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Elasticity Assailants: Age, Sun Damage and Free Radicals

Although the miracles of Botox injections, laser treatments, cosmetic fillers and fat injections have made it possible to erase the signs of aging in an instant, you can do your part to evade your doctor’s chair altogether, or at least for a few years longer. To make your complexion look more supple and with fewer wrinkles, you need to make a few product, habit and diet changes to help things along. Since your skin is your body’s largest organ and the only one you can actually see from the outside, your healthy changes will be radiated from the inside out.

Age
As the skin ages, it begins to sag and loses its elasticity, or in other words – its ability to bounce back when pulled and tugged. Over time our metabolism and circulation begin to slow, and the result is a reduction in nutrients delivered to our skin. The symptoms of this condition include dryness and a slower healing time for scratches, cuts, bruises and – sorry adult acne sufferers, blemishes too. Collagen, the body’s structural protein, loses its quality as time goes on further affecting the elasticity of the skin. According to the book “Marine Cosmeceuticals: Trends and Prospects” we lose about 1 percent of our skin’s collagen per year once we reach our twenties.

Free Radicals
In her book “Naturally Sensational: Rejuvenating Skin Care Recipes” author Sue Dolan says free radicals are almost exclusively to blame for our skin’s visible deterioration as we age. These highly-charged oxygen molecules cause age spots, fine lines and wrinkles. Free radical exposure comes from pollution in the environment, a bad diet, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise and the terrible three S words: Smoking, stress and the sun.

Trifecta of Youth
A combination of sun protection, exfoliation and antioxidants are the keys to turning back the clock on your skin’s aging process and restoring elasticity and vitality to your skin.

Sun Protection
Even when it’s not particularly warm and sunny outside, your skin needs sun protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Skin professionals agree: No amount of unprotected sun exposure is really considered safe and damage from the sun is cumulative, meaning every moment we spend soaking up rays is added to a running tally on your dermis. From UV-protective clothing and accessories to easy-to-apply mineral powders and sprays, there’s really no excuse to avoid sun protection these days.

Antioxidants
Look for skincare products and bulk up your diet with antioxidant-rich ingredients. Aloe vera, grapes, hibiscus, jojoba oil, peppermint, rosemary and soy are a handful of superfoods that have skin-enhancing benefits. You can take dietary supplements along with a daily menu of vegetables, fruits and oils that will increase your skin’s vitality.

Exfoliation
Accelerating the skin’s natural process of recycling and regenerating will stimulate its collagen production and consequently, elasticity. Determine an ideal mix of retinoids or alpha hydroxyl acids, peels and regular exfoliation with your dermatologist or esthetician for the best results.

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing lrstewar@gmail.com.