We spend billions on anti-aging products every year, but many of us counteract those products (often filled with potentially harmful toxins or chemicals) by doing things that can promote wrinkles – and it’s not just the obvious bad habits, like smoking cigarettes or tanning, but a number of other ways that we may be contributing to those fine lines.
Here is a look at four ways you may be promoting wrinkles, and how to reduce them naturally.
Eating inflammatory foods
Processed foods and other inflammatory foods that are high in sugar and/or unhealthy fats cause inflammation which is known to accelerate aging by damaging healthy collagen and elastin, contributing to saggy, wrinkled skin. Sugar can also deplete the body of important nutrients that work to fight wrinkles, such as vitamin C and vitamin E.
Some of these foods include things like bagels, breads, candy, doughnuts, packaged baked goods, fast food, fried foods, hot dogs, pasta, soda and cereal.
To reduce wrinkles naturally, avoid inflammatory foods and focus on foods that can help prevent premature aging like foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including wild-caught salmon, extra-virgin organic olive oil, flax seeds and avocado, which are all known to help keep your skin clear and supple.
Include plenty of fruits and veggies in your diet too, as its nutrients, such as zinc, selenium, vitamin C and beta carotene, are all known to help the body produce collagen and protect against free radicals.
Drinking too much
While an occasional glass of red wine can contribute to better health, including healthy skin, much more than that has the opposite effect. The general recommendation for women is one drink per day, and two per day for men. One drink equals 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof hard liquor like vodka or whiskey.
Drinking more than that causes dehydration, depleting natural moisture from your skin as well as triggering rosacea outbreaks and exacerbating fine lines and wrinkles, instantly making you look older.
If you limit your alcohol consumption, your liver won’t have to work as hard to eliminate toxins and impurities. When your liver works more efficiently, your skin naturally looks better.
Being too sedentary
A recent study, presented at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine’s annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana and reported by Counsel & Heal, found that sedentary older adults who started exercising were able to significantly improve their skin composition, giving it the structure of someone decades younger.
Researchers noted that the evidence strongly suggested that people who want to look older should exercise. Just two 30-minute sessions per week resulted in younger looking skin and even reversed some skin aging effects.
Constant worry and stress
A study in the January 2001 issue of the Archives of Dermatology: “Psychological Stress Perturbs Epidermal Permeability Barrier Homeostasis,” found that stress has a negative effect on the barrier function of the skin, resulting in water loss that inhibits its ability to repair itself after an injury.
While study participants did not have any pre-existing skin conditions, researchers strongly suspected that people with issues like eczema or psoriasis, would have even been more adversely affected by stress.
There are few things that take its toll on the body faster than constant worry or stress. It not only ages your brain, disrupts sleep and causes weight gain, its effects can also make you look older as it shows up in the skin.
Naturally reduce those fine lines and wrinkles by taking steps to relieve stress, such as practicing meditation or deep breathing, or taking a regular yoga class. Exercise also helps to release those feel-good hormones known as endorphins in the body that can reduce stress too.
Reducing wrinkles naturally is often more effective in addition to being better for your health, the environment – and, your pocketbook!
-The Alternative Daily