Age Gracefully: Tips for Anti-Aging and Healthy Skin
By Jessica Hui Tran, PharmD Candidate
Skin is the body’s largest organ and the first body part to show visible signs of aging. Collagen, an essential protein for the skin, plays a big role with how the skin ages. Collagen is responsible for the skin’s elasticity and hydration. As we age, our body produces less collagen and this causes the skin to thin, sag, and wrinkle. Although these changes may not be desirable, they are natural changes we cannot control. We do, however, have some control on how quickly these changes can occur. There are certain environmental and lifestyle factors that can accelerate skin aging.
Environmental factors that accelerate skin aging:
- UV exposure is the main culprit and is 80% responsible for visible changes to the skin. UV rays will damage skin DNA, resulting in premature aging and skin cancer. The skin protects itself by producing melanin, skin pigment, and this can lead to sun spots and hyperpigmentation.
Lifestyle factors that accelerate skin aging:
- Smoking increases the breakdown of collagen, a protein responsible for our skin’s elasticity. Having less collagen will make the skin appear more aged, sagging, and wrinkled. Smoking also causes our blood vessels to constrict. This results in our skin getting less blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients and gives the skin a dull complexion.
- Stress. When the body undergoes stress, it releases cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol damages collagen through inflammation and decreases collagen production.
- Alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol will dehydrate the skin and deplete it from vitamins and collagen.
Being aware of these environmental and lifestyle factors can help us take steps to reduce premature skin aging.
Tips to reduce accelerated skin aging:
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days. Aim to wear at least SPF 30 or higher and reapply sunscreen throughout the day. Wear protective clothing and cover up with a hat and sunglasses.
- Practice good skin hygiene. Wash your face twice a day and after you work out. Use a gentle cleanser to prevent skin irritation and damage. Apply face moisturizer after washing your face to improve skin tone/firmness.
- Stop smoking. Your skin can repair itself if you quit early enough. Once you stop smoking, blood flow to the skin will increase, providing more oxygen and nutrients to the skin to improve complexion and collagen production.
- Exercise improves circulation and helps remove toxins from the skin. Collagen production also improves with exercise.
Taking supplements is another way to help reduce premature skin aging. As mentioned previously, our body makes less collagen as we age. We can supplement our body with collagen and other important nutrients to support healthy skin aging.
- Collagen Assist from KC Pro-Nutrients helps the body make more collagen. It is specially formulated with ch-OSA (choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid). ch-OSA supports collagen-generating cells and collagen absorption. In addition to ch-OSA, this supplement contains biotin, vitamin B7, which helps improve skin complexion and can also support hair and fingernail health.
- CoQMaxiSorb Plus from KC Pro-Nutrients contains MaxSimil and Kaneka Q10. MaxSimil is a fish oil concentrate made of omega-3 fatty acids–EPA and DHA. These two omega-3s help protect the skin against UV light and improve skin hydration. Kaneka Q10 is a pure form of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals–unstable molecules, and UV light. CoQ10 also stimulates collagen production and reduces the appearance of wrinkles by improving skin hydration.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable pharmacists!