The aging process that your skin goes through is largely caused by environmental damage, rather than by your chronological age, combined with lifestyle. This is really great news, because it means that you can control most of what makes you look older.
Keeping Your Skin Healthy and Beautiful
As the largest organ of the body, your skin serves a number of purposes besides just looking beautiful. Its beauty is tied to your overall health and the health of your skin. When your skin is feeling good (well nourished, hydrated, rested, and treated gently) it is smooth, soft, clear and has a healthy glow. When it is exposed to too much sun, cigarette smoke, alcohol, caffeine, sugar or salt it is damaged. Lack of sleep contributes to this by causing stress, as your body needs sufficient sleep in order to refresh, rejuvenate and heal.
The damage that is done to the skin because of the factors listed above happen through biological processes. One of these is oxidation. Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit oxidation in other molecules. They do this by fighting free-radicals. This helps you look and feel younger because it is slowing down the aging process.
Oxidation and Aging Skin
The process of oxidation is defined in simple and easy to understand terms by Total Health Magazine:
Oxygen is a paradoxical substance. On one hand we would die without it—within a few minutes—and on the other, it has the ability to cause mass destruction (think premature aging and disease). When oxygen and another substance meet, the reaction causes the substance to lose one or more electrons, which normally stabilize molecules. Electrons like to travel in pairs, so when an electron is lost the substance becomes a free radical; meaning the substance becomes more unstable and thereby highly reactive. Free radicals have the ability to cause massive cell damage; so much that it can make the cell membrane vulnerable to outside influences. Fortunately, your body produces certain enzymes—called antioxidant enzymes—that can control excess oxidative damage. It is also important to note that some free radicals are actually good for the body since some are necessary for various biological processes.
What really makes free radicals dangerous is when the body experiences an obsessive amount of oxidation, in other words oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when free radical production and the body’s capability of counteracting these negative effects are disproportionate…oxidative stress is also a major culprit in premature aging.
Antioxidants and Beautiful Skin
Antioxidants must be a part of your diet, in order to keep your skin, and the rest of your body healthy.
Here is a list of foods that are known for their high antioxidant levels (measured as ORAC or Oxygen radical absorbance capacity):
Small Red Beans (13727 per serving)
Plums (4,118 Per serving)
Cranberry (8,983 per serving)
Blackberry (7,701 per serving)
Raspberry (6,058 per serving)
Pecan (5,095 per serving) (Source).
Other foods that are rich in antioxidants include, which are “superfoods” according to WebMD:
Red, purple, and blue grapes
Any red berry
Dark green vegetables
Sweet potatoes and other orange vegetables
Green and White Tea Make You Beautiful
In particular green and white tea are two of the most powerful, and yet least well known anti-aging tools. Both are plants and thus come from nature. And both provide multiple sources of antioxidants. Green tea provides you with two phytochemicals, anthocyanin and pro anthocyanin, as well as an abundance of catechins which are antioxidants that that may fight cancers. (Source). White tea, according to the online publication, Truth In Aging, is an even more powerful source of anti-aging compounds.
Researchers from Kingston University, London, in conjunction with Neal’s Yard Remedies, were “blown away” (a phrase that qualifies as scientific in England) by results that illustrated white tea’s ability to inhibit enzymes that attack collagen and elastase, and mimic the action of one of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes. The study, published in the BioMed Central journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, tested 23 extracts from 21 plants, all provided by Neal’s Yard Remedies, and found white tea to be the star. They also tested the extracts ability to mimic superoxide dismutase (SOD) which is a naturally occurring enzyme that breaks down the dangerous reactive oxygen species into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. White tea showed the highest inhibitory activity against collagenase at 87 per cent, compared to green tea (47.17 per cent) and rose tincture (40.96 per cent). Similarly, the extract’s anti-elastase effect was over 89 per cent, the highest of all those tested.
Looking at the combined action of the extract on elastase and collagenase, white tea has a inhibiting activity of over 180 per cent. The next best of the extracts tested came in at 80 percent, explained Naughton. This all happened with very small concentrations – less than you would get from a cup of tea. The reason could be that white tea comes the newest buds of the plant, covered in fine white hairs, whereas black tea is picked later and some of the components will have oxidised decreasing its health giving properties.
What is even more remarkable than the power of these teas, is that they can be used topically to deliver their antioxidant-driven anti-aging properties right to your skin. Both are part of the amazing formula of SABRINA Collagen Rx Plus. This means that every day when you apply this amazing cream to your face, neck and chest you are fighting back against the premature aging that comes from the environment and when you combine this with a healthy lifestyle you will stay looking decades younger than most people your age.