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Aging Skin - The Top 11 Contributors

Check out this article we found from World Health.net by Jeff Behar on factors that accelerate aging skin titled, "Top 11 Diet, Exercise and Lifestyle Mistakes that Accelerate Aging".

Obviously there are many lifestyle things people choose that either slow or hasten the aging process. But do you know which ones make the top 10 when it comes to aging you?

1. Smoking

Smoking makes you look old. A 2013 study in twins, published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, shows smokers tended to have more upper eyelid sagging, under-eye bags, malar bags, lower lip vermillion wrinkles, more lines between the nose and the mouth (also known as nasolabial folds), lip wrinkles and sagging jowls, among other indicators of aging.

2. Alcohol

Alcohol can age you in many ways. According to recent research people who drink alcohol > 2 glasses of wine each day) age much quicker than those who do not drink alcohol regularly. There are many reasons people who drink alcohol regularly tend to look older. Drinking causes enlargement of the blood vessels, which leads to flushing and, if you’re prone to rosacea, could exacerbate it. If you’re prone to flushed-looking skin, alcohol will only make it worse as excess drinking means your blood vessels lose tone, leaving you with permanent thread veins. Drinking alcohol also dehydrates the skin, which can lead to sallowness, deepening of wrinkles and dryness. It also exacerbates “necklace lines”; neck wrinkles that go horizontally across the neck. People who drink regularly tend to have a diet that is lacking nutrition. Big drinkers are chronically deficient in vitamin A, which is essential to collagen and elastin formation and worsens crow’s feet, deepens smile lines and causes the face to loose fullness and droop. Alcohol also affects restorative sleep, which doesn't do skin any favors.

3. Eating too Much Sugar

Eating too much sugar certainly isn’t great for your waistline, but overindulging in drinks and foods laden with sugar can also add years to your face and your body. How? Besides causing you to gain weight and ruin your teeth, foods with little-to-no nutritional benefits, like sugar-packed pop, cookies and cakes can actually damage the collagen and elastin that keep skin firm and youthful. The breakdown of sugars, called glycation, damages the collagen that keeps skin smooth and firm. The result: premature aging and deepening of facial wrinkles. These aging effects start at about age 35 and increase rapidly after that, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

To prevent this natural aging process from careening out of control, stick to low-glycemic carbs like sweet potatoes, fibrous veggies, green apples and whole grains; they're naturally low in sugar, and the body processes them slowly to limit the loss of collagen. If you want to sweeten up your coffee, tea or oatmeal without making your skin look older, try all-natural stevia. The active compounds of stevia are steviol glycosides, which have up to 150 times the sweetness of sugar, are heat-stable, pH-stable, not fermentable, easily digested herbal sweetener that doesn't trigger glycation, and has a negligible effect on blood glucose, This makes stevia attractive to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets, and it will not prematurely age your face.

4. You always choose coffee.

While research suggests caffeine can increase the benefits of exercise and increase fat burning, you should vary your caffeine sources if you also want to gain anti-aging benefits. Research suggests that green and black tea contain protective compounds—like Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and theaflavins—that help prevent skin cancers and the breakdown of collagen, the cause of wrinkles.

5. You eat too Much Animal Products

An anti-aging diet, is one that is low in animal products (including meat, dairy, and eggs). Animal products are typically hormone, antibiotic and pesticide laden. They are also acidic and not easily digestible. While eating them occasionally is not a problem, eating them excessively can be. Instead, eat in moderation, choose organic grass fed when possible and include a diet high in anti-aging friendly raw plant foods like green vegetables, colorful fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds. These foods fight the free radicals that age you. These foods also create alkalinity in the body, protecting cellular function and promoting overall health.

6. Your Dairy, Poultry and Meat isn't Organic

Factory farmed animal products are laden with hormones and antibiotics. In many cases, the animals are also filled with the pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and genetically modified food products the farmers’ use to feed them. This means that you, too, are ingesting pesticides, genetically modified products, and fertilizers every time you eat a factory farmed animal product. This increases the amount of toxic sludge in your body, which keeps you from efficiently digesting the foods you eat, absorbing nutrients, and using your life energy well. Hormones and pesticides used in animal feed in traditionally produced dairy, poultry, and meat may contribute to bad skin. If you want better skin and better health, eat these products less frequently. When possible, choose grain-fed beef and poultry and organic dairy products.

7. Your diet is too acidic

Diets that are acidic can cause havoc on the body. If your body is too acidic, which can happen when your diet is unbalanced, the body leaches alkaline minerals, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium that allow us to have strong, healthy bones, teeth, and hair. The best way to optimize the alkaline nature of your diet is not to eat less meat, cheese, eggs, and grains as many people mistakenly believe, but to eat more fruits and vegetables.

8. You Diet is Lacking EFAs

The skin also requires essential fatty acids (EFAs), which the body can't produce on its own to maintain proper skin and cell hydration. A diet that's too low in fat could cause dry skin, hair loss, and brittle nails; all of which can cause you to look older. Add foods that contain EFAs alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid).

9. You Diet is not Balanced

To be healthy and to slow down the aging process, your diet must include enough calories and must be balanced. When your diet isn't balanced, your skin, hair, and nails will suffer. Cutting calories can deprive your body of certain nutrients that promote healthy cell division, cell regeneration, combat inflammation and help improve overall skin fullness, skin tone and skin texture.

10. You do not Lift Weights

Study after study has conclusively shown that exercise can greatly slow the impact of aging. In fact, several studies have indicated that with exercise it is possible to impact nearly every system and part of the body, including the mechanisms in the body that cause and contribute to aging. Regular exercise slows telomere shortening, the main factor in cellular aging. Following a regular strength-training routine slows down osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, sarcopenia (muscle wasting) and creates better, more supportive muscle tone will help you firm sagging skin from the neck down.

11. You Exercise too much

Like anything else, too much of a good thing can cause harm. Excessive exercise can cause you to be tired all the time, create insomnia, raise cortisol levels, negatively impact your adrenal glands, and cause other hormonal changes to the body that can actually age the body. Example: long frequent cardio sessions can actually break down your muscles and increase the production of free radicals which can damage the cells in your body and accelerate aging. The solution, exercise regularly and keep exercise sessions to no more than 1 to 2 hours a day (tops) 5 days a week. If you enjoy cardiovascular exercise, balance it with weight bearing exercise to minimize sarcopenia (the loss of muscle as you age) and to minimize the production of disease and age causing free radicals. Bottom line: Plan your rest as well as you plan exercise for optimal health and anti-aging results.


Facial Changes Caused by Smoking: A Comparison between Smoking and Nonsmoking Identical Twins. Okada, Haruko C. M.D.; Alleyne, Brendan B.S.; Varghai, Kaveh; Kinder, Kimberly M.D.; Guyuron, Bahman M.D. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: November 2013 - Volume 132 - Issue 5 - p 1085–1092 doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3182a4c20a

Regulating the age-related oxidative damage, mitochondrial integrity, and antioxidative enzyme activity in Fischer 344 rats by supplementation of the antioxidant epigallocatechin-3-gallate. Meng Q1, Velalar CN, Ruan R. Rejuvenation Res. 2008 Jun;11(3):649-60. doi: 10.1089/rej.2007.0645.

Whitney Ellie and Rolfes SR (2008). Understanding Nutrition (11th ed.). California: Thomson Wadsworth. p. 154.

Burr, G.O., Burr, M.M. and Miller, E. (1930). "On the nature and role of the fatty acids essential in nutrition" (PDF). J. Biol. Chem. 86 (587). Retrieved 2007-01-17.