While what we put on our bodies is essential for achieving younger-looking skin, what we consume is even more crucial for getting that youthful glow and texture, as Elastin lives deep inside our skin—not on the surface. We asked New York dermatologist Doris Day, MD to break down which foods we should and shouldn’t be eating and spoke to celebrity aesthetician Joanna Vargas to get her tips on how we can easily incorporate these Elastin-friendly foods into our diets.
Foods You Should Be Eating
According to Dr. Day, it’s simple: To increase the elasticity of your skin, you need to consume high-antioxidant and water-rich foods like:
- Berries are the best fruits to consume in terms of antioxidants. Power-fruit acai is a favorite of Dr. Day’s.
- Celery and cucumber both contain silica, which Vargas says is an ingredient that boosts moisture and elasticity.
- Oils, found in salmon, olives and walnuts, contain concentrated levels of omega-3 fatty acids, known to improve skin aging.
- Pumpkin and squash are water-, vitamin- and antioxidant-rich fruits packed with skin-saving nutrients.
- Spices like turmeric and cinnamon are superfoods when it comes to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
Dr. Day is also a big fan of nutraceuticals, which she explains as being functional foods and supplements that have a direct impact on the skin. Look for vitamins that contain copper, zinc, folic acid, and even some caffeine, as they can improve your skin’s elasticity and firmness, as well as its ability to hydrate from within.
Foods You Should Avoid
Dr. Day recommends staying away from highly processed foods and simple sugars, as they are pro-inflammatory foods that can break down elastic tissue in skin and also affect the absorption of antioxidants and nutrients like B vitamins that aid in cell metabolism and repair. “Avoid things that your eye goes to first—the high salt, the high sugar and the high carb,” she warns, pointing out that these bad foods leave no room for the good, and therefore waste your dietary space.
How To Add Pro-Elastin Foods Into Your Diet
Vargas encourages her clients to eat vegetables daily and with every meal. “Most of my clients drink a daily green juice,” she says, adding that salads and juices are a quick and delicious way to get extra greens into the body. Dr. Day recommends choosing ingredients that are at their peak of freshness, and preparing them in the most optimal way. “Some foods may need a little bit of steaming, some may be eaten raw, and others may be eaten in combination,” she says, emphasizing the fact that rich, natural colors and flavors are a sure sign of high-antioxidant foods.
How To Tell If Your Skin’s Elasticity Is Improving
We’re all familiar with the pinching-of-the-top-of-the-hand trick, but that’s more of an indication of hydration levels. Vargas says that supple skin will “look healthier” and “feel thicker.” She says, “It will be more noticeable on the cheeks and jawline.” Dr. Day agrees, reassuring that an increase in elasticity in the skin is more obvious than one would expect. “It’s actually not subtle: Your skin looks better and younger. That’s what makes younger skin look young.”
Red the original article here.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, accounting for about 25 to 35 percent of total protein. The word “collagen” comes from the Greek word “kolla,” meaning glue. In fact, collagen is often considered to be the glue that holds the body together. Produced by fibroblasts (cells in the dermis), collagen is the main component of connective tissue.
In the dermis, collagen helps form a fibrous network (the extracellular matrix or ECM) upon which new dermal cells can grow. Collagen gives skin its strength, structural support and elasticity (in conjunction with elastin) and aids in the constant renewal of skin cells.
But what happens to collagen as we age? Beginning at age 20, the production of extracellular matrix decreases by 1 percent per year, eventually resulting in fine lines, wrinkles and loss of skin tone and elasticity that causes your skin to sag. When you smile, squint or frown, those facial movements stress the ECM in your skin. Over time, that stress contributes to fine lines and wrinkles.
Estrogen plays an important role in collagen production. As estrogen levels decline during and after menopause, collagen production decreases significantly. By your 60s, this lack of ECM production manifests in more pronounced wrinkles and sagging skin.
In addition to the natural decline in collagen due to aging, several extrinsic factors damage collagen and other ECM molecules, leading to fine lines, wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity:
UV radiation leads to damage of collagen and elastin by breaking down collagen and slowing the production of new collagen. Exposure to UV rays is the leading cause of skin aging, accounting for about 90 percent of the symptoms.
Toxins in cigarette smoke damage collagen and elastin, prematurely aging skin.
Excessive sugar intake.
Consuming too much sugar over time leads to glycation, a process that ages skin prematurely. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) damage collagen fibers, causing them to lose elasticity and become rigid. These collagen abnormalities result in skin changes such as thinning, discoloration, loss of elasticity and tendency to rashes and infections.
How can you increase collagen production?
Eat foods containing nutrients that support collagen formation:
- Essential amino acids: Like all proteins, collagen is made of amino acids. Nine amino acids are essential—they can’t be synthesized by the body so must come from food.
- Proline: found in egg whites, meat, cheese, soy and cabbage
- Anthocyanidins: found in blackberries, blueberries, cherries and raspberries
- Vitamin C: found in oranges, strawberries, peppers and broccoli
- Copper: found in shellfish, nuts, red meat and some drinking water
- Vitamin A: found in animal-derived foods and in plant foods as beta-carotene (found in carrots, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe)
Micro-needling is a skin rejuvenation procedure that uses tiny needles to create micro-injuries in your skin. In response to these micro-injuries, your body initiates its natural wound healing process. During this healing process, existing collagen and elastin are remodeled. Micro-needling pushes the epidermal cells aside with minimal cell damage. One of the advantages of micro-needling is that it doesn’t cause heat shock proteins (proteins produced in response to exposure to stressful conditions), which can lead to pigmentation issues. Micro-needling using SkinPen improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and acne scars.
Use skincare products that contain vitamin C.
Topical application of vitamin C for at least 12 weeks has been shown to increase collagen production and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Skinfuse Surge 1 Collagen Boost and Skinfuse Reclaim Hydrating Support both contain vitamin C in the appropriate forms to both protect the skin from environmental and solar damage, as well as to contribute to the production of ECM.
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Stress can affect your whole body, including your skin, hair, and nails.
Your emotions have a powerful effect on your skin. Since stress is a part of life, what matters is how you handle it.
How Stress Affects Skin
Stress causes a chemical response in your body that makes skin more sensitive and reactive. It can also make it harder for skin problems to heal.
Have you ever noticed that when you are stressed, you break out more? This is because stress causes your body to produce cortisol and other hormones, which tells your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Oily skin is more prone to acne and other skin problems.
Stress can also:
Interfere with daily skin care. If you are stressed, you might skimp on your skin care, which can aggravate skin problems.
Skin problems can also be stressful. Some people are so embarrassed by their skin that they keep to themselves, which adds more stress, worsening the problem.
If you have a skin problem that doesn’t heal or keeps coming back, rethink how you handle stress.
8 Ways to Reduce the Effects of Stress on Your Skin
Although it’s impossible to avoid stress completely, there are ways to handle it better. Try these approaches:
- Don’t neglect your skin. Take care of your skin, even if you’re tired or stressed.
- Get regular exercise. It’s good for your skin and the rest of your body.
- Take time for yourself to do something you enjoy, even if you only have ten minutes. Take a bath or read an article.
- Take a walk around the block.
- Practice stress management techniques, such as breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, or visual imagery.
- Get enough sleep. Seven to eight hours each night is ideal.
- Say no. It’s OK to set limits and boundaries to lower your stress.
- Talk to someone. Seek support from a friend or a professional therapist.
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Not everything comes naturally—some of us have to really work at it. And, in the case of flawless skin, that tends to come along with a lot of dedication and following a good skin care routine without fail. Here are five things that women with great skin always do, no matter what.
They Use Sunscreen.
The sun is your skin’s worst enemy. It zaps it of moisture, it makes it look old, it instigates wrinkles and lines, it causes dark spots and it just makes your skin look bad. You can pretty much bet that skin that looks young, healthy and fresh is being protected from the damaging effects of the sun every single day, regardless of the weather. If you forgo a good UVA and UVB sun protectant, you’re just asking for weathered-looking skin.
They Get a Good Night’s Sleep.
While we sleep, our skin is hard at work to repair and rejuvenate itself—and it does it’s best work at night. Staying up too late impedes your skin’s normal functionality, which is why it can look tired, dull and puffy come morning. Going to sleep every night at the same time, and making sure you get at least eight hours, will leave your skin looking refreshed.
They Use Retinoids.
One of the best things you can do for your skin is to use a retinoid every single night to help slow the aging process. Not only do retinoids and retinol speed up cell turnover, but they also help to stimulate collagen production for skin that’s plump, soft and smooth.
Hydration is one of the key components for great skin. If you don’t moisturize your skin (make sure to always use a moisturizer that is compatible with your skin type and skin needs), your skin looks dry and lines and wrinkles can become accentuated. Well-hydrated skin allows for your makeup to go on that much smoother, too.
Your skin naturally sheds dead skin cells, but with age, that process starts to slow down and your skin needs a little help. That’s where exfoliation comes in. Whether you choose to do it with an exfoliating cleanser or an at-home peel, or have your aesthetician do it for you, removing those dead skin cells is key for skin that’s bright, evenly toned and able to properly reflect light.
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