We age, and that’s a beautiful thing. Over time our faces begin to display the story of our lives. It starts with those little lines that appear at the corners of our eyes.
Traces of our joys and sorrows become etched in the skin, reflecting the wisdom of a full life. It’s a natural process and we should celebrate it. At the same time, there is no good reason why we should not take the best possible care of our skin, to preserve its, beauty, elasticity and vitality through the years.
The skin is our interface to the outer world. It reflects not only the passage of time, but also the overall wellness of our being. Poor diet, stress, and environmental factors such as pollution and UV radiation all contribute to pre-mature wear and tear. The good news is that there is much we can do to help our skin – and it’s not too difficult.
The epidermis (top layer) of our skin is where cells renew themselves. For young people, this is a very dynamic process. Ever notice what happens to the scrapes and bruises that children sustain every other day? Young skin replenishes itself at an astounding rate. Cells replace themselves once or twice every month.
As we age, this process slows down. At the same time, the total number of epidermal cells is diminished by roughly 10% each decade. One important task for these top-layer cells is to preserve moisture in our skin, but this ability is also diminished over time.
The dermal (second layer) begins to thin as well, producing less collagen as the years pass. Collagen is the primary protein charged with the responsibility of keeping skin smooth and firm. Without it, our skin begins to shrivel. It’s a slow process, barely noticeable at first, but inevitably over time, wrinkles will appear.
The key to keeping our skin healthy (and younger looking), is to pay attention to our diet (avoid highly processed foods) and all those environmental factors which lead to rapid aging in the first place. Eliminate smoking, and where possible, prolonged exposure to environmental pollutants. Avoid over-exposure to the sun. Sunlight, like most things in life, is healthy in moderation.
Take notice of your daily stress level. Occasional stress may be a fact of life, but for too many of us, stress has become a way of life. If constant stress is your reality, then a lifestyle adjustment is in order. And do choose bio compatible personal skin care that moisturizes and nourishes your skin naturally.
More tips and tricks in the next post.