We’re constantly bombarded with adverts in magazines showing off the latest “must have” trending skin care product with wild claims that often seem too good to be true. We don’t mean to burst your bubble, but more often than not they really are too good to be true, because, for example, you can’t reverse 40 plus years of sun damage overnight.
While the right skin care products certainly go a long way in helping to protect your skin against the signs of aging, it is simply one step in the process. Protecting your skin against aging free radicals comes down to a combination of factors that work in harmony together to slow down the aging process naturally. By following these steps on a daily basis, you’ll enjoy your healthiest and most radiant skin no matter your age!
Keep reading to learn more about the top aging culprits, as well as the best ways to fight them off without laying your hand on one chemically-laden product.
What is Extrinsic Aging?
Extrinsic Aging is a skin declining process caused by external factors, unlike intrinsic aging, which is the natural aging process, largely hereditary and controlled by genetics.
The most noteworthy external factors that contribute to extrinsic aging include smoking, air pollution, stress, diet and the sun’s damaging uv rays. In fact, UV exposure seems to be responsible for 80% of visible facial aging signs.
The good news is that because you have control over almost all these external factors, you have everything you need to protect your skin and prevent unnecessary premature aging. If you aren’t sure where to start then keep on reading!
How to protect and prevent against extrinsic aging
Fix your diet
One of the best things you can do to see real transformation in your skin, is to eat a clean diet. Every single thing you put into your mouth has an impact on the state of your skin so it only makes sense that if you’re filling your body with the wrong foods, you’re not going to like what you see when you look in the mirror. Processed, fatty and sugary foods all increase inflammation in the body, throwing off your sebum levels and increasing your risk of acne, as well as breaking down collagen and accelerating the aging process.
A clean diet, on the other hand, filled with whole, plant-based foods, antioxidants, healthy fats and an array of vitamins and minerals, will help to cleanse your system from the inside out so you can enjoy firmer, more youthful skin with an unrivaled glow.
Now before you think a clean diet is all about just eating salads, we’re here to tell you that eating healthier is anything but boring, as long as you know what foods to choose! We highly recommend following an anti-inflammatory diet to fight extrinsic aging caused by a poor diet. Here’s a scrumptious recipe to get you started!
Protect your skin with SPF
We know how important it is to slather on the sunblock when laying out by the pool or on the beach, but what about when you’re out on a picnic, going for a walk or even just running errands? Even a few minutes of unprotected exposure to the sun can cause skin damage, although it may take a few years to manifest.
Apart from reducing your skin cancer risk, proper SPF will ensure you give your skin its best chance to fight the damaging and aging effects of UV rays.
Choosing an SPF can be a little confusing, but just keep in mind that there are two main kinds. Chemical sunscreens are formulated with synthetic chemicals and work like a sponge by absorbing uv rays and neutralizing them, while physical sunblocks are formulated with all natural minerals and work like a barrier, bouncing rays off the skin and back into the environment.
To put into context just how harmful popular chemical sunscreens are, earlier this year the Hawaii state legislature passed a bill which banned sunscreen products containing two common chemicals: oxybenzone and octinoxate.
Naturally, we recommend mineral sunblocks, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, as they won’t affect your health or the environment! Always be sure to use an SPF of at least 30 or higher, which is the current recommendation from both the SCF and the AAD.
Stress is one of the worst things for not only your mental health, but your skin too. Usually your skin, during times of stress, reflects the inner turmoil you may be feeling.
Managing stress sounds simple enough, but we understand that it can be hard to know where to begin in the midst of chaos.
If you smoke, then the first thing we recommend is quitting sooner rather than later. If you’ve been meaning to quit for a while then what better time than now to put your plan into action? You may feel a sudden surge of calming endorphins flowing through you when you have a cigarette, but in reality, the harm it’s causing inside your body is only exacerbating your stress levels. Here are some helpful tips to help you quit naturally and safely.
Next, we recommend finding an activity that brings a sense of calm that you can easily incorporate into your daily ritual. If you love painting then set time aside in your schedule to let your creative juices flow every day. If meditation is your thing, be sure to start every day with a soothing practice. Other activities we recommend are yoga, time spent outdoors in nature, and sweating for at least 20 minutes a day. Exercise is vital for balancing stress levels, because it gets your heart pumping and your endorphins flowing, thus strengthening your heart and boosting your mood. A daily workout will help your body better manage stress and you’ll feel as if a load has been removed from your shoulders.
Follow up with a calming massage with our Tulsi Rejuvenating Oil with Lavender + Evening Primrose.
Apply topical nutrients
While filling your body with antioxidants through diet and supplements will help to protect your health and your skin, when it comes to preventing premature aging through extrinsic factors, it’s vital to apply antioxidants topically to your skin as well.
Many extrinsic factors exist, some which we can control (food we eat, choosing not to smoke and drink, and avoiding overexposure to the sun) and other factors which are harder to control (gravity, facial expressions, and sleeping position). All contribute to accelerated aging by way of free radical generation which attacks the skin cells and their ability to function properly.
Vitamin c is our favorite antioxidant vitamin for not only fighting off free radicals, but also for reducing inflammation, brightening the skin and helping to promote the formation of collagen.
You’ll find this excellent antioxidant in our Night Regenerative Balm, which contains other powerful antioxidants including prickly pear and CoQ10.
Sea Buckthorn Oil
Derived from the seeds of tiny, nutrient bursting berries, sea buckthorn is an antioxidant and fatty acid powerhouse.
Not only do we love the intoxicating aroma of this romantic and floral scent, we’re pretty excited that it has powerful antioxidant properties too!
Rose water is the base of our Rose Hydrating Toner with Hyaluronic Acid and Rooibos.
Harvested from the seeds of rose bushes, rosehip oil is jam packed in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fatty acids to smooth the skin, add deep hydration and correct dark spots.
Find it in our Rose Nourishing Serum
The first time we heard of acai, we were like “huh?” Then we found out it’s a berry even more concentrated in antioxidants than blueberries and we were blown away!
Acai will keep your skin looking youthful, fresh and beautifully radiant!
Find it along with ruby red hibiscus, dubbed the “Botox plant” for its anti-aging properties along with rosehip in our Hibiscus Exfoliating Mud.
Keeping your skin cells happy
Keep in mind as you follow the tips in this article that proper skin nutrition helps maintain a healthy skin barrier. Therefore, it’s vital to include a rainbow of antioxidants, vitamin E, A, and a variety of essential fatty acids in your skin health routine. Finally, even though you should protect your skin from too much sun exposure (to prevent damage), don’t take this as a warning to stay out of the sun completely! In fact, it’s important to participate in the daily ritual of sunbathing for your body to produce enough vitamin D. Typically the 1-2 hours after sunrise and before sunset are the safest when exposing your skin to the sun as this is when uv levels are typically at their lowest while still providing you with the benefits. It is the “Sunshine Vitamin” afterall!