Keeping your skin healthy, youthful, radiant and wrinkle-free can be a struggle, but there are ways to minimize the effects of damaging inflammatory chemicals at the cellular level.
These five tips will help reduce chronic inflammation in your body to help combat fine lines and wrinkles:
1) Sleep - Don't skimp on sleep! When you're sleep deprived, it does crazy things to your metabolism, glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, leading to food cravings high in fat and carbs... and inflammation in your body. No bueno for your waistline or your skin.
Your skin cells repair and renew themselves at night when you're deep in your zzz's, specifically between the hours of 10 pm and 2 am (when the greatest physiological repair occurs).
Inflammation and stress from lack of sleep translates to puffy eyes, a bloated mid-section and wrinkled, dull-looking skin.
Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep a night, so try your hardest to get it in. Your skin and body will thank you. More sleep tips here.
2) Exercise - People who exercise sleep better. I'm sure you've heard that a million times before, but it's true. You'll not only fall asleep faster, you'll sleep more deeply, wake up less during the night, and sleep a lot longer.
Working out is extremely important for your health and beauty. Studies upon studies have proven that working out helps whittle down your middle, lowers your blood pressure, boosts your metabolism and improves your mood (hello endorphins).
Getting your sweat on also benefits your skin the same way it improves bone and muscle quality. You'll have healthier collagen, and a healthy glow from increased blood flow and circulation.
Moving your body has a powerful, positive and anti-inflammatory effect on ALL your cells. And a little bit of effort goes a long way, so if you feel like you don't have time to hit the gym, take brisk walks or have a little dance party at home :)
More benefits of beauty benefits of exercise here.
3) Avoid starches and sugar - These foods cause a rapid raise your blood sugar and insulin levels which leads to serious inflammation in your body.
Pro-inflammatory foods speed up the aging process, which causes sagging, wrinkled skin, dark under eye circles, decreased elasticity, increased pore size and puffiness in the face.
Foods that are pro-inflammatory include all forms of starchy and or sugary processed foods - breads, baked goods, pasta, pastries, soft drinks, juices, etc.
The only true way to get beautiful, wrinkle-free skin is to choose foods that are fresh and unprocessed. Add more fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, healthy grains, beans, lentils and healthy fats to your diet.
Learn more about why you should breakup with sugar here.
4) Too much sun - We all need a some Vitamin D to stay healthy and strong, but too much exposure dries out your skin, decreases elasticity and changes your complexion completely.
UV radiation plays a huge role in the aging of your skin and the development of skin cancer. The excess exposure releases pro-inflammatory substances that release collagen-digesting proteins, resulting in macro-scarring ... aka wrinkles.
If you're planning on spending a ton of time outdoors in the sun, make sure to protect your skin with sunscreen.
To learn about foods that prevent sun damage, check it out here.
5) Stress - Stress is your skin's #1 enemy. It's the one thing that'll accelerates aging like no other - and it's the cause of a ton of skin issues.
Stress causes hormonal changes in your body, altering the cellular function in your vital organs. It releases the stress hormone, cortisol, which is toxic to your system. It not only ages you, it affects your brain cells, increases body fat, makes your skin look awful, elevates blood sugar, causes bone loss and negatively impacts your immune system.
High levels of cortisol leads to decreased elasticity and plumpness of the skin, accelerating skin wrinkling.
Find more ways to relax and reduce stress - working out at the gym, meditate, spend time with loved ones, etc. It'll do you body good in more ways than one.
6) Too much alcohol - Alcohol is extremely dehydrating for your body and causes inflammation throughout your body.
Drinking too much causes damage to the body on a cellular level, causing the small blood vessels in your skin to widen. That can lead to broken capillaries on your face.
And since alcohol dehydrates you in ways that can't be counteracted with an increased intake of water, your skin becomes more prone to fine lines and wrinkles, dullness, enlarged pores and loss of elasticity.
Moderation is key. Alcohol creates an unhealthy appearance to the skin that lasts for days. Just remember to stay well-hydrated and to drink with meals (as opposed to before).
Drinking on an empty stomach causes your blood sugar to spike, which exacerbates inflammation throughout your body.