washing helps to remove the dirt, pollution, and makeup without irritating the skin. Wash your face twice a day, especially after sweating heavily. Perspiration, especially when wearing a hat or helmet, irritates the skin, so you want to wash your skin as soon as possible after you sweat.
Apply an organic facial moisturizer every single day. Moisturizer traps water into your skin, creating a nice barrier that gives your skin a more youthful appearance. Stop using skin care products that sting or burn. These are not natural or good for you. Irritating your skin is going to make it look older.
Find a High Quality Collagen Supplement
Even though all the tips that we just shared with you are super important for healthy skin, supplementing with collagen is top priority.
Remember, there are lots of products out there that have all kinds of ingredients you don’t need. Be aware that there are tons of different brands on the market today, many of them ineffective and containing low quality sources of collagen. Most of these contain bovine collagen peptides derived from the ground up hooves, hides, nerve tissues, and other undesirable parts of cows that are typically discarded by meat processors. So, not all collagen supplements are created equal.
It's very important that you look for collagen supplements that checks three key boxes:
- Collagen is sourced from a high quality fish collagen peptide that best provides the type of collagen your skin needs — type one collagen.
- It contains collagen building support ingredients that give a boost to your body's aging collagen production helping your body efficiently produce collagen like when you were young.
- It is made with ingredients that directly help counter the effects of those external factors we just discussed, to minimize damage to your existing collagen. These are called collagen preservation ingredients.
Now the formula that provides ten select ingredients to satisfy these requirements is called Smarter Skin Collagen. It's hitting the market in November 2019 and will be available for order at smarternutrition.com.
Face Yoga for Younger Skin
Face yoga is a real thing! People all over the world are doing face yoga. It is really just a series of movements designed to exercise the 52 muscles in your face while also relieving your neck and your face tension, and your eye strain. Our facial muscles are muscles, and they to be exercised like any other muscle in the body or they become weak. Here are a few face yoga exercises to keep those face muscles in shape.
- For warm-up, just puff out your cheeks, like you're a chipmunk or you just got your wisdom teeth out. Puff out both of your cheeks as much as you can and you want to shift the air in your mouth from one cheek to the other five times. Then, release the air while making a small "O." Repeat this exercise three to four times to keep your cheeks firm.
- Stick your tongue out as far as it can go, and hold that pose 60 seconds. Repeat three times.
- Ceiling kiss. Look up and pucker your mouth like you are kissing at the ceiling. Hold that for five seconds and repeat the exercise. This exercise helps achieve a prominent jawline and high cheekbones, and strengthens the muscles in your neck. A lot of times we are on our phones and we're on a computer and we're constantly down. So this exercise forces you to look up and extend your neck.
- For this next move, do the twist on your face. Pull everything to one side. Imagine your right teeth being pulled to the left side of your mouth. Twist back and forth, kind of like a sideways kiss-face. Hold for ten seconds on each side. This trains the face to stretch to improve skin elasticity.
- The next one is a fish face. Smile while pursing your lips, and then it creates a fish face by sucking the insides of your cheeks into the gaps between the sides of your teeth. Perform this exercise five times to firm and tone the lips and cheeks.
- Next up is full face stretch. Keep your shoulders back, and relaxed. Point your chin down to your chest, and make an oval with your mouth. At the same time, look upward with just your eyes. Don't move your head, don't move your shoulders. You should feel stretching underneath your eyes. Hold for three seconds and then repeat five times.
You will probably feel silly doing these exercises, but they’re fun and they will help keep your face young!
We covered a lot of information about your skin and ways to prevent premature aging. We know that we cannot turn back the hands of time, but we can take steps to slow down and even reverse some of the signs of premature aging. We can do this by addressing both internal and external factors. Some of these steps include: eating a healthy diet, not smoking, not drinking alcohol, staying hydrated, and supplementing with a high-quality collagen supplement like that Smarter Skin Collagen.
You can also avoid damage caused by exposure to the sun by protecting your skin, and minimize all of the toxins your body and face are exposed to. Remember to gently wash your face twice every day, especially after you sweat or you exercise. Finally, make sure to practice face yoga to keep your facial muscles super strong and healthy.