How to combat ageing
After the age of 40, your skin can start to lose its elasticity and the body its vitality. While ageing is a natural process, it can be exacerbated by lifestyle choices.
Diet is the most important factor in the fight against ageing. To keep skin smooth and supple, it must be protected against free radicals. Antioxidants in food can help prevent premature ageing. You should have a diet that is rich in:
- Vitamin C, which is essential for the production of collagen (a protein that gives skin its strength and elasticity). Foods containing large amounts of vitamin C include blackcurrants, kiwis, oranges and parsley.
- Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps regenerate cells. It can be found in sunflower oil, wheat germ, almonds and hazelnuts.
- Selenium, which we now know plays a key role in protecting against free radicals. It is present in seafood, nuts and wholegrain cereals.
Dietary supplements can also boost levels of vitamins and trace elements.
Regular exercise is essential for maintaining health and vitality. It protects the heart, maintains muscle mass and strengthens bones (preventing osteoporosis). It also minimises weight gain. Walking briskly for thirty minutes every day is highly recommended.
Ageing skin is a natural biological process caused by age. However, it can be accelerated by external factors:
- Sun exposure: The sun damages skin cells by encouraging free radicals, causing the appearance of age spots and wrinkles. Sun is the primary cause of skin stress and ageing. Stay out of the sun when it is strongest, and regularly apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
- Smoking: Smoking is the second cause of skin ageing after sun exposure. By increasing the production of free radicals, smoking speeds up the skin’s normal ageing process. Skin becomes dull and lifeless, and fine lines begin to appear, especially around the eyes and mouth.
- Drinking: Alcohol can also take away the skin’s natural glow and speed up the ageing process.
Dr. Gilles Brami