What Causes Wrinkles?
Our skin has two layers: the epidermis (outer layer) and the dermis (below the epidermis). Wrinkles happen in the dermis. The dermis is made up of collagen and other proteins. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen. The collagen is what makes our skin elastic and smooth. Less collagen results in saggy skin with wrinkles. Lots of factors contribute to this process. Here are some:
- Sun damage
- Poor nutrition
- Facial expressions (laughing, squinting, etc.)
- Pollution and toxins
- Natural aging
- Sleeping on your side
Top Ten Ways to Prevent & Erase Wrinkles Naturally
1. Don’t Smoke
We all know how bad it is for you. There are a million reasons not to smoke, and wrinkled skin is as good of a reason to quit as any. I was a smoker for 7 years during high school and college. I know it’s hard to quit. You can do it.
2. Stay Hydrated
Good skin starts from within. Stay hydrated with water, coconut water, and green tea (which is full of antioxidants). Not only is moisturizing from within important, but water rids your body of toxins. And I am all about detoxing.
3. Eat Lots of Antioxidants
Free radicals (unstable molecules that damage our skin – i.e. pollution & toxins) hate antioxidants. Vitamins A, C, & E, and beta carotene are all antioxidants. Here are some sources of antioxidants:
- Kale (I put kale in this smoothie every morning)
- Beans (red, kidney, pinto)
4. Use a Nontoxic Moisturizer
Ladies, admit it. How many different bottles of “miracle” moisturizers are in your bathroom? I know I went through a ton of expensive products until I learned about these magical and natural products. I started using oils instead of lotions and creams about 2 years ago & my skin has never been better!
- Coconut oil – Coconut oil is an amazing oil. It is very moisturizing when used topically and reduces age spots, wrinkles, and cellulite. I use coconut oil with vitamin E as a body moisturizer and my makeup remover . Vitamin E is a topical antioxidant.
- Argan oil – I moisturize my face with argan oil . Argan oil is a drier oil than coconut oil. I know many people use coconut oil on their face, but it is too oily for my complexion. So I use argan. Argan oil is also very moisturizing, full of antioxidants, and a natural anti-inflammatory.
- Other oils great for moisturizing are jojoba, grapeseed, and olive oil.
5. Eat Lots of Saturated Fat
I eat a high fat diet and am thinner than ever. Good saturated fats are an essential part of a healthy diet and healthy skin. Saturated fat makes your skin more elastic and more resistant to the oxidative damage from the sun. Sources of saturated fat include grass-fed butter (homemade is best, but when it’s not available, I buy this one), avocados and coconut oil.
6. Use a Nontoxic Sunscreen
Toxins and free radicals are a big source or wrinkles. And most commercial sunscreens are full of toxins. Lots and lots of toxins. And there are lots of studies in progress now to determine if they really prevent skin cancer.
7. Moisturizing Face Masks
My goal is to do a moisturizing & detoxing face mask monthly (which means it happens about every other month….). Here are my favorites:
- Bentonite Clay Mask
- Avocado Honey Mask
- Kefir Face Mask
- Peaches & Cream Mask
- Gelatin & Egg White Mask
8. Fermented Cod Liver Oil
Fermented cod liver oil is the most important supplement my family takes. It keeps us cold & flu free! Not only is it full of vitamins and omega 3, it is the best sun protection around! Yep, a supplement that keeps sun damage far away. A sunburn is inflammation of the skin caused by UV rays. Fermented cod liver oil is anti-inflammatory, thus stopping sun damage before it starts. Keep in mind that not all cod liver oils are made the same. You want fermented, vitamin rich cod liver oil.
9. Get Plenty of Sleep
While we are sleeping, our bodies produce HGH (human growth hormone). This hormone is what induces growth and cell reproduction (including skin cells). When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies produce cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol slows growth, tissue maintenance, and results in dry skin. The more sleep you get, the more HGH you produce. As we age, we produce less HGH. So we have to “work” (ummm….. I mean sleep!) a little harder to get that magical stuff.
This is my FAVORITE wrinkle fighting trick!! Wrinkles form when our bodies start making less collagen. Gelatin is made from cooked collagen (from pigs and cows). So taking a dietary supplement of natural collagen is a magic fix! The gelatin fills in the fine lines and erases wrinkles. I take a gelatin supplement everyday. I add it to my morning juice or smoothie, sprinkle it on my yogurt or cereal, really add it to anything! Since this is an animal by-product, you want to be sure to get a good quality from grass-fed, responsibly-farmed animals. And even cooler, you can make your own gelatin! Yep, gelatin is in homemade bone broth.