With age, the skin suffers natural wear-and-tear, just like the rest of the body. As we age, the fibre network weakens, and skin sags as it loses its support structure. The skin becomes thinner with age, loses fat and is replaced with a rougher texture.
There are several contributors to aging according to Joshua Ssozi, a nutritionist at Makerere University and these include exposure to sun rays, poor nutrition, living a sedentary lifestyle as well as age. He recommends the following steps to slow down the aging process because it is hard to stop the process.
As your skin fights aging and the ultraviolet rays from the sun through constant repair and regeneration, it needs the right nutrition to stay young and healthy.
Eating a lot of junk food will ruin your skin and make you fat, thereby looking older. Eating a balanced diet makes you look younger. It is important that you focus on foods which contain antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, as well as vitamin A and the B vitamin which are important for a healthy skin. Eating healthy is good for your body especially your eyes. Ssozi says foods rich in vitamin A, C and E helps to reduce the impact of both cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (deterioration of the macula in the retina.
Ssozi says, “Deep green and leafy vegetables are filled with vitamin C, beta carotene, and loaded with lutein. These antioxidants act like a natural sunscreen for your eyes and they protect your eyes from harmful Ultra Violet rays.”
Legumes such as kidney beans, black-eyed peas and lentils are good sources of zinc and can help protect the retina. Sunflower seeds help keep your eyes healthy and disease-free because they are excellent sources of vitamin E and zinc.
Exercises, once taken on daily have a positive effect on your skin and body. Running and working out keeps your blood flow normal which keeps the skin and the entire body looking young and radiant. You will have strong muscles, bones, controlled weight even with older age.
Throw away the makeup
Dr Edward Ogwang, a dermatologist at Skin Specialist’s Clinic says many women think that wearing makeup makes them look younger.
“Cream and powder foundations are the worst skin enemy. With age, wrinkles around the eyes and mouth are inevitable and their visibility may be reduced by using creams and moisturisers but they do not eliminate them completely. Throwing away the makeup will actually make you look younger,” he says.
Get plenty of sleep
Having plenty of rest is very important while you fight aging. Depriving yourself of sleep is likely to make one bad-tempered, confused have a bad memory, affects your health and puts you at risk of heart problems, high blood pressure and diabetes.
It also affects the skin by creating dark patches under the eyes. Sleeping well keeps you stress-free and energised all the time.
Drink a lot of water
A minimum of eight glasses of water a day is recommended according to Ssozi and he adds, “Drinking a lot of water is the easiest and cheapest way to stay looking younger and beautiful. It hydrates and moisturises the skin so it looks radiant and healthy all the time. Warm water, rather than cold water is recommended because it helps break down food, aids constipation and improves blood circulation.”