What DNA and Cell Damage Does to Our Skin
There are many culprits that cause our skin to age, but at the root of it all is cellular damage and DNA-related mutations. These are caused by extrinsic (external) and intrinsic (internal) factors like sun exposure, pollution, stress, smoking, free radicals, the foods we eat, and the list goes on.
Knowing more about the skin cells and how the damage occurs can help prevent and correct skin aging.
A look at cell damage
Skin cells are pretty amazing structures, but they’re also very sensitive. Our cells have the ability to repair themselves (the amazing part), but as we age, this process slows and those intrinsic and extrinsic factors I mentioned become even bigger threats.
Damage to the cell occurs when oxidative stressors (those earlier noted factors) penetrate skin cells where they break down collagen and the DNA structure of the cell. As this damage continues to occur, the cell becomes more likely to replicate it – the damaged cells multiply.
Repairing and halting the damage
This is where you need to take a look at some of those not-so-healthy habits. Smoking, pulling all nighters, eating poorly and not keeping stress under wraps, all contribute to the health and longevity of our cells. Our antioxidant defenses also decrease with age, so you may need to increase your intake through foods and skin care ingredients.
Antioxidants are superstars in fighting the signs of aging, internally and externally. Consuming them as part of your diet is always the best option, but supplements and skin care products also provide benefits. Here’s a look at what to eat:
- Vitamin A – carrots, kale, spinach, pumpkin, liver, and cantaloupe
- Vitamin C – camu camu, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, guava, and citrus
- Vitamin E – olive oil, walnut oil, wheat germ oil, oats, tomatoes, and carrots
- Bioflavonoids – citrus, berries, onions, tea, red wine, dark chocolate, and sea buckthorn
- Polyphenols – berries, tea, dark chocolate, walnuts, peanuts, and pomegranates
Skin care products that contain antioxidants will help firm, tighten, and fight lines and wrinkles. Look to ingredients like ascorbic acid, tocopherols, retinoids, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP), boldine, and grape seed extract to name a few. Some RA for Men products loaded with antioxidants include Stone Power, Radical Redux, Mineral Freeze and Complex VI.
Getting more antioxidants, making healthier choices when possible, and using sun protection can help prevent unnecessary cell damage and the appearance of aging.