I will start with the bad news: Most creams, lotions and potions, whether cheap or expensive, are worse than useless.
Their hyaluronic acid and other good ingredients are of a too big molecular size to be absorbed into your skin cells, whereas the many harmful chemicals most of them contain are small enough to easily enter inside. So you get all of the bad, and none of the good. Doesn’t make sense, right?
Skincare products MUST be all-natural and toxin-free, and you will find the best DIY recipes for the most effective skincare, cosmetic, cleansing and wellness products in my book Skin Sweets. You will LOVE all your home-made concoctions!
That being said, true beauty truly comes from the inside out.
It is our internal, whole-body health condition that defines the quality and quantity of our collagen and elastin fibres, and hereby the look and feel of our skin – far more than age, or anything else.
When healthy and ample, collagen gives us a juicy baby face, while elastin makes our skin tight and elastic, and prevents sagging and drooping. When both are also surrounded by sufficient hyaluronic acid, our skin is youthful, fresh and full.
However, our cells get damaged and broken down and must be replaced by new, healthy ones, and when our body cannot keep up with the necessary regeneration process, more cells get damaged and broken down than built up.
So we want to reduce their breakdown and enhance their regeneration process.
In all truth, bad skin, including signs of ageing, such as dryness, acne, wrinkles, sagging or hyperpigmentation, and even hair loss or brittle nails is a DISEASE, and mainly due to an accumulation of acids, toxins and pathogens, along with nutritional deficiencies in the body.
With an ever-increasing toxic and pathogenic load, and vital nutrients and electricity missing, our body, actually a wonder machine, designed to constantly repair itself, never-endingly, as long as we are alive, can at one point no longer compensate for all the harm and neglect it suffers from and loses its power to repair itself. This is how diseases happen, and this is also how bad skin happens.
So our first defence against ageing skin is reducing the breakdown of our collagen and elastin fibres.
The breakdown of our “beauty-fibres”, and thus wrinkling and sagging, is dramatically accelerated by emotional, mental or physical stress, lack of sleep, a high pathogenic load, toxins (from pathogens, foods, water, air, toiletries, creams, lotions, cosmetics, drugs, etc.), extensive sun exposure, nutritional debt, hormonal imbalance, dehydration, lack of oxygen, etc.
So stay away from toxins, acids and pathogens in your water, air, and everything you put on your skin and into your mouth.
Eat a clean, plant-based diet to infuse your tissues with the thousands of phytonutrients abundantly available in them, in their natural, bioavailable form. For optimal micronutrient supply, our food should be mainly fresh, organic, nature-made plant foods in season, including fruits, vegetables, whole unprocessed grains and legumes, raw or simply prepared, along with nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. These ensure that you are getting all your body’s macro- and micronutrient demands met, while staying clear of toxins.
Real food’s magic is based upon thousands of complex interactions of hundreds of different phytochemicals, which are impossible to recreate in manufactured products, or even in supplements for that matter.
Chill a little more too! Stress increases Cortisol production, our ‘Wear and Tear Hormone‘, and seriously damages our beauty fibres, and thus our skin, apart from decalcifying bones, elevating blood sugar, and giving rise to an inflammatory state, the basis of virtually every disease process, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and, you guessed it… an accelerated aging process, along with wrinkled skin.
Obviously, get enough sleep. Lack of sleep also makes us wrinkled by elevating Cortisol, as well as diminished Melatonin and hGH production, as well as many other factors.
Reduce alcohol (or stop drinking). Stop smoking. By smoking even one cigarette, we create trillions of free radicals, which attack our cells and produce a tremendous inflammatory response. In addition, cigarette smoke causes blood vessels to constrict, especially in the skin, resulting in a lack of oxygen and nutrients, which accelerates skin aging, all apart from increasing chances of lung cancer and heart disease. Nicotine itself is not harmful, it is simply a stimulant, just like caffeine is, so to help you quit, you may use nicotine patches, or a vaporizer (electronic cigarette) instead.
We need sunshine for various reasons. The sun, a dynamic source of life-sustaining energy, is truly one of the most powerful healing therapies in the world. It helps to heal skin disorders such as psoriasis, acne, eczema and fungal infections, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, cleanse the blood, increase oxygen content and build a strong the immune system, to treat depression, and even to fight cancer. All for free, which is probably why nobody is promoting it! But, obviously, never overdo it, and don’t let your skin get burned.
Stay away from conventional sunscreens, they are not only toxic, but actually counterproductive to their purpose, inhibiting the innate intelligence of our skin cells. Basically, for a sun protection lotion to be effective, it should block cancer-causing UVAs while allowing healing UVBs to interact with the skin. Ironically, sunscreens create the opposite effect of what they are designed for. They block UVBs and allow harmful UVAs to penetrate deeper into the skin. Apart from creating a false sense of safety, sunscreen ingredients are well known to cause hormone disruption, degenerative changes in skin cells, DNA damage, free radical production, a compromised immune system and increased risk of melanoma. This is the case especially with chemical sunscreens, as they permeate the skin. But even mineral filters such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide have been found to undergo a chemical reaction that releases free radicals and damages surrounding cells. Additionally, mineral filters can release carcinogenic nanoparticles.
The best sunscreen is a whole-food, plant-based diet rich in phytochemicals, and, topically, carrot seed oil mixed with coconut oil, which, easily absorbed, assists the skin to build and strengthen its own natural UV defence and healing mechanisms. It does not deter beneficial UV rays from entering the skin, it protects against DNA damage, protecting our skin and cell membranes at the cellular level. If you’re staying in the sun longer, you can also add some non-nano zinc powder on top, or wear a hat, or some clothing.
Hydration is also essential and we must drink at least one litre of pure water every morning, and then a glass every waking hour, optimally ozonated and filtered, mineralised and energised.
Breathe deeply! Spend time in nature, grounding whenever possible.
The stimulation of cell regeneration in aging skin is also absolutely realistic and can substantially improve the appearance of wrinkles and sagging.
For cellular regeneration, my favourite beauty “supplement” is MSM (organic sulphur), at a daily dose of 2-3 teaspoons, mixed in a glass of water with the juice of a lime.
And definitely Sangre de Drago, a Rainforest superstar, topically!
These two are often enough, however, as fibroblast function, collagen- and elastin production, as well as cell repair are a complex process, additional nutrients may be required, such as:
Pycnogenol is a plant extract from the French Maritime pine tree. Oral supplementation (75 to 125 mg/day) protects vital skin proteins from degradation, while increasing their natural production. It also acts as an internal sunscreen.
L-Lysine supplements, around 2 grams daily (or even better, Lysine from legumes), are essential for collagen synthesis.
Vitamin C is essential for the conversion of Lysine into metabolites that can be incorporated into the collagen strand, and thus for efficient collagen synthesis. Camu Camu is a great, all-natural, bio-available source, directly from the Rainforest.
Silicium, a trace mineral, is essential for maintaining skin health due to its interaction with the formation of collagen and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are structural building blocks of connective tissues. One well-known GAG important for skin health is hyaluronic acid, which has been shown to promote skin cell proliferation and increase the presence of retinoic acid, improving the skin’s hydration. Silicium is best used topically.
Among the vitamins, B3, D3 and K2 are the most relevant for skin health and should be maintained at optimal levels.
Coenzyme Q10, along with its active ingredient Ubiquinol, is naturally produced in the human body and found in every cell and tissue, and involved in a number of biological functions, including helping to produce energy, neutralising free radicals and keeping cells in the skin, and in the whole body, healthy. If, due to certain factors, such as an increasing toxic load or stress, lower levels of CoQ10 are available, the cells’ ability to regenerate and withstand stress declines, and less collagen and elastin is produced.
MMP inhibitors, such as Resveratrol, Alpha Lipoic Acid, white and green tea, help inhibit collagen breakdown to reverse or reduce the loss of skin matrix by inhibiting or reducing the levels of MMP enzymes (matrix metalloproteinases). This may especially benefit older individuals since research indicates that MMP levels rise excessively with age, and by returning MMP levels to normal youthful levels, we facilitate the removal of damaged matrix and the preservation of healthy cells.
Hormonal balance is also absolutely crucial for a healthy body and healthy skin. Replacing missing Estrogens, Progesterone, Testosterone, DHEA, hGH and Thyroid hormones is, however, a complex decision, and requires lab result analysis and medical history, and a physician, who has the knowledge to expertly balance hormones, using bioidentical preparations. I can help with this here.
True beauty really comes from the inside out! Always remember that our skin is a reflection of our internal health. Therefore, if our skin improves, all other vital organs also improve, and this decreases our risk of every single disease!
But you want to show the world your best epidermis. So here some further topical treatments:
Regular exfoliation, removing dead skin cells, unblocks pores, stimulates new cell turnover and helps new skin cells rise to the surface faster. Natural exfoliators can be anything with a physical abrasive action, such as a Luffa, sugar crystals, coffee grounds, sea salt, oatmeal, or baking soda mixed with water. You may also mix them with other natural skin healers, such as honey, essential oils or lemon juice. Try different combinations of ingredients, until you find your favourite.
Chemical peelings with AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and other glycolic (and other) acids are also extremely useful to remove dull skin on the surface.
Peelings and exfoliations can then be followed by creams and lotions with topical skin regenerators, such as Sangre de Drago, different kinds of essential oils, vitamin C ester, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Lanolin, Silicium or CoQ10 from topical solutions can penetrate deeply to provide antioxidants and help create collagen and elastin.
DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol) also works great topically, as it helps increase muscle tone and correct the loss of skin elasticity, and prevents and reverses sagging and fine lines.
Copper peptides are also essential for the production of collagen and elastin fibres, and topical preparations with Copper peptides show not only improved skin health, but also better wound healing and hair growth.
Telomere Stabilizers, such as Teprenone, are further great topical ingredients to delay skin ageing by helping to maintain telomere length.
Telomeres seal the ends of our chromosomes like the little plastic caps at the tips of our shoelaces, and protect our chromosomes, and thus our cells and genetic code. They ensure that cells don’t lose the ends of their chromosomes, and can maintain the information they contain. Shortening every time a cell divides, once very short, they trigger cell crisis and cell death, being ultimately timekeepers of cell repair and cell death. They play a vital role in cell life and ageing, and maintaining their length clearly elongates cells’ lifespan.
Coconut oil, topically, helps maintain the skin’s youthful moisture and barrier function, and along with Teprenone, it has been demonstrated to extend skin cells’ lifespan and correct the visible signs of aging by promoting the skin’s natural protection and repair factors at the cellular level.
Hyaluronic acid, found in virtually every tissue of our body, and a key component of connective and epithelial tissue, can attract 1,000 times its own weight in water, unmatched by any other substance in nature, which makes it crucial for maintaining the skin’s barrier function, as well as its moisture and softness. It is abundant in younger skin, however, the damage caused by free radicals over time drastically depletes the skin’s reserves. Topical application has a volumizing, ’plumping’ effect on the skin’s extracellular matrix, which increases cell renewal and helps restore a healthy texture, colour and moisture to ageing skin, adding fullness and minimising the appearance of wrinkles.
Squalane is another vital nutrient for skin health, that accounts for more than 10% of the total fat content of the skin’s sebum. The best squalane for dermatological use is obtained from natural olive oil and resembles vitamin A in its chemical structure. A natural emollient, squalane is quickly absorbed into the skin, leaving it soft and supple, without any oily residue, and stimulates the skin’s natural ability in youth to regenerate, nourish and hydrate tissue. It also discourages the growth of harmful microorganisms by forming a protective antibacterial coating on the skin.
So yes, it is possible to enhance cell function, improve skin tissue quality and extend the youthful lifespan of your skin. Most importantly, however, obey the basic laws of life and reduce your toxic, pathogenic load! Because the firmness, smoothness, elasticity and glow of our skin, on our face, and all over our body, is just one of the signs of how healthy we are on the inside.
Stay beautiful, inside out,