Wrinkles Age lines or Nutritional Sins
It is said that beauty is an inside job! Certain foods help the skin maintain its elasticity. If your skin is supple, your smiles or frowns can be rubbed off the face easily. But if your skin becomes dry, you get smile lines or frown lines imprinted on your face
Wrinkles usually form when the skin loses its elasticity. To some extent, it is a result of aging. They first appear around the eyes and the around the lips as in ‘laugh lines’. It is true that as we age our skin becomes dryer and thinner which leads to the formation of wrinkles. But nutritional blunders committed by us cause the same deterioration of the skin identical to that caused by aging.
One such blunder is an inadequate intake of vitamin C. It helps to form the connective tissue, makes the skin supple & prevents it from drying. You need to take at least 500mg of vitamin C daily to get its skin protecting benefit. This amount is available in a regular vitamin C supplement available in most pharmacies. Natural sources of vitamin C include guava, oranges, capsicums, cabbage, grape fruit, sour lime, papaya etc.
Over exposure to the sun is another factor that dries up the skin. The ultra-violent – A rays that are present all day long are responsible for this damage. Sunbathing, fortunately, is not a major pass time here in India, but normal day today activities like walking in the sun, driving, marketing can cause sun damage & dry up your skin.
Smoking makes your skin more vulnerable to wrinkles. Smoking causing constriction of the arteries, thus reducing the oxygen & other nutrient delivery to the cells. Reduced nutrients & oxygenation to the cells causes them to dry up. Furthermore, every cigarette uses up at least 20mg of vitamin C. A chain smoker is therefore deficient in Vitamin C, which affects the connective tissue of the skin & makes it wrinkle & sag.
Tips to prevent premature wrinkles
- Drink a glass of vegetable juice like a carrot (1) + cucumber (1) + beetroot (1) or fruit juice like orange (1) + sweetlime (2) juice every day. These juices provide your body with antioxidants like vitamin C & A and bioflavinoids, which help the body to fight against free radical activity & prevent cellular damage to the cells.
- In order to keep your skin hydrated you must drink at least 8-10 glasses of water. This helps to flush away toxins & discourages the formation of wrinkles.
- Practice skin-cleansing routine regularly. For e.g to clean large pores effectively, you could rub a mashed tomato over your face. It is rich in enzymes, which go deep into the pores, & cleans out dirt & excess oil.
- The B-vitamins along with the mineral zinc help in maintaining a healthy skin texture. You can take a supplement containing them regularly.
- If you have a dry skin try eating a bowl of low-fat curd for Breakfast along with 6-8 almonds. In addition to this, prepare a mixture of crushed grapes & honey. Make a paste and apply it to your face. Leave it for 20-30 minutes & then rinse it off. Grapes are a good source of alpha hydroxy acids and collagen (a protein, that holds the skin together), which helps to prevent premature wrinkles.
- Avoid washing your face with soap. Use soap free, face wash instead. This prevents depletion of the natural oils in your skin & thus prevents it from drying up.
- Exercise helps to improve circulation. Better blood circulation means better bioavailability of nutrients and oxygen & a better skin glow.
- Stress is also known to precipitate premature wrinkles formation. Vitamin E is useful at such stressful periods. Wheat germ, almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, soyabeans are a good sources of vitamin E.
- Supplements of GLA (gama linolemic acid) help in preventing the skin from dryness & thus help prevent premature wrinkle formation.
Your skin is a reflection of what you choose to eat & the life style that you follow. Beauty does begin with good health!
ANJALI MUKERJEE, Nutritionist, Founder Director-Health Total, having health centers in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune -manages obesity & other health related disorders.