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I was listening to an interview with Kari Gran on the Formula Botanica podcast the other day and it really got me thinking about the way our society views the natural aging process as something to be ashamed of and disgusted by.
Here are my takeaways from the interview.
Let's change the conversation, shall we?
How smoking affects your skin
If you're a smoker and you've never seen the study by Dr. Bahman Guyuron that compared 7 sets of identical twins (one who smoked, and one who didn't), you really should. Guyuron says, "Smoking reduces the collagen formation, results in collagen degradation and reduces the skin circulation. Additionally, nicotine reduces the skin thickness. All of these reduce skin elasticity and (cause) premature aging." The difference in skin health for these identical twins is clear:
Ready to quit smoking then?
How sun exposure affects your skin
Sun exposure is just as hard on your skin. Just look at these identical twins - one who admits to spending "as much time in the sun as possible" and the other who has aimed for as little sun exposure as possible. Full disclosure, the twin with the sun damaged skin was also a smoker for 16 years. But smoking doesn't cause sun spots.
For goodness' sake, wear sunscreen! Or at least a floppy hat?
Both of the above images are from Guyuron's study.
A few extra pounds doesn't necessarily make you look older
For women over 40, carrying a little extra weight can actually make you look younger! According to Dr. Rod Rohrich, M.D, professor of plastic surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, women need a body fat percentage of at least 15-25% to maintain facial fullness in their late 30s and early 40s. But don't think you have to aim for 15%! A healthy body fat percentage for women in their 30s is 20-24%, 40s is 23-27%, and for women 50+ it's 27-31%.
When your face fills out a little, the wrinkles get stretched out, so your face looks smoother. Additionally, yo-yo dieters who constantly lose weight and regain it are at higher risk for premature skin aging, because the constant stretching damages collagen and elastin fibers. So quit obsessing about your weight, ladies, and just replace some of the junk with vegetables.
Oh, and if you haven't heard it enough times already, I'll say it again - quit drinking soda (yes, even diet soda). According to registered dietician Deborah Orlick Levy, “Researchers have found that just one eight ounce serving of soda a day for three years could add almost two years of aging,” she says. “If you drink more than that, aging incrementally increases.”
Other factors that contribute to premature skin aging
I know, that was a lot of information! But it was important information. So now, I'd like your input.
Please comment with your answers.
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