As we age, our skin wrinkles naturally as it begins to lose its collagen and elasticity. The process is accelerated by sun exposure, poor nutrition, stress, a lack of muscle tone, and smoking. Our harsh Canadian climate can hasten that process. While we may be predisposed to wrinkles due to genetics and our facial expressions, there are natural ways to slow down time’s effect on our skin.
Healthy, whole food provides a well-rounded, balanced supply of nutrients that is most beneficial to our health. That said, it can be tough to ingest everything that is good for us on a regular basis. Supplements, especially those derived from natural sources, are a convenient, effective way to kick it up a notch.
Note of Caution: Before adding natural supplements to your diet, it’s important to discuss it with your doctor to avoid interactions or contraindications.
Anti-Wrinkle Herbs and Supplements
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a natural amino acid that declines as we age. Supplementing it will help prevent skin and muscle changes that lead to wrinkles.
Quercetin prevents wrinkles by preventing collagen matrix breakdown in connective tissue.
Omega-3 fatty acids aid in wrinkle prevention by protecting the cell membrane, improving dry skin, and reducing inflammation.
Lycopene protects the skin against damage and increases collagen production.
Acerola contains mineral salts that support alpha-hydroxy acids for maximum skin rejuvenation. Most formulas also include Vitamin C.
Seaweed is packed with antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins, and more than 50 minerals and trace elements. It can be used both internally and externally to prevent wrinkles by supporting rejuvenation, protecting and healing skin cells, preventing inflammation, and overall vascular support to prevent skin discolouration.
Soy Isoflavones like Genistein protect against sun damage.
Panax ginseng improves skin and muscle tone.
Probiotics have shown great promise in skin care in numerous studies. The anti-aging benefits include increased collagen, skin hydration, sun protection, and the overall reduction of fine lines. It’s important to choose a brand that encapsulates to protect the probiotics from stomach acid.
Evening Primrose Oil offers Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) and fatty acids, along with anti-inflammatory properties.
Equisetum arvense (Horsetail) is an excellent source of silicon. Silicon can become depleted as we age, exacerbating the effects of skin aging.
- Vitamin A accelerates skin cell renewal.
- Vitamin B complex can reduce fine lines, improve skin tone, reduce skin discolouration, and prevent inflammation.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant that also helps to repair connective tissue in the skin.
- Vitamin E helps to heal the skin and protects against free radicals.
As I mentioned above, the best supplements contain nutrients from natural sources. I’m a fan of the Rainbow Light line of natural supplements, including their Multivitamin. They include “super foods”, natural antioxidants, and plant-sourced enzymes in the vitamin/mineral blend.
Antioxidants protect against free radicals that cause skin damage and wrinkles. Some of the above natural, anti-wrinkle supplements are powered by antioxidants.
Other super-sources of antioxidants:
- Green Tea
- Coenzyme Q10
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
- Grape seed extract
- Fruits & vegetables high in antioxidants include dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries and pomegranate.
??? Do you have any natural ways of looking younger? Please share your tips and tricks in the comments below.
Ann Yelmokas McDermott, PhD. Nutritionist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. Tufts University, Boston.
Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Herbal Healing. 2012.
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