As you age how youthful your skin remains is influenced by many external factors, such as sun exposure, stress, diet, environmental pollutants, and lifestyle habits. This is due, in part, to the fact that all of these contribute to the production of free radicals and an increase in inflammation. Both of these processes cause damage to your skin at the cellular level and deplete your skin’s collagen stores, allowing those pesky fine lines and wrinkles to make their debut.
As you mature, your skin also experiences an age-related reduction in lipids, which are fats that are found on the surface of the skin that helps make up its natural protective barrier. In short, these fats help seal moisture in while keeping contaminants out. When the barrier is compromised, moisture escapes and skin can become drier and more sensitive to environmental irritants.
Together, the combination of free radical exposure increased inflammation, and a compromised protective barrier can accelerate the visible signs of aging, which include an increase in skin dullness and roughness, a reduction in elasticity, the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, and loss of facial fullness.
However, by complementing your daily skin care routine with the proper anti-aging nutrients, you will be able to fight off the signs of aging with a one-two punch! This means your skin can stay supple, hydrated and more youthful-looking well into middle-age. Sound good? Then read on!
Anti-aging nutrients come in many forms. However, antioxidant vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, as well as essential fatty acids are the best ones to take if you are looking to combat the damage done by free radicals and inflammation, as well as to restore your skins natural protective barrier to its more youthful state.
While free radicals cause damage to our cells through oxidation, antioxidants are, as their name implies, “anti” oxidation. This means that antioxidants have the capability to slow down or even reverse skin damage. This is just one of many reasons why these important nutrients should be the foundation of any anti-aging supplement regimen.
High concentrations of vitamin C are found in both the dermis and epidermis of the skin. However, as we age, our levels decrease rapidly and thus, need to be replenished. Vitamin C not only has antioxidant properties but also helps stabilize the collagen we produce, so that it is able to do its job and support the epidermis of the skin. Vitamin C has been used to promote skin healing and prevent and treat UV induced discoloration of the skin, including those age spots we love to hate!
Vitamin E isn’t just one nutrient but is representative of a family of eight distinct compounds. All forms of vitamin E provide some level of antioxidant benefits and can protect cell membranes, enzymatic sites, and DNA from damage against free radicals. The lipid-solubility of vitamin E also allows it to easily access the cell membranes of skin cells and protect them from peroxidation and the destruction of collagen. If these processes are left unchecked, skin aging will become accelerated.
Importantly, while the most common form of vitamin E is referred to as alpha-tocopherol, you want to look for the tocotrienol forms of vitamin E when selecting an anti-aging supplement. These forms, and more specifically, delta-tocotrienol have photoprotective properties, and the ability to reduce UVB related skin damage. They also appear to have a higher potency and bioavailability when compared to their tocopherol counterparts, making them the superior choice.
Phytonutrients are found in plants, fruits, and vegetables, and help protect them from oxidation, viruses, bacteria, parasites and insects. Luckily for you, these powerhouse nutrients also exert their protective effects on your skin!
The most potent phytonutrients for skin protection come from a family of compounds called carotenoids. Carotenoids are rich in antioxidants, with photoprotective effects. This means that they protect your skin against UV damage, and do so by not only absorbing the damaging rays but the free radicals that are produced following UV exposure.
However, not all carotenoids are created equal. When selecting the best carotenoid for your skin, consider taking a supplement containing astaxanthin. Research supports this is one of the most potent antioxidants in the world and the strongest of all the carotenoids. Astaxanthin also has extensive anti-inflammatory properties which help skin maintain its natural barrier. Studies have also shown that supplementing with astaxanthin boosts skins lipid content, leading to softer, smoother and well-hydrated skin.
Essential Fatty Acids
Now that your antioxidant bases are covered, it’s time to reinforce your skins natural protective barrier even more by continuing to replenish those lipids we talked about earlier. The simplest way to do this is by supplementing with a daily dose of essential fatty acids (EFA’s).
The two most popular EFA’s are Omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Since EFA’s cannot be manufactured by your body, they must be consumed by eating foods like fatty fish, which most people are just not doing enough of. Not only can this lack of Omega-3’s contribute to the diseases of aging, but it can also age your skin by compromising your skins natural defenses!
Supplementing your diet with a quality Omega-3 product can strengthening your skins natural protective barrier by sealing in moisture, reinforcing skin cell membranes, protecting skin cells from harmful free radicals, and fighting UV-induced inflammation and how the body responds to UV exposure. All of these benefits will help reduce the visible signs of aging.
Remember, if you want to actively manage the aging process, replenish your body with antioxidants like vitamins C & E, phytonutrients like astaxanthin, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Also look for skin care lines that utilize these ingredients because their topical application will only reinforce all the good these nutrients are doing on the inside!
For more information please visit Astamatrix.com.