How to Look Young? - 7 Ways to Maintain a Youthful Appearance
We all want to look healthy, young, and vibrant. As we age, it becomes more important to make sure we take special care of ourselves in order to not only look youthful, but to feel youthful well into our later years. If we do not regularly meet our body’s nutritional needs, we will speed up the process of aging, and it will show in our skin and in the way that we feel on a daily basis.
No amount of skin cream or moisturizer can cover up the effects of nutrient deficiency. If we really wish to remain healthy and energetic, then we have to take care of our diet, hydration, exercise, sleep, and stress. There are, however, certain factors that are worth considering as well.
In this article, we will discuss 7 important tips on how to look young and healthy...
1. Protect Skin from Sun Damage
Sun damage is one of the greatest contributing factors to poor skin health. However, we also need a certain amount of sun exposure on a regular basis to receive vitamin D. We have to find the right balance of getting regular sun, without being overly exposed to the sun’s damaging rays—especially the stronger mid-day sunrays.
One thing we can do to maintain this balance is to shield our skin with protective nutrients like Aloe Vera and DMAE. Many people are aware of Aloe Vera, but DMAE is less familiar to most people. DMAE (short for Dimethylethanolamine) is an organic compound that has been well-researched for both its internal and external applications. When used topically, DMAE improves the appearance of skin elasticity and luminosity, helping to decrease the look of fine lines and wrinkles while brightening skin's appearance and evening out imperfections.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about DMAE is the protection it offers from sun damage. DMAE protects against UVA rays whereas most sunscreens work to protect you from UVB rays. UVA rays cause cross-linking of the collagen matrix which leads to wrinkles forming and a loss of skin elasticity. DMAE takes it a step further than protection and works to dissolve old sun damage or lipofuscin (freckling). It also acts in place of melanin, forming a protective layer while your skin is healing and rebuilding.
We formulated DMAE into our Glow & Protect Day Cream to help provide a convenient moisturizer that works as a sun protection, beautifying and anti aging topical.
2. Maintain Collagen Production
Your skin loses a layer every 30 days, and the new layers that are generated depend upon specific nutrients to form properly—collagen being an essential one. Collagens are a family of extracellular proteins that are a key constituent in the skin and give skin its ability to move, stretch and rebound into shape—known as skin elasticity. Collagens aren’t just in our skin, but are in our glands, organs, bones, heart valves, brain, liver, and lungs as well.
After the age of 30, our body’s natural collagen production begins to slow down. Your body has the natural ability to create collagen in a process called collagen synthesis, but this is a delicate process that needs key building blocks and the perfect environment otherwise this process gets stopped in its tracks.
Most of the collagen supplements you see on the shelves today come from ground-up animal parts. One of the biggest red flags with animal-based collagen is the presence of contaminants like antibiotics, steroids, prescription drug metabolites, and insecticides that are still present in the tissue of the animal at slaughter. Once these contaminants enter your body, they increase oxidative stress. In addition, many of the powdered collagen supplements on the market are oxidized after sitting on shelves for months.
For optimal collagen synthesis, one should feed their body the key building blocks that help the body produce collagen in the dosages required to do so. For this reason, we created our Vegan Collagen Precursor Box—a box of assorted daily packs, each containing the proper amounts of Lysine, Proline, Vitamin C, and B Vitamins needed for the body to produce its own collagen. As these are essential nutrients, they not only assist with collagen synthesis, but also support the body in many of its necessary functions.
3. Stay Hydrated
Drinking adequate amounts of water daily is important for overall good health, and it is also essential for healthy skin. Water aids in digestion, circulation, absorption, and even rids the body and skin of toxins. Without adequate water intake, skin appears duller, and wrinkles and pores are more prominent. Proper hydration levels help the skin to become plump and improve its elasticity meaning it’s less likely to crack and have irritations and blemishes
There is no one-size-fits-all recommendation for how much water we should drink each day, as this changes according to many factors like diet, lifestyle, exercise, climate, body size, etc. However, according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the recommended daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men, and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.
4. Take a High Quality Vitamin C Supplement
Vitamin C is one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures. Our bodies are constantly under attack from free radicals, and these can cause inflammation and lead to poor skin health.
To protect ourselves from free radical damage, consuming antioxidants is essential. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, and supplementing with it regularly can help to reduce the damaging effects of free radical exposure.
5. Supplement with B Vitamins
B vitamins play a vital role in maintaining good health and well-being. As the building blocks of a healthy body, B vitamins have a direct impact on your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism. Vitamin B complex helps prevent infections and helps support cell health—including skin cell health.
There is obviously a clear link between nutrition and skin health, and B vitamins are among the nutrient groups that people are most often deficient in—as the body does not store B vitamins and they must be replenished daily from the foods or supplements that we consume.
6. Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is one of the primary contributing factors to most major illnesses, and it is also detrimental to skin health. Continuous, low-grade inflammation has been linked to aging and the decline of tissue health. This chronic inflammatory response builds up with time and gradually causes tissue damage. It is considered as one of the driving forces for many age-related diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and skin aging.
Chronic inflammation can be caused by a number of factors—exposure to toxins, pollutants, and chemicals in the air or in food, untreated illness or infection, food allergies and sensitivities, consuming high amounts of processed sugar, refined carbs, or processed foods that contain trans fats and oxidized oils, excessive intake of alcohol and processed meat, leading a sedentary or non-active lifestyle, and many others. There are also some cases of chronic inflammation that don’t have a clear underlying cause. When prolonged, chronic inflammation can have serious negative impacts on your tissues and organs.
To reduce inflammation, one must avoid the dietary and lifestyle factors that contribute to it, while also taking care to increase the dietary and lifestyle factors that reduce it. There are also many wonderful herbal supplements that can help to reduce chronic inflammation. Zuma Nutrition’s Biodynamic Inflammation Tonic, for example, was created by a team of physicians and master herbalists with the primary goal of lowering inflammation levels in the body by shutting off inflammatory mediators throughout the body.
7. Improve Gut Health
Gut health is an essential factor in overall health, and it also plays a role in healthy skin. Several lines of evidence have shown a connection between gut problems and skin disorders. A recent study found that those with rosacea were 10x more likely to have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) compared to those without rosacea and that eradication of the SIBO resulted in almost complete regression (elimination) of this common skin disorder/condition.
Similar findings have been found in those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); 15 to 20% of people with ulcerative colitis and up to 25 to 30% of those with Crohn’s will also have skin conditions. A 2012 study demonstrated this unique connection between the skin and gut when a drug used to treat the skin disease psoriasis resulted in less disease activity in Crohn’s patients, a.k.a. improved their Crohn’s disease.
The gut provides a barrier between the interior of the digestive tract and the general circulation. Anything that irritates the lining of your gut can cause it to become inflamed. This could be anything like food allergens, alcohol, medications, antibiotics, common food stuffs of the modern diet like food additives and artificial coloring, as well as, food borne illness, diets low in fiber and high in sugar, or the commonly overlooked culprit SIBO.
When the gut gets irritated and inflamed, several things happen. The nerves that permeate the digestive tract are signaled to tell the body that the gut is under attack, and the body responds by ramping up the stress response to help prepare the body to fight. This stress and systemic inflammation can impair the integrity and protective role of our skin. When this happens, the skin produces less of the naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides it normally makes as a first-line defense; with weakening defenses, skin infections can occur and worsen and weaken defenses will aggravate skin inflammation further.
Just as skin can be damaged by poor gut health, it can be improved by good gut health. Taking special care to heal, restore, and strengthen the health of our gut is essential for the health of our skin, and for our overall health in general.
Other Nutrients to Consider
Resveratrol – a natural phenol found in the skin of grapes, blueberries, raspberries, and mulberries, this compound has beneficial effects on skin health when consumed internally, as well as when applied topically.
Mushrooms – with anti-inflammatory properties, mushrooms can help improve acne, rosacea, and eczema. They are also rich in vitamin D, selenium, and antioxidants that protect your skin against wrinkles and discoloration caused by environmental damage.
NADH – a compound found in all living cells, this molecule is capable of maintaining and restoring cellular health. Since NADH levels decline with age, especially after the age of 30, increasing its levels is one approach to improve cellular functioning and skin health.
Exercise – by getting the heart rate up and improving blood circulation, exercise can help to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the skin which keeps the skin healthy, promotes collagen production, and promotes new skin cells, which keeps the skin looking glowing and is also helpful for anti-aging
Sleep – adequate sleep is important for the growth and renewal of multiple physiological systems. Chronic poor sleep quality is associated with increased signs of intrinsic aging, diminished skin barrier function, and lower satisfaction with appearance.
Have you ever wondered why some people can be 60 years old but look like they are 40, while others can be 40 years old and look like they are 60? The way the body ages is not something predetermined by DNA or something that is universal for each person. It is largely determined by our individual dietary and lifestyle habits.
If you wish to maintain a youthful appearance and to feel more youthful and energetic, then taking care of these core areas of your health—such as diet, exercise, sleep, hydration, stress, etc.—are essential. That being said, there are many other factors that tie in directly with skin health and youthful appearance. Educating yourself on these contributing factors to youthful appearance and utilizing them in your healthcare routine is a great way to look and feel healthier so you can live life with energy, vitality, and confidence.