As a sixty year old woman who is still trying to look a little cute at the beach, skin laxity can be a major issue.
How do you combat waning amounts of collagen that used to literally spring into action to keep you looking taut?
Well, the easy days of summer are over for me and if you are going to stay in the game, be prepared to help your own body maintain youth & high levels of collagen with these magic tips for Improving Collagen by Sharon Sneed, PhD.
- Nourish the skin with great pharmaceutical grade skin care products including antioxidants, growth hormone based night creams, and peptides that can actually increase the thickness of the dermis. When a product is “pharmaceutical grade” rather than OTC, it is monitored by a higher level authority and all claims must be absolutely true or the companies are given stiff fines or even shut down for false claims.
- Don’t smoke. Stop at any point that you can and try not to be around secondary smoke with regularity. Smoke is a number one killer of collagen in your skin!!
- Don’t get sun on your face, neck, chest and hands. Use an antioxidant cream on these areas, daily, followed by a sunscreen if you live in a sunny area. Otherwise, just be cautious about any exposure. Use a pharmaceutical grade sunscreen that is zinc oxide based and has absolutely no parabens (these are found in 99% of all breast cancers).
- Do at least one significant thermal treatment per year that generates collagen growth. This year, I did FORMAT on my face and neck. It works so well that many times you can see the change for yourself in only one treatment. On leg and thigh areas, you can use the Forma Body FX. These delicate areas sometimes have few other options.
- Perforate the skin, such as in micropenning. In fact, every time you perforate the skin, you will cause new collagen growth because the body translates that as “a wound”. And, what happens when you have a wound? Your body swings into action and grows new collagen around the area. We love things that cause that, including and especially micropenning, injectables of all sorts and even aggressive chemical peels that cause a lot of sloughing of the epidermis.
- If you can consistently use an alpha hydroxy acid (aha) on your skin, it can increase the thickness of your dermis (and your collagen) significantly. I emphasize this because acids are inexpensive and can be used on your entire body. Another result of using these is a smoother texture to the skin overall that just screams, “I feel like a baby’s behind!”
- If you are past menopause, embrace bioidentical hormones if at all possible. Even some cancer survivors (i.e., Suzanne Summers) have written about this important topic. Don’t let your estrogen levels go down if you can help it. It makes a tremendous difference in your skin’s ability to maintain collagen.
- Embrace the concept that age is irrelevant. All of us have known people in their twenties with poor health and poor skin (whether self-induced or genetic), who function less well than a very healthy seventy year old. Don’t get stuck on a number. Instead, embrace your current health status and age, and, improve everything you can that is within your reach. Your skin is often a reflection of your overall health.
- Go to a physician that understands and embraces anti-aging medicine. There are many physicians who just assume that at a particular age, you better just get used to wrinkles, loss of collagen and certain medical issues – oh, and “here is another Rx that might help out”. For most normal people, you can handle many health and aging issues through changed lifestyle choices. Great lifestyle choices often lead to great skin.
- Sleep is hard to come by these days. Wifi, late night news, financial issues – whatever the issue, figure out how you are going to catch more zzzz’s. As we age, we actually need less sleep, but try to stay in bed for at least seven hours. Tips for sleeping? Warm Epsom salt (magnesium based) baths, gearing down for the evening, relaxing music, soothing essential oils. I’m pretty hyper and just writing this down makes me sleepy. Also, avoid caffeine after 4 pm. I personally love melatonin at bedtime. Try it for yourself and see if it works for you.