Regardless of who you are or what preventative measures you’re taking, your body’s ability to rejuvenate slows down as you age. The production of new skin cells, collagen, and elasticity diminishes, leaving us blessed with wrinkles and other common signs of aging.
While we may not be able to stop the clock, there are extrinsic sources within our control that may be leading to premature aging. You’ve probably heard the term ‘free radical’ thrown around in relation to the health and wellbeing of your body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to your cells.
What’s important to understand is that while they can be a natural byproduct of your body’s normal metabolic process, extrinsic sources can trigger an excessive amount that your body can’t manage. This causes rapid cell damage in your body, including in collagen and elasticity, which leads to accelerated aging.
There are many external forces that trigger free radicals including sun damage, smoking, diet, pollution and other environmental toxins. While we may live in a world where we cannot control all these external factors, there are steps we can take to diminish them:
What we eat has a huge impact on how we age, as certain foods increase the production of free radicals, while other foods will neutralize them.
A diet high in saturated fats, deep fried food, meat (both processed and cooked), and alcohol trigger the production of free radicals. Eliminating or minimizing their consumption will have your body, including your skin, thanking you.
Fuel your body with foods rich in antioxidants, which help combat free radicals and thus prevent the cell damage caused by them. Antioxidant rich foods include berries, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, citrus fruits, and fish.
Sun damage is one of the primary causes of premature aging . The culprit is the UVrays, which triggers free radicals and lead to the rapid breakdown of collagen and elasticity, as well as the development of sunspots, skin discoloration, and wrinkles.
Take control by minimizing your time spent in the sun and wearing SPF 30 protection daily, even when it’s overcast (when the UVrays are still not fully blocked).
It’s no secret that smoking has terrible effects on your body and health. Inhaling cigarette smoke triggers free radicals, which doesn’t just deteriorate your health but your skin as well. Consider quitting smoking as one of the great anti-aging tools available to you.
Change the way you think of your skincare routine from simply ‘anti-aging’ to include ‘protection against free-radicals’. Be sure to cleanse your skin to help remove any toxins and environmental residues. Look for skincare and beauty products that can help protect your skin against the harmful effects of free radicals with active ingredients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and other antioxidants.
A Healthy LifeStyle
Unfortunately we live in a world where escaping pollutants and other environmental toxins is short of impossible. Take the action you can to fight free radicals through diet, sun protection, and skin care. Adopt a balanced lifestyle that includes consistent exercise, healthy sleep habits, plenty of water, and relaxation methods like meditation to support your body in fighting these free radicals.