The days of the full face lift may be pretty much gone, but the number of age-reversing procedures using Botox and fillers, threads, ultrasound or lasers expands and improves every year. However good these treatments are though, they are all limited to the small areas of the body that they treat. You’ll often see comments that even though a certain celebrity’s face looks great, you can still tell their age by looking at their neck or hands.
If you want to do something that benefits the entire body and works on all the visible signs of ageing, you’re talking about diet, hydration, lifestyle and one of our favourite supplements, collagen.
What causes your skin to age?
Many of the signs of ageing are due to low-grade inflammation. Chronic inflammation weakens the structure of the skin, reducing its effectiveness as a barrier and degrading the collagen and elastin that are responsible for keeping the skin taut and wrinkle-free.
The best anti ageing skincare routine
1. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet, based around plenty of fresh vegetables, herbs and spices with good quality proteins and essential fats, whilst avoiding sugar and processed foods, is a great foundation to support your health from the inside and prevent premature ageing.
Avoiding or cutting down on sugar as much as possible may be the most important dietary advice as far as ageing is concerned. Excess sugars that make their way into the skin fibres can attach themselves to both collagen and elastin, causing advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These make the collagen and elastin fibres stiff and malformed, reducing elasticity and promoting wrinkles or fine lines.
2. Stay hydrated
Staying well hydrated is something that’s cheap and can make a huge difference to the skin’s appearance. When you’re dehydrated, the body will prioritise whatever water is available for the essential organs and brain. Keeping the skin plumped up is not going to be important if water is scarce. The usual advice is to drink 2 litres or more a day. Experiment with making sure you drink 3 litres for 2 weeks and see how your skin changes as your hydration levels increase.
3. Get your rest!
We all know we look better when we’ve had a 2 week holiday or even just a good nights’ sleep. Making sure you get plenty of good quality sleep and reducing your stress levels as much as possible can both prevent or reduce inflammation and premature ageing. And while we’re on the subject of holidays, sun damage is a significant, but avoidable, cause of ageing. We’re not complete killjoys though. We all need sunlight to generate vitamin D, which contributes to a healthy immune system, better mental health and is necessary to absorb and transport calcium into the bones. But avoid the midday sun and use sunscreen when advisable.
4. Boost your collagen supplies
Collagen has become the beauty industry’s number one supplement in the last few years and with good reason. It is the only ingestible product that has been scientifically proven to improve skin hydration, elasticity and firmness along with reducing fine lines, wrinkles and other visible signs of ageing. Collagen can help reduce the signs of ageing by plumping out the dermal layers and supporting the scaffolding underneath the skin surface. Combining collagen with vitamin C ensures that the body’s own production of collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin are also stimulated. And it’s not just your skin that will benefit. Hair and nails also need collagen to maintain their strength and resilience.
The reason collagen supplements become so crucial to reverse or prevent ageing is that our bodies' natural production starts to decline from the age of 25 or so. This loss speeds up hugely during our 40s and 50s until we have less than a third of our original production left. If you decide to supplement with collagen though, you need to make sure that it’s a hydrolysed collagen from a safe source so the peptides are small enough to pass through the gut wall into the bloodstream. Don’t expect any overnight changes though. An improvement in skin hydration is often the first effect noticed when taking our collagen, usually after 3 weeks or so. But it may take 8 weeks or even longer to notice any lasting effects as the collagen works away underneath the epidermis and boosts the skin from the inside. It’s also never too late to start and our collagen reviews prove that people of all ages can see noticeable, strong anti-ageing results when they add in Zooki’s 5,000 mg hydrolysed marine collagen sachets.
5. Promote detoxification
You’ve probably heard about free radicals and how they contribute to ageing. We need daily antioxidants to minimise the damage and the master antioxidant is glutathione. It’s a bit like putting lemon juice on slices of apple to stop them from going brown. Glutathione can directly neutralise free radicals by binding to them and stopping them from damaging cell membranes and DNA. It also enables detoxification in the liver, helps to balance inflammation and reduce the production of age spots and pigmentation by inhibiting tyrosinase, the enzyme that makes melanin.
Another visible and common sign of ageing is thinning hair or hair loss. A bit like the information on hydration earlier, hair growth won’t be a priority if the body doesn’t have enough of the nutrients needed to spare. Taking a targeted hair supplement that both supports the thyroid gland and provides good amounts of biotin and zinc can ensure the body doesn’t run short of the nutrients it needs.
Is it possible to reverse the signs of ageing? We’d always say that prevention is preferable and that the earlier you adopt those anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory diet, lifestyle and supplement practices, the better.