Have you ever seen that person who looks 20 years older than they are? Not only do they appear just as such, but it can also be a sign of accelerated aging, which means an increased prevalence of chronic disease and early mortality. With the anti-aging skincare industry being a billion-dollar venture, it's pretty clear that many of us are looking to maintain that "youthful" appearance. The key to anti-aging is to take care of yourself - your entire self, not just topically with the skin on your face.
The stark reality is that we're all aging. Let's just do it better.
Anti-aging is not just a superficial thing. In my eyes, anti-aging means disease prevention and whole body health, in addition to taking care of your external appearance.
All too often, I see patients coming in complaining of issues that can very well be related to dehydrations. Not only can dehydration pronounce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but it can also be linked to headaches, nausea, over-eating, fatigue, mild depression and anxiety. Ideally we should be aiming for half our body weight in ounces of pure water daily, which looks like about 2-3 litres daily for the average adult.
You can even spice things up a bit and add in some lemon to your water for further gut and skin support if you're not naturally inclined to enjoy a glass of water. Carbonated water like San Pellegrino are also fine in moderation to entice you to drink a bit more.
Our bodies are pretty amazing machines are combatting inflammation in the body. However with the day in age we live in, we're exposed to far more chemicals and toxins than humans ever have been throughout existence. So what can you do?
Cut out chemical-laden and processed food products in your diet. Not only are these foods commonly devoid of proper nutrition, but some are even known carcinogens according to the World Health Organization. Some of these products include processed meats, aflatoxins (found in mouldy nuts and seeds) and alcohol (it's true...).
From an environmental perspective, do your best to avoid areas of obvious chemical environmental exposures. Don't go driving around the countryside with your windows open during spraying, or run right next to a freeway if it can at all be avoided. Limit your exposure to plastics, like the lid of your coffee cup every morning or the container you store your leftovers in and replace with glass if possible. It's the little things that can make the biggest difference for your health and the health of the environment.
Supplement-wise, I like products that help support inflammation-related biochemistry in your body. Products that have a high ORAC score are great anti-oxidants for your system, as well as products that support nrf2 activation in the body - which is helpful for us from an anti-cancer, anti-inflammation and anti-aging perspective. Two such products that I particularly like are Bend Beauty's fish oil and Metagenics' PhytoMulti - these are two supplements that I recommend to patients often. But just like anything, it's possible to go too far with antioxidants, to the point they will work as pro-oxidants in your body and promote more inflammation than they are reducing. This is something that's important to talk to your local naturopathic doctor about to make sure you're not overdoing it with the antioxidants in your supplement regime.
Support the Building Blocks
This means eat a nutrient dense diet with a proper amount of the building blocks like collagen and amino acids. If you don't already, I highly recommend making your own bone broth soup to help with this - it's chock full of collagen and amino acid called glycine (which as an added bonus is helpful for anxiety and mitigating the stress response). Nutrients like vitamins A and C are also great for your skin health. Foods rich in vitamin C are oranges, red peppers and kale, where foods rich in vitamin A are liver, red peppers, carrots and eggs.
If you feel you're not getting enough in your diet, I highly recommend supplementing with a quality collagen formula that's also complete with other nutrients important for tissue health. My favourite collagen is by Bend Beauty - you can read all about it here.
At the Clinic...
I love IV therapy and use it for a number of varying complaints. Skincare is no exception. IV therapy can support proper tissue hydration as well as provide a boost of nutrients involved in improving overall skin radiance. IV therapy is also useful for skin complaints such as acne and rosacea, with the use of higher doses of certain B vitamins and nutrients that have been clinically shown to improve these conditions. On average, I recommend six weekly IVs, with monthly maintenance thereafter if needed.
Micro needling is all the hype right now in skincare and with good reason - it's wonderful for supporting collagen growth as well as reducing the appearance of dark spots and scarring. But make sure you're getting your treatment with the right device as not all of them are made the same. I use a device called the eDermaStamp which is Health Canada approved and uses surgical grade needles to perform the treatment. If you'd like to learn more about what micro needling is and what the treatment entails, I highly recommend checking out the clip below where the eDermaStamp is explained on the Marilyn Denis show!