Yes, it is inevitable! We will all get older. However, what if there was a way that we could slow things down. Most of us focus on the outward effect aging has on the way we look however what science is now finding is that the aging process begins within our body AND within our gut. Within your gut is a fountain of youth and this is where the anti-aging really begins. Wellness from within.
The changes in your skin are the most visible signs of the aging process. As we age, our skin become thinner, more prone to wrinkling and takes more time to heal after an injury. The pace and level at which a person ages can vary depending on genetics, stress and unprotected sun exposure over the years. The biological mechanism of cutaneous aging is characterised by an alteration of the derma with the appearance of folds and wrinkles, sagging and relaxing of the cutaneous tissue. That’s the fancy way of saying your face looks older!
Ageing however is not just about appearance. There are so many other benefits that can be obtained by slowing down the aging process.
Follow the next 10 simple steps for…better skin, more energy, less aches and pains and less susceptibility to illness and injury.
1. Become a Commitment Junkie
One common pattern that many people lack is a commitment to themselves. Ageing gracefully starts with a healthy mindset and clarity on what you’d like to achieve for your body and health. Here are some tips to help you commit:
1. Set small, achievable health-promoting goals. When it comes to skin, the surface layer of the skin is renewed every two to four weeks, so you need to persevere for at least 4 weeks.
2. Prepare what you need. For example, leave your supplements and products on the bench; write the dosage in black texter on the containers, allocate yourself time for you. Have your running shoes or yoga mat ready to go when you wake in the morning! Make sure you manage your time to allow you to devote time to you. For example: I didn’t do it because I was running late for work must never be an excuse.
3. Visualise achieving your goals, mentally repeating the process in your mind. You can do this!
4. Then…just do it! Remember, new goals take time to become habits; so, if you are concerned you might slip, don’t stress – just start again the next day. Practice makes perfect!
5. Surround yourself with the right people. Be part of our supportive LTLA online community/forum Face book group which inspires, motivates and gives you great hints and tips of being the best version of you! Don’t be influenced by “friends” who are not supportive.
6. Like many things, this is not a one off. To succeed you are committing to change the way you live your life…Embrace the famous quote “WE ARE WHAT WE REPEATEDLY DO”. Write it down, stick it on the fridge, read it every day.
2. Get your gut right!
When we talk about the gut, we talk about the microbiome which houses trillions of bacteria’s that either work for us or work against us.
Restoring your gut health will not only boost your nutrient absorption—which in and of itself can keep your skin glowing— adding in a probiotic can slow signs of aging by restoring pH, reducing skin damage from the sun, and improving the skin barrier. We can give you more advice on probiotics if needed. It’s interesting to note the gut-skin connection as many skin conditions have their origin in their gut.
3. Skin Brushing
Your skin sheds dead skin cells every day and creates a new layer of skin every 28 days. Even when you sleep your body tries to exfoliate itself without you even knowing it. However, your body can’t do it alone and dead skin cells can remain on the skin, so it is important to remove them with skin brushing. To do this, simply buy a good vegetable fibre skin brush with reasonably firm bristles. Then each day, before you bathe or shower, dry skin brush. It is most important to emphasise here that skin brushing must only be done on dry skin. If you would like more information on the technique of brushing let me know. I have also placed a Skin Brushing video on our LTLA community page.
4. Digestive Rules
Yep, there is a link between your digestion and healthy ageing. Hippocrates said “All disease stems from the gut”. A key function of the digestive system is to digest and absorb the nutrients and excrete the leftover wastes. Your diet can be friend or foe for digestive disorders depending on what you are eating and has a direct impact on all other functional aspects of your body. Here are some great tips when eating:
- Sit down and relax to eat
- Avoid eating when stressed
- Eat mindfully – when eating, just eat
- Avoid watching television, working, and reading while eating
- Eat with family and friends
- Chew food thoroughly
- Avoid liquid consumption with meals. In other words, don’t drink and eat at the same time. Don’t drink 20 minutes before eating, during eating or 20 minutes after eating – Why…because the liquid dilutes your digestive enzymes that breaks down the food
- Eat until no longer hungry, not until full – “hara hachi bu” as the Japanese say – “eat until you are eight parts (out of ten) full”
Research shows that adults who get fewer than seven hours of sleep (whether for just one night or over the course of days, weeks, or months) experience daytime consequences such as irritability, fatigue, and poor memory. Sleep deprivation not only has detrimental effects on your work life, relationships and well-being, but increases the risk of ongoing health problems. Lack of sleep will age you. Here’s some tips to help you get a better night sleep.
- Reduce or eliminate stimulants, i.e. caffeine and sugar
- Go to bed at the same time each night
- Create a dark sleeping environment
- Invest in a comfortable mattress and bedding
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Practice relaxation exercises or read a book in bed. Find a meditation app
that helps you relax
- Reduce screen time an hour before bed, i.e. phones, computers or TV.
6. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
You can’t survive without adequate water intake because the fluid supports every cell in your body. When you don’t drink enough water, your blood will get thick as your organs try to pull the water back from skin cells. This causes your skin to look dryer. If this goes on over a period of time you will age faster. If your skin is dry, it’s less elastic and fragile, making it prone to wrinkling. Water helps to restore elasticity to the skin and hydrates us on a cellular level, which helps to plump up our skin and add a more youthful glow. Make sure you drink at least 2 litres of water daily and 3 litres depending on which program you are on.
7. Foods for the skin
Ann Wigmore, renowned pioneer in the use of ‘living foods’ once said, “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison”.
Ever noticed how certain foods can start to make your skin feel dry, dehydrated? Some people notice this some don’t however what we do know is that there are certain foods that leach nutrients from the skin. As with water, if the organs are not getting enough water then water will be stolen from the skin. Like with nutrients, if you are not eating or absorbing the correct nutrients your skin will suffer. Certain foods cause inflammation, which triggers oxidative stress and in turn damages collagen and DNA, making you look older.
3 Key Foods to avoid are:
- Dairy – dairy products can cause the skin to flare up due to hormones in the dairy (like testosterone). Many people have un-diagnosed dairy sensitivities so avoid milk and dairy for a while and see if the texture and feel of your skin improves.
- Refined carbohydrates – Most people know how I feel about grains and although you can get some important nutrients from whole grains as soon as they are processed they lose fibre and other important nutrients. Grains in general have an impact on your blood sugar and lead to an increase in your oil or dryness in the skin.
- Sugar – I’m going to be controversial here and be bold in saying, sugar is poison. It is, in my opinion the quickest way to degenerative disease and ultimately death. Sugar drives the development of a wrinkle by a process called glycation. Glycation is a physiological process that occurs when a protein molecule binds to a sugar molecule. Some chemical reactions on, the bond forms an end product that’s quite appropriately called AGE 2 (advanced glycation end product). The production of AGE is what damages the surface of the skin by weakening collagen. Food for thought?
Here are some helpful tips to help you achieve lasting results when optimising your food choices:
- Plan – Use a shopping list and organise your fresh food choices on what you will use that week. Utilising the fresh produce in your fridge ensures it is nutrient-rich (as longer food storage reduces nutrients), minimises waste, and therefore saves you money!
- Purchase – Shop at your local markets where possible for the freshest options.
- Prepare – Use weekends to cook extra batches of food to eat during the week or freeze. This saves you time and ensures you have healthy options easily available
8. Nutrients for the skin
When it comes to healthy ageing, liquid collagen and antioxidants are your body’s secret weapon to preventing disease and keeping you healthier. The following may be considered the Rolls Royce of healthy ageing nutrients: Liquid collagen: This new science is completely changing the way you age! Multiple clinical trials support dramatic results such as improved joint mobility and more youthful-looking skin! The bio-availability is known to be higher than solid doses such as capsules or tablets.
Digestion begins in your mouth, so tablets require an extra digestive step to be broken down into liquid in the intestine or stomach. I recommend Collagen HA Matrix due to its enhanced absorption in the mouth via sublingual mucosa (floor of the mouth) and buccal mucosa (sides and top of the oral cavity) making it a fast-acting anti-ageing formula.
Resveratrol: Found in red grapes, blueberries and the herb polygonum, this effective antioxidant helps with longevity by protecting your cells from free radical damage.
Tumeric: The main constituent of turmeric has been used traditionally for skin and wound healing; and may also aid in chronic disease prevention due to its valuable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Exercise will increase blood flow which will carry oxygen and nutrients to all the major organs including the skin. When you increase blood flow from movement the flow will help carry away waste products including free radicals. Free radicals are known to damage skin and cause premature ageing. You can think of it as ‘cleansing your skin from the inside’.
Short term stress can be a common underlying driver of numerous symptoms such as lowered energy, poor immunity, insomnia, skin and digestive disorders, or other seemingly unrelated health conditions. However prolonged levels of cortisol which is a stress hormone over a period can lead to many potentially degenerative diseases ranging from cancer to heart disease, obesity, gastrointestinal problems. Stress and elevated stress hormones can take years off your life and add many wrinkles to the skin.
Stress is very common; in fact, 64% of Australians feel that stress is impacting their mental health, and 72% feel it affects their physical health.
There is lots we can do for stress. First, lets get the gut right. Yes, there is a link between the gut and our moods and stress response. Secondly ingredients that are known to reduce stress are hypericum, lactium and ashwagandha. These ingredients will help support your adrenal glands and offer you neurological support where by improving your stress response and enhancing your resilience so that you can tackle whatever life throws your way.
By addressing just a few key areas of your life you can start to tackle the ageing process from the inside out. Health is about living life to the fullest for all your days to come.
Sharma, D., Kober, M.M., & Bowe, W.P. (2016). Anti-Aging Effects of Probiotics. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, 15(1), 9-12.
Nath et al., J Clin Pharmacol, 1999
Australian Psychological Society. Stress and Wellbeing in Australia Survey. 2015.