8 Nutrition and Exercise Mistakes That Age Your Skin
Eating too much sugar certainly isn’t wise for your waistline, but overindulging in dessert can also add years to your face. That’s why good nutrition is important in keeping your skin looking youthful. For example, the natural ingredients in whole foods such as romaine lettuce and strawberries help increase cell turnover, and boost production of collagen fibers to help keep skin smooth and firm. Conversely, foods with little-to-no nutritional benefits, like sugar-packed doughnuts, can actually damage the collagen and elastin that keep skin firm and less prone to wrinkles. These aging effects start at about age 35 and increase rapidly after that.
As well, if you do strenuous cardio workouts each week, you’ll be missing out on potential skin-protective and anti-aging body benefits if your schedule doesn’t include yoga, weight training, and rest.
Find out if you’re making one of these 8 common nutrition and exercise mistakes—and learn what to do instead.
- You overdo dessert.
The breakdown of sugars, called glycation, damages the collagen that keeps skin smooth and firm. To prevent this natural process from careening out of control, stick to low-glycemic carbs like whole grains; they’re naturally low in sugar, and the body processes them slowly to limit the loss of collagen. If you want to sweeten up your tea or oatmeal without making your skin look older, try all-natural stevia. It’s an easily digested herbal sweetener that doesn’t trigger glycation.
- You spin away stress.
Taking your work angst out on the bike or treadmill might make you feel better for a little while, but incorporating yoga into your fitness routine regularly may help you look younger and prevent breakouts while whittling away stress. Yoga moves like Child’s Pose, Downward-Facing Dog, and Sun Salutations improve circulation—the boost of oxygen is what gives skin that lovely yoga glow. Research shows regular yoga practice may reduce the inflammation and stress that speed skin aging.
- You always choose coffee.
Research suggests that green and black tea contain protective compounds—like EGCG and theaflavins—that help prevent skin cancers and the breakdown of collagen, the cause of wrinkles.
- You never lift.
Following a regular strength-training routine that creates better, more supportive muscle tone will help you firm sagging skin from the neck down. A lot of procedures to tighten skin can be helped by adding weight training to your workout regimen.
- Your meat isn’t organic.
Hormones in traditionally produced dairy, poultry, and meat may contribute to acne. Patients who eat those less frequently—or at least choose grain-fed beef and poultry and organic dairy—often notice that their skin looks better.
- Your eat foods that are too acidic.
If your body is too acidic, which can happen when your diet is unbalanced, it leaches the alkaline minerals, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, that allow us to have strong, healthy bones, teeth, and hair. Choose alkaline-forming foods, such as parsley, almonds, kale, pears, lemons, and apples to keep your skin in balance.
- You don’t take a break from working out.
When your exercise routine is so intense that you’re tired all the time but can’t sleep at night, you’re setting yourself up for overuse injuries—not to mention dark circles and bags under your eyes from those sleepless nights. These symptoms could be a sign of overexhaustion. Other clues that you’re working out too much include extreme muscle soreness that persists for several days, unintended weight loss, an increased resting heart rate, interruptions in your menstrual cycle, or decreased appetite. This can all lead to chronic inflammation of the skin. The solution? Plan your rest as well as you plan exercise.
- You drastically cut fat.
When your diet isn’t balanced, your skin, hair, and nails will suffer. Cutting calories can deprive your body of certain nutrients that promote healthy cell division, cell regeneration, and overall skin tone and texture. The skin also requires essential fatty acids—which the body can’t produce on its own—to maintain hydration. A diet that’s too low in fat could cause dry skin, hair loss, and brittle nails.
Other key youth-boosting nutrients include vitamins A, C, and E. Being deficient in A can cause acne, dry hair, dry skin, and broken fingernails. Get your daily vitamin A fix by eating five baby carrots each day. A lack of vitamin C can affect collagen synthesis. Incorporate vitamin C–rich foods in the form of citrus fruits, brussels sprouts, peppers, and leafy greens. Low levels of vitamin E can result in easy bruising and cause chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis to flare up. Get more vitamin E in your diet by eating almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, spinach, and fortified cereals.
To learn more about how to keep you and your skin beautiful, book a free consultation at Rox Spa Beverly Hills at 310-777-0496.