Summer is the time of year everyone takes notice of their skin. We smear on sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher before we go out in the sun. We then apply rich moisturizers as soon as we get back indoors. What is aging your skin goes beyond your genes and the sun. Twenty to thirty percent is genetically determined. There is more we can do to determine how our skin ages. Here are several ways to reduce the effects of aging on the skin.
Since we are an exercise facility, let’s start with exercise. When it comes to skin aging, moderate exercise is a plus since it reduces stress. However, if you run or cycle long distances outside, you are not only exposing yourself to a great deal of UV light but also jolting and possibly damaging the support structure of the skin. This is not to say you should slack off. It is typically the extreme athlete that deals with these issues. Just to be sure, use sunscreen while exposed to the sun and moisturize when done.
Stress negatively effects the body in many ways. It wears you down. Intense, chronic stress increases production of cortisol. One of the many negative effects of too much cortisol in the body is it can decrease the skin’s ability to repair itself. Stress can also cause you to tense up and grimace or frown. These repeated muscle contractions can leave their mark in the form of permanent lines.
To get stress and anxiety under control, try exercising regularly. A brisk walk, deep breathing techniques, Yoga or meditation all have shown to reduce stress and relax the mind.
By reducing your stress and anxiety your mood will get better. Stress can lead to depression. Depression can show up in your demeanor and in your face. A frown, just like a smile or a squint, can become permanently etched into the skin. Depression is also associated with a decrease in growth hormone synthesis, which inhibits the ability of the skin to repair itself at night. When people are depressed they may have a tendency to not take care of themselves or their complexions the way they should.
To combat depression, exercise regularly, enter counseling if necessary, and speak to your doctor about whether you would benefit from an antidepressant. A fascinating study of just how powerful the mind can be showed that reducing wrinkles with cosmetic treatment like Botox might help ease symptoms of depression. A study conducted at Cardiff University in Wales found a likely explanation: when people had their frown lines treated with Botox, the paralysis of those facial muscles prevented them from transmitting negative mood signals to the brain, which correlated with a lifting of their spirits.
A lack of sleep can certainly effect mood, depression and your skin. Without adequate sleep your skin doesn’t have an opportunity to heal itself. The body needs that kind of deep sleep you can’t be roused from easily for the skin to properly heal itself.
Shoot for seven to eight hours of sleep a night. It may take practice, but shut off all electrical devices a half-hour before bed so the stimulation doesn’t keep you up. Another strategy to try is sleeping on your back. If you typically sleep with your face smooshed into your pillow, it will look creased faster. Yes, excess weight can make your skin look more filled out on the surface, but carrying excess weight can cause a rise in your body’s levels of the hormones insulin and cortisol, which can weaken supportive collagen fibers. You will see an increased sagging from putting and keeping on as little as 10 to 15 extra pounds. Plus, repeatedly gaining and losing weight can take it’s toll on the skin’s elasticity, leaving behind stretch marks and jowls. Aim to keep your body composition within its recommended range, approximately 10 to 38 percent depending upon your age and sex.
There are many negative effects of menopause. For example, your body pumps out less estrogen. As estrogen levels drop, less oil and collagen are produced in the skin; causing the skin to become wrinkled and saggy. Your least expensive penetrative measure would be to moisturize heavily. For those women who are taking hormone replacement therapy, these drugs can offset some of the effects of moisture loss, but it can take time to find the exact combination of hormones that your body will respond to. You can also consult with your dermatologist for other options available such as dermal fillers. These fillers are injected into your sin to smooth wrinkles and pump up sagging areas.
For all you frequent fliers beware. You are much closer to the sun while traveling in a plane than on land, so it stands to reason that the solar rays which can penetrate windows are more intense at higher altitudes. This may explain why pilots and flight attendants have been found to be at an increased risk for melanoma and other skin cancers. In addition, the air is dryer so without the moisture the skin is simply more likely to shrivel. So, while flying, drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol which is dehydrating, and apply a rich moisturizer with SPF of 15 or higher minutes before boarding, as sunscreen needs time to be absorbed to be effective. If you are sitting next to a window, pull down the shade.
Finally, diet can effect your skins aging process. If sugary foods are a staple of your diet, you may want to reconsider what you are eating. When sugar breaks down and enters the bloodstream, it bonds with protein molecules, including those found in collagen and elastin (the fibers that support skin) through a process called glycation. This degrades the collagen and elastin, which in turn leads to sagging and wrinkles.
Limit your consumption of simple carbohydrates, which include the obvious treats, like candy and soft drinks, but also seemingly innocent choices such as honey, white rice, and white bread. These foods are quickly converted into sugar in your body and put your body on a fast race to glycation. We all need a little sweet treat occasionally so, have a small square of dark chocolate. The antioxidants in it can protect you from free radicals, those unstable atoms that damage skin and lead to fine lines. Also, increase your intake of vitamin C. It helps generate collagen.
As you can see, you can effect your skin’s aging process by making some small changes in your lifestyle and habits. You can have younger looking skin your whole life.