Think of some of these beautiful older women:
- Meryl Streep is 70 years old.
- Sandra Bullock is aged 55.
- Kylie Minogue, aged 52.
- Sharon Stone is 62 years old.
- Cindy Crawford is 54 years old.
- Salma Hayek, aged 53.
Every single one of them is aged 50 or older, but they have better skin and fewer wrinkles than many 30-year olds we know.
Wrinkles are the number one culprit when it comes to making you look older than you really are (or even just as old as you really are. Not everyone wants to look their age!) but you don’t have to develop wrinkles just because you’re growing older.
These beautiful older women prove that you can still have tight, glowing skin well into your older years. For most of these women, good skin comes from caring for their skin properly by using good moisturizers and sun protection, exercising regularly, and, of course, eating a careful diet.
Yes, diet. You are what you eat, after all, and there’s only so much junk food you can graze on before it shows on your face. But don’t worry, because we’re not talking about a strict diet that has you eating nothing but a celery stick a day.
How Your Diet Affects Your Skin
Years of research have shown that there are some foods that help your body grow healthy, elastic skin which is springy and glowing, and others that damage your skin and speed up the appearance of wrinkles.
As you age, your skin naturally loses its elasticity, becoming loose and sagging and allowing wrinkles to develop, but there are foods you can eat which are rich in antioxidants and nutrients that slow down the activity of free radicals which harm your skin. At the same time, there are other foods that promote inflammation that kills healthy skin cells.
Here’s your guide to the foods that should be at the top of your menu every day, and the ones you should try your best to avoid.
Eat: Omega Fatty Acids
Healthy omega fatty acids strengthen the walls of your skin cells to help them retain hydration and look tight and glowing. Eat plenty of olive oil, oily fish like salmon, avocados, and seeds that are rich in omega oils like chia seeds and flaxseeds.
All kinds of berries, including blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, are powerhouses of nutrients and antioxidants that are excellent for your skin. They are rich in vitamins A and C, which help produce the collagen that makes your skin elastic and springy, and the flavonoids, probiotics, and polyphenols hunt down and kill free radicals that damage your skin.
Eat: Dark Green Vegetables
Alongside these lie dark green leafy vegetables, like spinach, kale, and beet leaves. They are also extremely potent sources of vitamin C, as well as vitamin K, fiber, folate, and calcium, all of which boost collagen production and reduce inflammation. You can turn them into a smoothie, which speeds up the absorption of their nutritious goodness.
Eat: Lean Protein
Your skin is basically built out of amino acids, which your body breaks down from the protein that you consume. If you don’t eat enough protein, your body won’t be able to generate healthy skin cells and you’ll see the effects in dull, lackluster skin. So fill your diet with low-fat sources of protein, like lean meat, fish, and beans.
Eat: Foods High in Ceramides
As you grow older, the outer layer of your skin, called the epidermis, naturally gets thinner and weaker. This causes your skin to lose hydration more quickly, and become more soft and loose. It’s important to strengthen your epidermis as much as you can by eating foods that are rich in ceramides, which help shore up your epidermis cells.
You’ll find phytoceramides, which are plant-based ceramides, in foods like wheat germ and brown rice, as well as in potatoes, spinach, and soybeans.
Avoid: Trans Fats
You’ve probably already heard that you should avoid trans fats, so now you have another reason to do so. Trans fats are found in many processed foods, including crackers, and in french fries, potato chips, and anything that’s been deep fried.
Fatty processed meats, like hot dogs, salamis, and bacon, are particular offenders. They are packed with unhealthy saturated fats as well as sodium and nitrates which are bad for heart health.
These fats fuel inflammation in the body, damaging healthy skin cells and weakening your skin’s cell walls. It also raises your cholesterol which pushes up your blood pressure, and if your body isn’t healthy, your skin is going to reflect that.
Sugar gets blamed for so many health issues, and with good reason. Sugar is effective fuel for inflammation throughout the body, and that’s something that you want to cut down as much as possible.
Reducing your sugar intake means cutting down on sweet pastries and cakes and dropping your candy consumption, but sugar can also lurk in unexpected places. Many processed savory foods like breads and ready-made meals contain astonishingly high amounts of sugar, so read the label before you tuck in.
Drinking alcohol in moderation is perfectly fine as part of a healthy diet, but if you overdo it too often, you’re going to see the consequences written across your forehead. Drinking too much can make your eyes red and puffy, and the alcohol leaches nutrients, vitamins, and hydration out of your body.
Are you ready for younger-looking, wrinkle-free skin? With these food recommendations and a careful skincare routine, you can care for your skin at every age.