(BPT) – You’re probably aware that consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain, and that sugar is linked to a range of health problems, including diabetes. But did you know that sugar also can make you look old? Or that dehydration can damage your skin? Some surprising factors affect your skin, but some simple changes to your beauty routine can help combat the impact aging has on your body and skin.
Defying your AGEs
Excess sugar in your body creates a substance known as “advanced glycation end-products” – AGEs – which can damage your skin. Glycation occurs when sugars bind with proteins, causing your skin to become stiff and less elastic. These effects can cause wrinkles, crow’s feet and age spots.
In addition to managing your sugar intake, adjusting your daily skin care routine can help combat the effects of AGEs. A popular product is TruAge Skin AGE Therapy Gel by Morinda. Using natural ingredients in a proprietary formula, the lightweight gel promotes healthy collagen and elastin growth, moisturizes skin and also disrupts AGE formation.
“Glycation is responsible for virtually every sign of aging and can have a devastating effect on the skin,” says Kira Davis, product line manager for Morinda. “Improving your skin’s appearance and boosting its protective layer can be as simple as adjusting your daily skin care routine to help fortify its natural defenses against AGEs.”
Maximizing your moisture
Dehydration can cause skin to lose elasticity – so much so that doctors routinely use a simple skin-pinch test to quickly determine if a person is dehydrated. The condition can cause a host of health problems, some serious and some less concerning. Dry, itchy skin, for example, can be caused by dehydration.
It’s important to hydrate your body inside and out. Use a quality moisturizer daily. During summer months – or if you spend a lot of time outdoors year-round – choose a moisturizer that also blocks ultraviolet sunlight. Ideally, you should drink plenty of water. If that’s not possible – or you don’t care for the taste of water – choose non-caffeinated liquids such as skim milk or light fruit juices. You also can help hydrate your body by eating fruits and vegetables that have a naturally high water content, such as watermelon, cucumbers, celery and tomatoes.
Nurturing healthier skin with nutrition
Skin is influenced as much by what goes on inside your body as what it encounters on the outside. If you’re unhappy with how your skin looks, some simple dietary changes can help improve your appearance and benefit your overall health as well.
Free radicals are unstable molecules produced as a side-effect to the body’s use of oxygen. Antioxidants may stop or limit the amount of damage free radicals cause in your body, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. The National Institutes of Health say that fruits and vegetables are good sources of antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins C, E and A. Blueberries and strawberries are high in antioxidants, as are greens such as kale and spinach. Tomatoes contain lycopene and are a wonderful ingredient in a variety of dishes, so be sure to incorporate them in your diet.
Finally, look for foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, avocados and some types of nuts. One of the many benefits of omega-3s is that they nurture the outer layer of your skin so it can more effectively protect you.
You can’t turn back the clock, but making a few small changes in your beauty routine – such as incorporating AGE-fighting products and boosting hydration – can help combat the effects aging has on your body and skin.