Natural ways to stop skin ageing
Cosmetic companies will have us believe that their latest cream will see us looking 10 years younger. Do anti-ageing products actually work? And if not, is there anything we can do to fight the signs of age on our skin? Regards, Cheryl.
Hello Cheryl. I amnot an expert in the effects of what skin companies create. I do however, understand the nutrients required for healthy skin and foods and nutrients that can help slow the physical signs of aging from the inside out.
Your skin is not simply a layer, it is an organ, and supporting its health from the inside out is important not just to the appearance and function of the skin but also our overall wellbeing.
The skin is responsible for a multitude of tasks, most of which often go unnoticed and are underappreciated. Our skin protects us from disease and blocks harmful particles in the air that we are exposed to daily. It absorbs sunlight and converts it into vitamin D– a vitamin critical to our bones and teeth.
While skin accomplishes all of this on its own, it still needs support in order to thrive, not just function. The way I look at it, with every blemish or rash, the skin is asking us to understand its nature, and support its efforts at self-renewal.
To help people change the way they consider and therefore treat their skin, I find it most powerful to help people understand what the skin does each day, and how best to support its work.
Our skin is actually made up of three layers, which together, act as the perfect shield. The outermost layer is renewed every month. It is called the epidermis and this is the part that you can see. The middle layer, called the dermis, plays a critical role in how hydrated the skin is. Underneath that is the subcutaneous layer, the foundational layer of the skin. All three layers work together to form healthy, vibrant skin.
For clear, beautiful skin that continues to renew and restore itself effectively, we can start by eating real food. Real food, as it comes in nature, is packed with a range of nutrients, all of which promote great skin. Reduce your consumption of processed food, caffeine and alcohol, ensure good hydration by consuming water and pay attention to the difference this alone makes to your skin.
Vitamin C is particularly helpful for skin, as it helps to combat free radical damage, which is part of what causes the signs of ageing and wrinkles. Citrus fruit, kiwifruit, capsicum and broccoli are all rich in vitamin C.
The skin also loves fat. Fat assists the skin to maintain an adequate moisture barrier, which in turn helps the skin to remain soft and prevents drying. Flaky and dry skin, or cracked heels and cuticles, can be a sign that you are lacking in essential fatty acids.
The anti-inflammatory omega3 fatty acids are particularly
helpful for the skin and can be found in oily fish (like sustainable sardines or salmon), flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts. C
The skincare you choose needs to help support the function and action of the skin as the organ it is, not suffocate or interfere with it. Plus, you want any products to be made from ingredients that don’t add to the load of the detoxification mechanisms in your body. You can help decrease the synthetic chemical load in your life by considering what you put on your skin.
Dr Libby has a new range of food-based nutritional supplements. Visit www.bioblends.co.nz for more information. See drlibby.com for her blog.
Dr Libby is a nutritional biochemist, best-selling author and speaker. The advice contained in this column is not intended to be a substitute for direct, personalised advice from a health professional.
Our skin is actually made up of three layers, which together, act as the perfect shield.