what’s the deal with “anti-aging”?

Meet Therapeutic Skin Coach, Hayley Wood, the skin guru and co-founder of Skin Food Talk—an educational platform for holistic practices for skin, nutrition and self-care. She demystifies the term “anti-aging”, and shares her best practices for slowing the clock.

The term “anti-aging” is the ultimate oxymoron. It doesn’t make much sense if you really think about it. Aging is defined as the process of getting older, which isn’t a process that occurs once a year or when you reach a new decade—it’s happening right now. As a matter of fact by the time you are done reading this article, you will have aged. And you will hopefully feel enlightened on how to support your skin as well!

We are made entirely of cells, which are the building blocks of all life. Each cell has a lifespan that is very specific to its particular function. This lifespan can be shortened by a multitude of poor health habits. Our skin cells, for example, are often prematurely damaged when they’re deprived of the right nutrients, adequate water, or exposed to oxidative stress (think pollution and excess sun).

What you may not realize is that natural ingredients found in green makeup, skin care, etc. can communicate at a cellular level in the safest way possible. Like attracts like, so when you add chemically engineered ingredients to your skin as opposed to natural ingredients, your skin may not like the result. If you think about the aging of your cells you want them to be in their healthiest state possible for as long as possible. Speeding up their lifespan with over-exfoliation and harsh synthetic ingredients is the mainstream approach, but it exposes skin to pollution, sun, and premature breakdown.

“INSTEAD OF LIVING IN SHAME AND FEAR OF GROWING OLDER, YOU CAN FEEL CONFIDENT AND EDUCATED THAT YOU ARE PROTECTING YOURSELF IN THE HEALTHIEST WAY.”

There is no band-aid for aging, unfortunately. It takes consistent and conscious care from the inside out. Remember that aging is a gift. We don’t all the opportunity to do it. Instead of living in shame and fear of growing older, you can feel confident and educated that you are protecting yourself in the healthiest way.

These are my top tips for preserving cell health to slow down premature aging:

ANTIOXIDANTS

Antioxidants are essential to your health and wellness. They help regulate free radicals found in pollution, excess sun, processed foods, and skincare with harsh PH levels. The best way to ensure you are getting enough antioxidants is with a healthy diet full of organic leafy greens, brightly colored, in-season vegetables, and dark berries. A supplement like The Beauty Chef’s Inner Glow Powder can boost your internal antioxidants. And last, but not least, be sure to get antioxidant protection with your topical skin care. These are a few of my favorite antioxidant serums!

H2O

Water intake! Our cells need water! It’s essential to hydrate for good health. When we are dehydrated our bodies start to seek other ways of making up for what we are lacking. Our skin starts to soak in anything that may seem similar molecularly to water, or it may start to produce more of our natural oils to overcompensate. So upping your water intake means less breakouts and more glow! I recommend carrying a BKR water bottle to get your daily hydration. To lock moisture into skin, spritz with a hydrating mist, then seal it in with a few drops of nourishing face oil. The Josh Rosebrook hydration system is a great example.

SPF

Natural sun protection ingredients are so important for daily use as the UV rays continue to intensify. The sun’s rays get absorbed into the skin creating heat and ultimately damaging your cells before they even surface in your epidermis. So if you’re concerned about premature aging, don’t rely on good genetics and coconut oil—use a physical sunblock like Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide. I love sunscreens from Coola, Josh Rosebrook, and Suntegrity to name a few. On days where you just need a little protection while you pop in and out of work, mineral makeup such as Ilia, Alima, and W3ll People provide some protection to help you out.

LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE

It’s important to have proper circulation in your lymphatic system. Exercise is a great way to motivate a sluggish lymph system, as you expel a lot of toxins when you sweat. You can also incorporate a few beneficial practices in your day-to-day routines. Start by dry brushing for five minutes before you shower by circulating the brush in an upward fashion always moving towards your heart. Once you pop into the shower you can continue to follow the same pattern with your shower gel or body exfoliant. When cleansing, massage your face while taking deep, restorative breaths. Use an exfoliant at least once a week to slough off any buildup of skin cells.