Why do we get wrinkles?
The appearance of wrinkles indicates progressive damage to the collagen and elastic fibers of the skin, encouraged by two factors:
- endogenous (inside our organism), namely genetic heritage, the physical-chemical characteristics of the skin and conditions of coetaneous microcirculation;
- exogenous (external), due to the environment and our habits, namely nutrition, stress, climatic elements (exposure to the sun and UV rays), atmospheric pollution and even several infections.
Stop those free radicals!
Cellular ageing is a form of damage, a loss of their efficacy, and this is also true for skin cells. The causes of ageing include free radicals, those molecules which form due to the continuous chemical reactions inside our body: the most significant are those which use oxygen to produce energy. It is clear that we cannot do without them, energy is vital for us, so the solution offered by nature to rebalance the level of these harmful molecules is provided by antioxidants. In short, free radicals cannot be avoided (it would be like wanting to burn wood without producing ash!), but they can be neutralized thanks to antioxidants. Where are the antioxidants? In the food we eat!
Healthy food – Wrinkles: 1 - 0
Food is the pitch where we play an important game against the onset of wrinkles, even if the results of the match are not visible immediately, but rather years later.
As a famous writer used to say, at age 50 each person has the face they deserve.
What to avoid
UV rays. They damage the skin, particularly the elastic part which gives firmness and is made primarily of collagen.
Alcohol. Alcoholic abuse causes deep dehydration, produces free radicals and quick aging not only of the skin, but of the entire organism.
Junk food. Fried foods, full of saturated fats are oxidized foods, which means that they are harmful for the skin and for our health. Junk Food = Early acne and wrinkles.
What to eat
Plenty of fruit and vegetables. Not just red, but every color! Other effective anti-wrinkle agents are flavonoids present in parsley, blueberries, black tea, wine, red onion and vitamin E, found above all in seeds and seed oil used raw. Vitamin C helps to regenerate collagen, which is necessary for skin tone.
Meat and fish! Bad news for vegans. Collagen is a protein of exclusively animal origin rich in amino acids such as glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. If it is true that vitamin C regenerates and helps the formation of collagen it is equally true that skin cells degraded by various factors can be repaired if collagen is introduced. The protein is also found in fish, but in decidedly lower quantities than in meat, milk and dairy products.
Cocoa. As you can see, preventing wrinkles is proving to be a pleasant task after all. Besides good humor, a piece of dark chocolate a day provides good quantities of epicactechin and catechin which protect the skin from sun damage, encourage better circulation in skin cells, hydrate and make skin smoother.
Herbs and spices. Just a pinch is all it takes to ensure an excellent quantity of antioxidants. If taken on a regular basis, Mediterranean herbs like basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, etc. and Oriental ones like pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and curcumin, are ideal to slow down cellular ageing. Curcumin, the spice with the greatest antioxidant potential, is excellent diluted in hot milk with green pepper and honey.
Omega 3. These essential fatty acids are fundamental for nutrition and maintaining healthy skin. So, fish at least twice a week and nuts.
Plenty of water. Correct hydration with low mineral content water is essential for beautiful healthy skin.
Do creams help?
Those that protect from UV rays certainly do; for the rest, it is more a question of faith than science, but at times the placebo effect can help.
The contents of this article are in accordance with the parameters set out by the European Food Safety Authority - EFSA.