Youthful looking skin is almost every woman’s dream – and I don’t mean trying to look like you’re 20 when you’re in your 40s. I’m talking about looking young for your age. There’s nothing more gorgeous than a confident woman, secure in her own skin which radiates beauty.
When it comes to aging and youthful-looking skin there are a few key strategies that you should definitely keep in mind. But first, there are two major players in the game of anti-aging: elastin and collagen.
These guys give skin their strength and elasticity and they are HUGELY important if you want to have gorgeous skin. In this article, I’m going to focus on collagen and give you 3 ways to naturally boost it for lusciously smooth and youthful skin.
As I already mentioned, collagen is a critical component for smooth, youthful-looking skin. It’s the reason why skin is soft and supple and you’d do well to support this protein if you want to age gracefully.
But – there’s one thing that’s standing in your way: free radicals. These are molecules that are by-products of natural (and healthy) functions like breathing and eating. They are also by-products of pollution, environmental toxins, sun damage, poor diet and toxic cosmetics to name a few.
Free radicals are a problem because they are extremely unstable. In order to become stable, they damage healthy cells which can (and does) accelerate the aging process. In particular, collagen is extremely prone to free radical damage.
Naturally, collagen molecules glide smoothly over one another. But when they are damaged by free radicals they become rigid and stiff. What do you think this does for your skin? Exactly. It makes it look rigid, old and stiff. Gone is the youthful and supple skin. In comes the dry, cracked and wrinkled skin.
Thankfully, there are some natural ways that you can fight free radicals to protect collagen – and even BOOST collagen so that your skin is as beautiful as it can possibly be no matter what your age.
3 NATURAL WAYS TO PROTECT AND BOOST COLLAGEN
1- GET PLENTY OF VITAMIN C
Vitamin C is essential for producing collagen and your body does not produce this powerful antioxidant on its own. You need to get it from your diet. Vitamin C also helps to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is responsible for red, puffy looking skin. Since many skin care companies already know this, it’s one of the reasons why many products on the market have Vitamin C as an ingredient.
Before you reach for a glass of orange juice, there are many other (healthier) alternatives for Vitamin C support. Juices are higher in sugar – and while I’m not entirely opposed to having freshly pressed juices I think there are better options.
In particular, broccoli, red bell peppers and kale are high in vitamin C and are better for you than chugging glasses of fiber-less orange juice.
2- REDUCE SUGAR CONSUMPTION
I know, I know. You hear this all the time, but it’s true. Sugar is detrimental in more than just one way. It’s not good for your health and it can cause you to look old!
Glucose is the body’s most basic form of sugar. All sugars that you eat (sucrose, fructose, etc.) are eventually broken down into glucose which the body uses for energy and other processes. The issue is that in excess, glucose can damage your cells.
In particular, it attaches to collagen proteins and can damage their natural structure making them stiff and rigid. Again, what do you think this will do to your skin? It makes it look old, stiff and rigid.
Sugar in the form of cookies, cakes and pastries should naturally be avoided. But it’s also in tons of other foods like dressings, breads and cereals. Most people in Western Nations are consuming entirely too much sugar, which is why it can be such a challenge to have youthful looking skin.
Here’s a few quick tips on how you can easily reduce sugar consumption:
- Skip the bread when you’re dining at restaurants. You know the bread basket that most restaurants put on the table to snack on before your meal? Skip it. We tell them not to even bring it out to avoid the temptation. It’s empty carbs that fill you up before the more nutritious entrée comes out.
- Go for water instead of soda or other “flavored” drinks. Specialty coffees, gatorade, vitamin water, juice, bottled teas and even kombucha drinks can be sources of too much sugar. Your body needs water for optimal function and getting the right amount (half your body weight in ounces per day) can lead to glowing, radiant skin.
- Use olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing instead of the pre-packaged stuff. The majority of pre-made dressings are loaded with bad fats (like canola and soybean oil) AND sugar. Do your skin and body a favor and use a brand like Tessamae’s which is made with healthy fats or just make your own at home. I love using olive oil and balsamic on salads.
3- BOOST ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidants are your friend. They help fight free radicals to protect your cells and body. In the recipe below for Blueberry Lemon Gelatin Gummies, I’m using blueberries and lemon essential oil. Berries in general are high in antioxidants and lemon essential oil is as well.
Gelatin is so healthy for gorgeous skin. It helps to fight wrinkles and help support skin so that it’s supple, smooth and youthful. It can even be used to support gut health. Some people have used it to help in healing leaky gut.
Check out this super easy recipe (below) on how to make gelatin gummies for gorgeous and healthy skin.
BLUEBERRY LEMON ANTI-AGING GUMMIES
Silicone mold(s), food processor
- 3 cups frozen or fresh berries
- 2 tbsp. raw honey
- 2 to 3 drops of lemon or wild orange essential oil optional
- 3 to 4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice or orange juice
- 1/4 cup Great Lakes Gelatin
Place the berries into a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add the honey and stir.
Allow the berries to cool and then transfer to the bowl of a food processor.
Blend the berries until smooth.
Add the essential oil and juice and blend again.
Add the gelatin and blend one more time until everything is smooth.
Spread the mixture into the silicone mold(s)
Transfer to the refrigerator and allow to set for 20 to 30 minutes.
Pop the gummies out of the molds and enjoy as a snack or regular supplement
Do you have any favorite anti-aging snacks? Let us know in the comments below!