The aging process takes a heavy toll on the body – your joints ache, your waistline expands and you find yourself lacking the drive and vigor of early adulthood. The face also doesn’t escape the aging process unscathed, as its once radiant features undergo an inevitable and steady decline. The skin on the face begins to sag, and experiences the formation of increasingly noticeable wrinkles. While it is impossible to maintain the exact same facial skin throughout your lifetime, employing a number of healthy lifestyle choices can reduce the effects of aging on your face.
Why We Get Wrinkles
There are multiple factors that cause wrinkles to appear on the face. As we get older, our facial bones shrink noticeably, especially around the eye, cheeks and jaw bones. The jaw bones are especially vulnerable to father time’s wrath; dentists have long noticed reduced levels of bone density in their older patients.
Our facial bones alone do not bear full responsibility for the face’s aging process. With the passage of time, the skin covering our bodies also undergoes dramatic changes. Specifically, the middle layer of the skin, called the dermis, loses
substantial amounts of elastin and collagen. These two proteins are crucial elements for skin’s upkeep and appear; as they disappear, so does the face’s youthful glow.
Surprisingly, a whopping 90 percent of the face’s wrinkles can be blamed on prolonged exposure to the sun. Yes, all those hours spent tanning carry a heavy price, as the suns rays inflict heavy damage upon the skin’s elastin and collagen. With its levels of elastin and collagen depleted, the face’s skin becomes much more susceptible to creases and folds.
Excessive tanning is far from the only lifestyle choice that has significant repercussions for your face. An abundance of research has found that smoking, in addition to wreaking havoc with your overall health, can also accelerate the face’s aging process. Nicotine from cigarettes narrows the blood vessels connected to the skin, thereby reducing the amount of blood the skin receives. This has a devastating impact on the face’s appearance, as your facial skin is deprived of vital nutrients such as vitamin A, causing it to prematurely sag and wrinkle.
Another unhealthy habit that contributes to the onset of wrinkles is excess sugar consumption. As it courses through your body, sugar combines with tissues inside the body, creating harmful molecules referred to as advance glycation end products (AGEs). These molecules attack the skin’s supply of elastin and collagen, leading to the eventual formation of wrinkles. AGEs begin to leave their mark on the face around the age of 35.
It’s not enough to simply cut out sodas, candy and sugary cereals from your diets. A hidden danger lies with foods that rank high on the glycemic foods index. High glycemic foods are quickly converted into sugar inside the bloodstream, providing the necessary ingredient for the creation of AGEs. Consequentially, foods such as white bread, pasta and potatoes, can cause large clusters of wrinkle- inducing AGEs to form within the bloodstream.
Fewer Wrinkles through Healthier Lifestyles
While a healthy diet plays a major role in warding off wrinkles, there are other steps you can take to help your face age gracefully.
• First, knock off the smoking. There are almost endless reasons to kick your smoking habit, including the impact that smoking has on your skin.
• Second, cut back dramatically on the sun tanning. In fact, you might consider giving tanning up for good; the Skin Cancer Foundation reports that tanning in any form, whether from sun exposure or from tanning beds, can be greatly damaging for your skin.
• Multivitamins can also be used to block wrinkles from appearing. These health supplements are especially useful for those who lack the time or money to eat large amounts of fruits and vegetables.
• We’ve probably covered mentioned this in previous issues of Natural Knowledge 24/7, but it bears repeating nonetheless: make sure to drink eight cups of water per day. Your skin will thank you for it – water keeps your skin
moisturized, reducing the odds that you’ll develop wrinkles later in life.
• Orange juice and water aren’t the only beverages that are good for your skin; research strongly suggests that green tea, with its abundance of antioxidants, promotes healthy and radiant facial skin. More importantly, green tea is wonderfully effective at keeping your body safe from many types of cancers, including skin cancer.
• If you have some extra money lying around, purchase a skin moisturizer from a nearby general store. Apply this moisturizer to your face once per day. For optimal results, use your moisturizer after taking a bath or shower. If you have dryer-than-normal skin, be careful to pick a moisturizer that does not contain potential irritants, such as coconut
and palm oils. Conversely, people with dry skin might stand to benefit from using two specific moisturizers – a light moisturizer in the morning, and a more soothing moisturizer at night.