Have you ever looked at the skin on your face and thought, ‘God I look old today’ ? You and me too then! It’s so common, I think they need to invent mirrors with Instagram filters for those days when we feel we’re looking a bit rough!
As we grow older, free radicals damage the Collagen and Elastin under the skin which causes a loss of elasticity. That bright plump skin of our youth gradually changes. What was once like a tight drum starts to slowly lose its shape and this is when you see the first lines and wrinkles start to appear.
Here’s a simple skin elasticity test to see if your complexion is older, younger or right on target for your biological age.
- Lay your hand palm down on a firm surface like a table top.
- Pinch the skin on the back of your hand and hold for 5 seconds.
- Release and count how long it takes for the skin to completely flatten out again.
How to Score.
1-2 seconds (under 30 years old)
3-4 seconds (30-44 years old)
5-9 seconds (45-50 years old)
10-15 seconds (60 years old)
35-55 seconds (70 years old)
If your skin snaps back immediately then this is the sign of very young skin. Normally by the age of 45 there will be no snap back but the skin will reshape and regain its smooth appearance in 3-5 seconds. This is a visual test for age damaged skin and although it’s just an indicator, I am sure like me you will give it a try, just out of curiosity.
Is there anything we can do to improve Collagen levels in our skin?
You may be aware that some people have collagen injections to plump up their skin so it appears more youthful. The problem is that it’s expensive and your body may start to break down this collagen fairly quickly if you don’t change the lifestyle factors that destroyed your collagen in the first place. The best way to maintain collagen levels is to restore your metabolism and prevent further breakdown.
One way to prevent this breakdown of collagen and elastin is by following a healthy diet and lifestyle. Some I have written about previously such as reducing your Refined Sugar Consumption and preventing Sun Damage
There a number of positive things you can do to help your body produce more collagen.
Increase your consumption of Dark Green Vegetables– packed with the antioxidant ‘lutein’ and some vitamin C, this will help the body manufacture collagen by utilizing the protein effectively.
Include whole Citrus Fruits, not juice in your diet-oranges in the winter and things like strawberries in the summer which are packed with Vitamin C to aid collagen production.
There is some evidence that Soy Products can help as they may slow down the breakdown of collagen. Great news for vegetarians/vegans, but beware! Over consumption of soy products can increase Phytoestrogen levels which can play havoc with our male hormones, in particular testosterone levels.
Consume foods that contain Carnosine. This vital skin friendly protein is only found in animal protein and in good quantities in turkey, much more so than chicken. Maybe consider turkey more when looking for a good quality lean protein. For vegans and vegetarians, good quality supplements do exist. Although we do produce this in our muscles, it diminishes with age so a supplement is something to consider from your 40’s onwards if you eat no meat. Fish only contains limited levels of carsonine.
Use Avocado Oil on your skin. This highly nourishing oil is highly compatible with the oils in your skin and is scientifically proven to stimulate collagen production. It increases the proportion of soluble collagen in the outer layer of your skin.
According to some research Aloe Vera (topical or ingested) has the ability to stimulate collagen synthesis by fibroblasts within the skin. Fibroblasts are like tiny repair kits that produce collagen to mend and repair the damage.
Collagen production is so important for our skin as we age and by making some minor lifestyle changes such as decreasing refined sugar consumption, protecting your skin from the sun and trying to include the foods/supplements above, you will see results. Your skin will stay looking younger for longer.
Collagen is built inside the cells of our body, not on the outer layers of our skin. This approach will be much more effective than any miracle skin cream which supposedly stimulates collagen production whilst at the same time burning a big hole in your wallet.
If you’d liked to stay looking YOUNGER FOR LONGER check out my tailored plans with guaranteed results in just 6 weeks by simply clicking HERE