Your skin is important – for your health and your looks. If you don’t want to look older than you actually are, look after your skin – your skin is most people’s metric for estimating your age. So, what can you do to delay skin ageing?
1. Sleep well
Skin cells produce collagen when we are asleep. Good sleepers typically look younger than they might otherwise, while bad sleepers lose more water from their skin. Interestingly, those who get enough sleep daily also have a better perception of how they look. Chronic sleep deprivation is detrimental to your skin health. According to the National Institute on Aging, older adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
2. Hydrate often
Dry skin is notoriously prevalent in older adults. The NHS Eatwell Guide suggests we should drink six to eight cups of water a day, others suggest two litres. However, your individual needs may vary depending on your overall health, the medications/supplements you take and your level of activity. Another way to improve your skin hydration is to apply a moisturiser. Moisturisers trap water in your skin’s outermost layer, giving it a youthful appearance.
Exercise nourishes your skin cells, clears toxins from the skin and reduces stress. Aerobic exercise (including walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling) has been shown to increase the skin’s collagen content in previously sedentary older adults.
4. Limit alcohol intake
Alcohol increases inflammatory chemicals in the skin, and drinking too much alcohol causes dry skin – alcohol is a diuretic (i.e., a substance that increases urine output). Consuming more than eight alcoholic drinks per week is associated with increased upper facial lines, under-eye puffiness, oral commissures, midface volume loss, and visible blood vessels. If you do want to indulge now and again, make sure not to go overboard.
5. No smoking
Smoking is bad for you in so many ways, including negatively impacting skin health and accelerating skin ageing. Nicotine—the main addictive substance in tobacco products—promotes skin cell death and impairs blood flow to the skin. Vaping can actually be just as detrimental to your skin as smoking cigarettes. According to a 2021 study, e-cigarettes contain as much nicotine as conventional cigarettes.
6. Collagen supplements
A growing body of evidence supports the use of oral supplements to reduce signs of (or delay) skin ageing. A 2018 randomised trial of two groups of females aged at least 40 years old found that after six weeks and 12 weeks skin hydration and improvement in wrinkles were significantly higher in the group receiving collagen. And according to a 2022 review, oral collagen supplements improve skin elasticity and hydration and decrease wrinkling and roughness.
Many tablet supplements contain small quantities of collagen. Liquid supplements such as Cutizana from Clinic Nutrition, contain 10,000mg of Types 1 & 2 collagen per serving, which provides the essential amino acids for the production of collagen, elastin and keratin. Summary To look youthful, look after your skin – hydration, sleep, nutrition, and exercise are all important.
Polly Clarke is from Clinic Nutrition Ltd., which produces a range of high-quality, broad-spectrum liquid supplements that are supplied to clinics, and direct to the consumer. These include Vitaliti (for general health and wellbeing), Cartonica (for joint health) and Cutizana (for hair, nails and skin).