Skin damage that leads to signs of aging begins long before those wrinkles start to show. Skin cells continually fight to keep our largest organ functioning properly. Unfortunately, damage to these cells accumulates over time and signs of aging appear when the body can't fight signs of aging as effectively.
Although we're probably all familiar with typical signs of aging, you may not know them all! Signs of aging skin include:
Dark spots. These “sun spots” or “age spots” are really darkening of the skin (hyperpigmentation) caused by the sun.
Open pores. Pores can become full of oil, dust and dirt when not properly cleaned regularly.
Dull, dry skin. With the loss of hormones and hyaluronic acid the skin losses its ability to lock in and hold water.
Lines and wrinkles. Collagen holds our skin up and allows for its elasticity. After age 40 collagen production declines 1% a year, and is accelerated after menopause. The first five years after menopause, women loose 30% of their collagen.
Patchy skin. Melanin declines as age advances, leaving a patchy color to the skin.
Sagging skin. Muscle mass decreases with age, leaving the sag since it can not attach as well to the fat that replaces muscle.
There are multiple factors that influence how your skin ages. Some of the main factors that contribute to aging skin include:
Exposure to UV radiation from the sun. Sun light accelerates the rate of collagen degradation beneath the skin’s surface. It increases free radical formation and increases stress in cells.
Declining hormone levels. Hormones help regulate cellular function, decrease inflammation, and promote blood flow to the skin.
Exposure to environmental toxins. As the largest organ, the skin’s job is to protect the rest of the body from the damaging light from the sun and from pollutants in the environment. Unfortunately, skin cells bear the brunt of this damage, carrying the burden of free radical formation and intracellular stress.
Elevated blood sugars. When we consume sugar it sets of a series of inflammatory reactions that damage collagen.
Eating a diet low in vegetables, fruits and healthy fats. Eating an anti-oxidant rich diet is essential to maintain skin health. Our skin cells suffer the damaging effects of oxidative stress daily, and they need the protective benefits from anti-oxidants to recover from this stress.
Not drinking enough water. Water is essential to maintain skin health. The skin is designed to hold water between the cells. When we are dehydrated, the skin will become dry and thin due to water loss.
A functional approach to skin care can help you beat aging and rejuvenate the skin once signs of aging appear. To implement a functional skin care program, follow the same principles as you do for whole body wellness and healing -- prevention, nutrition, and utilizing various personalized compounds or techniques to help the skin heal itself.
8 Functional Skin Care Steps You Can Take to Combat Aging Skin
1. Protect your skin.
When possible, avoid being out in the heat of the day, wear wide brimmed hats and SPF clothing when you are outside.
2. Use a mineral based sunscreen.
Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the most effective to prevent skin damage from the sun because they reflect all types of visible light rays from the sun. Mineral based sunscreen sits on the skin and is not absorbed. It created a physical barrier between your skin and the sun that deflects all forms of visible light.
Here is a link to our favorite mineral based sun sunscreens, Eryfotona Ageless, which is also tinted and can be used to even out skin tone.
3. Eat the rainbow!
The skin loves anti-oxidant rich foods, minerals, and protein. Eating the rainbow of colors helps us avoid the sugars and get the nutrients we need so that our cells can fight free radicals, maintain healthy DNA. Some of the best foods to eat to maintain beautiful skin include: carrots, apricots, oranges, spinach, leafy greens, beans, peas, lentils, salmon and fatty fish.
4. Boost your collagen.
Supplementing your skin care routine with a high quality collagen powder can improve your skin’s appearance. Collagen powder helps to improve your skin fro the inside out. Here is a link to our favorite collagen powder. It's an easy, delicious, and simple way to boost your skin's health.
5. Drink your water.
A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. You can significantly transform the appearance of your skin simply by hydrating consistently. If you want to mix it up, you can infuse your water with fruits and vegetables like cucumbers and strawberries to create delicious water that you can't wait to drink!
6. Balance your hormones.
If you are menopausal and concerned about your hormone levels, contact us to schedule a Functional Medicine visit to discover your hormone levels and develop a safe and effective integrative treatment plan.
7. Order custom skin care solutions to meet your personal needs.
Compounding pharmacists can create formulas made to address your personal skin care concerns. Ingredients such as peptides, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories, cell regenerators, moisturizers and safe skin lightening agents can all be tailored and customized.
We offer Skin Consultations to help you design a formula unique to address your needs. Skin sensitivities and allergies can be honored while still creating an effective formula and avoiding toxic ingredients.
8. Turn on your body’s natural healing cascade.
Microchanneling is a safe and effective technique that both stimulates the skin’s natural healing cascade and allows for delivery of topical healing serums deep into the skin to help transform the skin's health and appearance.
Stimulate collagen production, even out skin tone, minimize the appearance of scars, and repair fine lines and wrinkles with microchanneling. To learn more about microchanneling, watch this video or click the image below.
Addressing aging skin through a functional approach offers an inside-out treatment plan that will provide optimal results. A plan that is focused just on botox or fillers (surface only) is like exercising without changing your diet. Results may be noticed, but they can be amplified with a well rounded strategy.
At Elevate Functional Medicine, we are passionate about helping you address aging skin at the root cause. We have created both an At Home 3 Month Microchanneling Package and an Anti-Aging Skin Care Package to meet your personal needs. Click here to learn more.