Anti-Aging Skin Care

Full disclosure, I am not a dermatologist or aesthetician. I do have a background in chemistry and am a beauty enthusiast. At 57, I am frequently asked what I do for my skin and am writing this blog to share with friends or those interested.

In addition to the following skin care regimen, know that the food you eat and the lifestyle you follow makes a difference in how your genes express the information coded in your DNA. One of the strongest accelerators of aging is inflammation. A healthy diet and lifestyle combats the inflammation and subsequent damage. Focus on eating foods that are anti-inflammatory: fatty fish, fruits, vegetables, flaxseed, walnuts, almonds, and avoid fried foods, sugar, alcohol, refined carbohydrates. Eat six or more servings of produce since it contains lots of skin-protecting antioxidants. For a list of specific foods go to this blog.

Everyone’s skin is different. So I advise you to see a dermatologist or master esthetician to further guide in in choosing the routine that is best for you.

These are the steps I follow morning and evening. I even keep this list in my bathroom for reference:

In my research I have found that there are key ingredients that should be part of an overall skin care routine. My personal goals are to prevent acne, improve skin texture, discourage whiteheads and blackheads, get rid of and prevent hyperpigmentation and age spots, minimize wrinkles, reduce pore size and prevent further aging.  

If you have acne and would like a researched regimen for that go to this blog. And this blog discusses the diet and acne connection.

So here are some of the key ingredients that can help with those goals.

Proven acne treatment ingredients include: salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, retinol, and zinc pyrithione.

Ingredients that help fight skin aging include: retinol, glycolic acid, green tea antioxidants and vitamin C, and broad spectrum sunscreens.

Ingredients that work for hyperpigmentation include: broad spectrum sunscreens, retinol, vitamin C, glycolic acid, hydroquinone, and some botanical lighteners such as kojic acid.

Moisturizers. The ingredients to look for: hyaluronic acid, ceramides, sodium PCA, glycerin, glycerol, silicones, petrolatum, salicylic acid, and alpha hydroxy acids.

Hydroxy Acids are compounds that exfoliate surface cells and encourage cell turnover, helping skin to look and feel younger. There are 2 main types: Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHAs). Salicylic is a BHA. Beta hydroxy acid penetrates into the pore which contains sebum and exfoliate the dead skin cells that are built up inside the pore. This helps minimize clogged pores. AHAs exfoliate surface cells and encourage cell turnover. The AHA Glycolic acid is small and get into the skin. It boosts collagen production and elastin production; also removes waste and dead skin cells. AHAs are preferred for sun-damaged and dry skin because they exfoliate on the surface of skin. Sunscreen MUST be applied when using an alpha hydroxy acid product.

Just like we need to eat antioxidants to defend our bodies against free radicals we need antioxidants in skin care products to help protect the skin from deterioration and defend against environmental assaults that lead to signs of aging. Antioxidants: Green tea extract, ferulic acid, grape extract, resveratrol, quercetin, vitamin C, vitamin E, epigallocatechin-3 gallate, superoxide dismutase, willow herb) extract, feverfew extract, and licorice extract.

These are the products I am currently using. There are lots of great products and even more worthless ones. I trust Beautypedia.com for their reviews. Look there for recommendations or to research what you are currently using. Don’t rely on Amazon’s reviews which are just users and not skin experts. Look the product up on Beautypedia and there you will find expert reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

I alternate between these three face sunscreens. Use on face, neck and chest. All have zinc without the chemical sunscreens that can cause cancer. Zinc acts as a physical shield between skin and the sun. That should be in all sunscreen. DO NOT USE the chemical sunscreen ingredient oxybenzone. For more info research that on EWG.Org. Okay chemicals to use are: octinoxate and octisalate.  Zinc PLUS Titanium can cause breakouts.  I also apply a lip sunscreen with SPF all day long. I like this one because it contains zinc, a mineral that blocks the sun. This product does not turn your lips white. And it doesn’t contain the harmful chemical oxybenzone.
I also use a body sunscreen on hands and any other exposed skin during the day even if I am not going outside.
Wear sunscreen even if you are not planning on going outside. UVA rays inside a building cause wrinkles and UVB (B for beach or burn) causes skin cancer and wrinkles. So yes, you do want to use a sunscreen even if you are not going to the beach.
I use a gentle Bufpuf twice a week to gently exfoliate my skin. This removes some of the unhealthy, built-up skin cells on top of the surface. The Bufpuf has to be kept exceptionally clean. If you don’t bacteria can grow on it and these bacteria will spread to your face and potentially cause a breakout. After you use the Bupuf, wash it with soap, rinse, shake it out and let it air dry.
Links to the products I mention are below if Amazon has them for sale.

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Damaging Free Radicals and Super Hero Antioxidants

In cells, oxygen is constantly involved in chemical reactions in which electrons are shifted around. This is called oxidation. In an oxidation reaction, one atom or compound will steal electrons from another atom or compound. This process creates highly reactive, unstable, harmful particles known as free radicals.  Free radicals cause damage and many experts believe damage from free radicals is a factor in the development of  blood vessel disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and many chronic diseases. Free radicals can cause LDL cholesterol to oxidize, increasing cardiovascular risk. They can also damage genes in ways that contribute to the aging process. The damage to cells caused by free radicals, especially the damage to DNA, may play a role in the development of cancer and other health conditions.

We are exposed to free radicals through normal cellular processes, the effects of ultraviolet light and sun exposure, air pollution, trauma, excess heat, and smoking or when the body breaks down certain medicines. Our bodies also produce free radicals during exercise because we inhale more oxygen and use more energy and through by-products of normal processes that take place in your body (such as the burning of sugars for energy and the release of digestive enzymes to break down food). To generate energy, our cells remove electrons from sugars, fatty acids, and amino acids and add them to other molecules, especially oxygen. All this creates free radicals.

Antioxidants to the rescue. Antioxidants are the superheroes of the complex world of biochemistry because they provide an electron that the free radical is missing and neutralize it, ending the chain of destruction. Antioxidants thus protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants play a role in the management or prevention of some medical conditions and aging. 

It takes a variety of antioxidants and lots of them to help successfully deactivate the different kinds of free radicals. The body’s natural antioxidant defense system is partly fueled by the antioxidants we consume. Antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, lutein, lignan, lycopene, and other carotenoids, and selenium. In general, the best dietary sources of antioxidants are vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, seeds and other plant-derived foods.

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Cherry, Cinnamon and Seeds Oatmeal

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This recipe spotlights delicious Morello sour cherries that are packed with nutrition.

Beta carotene, linked with cancer prevention particularly lung cancer and reduction in the risk of heart disease. Beta carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A, a vitamin that prevents night blindness, needed for growth and cell development, maintains healthy skin, hair, and nails as well as gums, glands, bones, and teeth. May prevent lung cancer.

Pectin, a soluble fiber makes you feel full which may lessen appetite. Also, it lowers LDL cholesterol which helps reduce the risk of heart disease, regulates blood sugar which may reduce the onset risk or symptoms of metabolic syndrome and diabetes, and may cut the risk of colorectal cancer.

Quercetin, a flavonoid and antioxidant that may help avoid heart disease, lessen risk of cancer and coronary artery disease.

Potassium, which gives a helpful effect in lowering blood pressure. Also helps maintain fluid balance, and helps proper metabolism.

Vitamin C, vitamin that fortifies blood vessel walls, encourages wound curing, promotes iron absorption, helps avoid atherosclerosis, defends against cell damage by free radicals, may diminish risk of certain cancers, heart attacks, strokes, and other diseases. The anthocyanidins found in the cherries have anti-inflammatory properties.

Ceylon Cinnamon is also featured in this recipe. I recommend eating a half to one teaspoon a day of the true cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon, since it so health promoting. It  is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antitumor, is cardiovascular-friendly, cholesterol-lowering, and has blood sugar regulating effects.  There are two main types of cinnamon: Ceylon cinnamon (also known as “true” cinnamon) and cassia cinnamon. If cinnamon isn’t labeled “Ceylon” you’re most likely eating a cheaper, less liver-safe cinnamon variety called cassia. It can be hard to find so I buy this one from Amazon.  

WARNING to those who are taking blood thinners. Cassia cinnamon contains high levels (0.45%) of natural chemicals called coumarin. When taking anti-coagulants, its important to avoid any products with coumarin. This interacts with blood thinners – especially warfarin (Coumadin) and increases the risk of bleeding. 

 ½ cup raw oats

1 cup milk or water

½ tbsp. Ceylon Cinnamon

1 tsp. brown sugar or honey

1 Tbs hemp seeds 

1 Tbs. pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup Morella Cherries (from Trader Joe’s) or Costco Frozen

cherriPrepare oatmeal as per package instructions. I like to do mine in a large glass microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. I use a too-large because cooking oats in the microwave in a too-small bowl can create the dreaded “volcano effect”.

Top with cinnamon, brown sugar, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and cherries and enjoy!

 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 406
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13 g 20 %
Saturated Fat 3 g 14 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 4 mg 0 %
Potassium 23 mg 1 %
Total Carbohydrate 59 g 20 %
Dietary Fiber 8 g 33 %
Sugars 26 g
Protein 18 g 37 %
Vitamin A 1 %
Vitamin C 1 %
Calcium 2 %
Iron 23 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
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