How to look younger? Eat to look younger

Ageing is an on-going process that begins the second we are born. The ravages of time are soon visible on our skin. Dry skin, dark spots, fine lines, patchy skin, are all a giveaway of our age. There are ways in which you can delay skin ageing and keep your skin looking fresh, glowing and young.

Even if you are blessed with good genes and have the most fabulous skin, there will come a time that it will begin to age. You know that skin needs looking after, no matter how old you get. Neglect causes damage. Knowing what goes on during the ageing process is half the battle won; the other half is in knowing how to combat it.

Will you be amazed if I tell you that eating is good for you? Believe it or not, there is nothing that affects your body, internally, as well as externally, as fundamentally as the food you eat. Food is your fuel that keeps your body going. Would you put diesel in your petrol vehicle? Apparently not! The same principle applies to your body. If you feed your body the right food, it is sure to give you good service - you will feel healthy and robust and look years younger than you actually are. You feed it what you are not supposed to, and you will soon be plagued with all the dreadful diseases. Good nutrition is the key to good health. Change your diet to include healthier and nutritious foods and you can get the glow back on your skin, delay the wrinkles, and add a glossy sheen to your locks and boost your metabolism.

Ageing skin – what happens

As people age, the epidermis begins to thin, this is the outer most layer of the skin, the part that is exposed. The numbers of cells layers do not deplete in this layer. However, the lower part of the epidermis that consists of melanocytes, which are pigment-producing cells, witnesses a sharp decline of cells. The pigment cells that remain, bunch together, and grow larger, resulting in the thinning of the skin. This results in dark spots or age spots in areas that have suffered sun damage.

Under the epidermis lies the skin's second layer, called the dermis. This layer comprises of connective tissues, mainly elastin and collagen. It is collagen and elastin give the skin its youthful appearance. The purpose of the dermis is to support the epidermis, so it can create an effective sheath that enables protection. It is a vital layer as it holds the skin's repair and immune systems. Collagen makes up 95% of this layer and elastin approximately 3%. Sweat and sebaceous glands (oil glands) and hair follicles can also be found in this layer.

Age causes a substantial reduction in the collagen and elastin in the dermis, a process called elastosis. The skin loses its elasticity and strength, which is chiefly apparent in areas exposed to the sun making it appear dry, wrinkled and aged. The sebaceous glands become less active and the skin gets more prone to dryness and wrinkles.

A subcutaneous fat layer lies just under the dermis. This too begins to thin, with age. Subsequently, it loses its capacity to maintain temperature and also fails in its ability to cushion the skin against injuries. This is perceptible predominantly in underweight people.

Main causes for ageing

Everybody ages, but some people age faster than others. A lucky few continue to have younger looking, beautiful skin despite age not being on their side. They are perhaps blessed with good genes.
The reasons for ageing have been identified as follows –

  • Free radical damage that concurrently reduces collagen and elastin, causing slowing down of the cell renewal process
  • Natural deterioration due to age that causes cell degeneration
  • External factors such as the scorching sun and its harmful UV rays can cause tremendous skin damage. Add to that the pollutants in the atmosphere and all the allergens in our environment and it is a recipe for developing aged skin
  • Fluctuations in hormones also accelerate the ageing process
  • Lastly, there are your genes that nature surreptitiously gives everyone

It is believed that there is not much that can be done about the genes you inherit. This is true only to a certain point because scientists have found ways to circumvent this. There have been many breakthrough findings with scientists having discovered innovative ways to block the genes that we are bestowed with. A lot of the research focuses on how the process of ageing can be delayed and/or prevented. Including, making almost magic potions that imitate collagen and behave like they act like the protein in restoring the skin.

A quick fix for aging

There is no quick fix method to combat ageing that does not involve a scalpel or a syringe. The best way forward to holistically fight signs of ageing is through a dual approach; from the inside, as well as the exterior. This essentially implies that a good approach to fight ageing would be to create a balance where topical skincare routine is combined with proper nutrition.

Here is what you need to know:

  • Eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of natural foods (fruits, vegetables and grains) so there is enough nutrition available to the body
  • Hydrate yourself with plenty of water or fresh juices, 8-10 glasses of fluid a day, and no alcohol does not count
  • Have a daily skincare regime that takes into account the changing needs of your aging skin. While a light moisturiser would be fine if you are in your early twenties, a thirty-something would require a heavier skin cream, with anti-aging ingredients
  • No matter what your age guard your skin from the harmful effects of the sun, which implies that you use skin products that have a Skin Protection Factor (SPF) around the year, no matter if it is sunny or not
  • Quit smoking, as smoking is known to age skin faster. Smoking damages the body from the inside and its effects can be noticed on the skin, which gets dull, sallow, dry and wrinkled

Thought-provoking facts

However much you care for your skin, however much you spend on the newest technologically advanced skincare products, your efforts will be futile if you neglect your diet. Plan your meals, know what you are eating, and know the effects (good and bad) that the food on your plate has on your body.

Interestingly, anti-ageing creams that tout to offer miraculous results are made from things that you should be putting into your belly. Anti-aging creams and lotions are packed with anti-oxidant vitamins such as A, B, C and E. They are mineral rich, especially containing selenium. They have essential oils such as pomegranate seed oil. They have the goodness of berries and fruits and green tea extracts etcetera. Imagine how the same would help your skin if you were to ingest foods rich in these nutrients. So think change, and change the way you eat, to stop ageing in its trail.


Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

Follow Juana or read 547 articles authored by Juana

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Author: K Mohan26 Feb 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 5

Well every one has the attitude to look younger and be younger even though the age may be growing and that is quite visible to every one. But we won't budge with other's observation and want to have our own calculations and preparations to look young. I have seen grown up elders going for the jeans outfit to look young and defy their ageing process. But by merely changing dress codes we cannot conceal the age which is visible through our talking ability and even body language. Nevertheless the author did gave some wonderful tips to maintain and look younger. Those who does not have any problem in life and only have happy ending every day surely won't have any tension in life and that will boost their personality development too. But when we are surrounded with challenges and tasks of high nature, maintaining our body young and defying age won't be our priority.

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