Premature aging of the skin, excluding specific diseases, is almost always due to how we have treated the integumentary system, the skin, the external organ that surrounds us, protects and conditions our appearance.
Having healthy and glowing skin is one of the most sought after goals for women and men but also the most difficult to achieve. In fact, the skin is the first to suffer from unbalanced diets, moments of stress, climatic conditions (heat, cold, wind …) and an unhealthy lifestyle: excessive exposure to the sun, smoking, alcohol and little rest that occurs. they add to the inexorable passage of time.
It is certainly not enough to cleanse the skin carefully because the necessary cleaning remains on the surface, while the greatest damage occurs due to the imbalance of the cells under the epidermis. Often we try to fight all this with increasingly specific cosmetic products to treat our skin, and in the last resort, we resort to aesthetic medicine, remedies that do not always give the desired results and also cost a lot of money.
Like any organ, the skin can also be treated well in order to avoid premature aging and imperfections, but to do this we must commit ourselves from an early age and never forget that it is unthinkable to treat the skin without taking care of the body in its entirety, or by adopting a lifestyle that includes:
- Balanced nutrition
- Regular physical activity
- Restful sleep
- Adequate sun exposure
- No smoke
- Very little alcohol
1 ° Vitamins to nourish and defend the skin
The correct diet must be varied and balanced to defend ourselves primarily from “free radicals”.
Free radicals are the real “skin killers”, they damage cells (oxidative stress) and the main constituents of the skin (collagen and elastin), resulting in:
Loss of elasticity, collapse of connective tissues and the formation of wrinkles and premature aging.
The body is only able to partially defend itself from the attack of free radicals through anti-oxidative systems which, however, become less effective over time. It is therefore essential to integrate the diet with foods naturally rich in antioxidants, mainly contained in fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils, milk, which counteract the aging of the epithelial tissue, allowing you to keep the skin smooth and soft and preventing it from drying and irritating. more than it should. Here are the important antioxidants for our skin:
Vitamin C. It is the antioxidant present in higher concentrations in our body. As for the skin, it plays a fundamental role in the growth and repair of tissues, and a protective action against the harmful effects of atmospheric pollution and photo-oxidation due to ultraviolet rays. Vitamin C is also involved in the synthesis of collagen, an important protein present in the subcutis, the reduction of which leads to the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin. The fruits and vegetables with the highest concentration of vitamin C are: kiwis , strawberries , citrus fruits , melon in summer , yellow and red peppers , and green leafy vegetables such as asparagus , broccoli , spinach , basil and herbs . It also contains two fundamental ingredients of Italian cuisine: basil and tomato, the latter in particular also provides lycopene , a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from photo-exposure damage. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is easily perishable as it is photosensitive and heat sensitive. For this reason it is advisable that the foods that contain it are eaten raw and, if squeezed, drunk immediately after squeezing .
Vitamin A . Powerful antioxidant capable of promoting the synthesis of the components of the skin that maintain its integrity, elasticity and hydration. This vitamin is present in eggs, milk and derivatives such as Grana Padano PDO and in the liver, while beta-carotene, which is its precursor, is found in yellow-orange and green leafy vegetables (carrots, pumpkin, melon, broccoli, spinach, peppers, pumpkin, oranges, apricots).
Vitamin E. Vitamin able to counteract free radicals and protects essential fatty acids and vitamin A from oxidation. Extra virgin olive oil, rich in vitamin E and monounsaturated fats, has always played a fundamental role in the well-being of the skin; its emollient and beneficial properties were already known by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, for its power to calm redness, prevent cracking and counteract skin aging. In addition to olive oil, wheat germ is rich in it , single-seed oils, nuts, wholemeal bread. To guarantee the daily requirement of vitamin E, it is a good habit to season vegetables with 5 teaspoons of raw extra virgin olive oil (25 grams) every day.
2 ° What water for the skin
In addition to preventing free radicals, a correct diet against premature skin aging must include a good state of hydration. Water is the fundamental constituent of all living beings, necessary to carry out numerous biological functions. Furthermore, the water allows the cells to receive their nourishment and to eliminate metabolic residues and toxins. For healthy skin, it is generally recommended to take at least 2 liters per day of liquids through drinks (water, tea, herbal teas, as long as they are unsweetened) which, together with fresh fruit and vegetables, allow you to prevent states of dryness, flaking (which even the best creams cannot resolve without a satisfactory degree of internal hydration ) and help diuresis by promoting the elimination of toxins and harmful cellular metabolites. Mineral or tap water? For hydration, turnover and fight against water retention , you can drink water with a high or low fixed residue. Each type of water works to combat water retention and hydrate the skin. To more easily reach the daily requirement of some minerals like calcium it is preferable to drink waters rich in this mineral.
3 ° Nourish the subcutis with minerals
In general, micronutrients are also important for skin health and to counteract premature aging. In particular, Potassium, Selenium and Zinc play an important role in the synthesis of the fibres that are part of the subcutis, giving elasticity and firmness to the skin. The daily intake of fruit and vegetables, varying the color of the vegetables several times a week, guarantees the necessary amount of vitamins and mineral salts. The freshness of seasonal vegetables is important since conservation processes or forced crops reduce their nutritional characteristics; in the same way the alternation of vegetables allows to introduce all the necessary nutrients.
Rich in vitamins and minerals important for the skin are in particular cabbage , broccoli and cauliflower, true energy concentrates for the health of nails and hair, but also legumes rich in vegetable proteins, vitamins, fibres and potassium. Legumes, eaten cooked or raw, are useful in the prevention of skin spots.