Lifestyle & Health: Getting rid of wrinkles
Angela M, 55, from St Andrew is aware of aging. She looked in a mirror and could count a number of lines across her forehead, at the corners of her eyes and mouth and under her neck. It tells her she is aging! She has heard about cigarette smoking and aging skin but she stopped smoking years ago! She asks Lifeline if her earlier years of cigarette smoking could still have affected her skin at this time and what to do about getting rid of wrinkles!
There is no doubt that smoking ages skin and can cause premature wrinkles. The more cigarettes smoked and the longer the time they are smoked for the more skin wrinkling is likely to occur. Smoking not only wrinkles the face but also wrinkles the skin. Smoking causes wrinkles by narrowing the blood vessels in the skin which decreases blood flow to the skin. This results in less nutrients and oxygen reaching the skin. Also, chemicals in tobacco smoke damage collagen and elastin which are responsible for giving skin its elasticity and strength so skin will tend to sag prematurely in smokers! Pursing the lips when inhaling and repeated squinting to keep smoke out of the eyes also contributes to wrinkles.
There are also other causes of wrinkles:
• Sun exposure breaks down collagen and elastin, damages cell DNA and depletes the skin of anti-oxidants which are anti-aging in function and which help produce collagen and repair damaged skin cells. Skin protection from sunlight is key to anti-aging and must be practiced all year round.
• Good skin anti-oxidants are found in vegetables, fruits and nuts. These foods need to form a significant part of the diet or else skin aging will occur more quickly! Beta-carotene, Vitamins A, C and E are essential for skin health and prevention of wrinkles. Without them in the diet skin will wrinkle early.
• Sugar damages the skin by damaging collagen and elastin and results in sagging skin and wrinkles. Limit dietary processed foods.
• Sudden weight loss.
To slow down the skin aging and wrinkling process try:
• Stop smoking
• Eat carrots, broccoli, green vegetables and oranges which are rich in Vitamin A and C.
• Take Vitamins A, C and E supplements.
• Cleanse and moisturize the skin daily.
• Apply anti-aging products which contain Vitamins A, C and E.
• Avoid sun exposure.
• Apply sun screen several times daily.
• Apply creams with Alpha-hydroxy acids to reduce the appearance of fine lines. Alpha-hydroxy works by skin exfoliation and stimulates collagen production. Over the counter preparations are available but Retin-A can be prescribed by a physician.
• Dermatologists can help reduce wrinkles with Botox skin injections, chemical peels or by dermabrasion.
Other useful life style changes which help slow the aging process are:
• Get adequate sleep and sleep on your back. Sleeping on your side increases wrinkles to the cheeks and chin while sleeping face down results in forehead wrinkles.
• Don’t squint. Wear glasses if needed! Squint lines become wrinkles!
• Eat a greater amount of fish, especially salmon. Fish contain both protein and Omega 3 which build and nourish skin and keep skin plump and beautiful.
• Eat more soy products.
• Drink less coffee which dries out the skin and decreases the blood circulation to skin.
• Use skin moisturizers which make lines and creases less noticeable.
• Don’t wash the face too often as this will strip it of natural barriers of oil which protects against aging.
Some natural remedies to lessen wrinkles include:
Egg white: Whip egg white then massage onto the skin and leave to dry for 15 minutes. It is rich in vitamins B and E. Rinse off with warm water.
Olive oil: Keeps skin soft and supple. Massage some drops into the skin at bed time then rinse off.
Massage: Massage the face daily with lotion focusing on the neck and under the eyes and forehead.
Lemon juice: Slice a lemon and massage into the fine lines and wrinkles on the face. It reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
Honey and Olive oil: Mix a few drops together and massage the skin twice a day.
Coconut oil, almond oil and Vitamin E oil: These can be massaged into the skin to prevent and reduce wrinkles.
Aloe Vera Gel (direct from the plant). Use by itself or mixed with Vitamin E oil. Massage into the skin and leave for 15 minutes then wash off. This improves skin elasticity.
We are aging from the very moment of birth! Live healthy! Exercise, eat and sleep right. Take care of your skin!
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