Skin ages in many ways. External factors (sun damage, pollution, free radical damage, smoking) and internal factors (oxygen depletion, collagen destruction, abnormal cell formation, decreased fat content, hormone depletion, immune suppression) all effect what we define as “aged skin”. Collagen and elastin both support the structure of the skin and contribute to its suppleness. As we age, they become less elastic and harden.
By providing the right nutrients, we can enhance our skin’s appearance even as we age. The following are crucial in one’s diet in order to maintain young, healthy looking skin:

Peptides
Short-chains of amino acids that function as messengers in the skin, allowing the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin to communicate more efficiently. Research has shown they stimulate the natural rebuilding process without irritating the skin. One peptide, hexapeptide-3, is being used as a topical alternative to Botox. These peptides relax facial muscles by limiting nerve signals that tell the muscles to contract.

GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid)
An amino acid that is found in the central nervous system considered to have muscle-relaxing properties. It is being used in skincare formulations to help smooth the appearance of frowns and expression lines.

Coenzyme Q10
An exceptional antioxidant that helps prevent damage to collagen and elastin. If applied topically, it will provide extra protection for skin and can produce dramatic anti-wrinkle affects.

Copper
An antioxidant that has the ability to stimulate collagen and elastin formation to help reduce sagging skin and fine lines. Copper improves skin strength as it thickens the dermis, resulting in firmer skin. It also helps increase blood vessel formation and oxygenation of the skin.

Vitamin A
Beneficial for hydrating and soothing the skin. Vitamin A also helps slow down the skin’s aging progress.

Vitamin C
An antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals, preventing further cell damage. Not enough Vitamin C can also weaken the epidermis which will result in wrinkling of the skin, dryness, loss of skin elasticity and pre-mature aging. It has also been shown to help slow the production of age spots.

Vitamin E
An effective natural, fat-soluble antioxidant that protects skin cells from environmental damage. Vitamin E also provides deep moisturizing and calms inflammation.

Jennifer Altamaniuk, RHN, is a holistic nutritionist and certified trainer, and has worked as a nutritionist at a gym. She has experience helping people with weight loss and meal planning. To set up a consultation, please contact Jennifer at the Mississauga store.