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Wrinkles and dry, sagging skin are not a rite of passage into our elder years. In truth, many of the skin issues we face are not a product of the stage of life we’re in. Your skin is your largest organ, and what you put on it and expose it to matters just as much as what you eat, drink, and breathe. Nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalances, excessive sun exposure, toxin overload, and chronic stress are just some of the reasons why our skin loses its elasticity and becomes thin and fragile.
Believe it or not, skin issues are what inspired my love of nutrition. My sensitive skin has taught me that beautiful skin is an inside – and outside – job. In my teens and twenties, blemishes taught me that sugary foods were triggering breakouts and inflammation. As I got older, I learned that copper imbalance was not only a root cause of my skin issues but also was behind the fatigue I had struggled with. This inspired my famous book, Why Am I Always So Tired?
I celebrated my 70th birthday last year and my skin still looks radiant and youthful – without botox or plastic surgery. Today I’m sharing my top tips with you for soft, supple, wrinkle-free skin. From supplements to skin care, I’ll teach you 3 keys to restoring your skin’s youthful glow.
Beautiful skin, thick hair, flexible joints, and strong bones all have one key ingredient in common – collagen. This is the most abundant protein in the body, but its production starts declining at about 21 years old, at a rate of up to 1 percent per year. Fine wrinkles can start appearing as early as our late twenties as a result.
Collagen-boosting protein powders seem to be an easy solution, but many are doing more harm than good. The FDA allows shockingly high levels of pesticides and heavy metals in non-organic products, and independent lab tests are showing that the bitter truth about bone broth powders and collagen powders is that they are often contaminated. Collagen, gelatin, and bone broth protein powders that are made from the bones of animals that haven’t been fed an organic diet are a concentrated source of all of the chemicals and heavy metals they’ve stored in their bones from their feed, water, and air. These toxins are passed to you and eliminated through your skin, leaving their mark on the way out.
Make the switch to grass fed beef bone broth and clean Whey Protein Powder and ditch the bone broth powder, because I haven’t found a single bone broth powder that doesn’t have alarmingly high levels of toxins. If collagen-based protein powders are a staple in your weight loss diet and you don’t want to give them up, then choose a collagen powder made with at least 95 percent organic ingredients.
Another key to preventing collagen loss is to remove the anti-nutrients that damage your collagen. You can start by quitting smoking. Nicotine constricts the blood vessels in the skin. This causes reduced blood flow and decreases nutrient and oxygen delivery, which damages your delicate skin tissue and causes wrinkles. Even secondhand smoke contains chemicals that cause wrinkles by damaging both the collagen and elastin proteins in the skin.
The collagen anti-nutrient that I’m tackling in my upcoming book, Radical Longevity, is Advanced Glycation End Products, better known as AGEs – collagen’s kryptonite. These are formed from excess blood sugars attaching to proteins in a process called glycation, which targets collagen and makes it dry, brittle, and weak. This collagen kryptonite causes dry, crepe-like, sagging skin and wrinkles. A diet high in carbs and sugars speeds up this process, so the best defense is a low carb diet with only small amounts of sugars from fruits.
Healthy, wrinkle-free skin is as much about what you put on it as what you take to support it. From sunscreens, soaps and shampoos to makeup and moisturizers, our personal care products have become increasingly more toxic over the years. They contain chemicals that not only disrupt hormones and imitate your body’s natural estrogen, but some even promote cancer.
One of the worst products for your skin is chemical-based sunscreen. Chemical sunscreens allow harmful UVA rays through, which not only cause wrinkles and premature aging of your skin, but also suppress the immune system in such a way that protection is lost from free radicals, bacteria, and other pathogens. So while they may protect from sunburn, they don’t protect against skin cancer. And to add insult to injury, the chemicals they contain – like PABA and benzophenone-3 and others – have been shown in studies to promote cancer.
Safe sun exposure means only getting enough sun on unprotected skin to synthesize vitamin D – 15 to 30 minutes in peak hours. If you can’t stay out of the sun, then choose a pH balanced brand with non-nanoparticle zinc oxide as the key ingredient, like 3rdRock Sunblock. I also take astaxanthin from marine microalgae, which is the best-kept secret of how Hawaiian islanders keep their sun-exposed skin so healthy.
Considering that everything you put on your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream, look for products that are not only hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, but also pH-balanced, natural, and free from harmful chemicals. Thanks to labels that list not only chemical names but natural sources next to them, this can be a tricky process. Let me make it simple for you by sharing what I do.
Once I started investigating my own beauty products and saw how many hidden chemicals I was exposing myself to, I went to work trying to eliminate them all. But it wasn’t easy! I couldn’t find products with the right pH that were natural and free from chemicals that didn’t irritate my sensitive skin. So I decided to develop my own line of skin care products, available through UNI KEY Health.
BeauCle Purifying Cleanser, Ultra Hydrating Moisture, and Corrective Crème are my must-have beauty essentials that keep my skin soft, supple, and youthful. These products are non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and pH balanced, and don’t contain any of the chemicals listed on the EWG’s Skin Deep database. Here are just a few of the botanicals you’ll find in these pure, clean products:
My best-kept secret for wrinkle-free skin is the Corrective Crème, which is what I call my “facelift in a bottle.” Not only does it contain ingredients known to firm and tighten the skin, but I’ve also added arnica and peptides to help support skin healing while you sleep. For years, customers like Lori B. have sung the praises of its anti-aging effects:
“I am loving this cream. Ingredients are very important to me, and I trust the research behind these ingredients. My skin is so soft with the use of the Beau Cle Corrective Cream. I had someone in our small community tell me recently that I was timeless…that I always look the same. Thank you, Beau Cle!”
Your wrinkled skin is trying to tell you something is missing. Your skin needs plant-based essential fats to stay supple, soft, and wrinkle-free. These essential fats not only keep your skin moist and glowing, but also help with hormone balance, quell skin inflammation, mobilize calcium into the skin for strength and resilience, and rebuild skin at the cell level to reverse damage done by free radicals. Up to 90 percent of adults have been found to be deficient in these fats, which results in dry, inflamed, sagging skin that is easily injured.
My go-to skin nourishing essential fat is Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). This skin superstar not only soothes skin inflammation, but has been shown in studies to be helpful in autoimmune diseases including psoriasis and eczema, and also in diabetic neuropathy, lung injuries, arthritis, dry eyes, and even cancer therapies. As an added bonus, GLA also promotes weight loss – specifically fat loss!
When it comes to damaged, dry skin from too much sun exposure for too many years, Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is the essential fat I rely on for repair and rebuilding. According to this study from the American Academy of Dermatology, skin damaged from chronic sun exposure responds better to CLA-containing products than it does to retinol, which had side effects of redness and dryness. In comparison, the “side effects” of CLA may include reduced body fat, healthy cholesterol levels, and enhanced immune function.
Considering the best sources for these essential fats are borage, black currants, safflower seeds, and evening primrose oil, it comes as no surprise that most people prefer supplementing rather than trying to incorporate these unusual foods into their diet. UNI KEY Health’s GLA-90 is a great source of this all-around skin nourishing nutrient, while their CLA-1000 is what I recommend for wrinkled skin from sun-damage. Both can be taken together for full-spectrum skin support.