Many things influence the way your skin ages.
Have you been in the sun a lot? Sun damage can lead to “age spots” (dark spots) and wrinkling.
Have you used a tanning device? These can also damage the skin much the way the sun does.
Do you smoke? Smoking can contribute to wrinkling and sagging by reducing blood flow to the skin and breaking down its elasticity.
Do you drink too much alcohol? Do you lead a sedentary lifestyle? Are you exposed to pollution? All of these activities can promote the production of “free radicals” in our bodies. Free radicals are “rogue” oxygen molecules that go wild in our cells! Left on their own, they can break down cell walls, upset the DNA, and promote cell proliferation that can lead to cancer. “Antioxidants,” on the other hand, are compounds that neutralize free radicals and even repair some of the damage done.
So what can you do?
1. Supply your body with antioxidants by eating a varied diet, rich in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and other carotenoids, and a variety of plant nutrients called phytochemicals. Also: omega-3 fats, found in salmon, mackerel, white (albacore) tuna, and herring, as well as in flaxseeds, walnuts, and canola and soybean oils.
2. Minimize your sun exposure. Stay out of the midday sun whenever possible. Wear sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, and protective clothing.
3. Stop smoking.
4. Walk 30 minutes three times a week (or some other exercise routine of your choice—it’s good for the cardiovascular system, too!).
These healthy lifestyle measures can help supply the body with the antioxidants necessary to initiate balance.