Re­verse skin sag­ging nat­u­rally!

Woman's World - - Your Good Health - —Kal­lie E. Kris­tensen

Col­la­gen and elastin help keep skin firm, but over time, your body can lose its abil­ity to pro­duce enough of both to keep skin springy and sup­ple. Is it pos­si­ble to turn back the clock so your skin re­mains tight and youth­ful? Yes!

Firm up with danc­ing! With age, the deep der­mal lay­ers that make skin plump and youth­ful thin out, re­sult­ing in sags. En­ter a new study show­ing that folks over age 65 who started aerobic ex­er­cises like danc­ing or swim­ming twice weekly for 30 min­utes saw their skin thicken and look decades younger! “Ex­er­cise in­creases pro­duc­tion of hu­man growth hor­mone, which re­sults in in­creased skin-strength­en­ing col­la­gen,” ex­plains Shereene Idriss, M.D., of Union Square Laser Der­ma­tol­ogy in New York City.

Hy­drate with olive oil! “Our bod­ies are made up of 60% wa­ter, and that in­cludes our skin,” says Dr. Idriss. No won­der she iden­ti­fies a lack of the mois­ture that keeps skin cells plump as one of the top cul­prits be­hind skin sag­ging! The per­fect kitchen cure? Eas­ily ab­sorbed ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil. One of na­ture’s most pow­er­ful hy­dra­tors, it’s also packed with su­per­charged an­tiox­i­dants and anti-in­flam­ma­to­ries that shield skin from pol­lu­tants that can break down elastin and col­la­gen. Tip: Won­der­ing if your skin is de­hy­drated? Try the quick and easy “snap” test! Pinch the skin in­side the bend of your el­bow, then re­lease. “If your skin is well hy­drated, it will quickly snap back to its orig­i­nal po­si­tion,” says Dr. Idriss. If not, it’s time for a slather­ing of olive oil!

Sip pro­tec­tive licorice tea! A sur­pris­ing new study found that licorice helps pre­vent sag­ging skin. “Its po­tent an­tiox­i­dants shield your body from harm­ful free rad­i­cals pro­duced by UV ex­po­sure, in turn, pro­tect­ing you from the pre­ma­ture col­la­gen break­down that causes skin to sag,” ex­plains Dr. Idriss. And you only need to sip a cup or two a day to get the skin-pro­tect­ing ef­fects!

Lose weight slowly! Be­cause your skin’s abil­ity to snap back gets more slug­gish after age 30, crash di­ets are more likely to leave you with slack skin. “Think of your skin as a bal­loon—if it’s sud­denly de­flated, you end up with a stretched out piece of la­tex,” says Dr. Idriss. “In the same way, if you lose weight too quickly, your skin can’t con­tract as read­ily and the re­sult is saggy skin.” That doesn’t mean you can’t diet, though! “I tell my pa­tients, when it comes to weight loss, it’s not a race,” she says. Aim to lose no more than two pounds a week to al­low your body to shrink its tis­sues as the weight drops off.

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