All of us wish that we should look beautiful or handsome throughout life. One of the fundamental aspects to remember is that ‘beauty is not skin deep’. The skin is an indicator of the state of your health. Indeed, beauty begins deep within your body, and is conditioned by your own dietary habits, attitude and the environment.
Intrinsic Skin Aging
Deep within the cells of your body, there are genetic programs which get switched on or off as age advances, irrespective of the environment or your attitude and habits. This process is known as intrinsic skin aging, which is inevitable but can be slowed down. Intrinsic skin aging manifests by signs such as increased dryness, wrinkles, and skin thinning. Chronic mental stress and oxidative stress (OS) accelerate intrinsic skin aging. Intermittent fasting or calorie restriction slows down intrinsic aging.
Extrinsic Skin Aging
Extrinsic skin aging is caused by environmental factors like pollution and Ultra Violet (UV) radiation; and your lifestyle and dietary habits. Many extrinsic factors contribute to skin aging.
Skin changes induced by ultraviolet (UV) radiation are known as photoaging. The visible signs of photoaging include superficial and deep wrinkles, leathery texture, skin roughness, atrophy (of extracellular matrix) and irregular pigmentation. Air pollution is also known to cause skin damage by triggering inflammatory responses in the skin.
Dietary habits like consuming fried foods and foods rich in simple sugars, contribute significantly to the aging process by formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), advanced lipo-oxidation products (ALEs) and advanced oxidation protein products (AOPPs). Basically, it means that the structural proteins of the skin are deformed and the body is constantly engaged in a battle (chronic inflammation) to remove the deformed or non-functional proteins. Some of the affected structural proteins are Collagen, Elastin and Fibronectin.
Why starting early is important?
The primary proteins affected in the skin is collagen along with elastin and fibronectin. Collagen glycation happens during intrinsic aging also. After the age of 20, glycated collagen begins to accumulate at approximately 3.7% per year. 
Collagen in the skin has a half-life of 15 years. Hence, if collagen is glycated, it will take at least 15 years to eliminate half of it. Other extra cellular matrix proteins that are glycated include elastin and fibronectin. This has long term effects on skin health because glycated collagen, elastin and fibronectin cannot be repaired by the body.
Under normal circumstances, damaged or non-functional proteins are degraded by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and replaced with functional proteins. When collagen is glycated, it is highly resistant to degradation by MMPs. This means that you may carry the burden of glycated collagen for more than 15 years. Binge eating during festivals or social occasions even for a few days, has long lasting consequences, even if you follow saintly lifestyles later. The dysfunction of the structural proteins leads to the visible symptoms of skin aging, like wrinkles, irregular pigmentation and loss of elasticity.
Start holistic skin care early in life.
What to start?
A holistic approach is the best one to ensure that your youthful looks are maintained for a very long time. This means that we have to start from within and some of the basics are given below;
1) At least 30 minutes of physical exercise every day.
2) Ensure that diet has low quantity of simple sugars, fried foods and foods cooked at high temperatures.
3) Include more of uncooked foods and antioxidant-rich foods like fruits and salads, in your regular diet.
4) Do intermittent fasting
5) Reduce over exposure to intense sunlight or use protective clothing and sunscreens.
6) Wash the skin after exposure to dust and pollutants smoke or chemicals.
7) Destress through ‘mindful exercises’ and ‘emotional intelligence’ techniques
8) Get adequate night-time sleep.
9) Keep the skin adequately moisturized.
In addition to the above, you may need antioxidant supplements, topical medication or cosmetic procedure as advised by your Dermatologist or Cosmetologist. We urge you adopt the healthy practices listed above, very early in life.
Prolong Youth by leading an ‘enlightened and balanced life’
Ref 1: Patricia K Farris, Semin Cutan Med Surg 30:163-166 © 2011 Elsevier Inc
Ref 2: Nguyen H P et al, Skin Therapy Letter. 2015;20(6)
Body Satva Essentials’ Team has taken maximum care to ensure authenticity of the information provided, by sourcing from reputed medical journals and books. Body Satva Essentials’ Team urges members to seek professional advice before commencing any regimen of diet, exercise and medication. The products sold on this site are not for treating any disease or medical condition, without medical supervision. We do not advice self-medication.