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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Pumpkin Pancakes with Pumpkin Maple Sauce

I give you two different recipes for pumpkin pancakes here to experiment with and a recipe for a warm pumpkin and maple syrup sauce that will make your pumpkin pancake breakfast really special and provide lots of beta-carotene. Have fun topping your pancakes with various fruits. Mandarin oranges and blueberries. Strawberries and bananas. Raspberries and blueberries. Hot Apple Compote. Diced peaches.

I suggest you read my blog for tips on making perfect pancakes and apply those tips to making these recipes. In that blog I also link to an electric griddle that I recommend cooking all your pancakes on since you can control the temperature which is key to making perfect pancakes.

With its bright orange color, the pumpkin is bursting with beta-carotene, vitamin C and also potassium. Current research shows that the anti-oxidant beta-carotene may reduce the risks of developing certain types of cancer and may offer protection against heart disease.  Pumpkin seeds & pumpkin seed oil are good sources of zinc and unsaturated fatty acids.

Botanically speaking, a pumpkin is a squash and is native to the Americas dating as far back as the Indians in the 1500’s.  Pumpkins have become a symbol of American tradition at both Halloween & Thanksgiving thanks to the first colonial settlers.  Pumpkins can be served as a boiled or baked vegetable and a filling for pies, custards or cornbread.   Pumpkin seeds can be roasted for healthy snacking!

Pumpkin Nutrition Facts
(1 cup cooked, boiled, drained, without salt)

Calories 49
Protein 2 grams
Carbohydrate 12 grams
Dietary Fiber 3 grams
Calcium 37 mg
Iron 1.4 mg
Magnesium 22 mg
Potassium 564 mg
Zinc 1 mg
Selenium .50 mg
Vitamin C 12 mg
Niacin 1 mg
Folate 21 mcg
Vitamin A 2650 IU
Vitamin E 3 mg

Pumpkin Maple Sauce

Top your favorite pancakes with Pumpkin Maple Sauce. It is wonderful and has lots of beta-carotene.

Heat 1 cup maple syrup, 1 1/4 cups LIBBY’S 100% Pure Pumpkin and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice in small saucepan until warm.

SPICED PUMPKIN PANCAKES

The perfect breakfast for a cool Fall Sunday morning.

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups milk
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
4 large eggs, separated, discard 2 yolks
3 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Canola oil
Maple syrup

Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Whisk milk, pumpkin, 2 egg yolks, melted butter and vanilla in medium bowl to blend well. Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients; whisk just until smooth (batter will be thick). Using an electric mixer beat egg whites in another medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter in 2 additions. Brush large nonstick skillet or griddle lightly with oil; heat over medium heat. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls into skillet. Cook until bubbles form on surface of pancakes and bottoms are brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet lightly with oil between batches. Serve with syrup. Makes about 12

Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes Bon Appétit | November 2000  

Yield: Makes about 12

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
4 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Whisk milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, melted butter and vanilla in medium bowl to blend well. Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients; whisk just until smooth (batter will be thick). Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter in 2 additions. Brush large nonstick skillet with oil; heat over medium heat. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls into skillet. Cook until bubbles form on surface of pancakes and bottoms are brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with oil between batches. Serve with syrup

 

 

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Sweet Chili Sauce Brussels Sprouts

These are so delicious that I have personally eaten 4 pounds of these in one week! A little sweet, a little spicy, these are addictive! Add a little squirt of Sriracha to the sauce to add more heat if you’d like. 

Ingredients:

2 pounds brussels sprouts, stem trimmed (not too deeply or the leaves will fall off) and halved
3 tablespoons olive or canola oil
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 Tbls fish sauce or soy sauce
¼ cup sweet chili sauce

Directions:

Heat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

As you stem and halve the Brussels sprouts, toss them into a medium sized bowl. Add the oil and toss the Brussels sprouts to coat evenly. Pour them onto a baking sheet lined with foil. In the same bowl, whisk together the garlic, fish or soy sauce and the sweet chili sauce and set aside.

When the oven is hot, put the baking sheet into the oven and roast in the oven for 15 minutes, tossing them halfway so they cook evenly. Remove Brussels sprouts from the oven and turn oven broiler onto high, with the oven rack positioned in the top third of the oven.

Place the Brussels sprouts into the bowl with the sauce and toss to coat evenly. Put them back onto the baking sheet and broil the Brussels sprouts for 5 minutes or until the chili sauce is bubbling and caramelizing. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn! Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

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