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Collagen and elastin fibers are the building blocks within your skin’s structure. Collagen is the main protein that keeps your skin firm, smooth, and youthful. Elastin, also an important protein, gives your skin its bounce and resiliency.
Unfortunately, as you age your collagen and elastin production slows way down and the fibers can become brittle causing your skin to look older. Enzymes in your skin, which are meant to cleanup damaged collagen and elastin fibers, continue to do their job but new collagen production just can’t keep up.
Free radicals from sun exposure, pollutants, an unhealthy diet, smoking, alcohol, and stress also wreak havoc on your collagen and elastin. They attack and destroy healthy cells leaving a path of destruction in their wake.
There are things you can do to help protect your skin and prevent lines and wrinkles from appearing way before their time and encourage younger looking skin.
1. Eat plenty of protein. Because collagen and elastin are crucial proteins within your skin you need to make sure you are consuming enough protein in order to keep your collagen production strong and healthy. As a vegetarian, I know how challenging this can be. Just make sure you make a concerted effort to eat protein dense foods such as eggs, cheese, milks (cow, goat, soy), yogurt, chia seeds, nuts, and beans, while meat eaters can include lean meats, poultry, and fish.
2. Consume antioxidant rich foods. Antioxidants have the ability to protect your skin from free radical attacks. They scavenge free radicals and keep them from causing damage to healthy cells. Fruits, veggies, beans, and nuts are all great antioxidant sources.
3. Consider using an LED light therapy unit at home. LED light therapy units such as the DPL Therapy System (red/infrared) and the Caribbean Sun Skin Rejuvenation Light (red/yellow) use LED technology to penetrate deep into the layers of the skin where the wavelengths set into motion more than 24 positive processes, one of which is an increase in collagen and elastin production.
4. Use skin care products that promote collagen production. There are specific skin care ingredients that have been proven to stimulate collagen and elastin production such as; vitamin C, retinol, and peptides. Vitamin C is great during the day because it also serves as a powerful antioxidant protecting your skin from free radicals as well as increasing collagen production. Retinol should be worn at night because sun exposure causes this anti-aging ingredient to break down resulting in free radicals. Peptides can be applied both in the morning and in the evening.
5. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen….. Okay, so this one goes without saying. Sunscreen is a crucial step in the prevention of lines and wrinkles. Sun exposure is the number one cause of premature aging in the skin so make sure to include an SPF 30 sunscreen in your daily routine year round.
Are you going to continue to age with time? Yes, of course, but by taking some measures to protect your skin you can actually look years younger than your true age.