Taking control of how you age is all about the lifestyle choices you make. Let’s explore the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic aging and, importantly, the simple habits that will promote healthy skin at every life stage.
Intrinsic aging is a result of the natural passage of time and governed by internal factors. As we age, our cells naturally produce less collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. Skin elasticity and volume declines, resulting in wrinkles and sagging skin.
On the other hand, extrinsic aging is hastened by external factors, such as smoking, poor nutrition, pollution, and UV exposure, causing the aging signs to appear sooner than our intrinsic timeline.
Taking control of extrinsic aging for healthier skin
“Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.”
– Coco Chanel.
Now for the empowering news: extrinsic aging is largely within your control! Here’s how we can make better choices for our skin every day.
Reduce stress and laugh more
Studies tell us stress exacerbates signs of aging, and other inflammatory skin concerns, by disrupting a healthy barrier function.
Let’s find healthy ways to better manage our stress levels.
Practicing yoga, meditation, journaling or simply laughing and relaxing with good friends can all ease tension. When I’m feeling stressed, I like to walk.
Fill your plate with antioxidants
Antioxidants are skin heroes. Vital in curbing the signs of extrinsic aging, antioxidants stop the free radical activity that damages collagen and elastin. Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene are all key antioxidants and, happily, are found in many common foods.
Every meal gives us the chance to select delicious, antioxidant-rich foods. Think: berries, spinach, beets, broccoli, kale, red cabbage and dark chocolate.
Protect your skin from the sun
An estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun. We have an incredible opportunity to guard against the most aggressive contributor to extrinsic aging simply by being vigilant with sun protection.
Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, year-round and cover up when you’re outdoors in the heat of the day.
Movement amplifies health in many areas of your body, including your skin.
Research by Brigham Young University indicates people who frequently engage in intense physical activity have cells up to nine years younger than people who don’t exercise.
However, even moderate exercise is beneficial – the key is consistency. Find a physical activity you enjoy and make exercise a priority!
Choose natural skincare to reduce toxin overload
Toxin exposure throughout life, combined with a decline in the body’s ability to handle toxins, may spur signs of premature aging. Choosing skincare free from harmful chemicals like phthalates, SLES, SLS, polyethylene glycol, and parabens.
YASOU skin care delivers nourishing, pure and organic ingredients to the skin without parabens, synthetic colors or artificial fragrances.
Research indicates that chronic poor sleep quality is associated with increased signs of aging, diminished skin barrier function, and lower satisfaction with your appearance.
Encourage quality rest (and youthful skin) by practicing good sleep hygiene such as turning off screens, relaxing before bed, following a consistent sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine late in the day, avoiding alcohol before bed, and keeping the bedroom dark and cool.
I love this list because these habits not only preserve youthful skin but also promote overall health and well-being!
(Photo: Polina Kovaleva)