I’m always talking about how consistent skincare and sun protection are essential for youthful, beautiful skin for life. Another crucial aspect of looking as young as you feel is your diet, which I discussed in the below Skin School video. Let’s look at diet's role in your skin health and talk about what you should eat to age gracefully.
Skin aging basics
The body produces an essential protein called collagen at the cellular level. This protein keeps the skin plump, youthful, and hydrated for optimal elasticity. As we age, the body naturally produces less collagen. The skin gets thin and wrinkled, showing signs of aging, pigmentation issues, and dryness.
This consistent loss is responsible for the foundational structural change in the skin. So, we should focus on replenishing the body’s collagen stores and encouraging the production of intelligent anti-aging.
Stimulating collagen production at the cellular level with topicals is necessary for rejuvenated skin, and your body needs specific nutrients to make fresh collagen and stay supported.
Breaking Down Diet Fads
Most diets are geared toward:
Few popular diets focus on skin health or anti-aging, but your food can provide the building blocks for cells to produce collagen. While specific diets provide some essential building blocks, you need a diet that brings it all to your skin and tissues; doing so helps you support your skin functionally and aid your anti-aging skincare routine.
For example, a heavily carnivorous diet that excludes fruits, vegetables, carbs and sugar lacks essential nutrients such as vitamin C. You must balance these to achieve youthful, healthy skin with optimal collagen production.
The Ultimate Skin-Enhancing Diet
The best diet for youthful, beautiful skin for life requires:
Amino Acids: Amino acids are essential building blocks for protein, which is vital for the growth and maintenance of tissues in the body, including the skin. Three specific amino acids, proline, lysine, and glycine, are particularly important for skin health. Proline and lysine help to produce collagen, the protein responsible for skin's structure, while glycine plays a key role in collagen synthesis. These amino acids also aid in wound healing and reducing inflammation, making them critical for maintaining healthy skin. To ensure that your body gets enough of these important amino acids, you can incorporate them into your diet by consuming foods such as:
Key Vitamins & Minerals - Vitamin C, Zinc & Copper: Getting a balanced intake of minerals and vitamins is essential for maintaining healthy skin, and several nutrients are especially important for skin health. Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, helps to promote collagen synthesis, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and protect the skin from UV damage. Zinc is another mineral that plays a critical role in skin health, helping to control inflammation and maintain healthy immune function, which can improve skin's overall appearance. Copper, while needed in smaller amounts, is also important for skin health, as it helps to support collagen production and skin regeneration. Foods rich in these vitamins include:
Antioxidants: Antioxidants are essential for healthy skin as they protect the skin from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells, including those in the skin, leading to premature aging and a host of skin issues. Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals, reduce inflammation, and support healthy collagen production. Some of the most valuable antioxidants for skin health include vitamins A, C, and E, beta-carotene, selenium, and polyphenols. You can find these key antioxidants in the following foods:
Fruits - Specifically Blueberries
And even red wine!
Vegan Diets: If you are adhering to a vegan diet, you will want to be sure to include the following in your diet to ensure sufficient protein for collagen synthesis:
What to avoid for healthy skin
Now, let’s take a look at what you SHOULDN’T eat if you want to improve your skin’s health:
Highly processed foods
Foods rich in refined sugar
Dairy for acne-prone skin
These foods don’t provide the building blocks your body requires to repair and maintain your skin. When you replace these with healthy foods high in amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, you’ll notice a visible improvement in your skin’s quality and elasticity.
How to win the skin aging game
In addition to a balanced diet to support collagen synthesis and simulation, here are some other skincare principles to follow. First and foremost: sun protection. The sun’s rays break down collagen at a rate much faster than you can rebuild it, so protecting your skin with a mineral-based sunscreen is critical for effective anti-aging.
And clearly as outlined above, you need a balanced diet to support this increased collagen synthesis and stimulation. Your diet needs the components we discussed, such as sufficient protein, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and a complete source of amino acids to provide a healthy foundation for glowing skin.
Office-based treatments are an excellent third step to stimulate collagen. Regular microneedling, laser, and chemical peel sessions produce collagen and complement the results of your skincare routine.
Lastly, your skincare & topical agents matter and should include the following collagen stimulators:
How does Skincare fit in when it comes to stimulating collagen production?
The entire reason for putting skincare products on your face is to get your cells to produce collagen again. You are wasting your time and money if you’re not using a product that gets down to the cellular level and triggers the cells that boost collagen production.
When I formulated the Trifecta, I wanted to develop a product that stimulated collagen for the long run and was easy to use daily to reverse collagen loss over time. My simple, easy-to-follow skincare routine helps people change the signs of age while achieving luminous, supple skin. I built these products around getting the body to produce collagen again at a new level.
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