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SLP 92: Self Love Quicky – Ageing Gracefully
15, Jul, 2021
We are all ageing. It is an inevitable fact of life that one day you will be elderly, with skin to match. No matter how hard we try to avoid or counteract it, the ageing process constantly gnaws away at each and every one of us. But it does not have to be looked upon as a curse. In this week’s Self Love Quicky we talk all things ageing gracefully.
In some cultures ageing is a celebration, an acknowledgment of the years of knowledge and wisdom gained. Age can also bring that wonderful feeling of being happy in your own skin, an acceptance of yourself that allows you to be more open and accepting of life and what it has to offer.
Yet unfortunately this is not always the case. As a society we have become obsessed with looking forever young. It seems as if having wrinkle-free skin is a sign of success in life. So in order to obtain this ideal image we will do whatever it takes – from spending thousands of dollars on skin care products to injecting our wrinkles with substances to smooth and tighten, and even surgery to stretch and eliminate the lines.
Some women are convinced that cosmetic surgery has been the best thing for them. I know women who have had breast reductions and their health has benefited hugely, women who have had a very subtle eye lift and it is true that their eyes have taken on a whole new look.
From a holistic point of view, however, I would encourage you to investigate the best options for your body, the best procedures available and the best doctors who have total regard for your health, not your pocket. As you may be aware, there have been many horror stories regarding ‘beauty enhancement treatments’. Be mindful some may be detrimental to your health, so investigate fully before embarking on any kind of cosmetic surgery.
Wouldn’t it be great if companies selling cosmetic and beauty products eliminated words like ‘anti-ageing’? Instead of making us feel bad about the way we look, imagine if they included factual information like ‘optimum skin nutrition’ on products.
Ageing is a natural biological process we experience as each year passes. And it is no wonder that the years take their toll, especially with exposure to environmental conditions, pollution, air conditioning, different types of diet, even lack of sleep.
Over the years wrinkles develop as a result of damaged supporting tissue in the dermis. Two protein fibres – collagen and elastin – give the skin its elasticity and resilience and also store water. Skin starts to age when these fibres lose these important qualities. Sebum production slows, the skin is drier and tiny capillaries below the skin close off, which means the skin receives less oxygen and minimal nutrients. The cell renewal rate also slows, therefore the development of new skin cells takes more time and older cells remain on the surface for longer. The result of this simple process is older looking skin, showing visible creases and spots with gravity taking a firmer control.
However, it is not all bad news. If we place a greater emphasis on reducing stress, a healthy diet, plenty of water and fresh air, skin protection, regular exercise along with plenty of sleep and relaxation – then we are giving our body the best chance to grow older more gracefully.
Remember age is just a number. Laughter lines, fine lines, even frown lines characterise who we are. They do not mean it’s time to make an appointment to go under the knife with a surgeon. I have met women of all ages (wrinkles and all) who radiate energy, vitality and beauty. They say growing older is growing wiser, it is loving yourself and accepting who you are. Attitude is the key. It plays the most significant role in how you regard yourself as you do age.
Remember, your skin grows from the inside out. Cells renew and replenish from the basal layer in the dermis (the bottom) right up to the epidermis (the outer layer). So it makes sense to not only nourish and protect from the outside with good products and skin care, but nourish from the inside through a healthy diet and lifestyle. Your skin acts as a mirror. It reflects your lifestyle, your eating habits, your drinking habits, how you deal with stress, how much sleep you get, your social habits, it even reflects your bowel habits! What is exciting is when you make positive, healthy decisions in your life, your skin reflects that too!
There are some easy and effective ways to build healthy skin. And it is never too late to start. No matter what your age is, treat your skin as though it was a baby’s. Nourish, protect, touch, and nurture it. Be grateful for it and take great care of it.
Here are some of the key tips you can adapt to create healthy skin from the inside.
1. Drink water
The body is made up of approximately 70 percent water, 35 percent of which is found in the skin. Water is vital to obtaining clear, healthy skin. Water hydrates and cleanses it from the inside. Remember that skin is the largest organ of elimination, so if your urinary system or bowel are under stress, your skin will take on its share of removing wastes. This may mean more blemishes, skin irritations or rashes. So support your body by aiming to drink around 4-8 glasses of purified water a day. Hydrated skin looks plump and it glows.
2. Eat fresh food
Nature has provided us with an amazing selection of vegetables, fruits and nuts. All are great for your skin, providing essential phytonutrients (nutrients found in fruit and vegetables), vitamins and antioxidants. I love the Farmers Markets for this reason.
3. Top up your essential fatty acids
You need fat in your diet, your skin would look lifeless and dull without it. Good quality fats like the Omega fats are the building blocks for healthy cells. So make sure you include these good fats in your diet. Good sources are fish, nuts, seeds, and cold pressed oils.
4. Cut down on refined carbohydrates
Excess sugar and refined foods such as cakes, biscuits and confectionery play havoc with your skin and can slow the whole body’s healing system. Limit your intake and make sure you include good sources of protein to help balance blood sugar levels that can lead to sweet cravings.
There is nothing like a good workout that makes you sweat to eliminate toxins from the skin. The increased blood flow also brings nourishment out into the skin and encourages your skin to breathe. Your skin will take on that healthy glow!
6. Take an antioxidant
Living in our modern-day society exposes our bodies to a lot of stress. Stresses like pollution, excessive radiation exposure (sun and computers), inadequate diets, overworking, over-exercising, smoking, drinking … the list goes on. To supply your body and skin with optimum nutrition having foods with high antioxidant qualities that supply natural vitamins and minerals at optimum levels, and in a natural form as found in a healthy diet.
Everyday stress is a part of life. But when stress turns to anxiety and worry, it starts to affect your health and skin. When you are under excess stress this affects your hormonal system, which often triggers skin problems and sensitivities, as well as lowering your immune system. Strain and worry is also worn on your face, so start to relax. Recognise when you need time out, and nurture yourself.
8. Get your beauty sleep
Sleep is vital to good health. During those hours you spend in bed your body goes about repairing damaged tissues, and there is a surge of your growth hormone, which stimulates cell renewal. There are also some studies, which show that a lack of sleep speeds up the ageing process. So flick off the tv and phone and go to bed!
To obtain healthy skin look at the whole picture: A healthy mind, body and skin all go hand in hand.
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