Everyone wants to appear youthful, especially when it comes to the skin. Various methods exist now to give the appearance of youthful and buoyant skin -- from vampire facelifts, to literally injecting the most toxic substance known to man, to the various anti-aging skin care products and supplements that exist in the market today. It seems like people would cease at nothing to achieve youthfulness. Yet does it all work? Cosmetic surgery/procedures aside, how does one maintain youthful, smooth and buoyant skin?
You are not a car
In this world, we are exposed to various forces: the sun, weather, bad habits that slowly wear us out as we age. Logically, it is not surprising that we age, become weaker and eventually die; after a certain point, after all, a car will eventually break down after many years of use. But a car is not a living thing. Living things heal when they are hurt. When you have a wound, eventually it heals up. Why doesn't the body just heal whatever damage is inflicted?
A lot of it has to do with the DNA
Many studies show the link between DNA damage and aging. The DNA is like a blueprint that holds all the information to build you. Sure, you can rebuild any damaged parts if you have the blueprint, but if the blueprint itself gets damaged... eventually you will not be able to repair the object anymore.
Free radicals and DNA damage
Free radicals are one way that DNA gets damaged. Free radicals are molecules that are missing an electron, so they really want one and when they meet another molecule, snatches the other molecule's electron. This makes the other molecule a free radical (since it's missing an electron now), so now it's going around trying to snatch another electron. This chain reaction is known as oxidative damage.
Your body produces free radicals as it respires, and it naturally has ways to handle the damage caused by free radicals. However, total avoidance of it is not possible, so the damage accumulates.
Antioxidants are molecules that stabilise the free radicals. They have extra electrons that they just give away willy-nilly to the free radicals, making them just good average citizens. This is how products with antioxidants work, and why it is important to eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables with plenty of antioxidants.
Avoid sugar, the consumption of sugar causes blood sugar levels to rise, which will cause glycation to occur. The end-products of this process is known to damage collagen, leading to dry and brittle skin.
There is evidence that exercise helps to slow down aging. The human body is a brutally efficient machine. What you don't use, you lose. In the past when humans needed to survive, wasted energy could mean death.
This is the reason why it is so hard to gain muscle mass, muscles take energy to maintain, and your body will try to conserve as much energy as it can.
Therefore, if you continuously use your body, your body will know that it has to do to maintain itself, activating mechanisms that will keep you and your skin youthful.
Doing light to moderate exercise will already bring about many benefits, so don't hesitate if you can't put in a lot of time, just do it!
Stress is a strong contributor to the aging process. Being constantly under stress will make you age faster. Stress places your body in a "fight-or-flight" mode, where stress hormones are released into your bloodstream, making you temporarily more resilient, but slowly damaging you.
Use Natural Products
Products made from natural ingredients naturally contain a broad spectrum of nutrients and antioxidants that can be absorbed through the skin. Just like with anything you eat, our bodies more readily absorb nutrients when it comes in it's natural forms (your body absorbs more vitamin A from carrots than a pill).
This is in contrast with many conventional products, that are comprised of different chemical formulations. Conventional products will only have antioxidants if specifically added, even then, it is usually in small doses. Since aging is all about slow accumulating damage, preservatives in conventional products will also slowly contribute to the process.
Aging and the Skin
Aging is an unavoidable process that every living thing has to go through. To keep your skin youthful and smooth, it is important that you take care of your general health!
Eat well, sleep well, manage your stress levels, exercise, and of course moisturise daily and you will be able to delay the aging process and keep your skin smooth and supple for as long as possible.