A major factor in ageing is chronic systemic inflammation which produces free-radicals that break down collagen and the skin matrix. Inflammation can be useful in an acute situation and but a long-term inflammation that simmers silently in the background results in chronic health conditions, poor wound healing and signs of ageing like wrinkles, sagging skin and thinning skin.
Various lifestyle factors can contribute to chronic systemic inflammation like stress, poor sleep, eating a diet high in refined sugar and carbohydrates, spending too much time in the sun and chronic exposure to toxins and chemicals.
Here are 5 natural anti-ageing tips.
Exfoliate with sugar
Consuming sugar in the diet can contribute to inflammation and signs of ageing but using sugar externally in the form of a body scrub may have wonderful anti-ageing benefits. As we age our dead skin cells don’t shed as easily which can lead to a build up. Sugar is a powerful yet gentle exfoliator which helps to remove dead skin cells and allows moisture to be absorbed into the skin. It is also source of glycolic acid that penetrates the skin and encourages cell turnover.
Moisturise with coconut oil
Coconut oil is wonderful to eat but it can also be used on the skin with amazing anti-ageing results. It contains vitamins A and E which are needed for the production of collagen which strengthens the skin and prevents sagging. When coconut oil is absorbed by the skin it smoothes out fine lines and wrinkles all while giving you a healthy and youthful glow.
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
Eating a diet that is rich in colourful fruits and vegetables and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fatty fish, nuts and seeds is a powerful way to combat chronic inflammation. Fruits and vegetables with vibrant red, purple and orange colours are rich in anti-oxidants which protect us from free-radical damage. Avoiding refined sugar and carbohydrates and fried foods with damaged vegetables oils is just as important as including beneficial foods if we want to avoid inflammation and cellular damage.
Eat more protein
Consuming enough protein in the diet is essential for our body to have adequate raw materials to form new cells. This is true for collagen and elastin, two skin components which form the supportive dermis of the skin. Aim to eat 1-1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
There are various teas, whether traditional or herbal, which are rich in antioxidants and help us to slow down the effects of ageing. Green tea and ginger tea are two of the most useful in this regard. Green tea is rich in the antioxidant EGCG that protects our body from free-radical damage. Ginger tea, in the form of raw or dried ginger, is rich in the antioxidant gingerol which reduces inflammation and helps to prevent collagen breakdown.