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For today’s video, I wanted to talk to you about five different things that you didn’t know were aging you. As you know, I’m kind of a skincare and science and health nerd and freak, and because skin has such a special place to my heart I normally talk a lot about acne. But aging is part of the process – we can all age beautifully. But I did want to talk about a couple things that you didn’t know were aging you, some surprising facts that you might be able to do to blend aging, and a lot of people are doing these things and don’t even know that it’s causing problems.
1. Drinking out of straws.
We all know that wrinkles can make us look a little bit older, but especially people who drink out of straws or smokers tend to have very wrinkly lips, and a lot of people associate smoking with aging just because it does do a lot of damage to the body, but a lot of the damage that smoking does is the same thing that straws do. It’s this sucking motion. When we have our lips puckered up like this it stretches all the muscles in our face and causes our lips to kind of shrivel up and shrink up. Now, this over time can cause wrinkles to set in and make us look a lot older. So if you have the option and you have a lip stick to touch up in your purse, skip the straw and do a normal sip instead.
2. Using sunscreen.
That’s right – actually using sunscreen. Sunscreen protects us against the sun, but the sun emits many different kinds of rays. There’s actually an entire spectrum and science of all the different types of light that the sun emits, some that we can see, and some that we can’t. Now, I’m sure you’ve heard of UVB rays or ultraviolet rays, Well there’s also a different kind of ultraviolet ray called the UVA rays, and guess what – a lot of sunscreens only protect against UVB, which is one type.
Now, UVB rays can be dangerous. When our skin actually gets a burn, it’s the UVB that’s doing that. UVB is also beneficial because it helps our body produce vitamin D. The sun actually helps us produce a nutrient that we need.
Now, what’s different is the UVA rays. The UVA rays are the ones that do not cause a burn, but they actually penetrate our skin and cause cellular damage. And what’s also interesting is that windows in cars or in office buildings can prevent against UVBs, but they let the UVA rays in.
There was actually a really interesting photo that kind of went viral on the Internet of a truck driver who is really old and had been driving a truck for like 25 years. The side of his face that was protected by the window but that got the UVA rays from the sun had aged much more dramatically than the other side that still got sun, but not as much of the UVA damage. So your sunscreen could be “falsely protecting” you, only protecting against one of those rays and not protecting against aging.
So if you are going to use a sunscreen, make sure that you use a physical one that protects against both UVA and UVB.
3. Not getting massages or facials.
As we know, when we age, blood flow tends to decrease. A great way to boost that up is by exercising and living a healthy lifestyle, but when it comes to our skin, the same exact thing applies – our skin needs blood flow as well because blood flow provides oxygen, it provides nutrients, and it provides a little bit of cellular action to plump up wrinkles and to help prevent against aging and prevent against collagen breakdown. So if you are interested in preventing aging you should look into getting regular facials or doing at-home massage. Don’t stretch the skin to the point that you’re actually pulling and causing wrinkles or damage, but gentle massage or even slapping can be used to bring blood flow back into the face.
There’re actually massages, in I think Sweden or something, that is literally a slap facial where people are gently and lightly slapped to draw blood flow to the face, and again this blood flow brings nutrients, which means your skin is not going to break down just as quickly.
4. Maybe a little controversial, but: your dipbrow.
That’s right. If you use an eyebrow product that is waxy or that, y’know, has a really thick consistency that can actually be aging you and the reason why is because it’s suffocating your follicles. Anything that is super cream- and paste-based that is applied to the skin, to the eyebrows, or anywhere where there’s hair follicles will actually suffocate the follicle meaning it won’t let oxygen in, and it won’t let oil, sebum, and that natural exfoliating process out. Now, once in a while this isn’t a problem, but if you continually suffocate a follicle, day after day after day, that follicle is going to break down and die. The papilla which is the very bottom portion of the little hair that grows out of your skin.. If that doesn’t get enough nutrients both from the dermis (from the bottom) and from the top – being able to get oxygen and release the sebum and sweat, that starts to plug up and die, and unfortunately using really thick creams can do that. This means that if you’re using a dipbrow, over many years of use your eyebrows could start thinning or start falling out but… don’t suffocate your follicles – use a powder instead.
5. Not getting your water from food.
We all know it’s important to drink water, but when you drink water to hydrate yourself it kind of goes right through you and you just pee it out. The best way to get hydration into your body is to eat foods that are water rich because when you eat this your body takes time to digest those foods, breaks down the molecules of food and the hydration separately, so that your body can totally absorb and process everything in it.
Now, if you don’t stay hydrated your skin will be dehydrated which means it will probably produce more wrinkles, and in time those can set in. Having a healthy hydrated balance of water in your body also helps to plump up the skin and remove existing wrinkles, even if just temporarily. So when it comes down to it, make sure that you are eating those foods
In addition, water rich foods and vegetables and fruits tend to have a higher antioxidant rating and antioxidants work directly against aging. There is an ORAC scale and that scale tells us how many antioxidants certain foods have in them. Fruits and veggies are great, but especially at the top are dried herbs such as cinnamon and cloves, and even chocolate and wine. Some extreme examples of this are raw foodists. Raw foodists live pretty much off of raw foods, which means very high water content fruits and vegetables with tons of nutrients and with tons of antioxidants. And there’s a bunch of photos here. These are actual raw foodists and their ages, and if you look at some of these photos, these people do not look their age. And it’s because the ingredients in their food and the actual antioxidants and their food work directly against aging.
What actually ages you are those “free radicals”…
What is a free radical?
It is technically like a very very “thirsty date”, if you know what I mean. This free radical, otherwise known as a reactive oxygen species (ROS), basically has an extra electron on its molecular level. Now, electrons are really kind of romantics. They’re old-school romantics and they want to be paired up together. The free radical has a loose electron, so again really thirsty and looking for a date, and this extra electron on this free radical will literally pair to anything.
It’ll pair to the DNA on your skin, it’ll pair to the proteins in your skin, it’ll pair to the lipids. Anything in your body that it can get its hands on, it will latch onto somebody else’s electron, stealing somebody else’s date or husband or wife and literally break down that piece of DNA, that piece of protein, of that lipid, etc.
So how can we prevent these nasty little free radicals from doing that? Well, antioxidants from fruits and vegetables can come in, and guess what? Antioxidants are like this big happy community of a whole bunch of people who just want to give away their love, and they’re like hey free electron we got this singles club over here, and we’ve got a who would love to date you! So that antioxidant gives up one of its electrons to the electrons from the reactive oxygen species, so therefore it is paired and neutralized, so it doesn’t attack your own cells, which again is why eating fruits and vegetables is so important to your skin.
So those are the five things that you didn’t know we’re aging you, and I’m actually going to give you a bonus one that I learned in school.
Did you know that breathing is actually aging you?
Yes, breathing. So, the active breathing – taking oxygen into our bodies – the way that our cells break that down actually creates some of these reactive oxygen species or free radicals. So yes, breathing is causing the stain free radicals that bad food smoking and bad sleeping habits do. But then again, don’t stop breathing, because if you did you would both age and die a lot faster. If you stopped breathing it would probably be a matter of minutes (or like a half hour if you’re really good at holding your breath).
Lester Packer is actually someone at UC Berkeley which is here in the San Francisco Bay Area who has done a lot of research on this. It has been shown that breathing can age you – I’ll link you to some his research. But of course we don’t want to stop breathing, so what can we do to mitigate that? Again, upping our antioxidant content so the antioxidants can pair to those reactive oxygen species so they don’t attack our cells and they don’t destroy us from the inside out.
So guys, I really hope that you enjoyed this video as you know I love talking about skin.