5 Ways to Age Gracefully

Today we're talking all about our skin and aging. Believe it or not, there are ways to age gracefully (and let's get real-- aging isn't bad, so why does our culture make it out to be a terrible thing?! Maybe we need to embrace the fact that we get better with time!) 

First we're going to dig into the 3 layers of our skin.

Epidermis: this is our outermost layer, is a waterproof barrier and what makes up our "skin tone"-- both color, feel and firmness.

Dermis: this is our middle layer of skin and has hair follicles, sweat glands, connective tissue, and oil glands. In this layer is the ECM full of proteins (stands for the extracellular matrix) and it contains collagenenzymes, and glycoproteins. This is what is responsible for our skin's elasticity.

Hypodermis: this is made of fat and connective tissue.


The reason we age is because over time, the dermis looses it's elasticity because of the breakdown of the ECM. And I was surprised to learn at what age! The Huff Post says "The body produces collagen naturally and it is in abundance when young, but unfortunately production starts to decline at about age 25, and continues. It decreases even more in women after menopause." 25?! This is crazy! The decrease of collagen leads to the unwanted wrinkles and loose skin.

25 is the age we should really start taking preventative measures like developing a skincare routine, using an eye cream, getting professional facials, wearing sunscreen religiously, and more that we'll talk about below. By menopause our top two layers of skin get even thinner and the production of hyaluronic acid, which is a gooey substance in your skin meant to keep your skin hydrated and moist (everyone's favorite word ;)), also decreases.

So, are we all doomed?! Of course not ;) But let's talk about why our skin could be aging more quickly and then I'll give you some ways to prevent it!

Why Our Skin Ages:

This shouldn't be a surprise, since we've already talked about how any 5 sunburns can increase your chance of skin cancer by 50%. Sun rays are the culprit for many things-- skin cancer, irritation with certain products, fatigue, aging and more. Essentially, the UV light that penetrates our skin breaks down the ECM in the dermis.

The toxins we breathe in and out each day do affect our overall body's health. This is one reason why I have tried to cut out all harmful / harsh cleaning chemicals from our home. Breathing in ash from fires or lots of smog are also things to be aware of.

WEB MD says "For instance, smoking can produce free radicals, once-healthy oxygen molecules that are now overactive and unstable. Free radicals damage cells, leading to, among other things, premature wrinkles." 

I think you get the picture! 

So what can you do to age more gracefully?! Here are some tips:

In case you're not picking up on this, it is super important to block harmful UV rays from our skin! I choose Mineral Sunscreen for a number of reasons I told you about here. I loved this instagram post from Beautycounter. Who's with me?!

Did you know that your skin produces collagen when you sleep?! It's part of the repair process, so make sure you're getting enough rest. Stress wreaks havoc on your body in many ways, and one of those ways is by weakening the integrity of your collagen since it is an inflammatory.

Find a good collagen peptide supplement -- it's great for your hair, skin and nails.

Water helps our digestion, circulation, absorption, and excretion (yep, just went there!) Our skin is made up of cells and cells are made up of water. Without enough water our skin will be dry and flaky, not glowing and radiant like we want!

Yes, you probably knew we'd arrive here! I couldn't talk about our skin without addressing what we put directly on it. Just like what we put in our bodies effects the look and feel of our bodies, what we put on our skin effects the look and feel of our skin. A skincare routine (or regimen) is really important because using the same products in the right order can dramatically improve your skin!

Beautycounter has a couple different regimens (something for every skin type!) but I've been so excited to tell you about Beautycounter's newest collection called Countertime. Instead of using what most people consider anti-aging products holy grail (Retinol), Beautycounter developed our own Retinatural Complex, which is a blend of Bakuchiol and Swiss Alpine Rose. Bakuchiol repairs the skin without irritation and Swiss Alpine Rose protects the skin against dehydration and boosts skin's antioxidant defense.

I'll be back next week to tell you a little about each product in the regimen. 

If you have any tips for aging more gracefully, please share!!


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