When I first got into skincare I ultimately focused on what everyone else did... which ingredients and treatments were going to get me the results I wanted. But over the years I've leaned more and more on a complete holistic approach that covers all facets of life. Like anything else our skin is a reflection of our lifestyle, diet and whether or not we are putting in the time to take care of it.
When I made my first product I was on a mission to get effective treatments to people in a world of hyped up results and companies more focused on making money than actually helping people get what they wanted.
That's why I put this post together.
I want you to see the bigger picture of what it really takes to get healthy and vibrant skin using all of the tools and strategies at your disposal.
Here's the problem, topical skin care products can indeed improve your skin, but that's only the starting point.
There is no such thing as a perfect wrinkle cream or "best anti aging" serum that is going to take a decade off of your face in a matter of weeks.
There is no such thing as a one-size fits all formula that works for everyone.
We all need a unique approach that takes everything into account.
To make that easier I put together this list. It has every strategy from diet to products you can use to get the glowing skin we all want and crave.
So let's get started on our journey, shall we?
1. Good Fats.
Let's start from the inside and work our way out. Not everyone has the "perfect" diet. Especially if you are following the Standard American Diet - otherwise known as S.A.D. You will be doing more harm than good with all those carbohydrates that are causing internal inflammation, and acne and a plethora of organ and skin issues.
Instead, choose super high fats like: Grass Fed Butter, Coconut Oil or MCT, Extra Virgin Olive oil and the like. Skip seed oils that are full of oxidants (NOT antioxidants - they actually oxidize as they are treated to become an oil) to keep your skin healthy. Also add in oily fish like salmon.
2. Avoid Sugar.
Now by sugar I am also including fruit. Remember, Fruit is Nature's Candy. If you can remember that, you will save yourself a lot of problems in the long run from misinformation from parties that are the most interested in your consuming their product!
Fruit is a business - all food is - don't forget that. Sure there are vitamins in there and some fiber to "help" counteract the pure sugar (fructose and sucrose) a little bit, but if you are getting several servings of fruit (that by the way has been bred to have MORE sugar than it's counterparts hundreds of years ago) you are going to be full of glucose and insulin and high blood sugars that do bad things to your skin.
Instead, if you would like to have fruits, stay clear of the ultra sweet things and lean towards the berries. Black berries, blue berries, strawberries, etc... are the safest.
Don't forget to eat something high fat with those to help balance the sugar. A cheese stick is an excellent choice, as is a handful of nuts like almonds.
3. Watch the wheat (grain).
Another commodity, who's main purpose is to make money selling prepackaged snacks, breads and other non-nutritious "goodies" is wheat. If you are basing your diet on "healthy grains" you are going to run head long into inflammation. The last thing that you want on your body (swollen calves and feet anyone) or your face (puffy eye bags and cheeks) is inflammation.
Grains have been touted as "super healthy" for your diet since Ancel Keys decided that the government should give The People a dietary recommendation different than they had been following for hundreds of years successfully.
Unfortunately, they are in fact not. Do you want to know why? Because carbs turn instantly into sugar! Since the government had decided to recommend several daily servings of grains, our country's people have been poisoned! Obesity, type II diabetes, heart attacks, and gluten sensitivity runs rampant in many Americans.
But did you know that even though many celiacs are diagnosed, there are hundreds of thousands that are not? According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, as many as 18 million Americans may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). If you remove the grains, you remove the problem.
There are many great supplements on the market that can not only fill in gaps on the vitamins and minerals you may be missing, but there are also many other beneficial ingredients that can't be found in a daily diet that can help your skin to look and function better. I will list some below that you can find in our ReGen Skin daily supplement.
Wakame (fucoidan) - Not only is fucoidan known for its anti-aging effects, it is also believed to combat cancer, metabolic syndrome and other degenerative disorders. Unless you are an Easterner, this won't be in even your weekly diet.
Hyaluronic acid - Hydrates the skin from within and helps to cushion painful joints. Unless you are eating a lot of organ meats and drinking bone broth, you may be lacking in this. You can also grab some super dark chocolate to help promote hyaluronic acid production and help your skin with wrinkles.
Bamboo Stem extract - Richest source of natural silica. Silica helps your body to produce collagen. It is the building block of healthy hair and nails. Researchers have discovered that women with sun-damaged skin showed smoother, more elastic skin tone after taking 10 mg of silicon each day in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Their hair and nails became stronger as well and less brittle.
Fo-Ti root - In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), fo-ti has been used in longevity tonics to ward off aging. It's also been used to treat a variety of other conditions, such as constipation and skin problems.
Try to sleep on your back if at all possible. When you are constantly sleeping on your front or side you can get what is know as sleep compression wrinkles. They show up in predictable spots where your face (and chest too) are compressed and leave lines on your face/neck/chest each morning. These lines can last several hours and over the course of time they can become permanant.
There are silicone sheets that you can apply to hold your skin smooth and also special pillows and satin pillow covers. These are all excellent options that can help alleviate some of these lines if you just can't stay on your back. I am a back and side sleeper so I definitely use a couple of these options. I will say too that I LOVE my satin pillow covers.
6. Get enough rest.
When you don't get enough sleep your body releases a stress hormone called cortisol. Not only can excess levels of cortisol cause anxiety, it can break down your precious collagen stores. Your collagen is what keeps skin smooth and elastic. So when the collagen depletes the lines increase. Make sure to get about 8 hours of sleep a night.
Watch out for phones and computers. They emit a light that makes your body believe it is time to be awake. Instead switch off the electronics or turn them down to a more yellow color. Most phones have this capability. When the coloring changes, your body realizes it is time to wind-down. I always grab for a book when I get into bed. Reading calms my mind and makes it easier to drift off. When I can barely read the page, it's time.
7. Avoid smoking.
Have you seen that tv commercial yet where the teen goes in to buy a pack of cigarettes and the cashier says they need more? The teen has to take a chunk of skin off their face and hand it off. Gory I know, but what they are trying to portray is that smoking is bad for your skin.
Experts agree that smoking accelerates aging, so that smokers look 1.4 years older than nonsmokers, on average. The nicotine damages the fibers and connective tissues in your skin, causing it to lose elasticity and strength. Smoking also slows the blood supply that keeps skin tissue looking supple and healthy. After all that it depletes the body of Vitamin C, which aids in skin healing.
Don't think you can avoid any side effects by using a vape pen either. The same chemicals are in there and you still have to do the same repetitive motions. Pursing lips to inhale.
8. Avoid straws.
Repetitive motions cause wrinkles. These are actually called dynamic expression lines. These are the ones that you will see around your mouth (vertical lines right above the lips) and also around your eyes in the way of crows feet.
Your face is in constant motion, so if there is a way to help lessen lines around the mouth area you would do it right? Ok, then skip the straw as often as you can. With beverages you can always just remove the lid and drink as you normally would. In the long run this will help you immensely.
9. Manage stress.
Like we mentioned above, stress creates cortisol. Cortisol is bad for your skin. There are many ways to reduce stress in your life. Getting more sleep is an easy one. Exercise is another. Moving your body and sweating are excellent ways to feel better and get a boost of feel good energy.
Meditation is another excellent tool to reduce stress. With meditation you basically just breathe and keep clearing your mind. When ever a thought tries to creep in, concentrate on your breath and nothing else. After ten minutes or so you will be calm and refreshed with a clear head.
Do whatever works for you to reduce the stress in your life.
10. Drink water.
We have talked about this before in our Dry skin post, but water is essential for your skin. Aim to drink half of your weight in ounces of water every day.
Example: if you weigh 150 pounds then you want to drink about 75 ounces of water. That is more than 2 of those big bottles of 32oz. waters you find in the store, so keeping a large jug of your own water will be the most inexpensive way to get what you need.
Bottled waters can get very costly and that could detour you. Think about grabbing one of those filtering contraptions like a Brita, so you can get rid of the excess fluoride before you drink.
Add some lemon or about 10 drops of liquid Stevia flavoring for a refreshing alternative to the plain H2o.
11. Watch your alcohol consumption.
Alcohol is very drying to the body, and since we just spoke about hydrating with several dozen ounces of water per day, we don't want that to go to waste. If you do choose to drink up on your lunch hour, you are going to end up with dry, sallow crepey and lackluster skin. So try to keep this to a minimum - and preferably only a few times per month.
*Yes we are well aware that red, dry wine is full of antioxidants, but there are many other ways to get that too, so eat the berry or a supplement instead.
12. Watch salt.
Now, if you are following our diet recommendations to eat a high fat and low carbohydrate diet you are not going to run into this issue - at all. That is because the majority of salt in your diet comes from processed foods.
All of them!
Pretty much anything in a box or can or that is not in its natural state when you grab it from the counter, is going to be FULL of sodium. Excess sodium leads to puffy eye bags and your face in general. To avoid the bags - don't reach for processed foods.
I find that I can get in and out of the grocery store super quick. This is because I only shop the outside aisles. Its all the processed garbage that is in aisle upon aisle of wasted time and energy. Just skip it and buy whole foods. Or, real foods if you prefer.
If it is processed just avoid it. Not only will it make for quicker shopping, but your bags will decrease immensely and so will your blood pressure.
13. Watch the sun.
Our skin is going to age no matter what. That is called Intrinsic aging. Those are factors that can not be changed. But there is a flip side to that coin, it is called Extrinsic aging.
By taking preventative measures we can slow down this process and increase our likelihood of having younger looking skin in the long-term. An estimated 90% of aging in our skin is caused by the sun!
As early as 4 years of age, sun damage can be seen on a UV photograph. It is imperative to cover all parts of your skin that will be in the sun before heading outdoors. That means covering more than just your face. Make sure to include your Face/Neck/Chest and even your arms and hands when you are heading outside.
UV damages can also happen while you are indoors, so try to make SPF a part of your daily regimen after washing your face and applying your products.
14. Wash your face.
Your skin is at its busiest regenerating each evening while you slumber. If you aren't washing your face you are losing a huge opportunity to help your skin to look younger. You want to wash your face with a bit of exfoliation - like an acid cleanser or a rough washcloth.
By removing some of the dead skin tissues your products will penetrate deeper into your skin and you will have the very best chance of them working properly.
15. Hydroxy Acids.
One of the easiest ways to exfoliate your skin and stimulate new tissue production is to use a hydroxy acid. Hydroxy acids are really a family of acids that include: lactic, glycolic, mandelic, pyruvic, citric, salicylic and more.
The job of these acids is to gently dissolve the bonds that are between each layer of dead skin tissues. Then, once the bonds (sticky glue like layers that are constantly regenerating) are dissolved, the dead skin can be removed. This generally takes weeks to happen and it is very comfortable, causing no visible flaking or irritation.
After a few weeks though, there will be a substantial difference in the texture and smoothness of your skin. Acne, spotting and even scarring can also fade back by the use of acids. That is why we recommend their use every single day.
Common products with acids are:
16. Chemical Peels.
Now that we introduced hydroxy acids we can talk about the "big guys". Chemical peels are acids that have a lower pH level and are in higher percentages than daily products. They are too strong to use every day and are used weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly (depending on the acid and its strength). When you make an acid stronger you can get bigger results.
Chemical peels take your results to the next level. Scars, acne, wrinkles and pigmentation can all be lessened with a series of chemical peels. They are very popular for antiaging and are available in a variety of types and percentages. A beginner would chose an acid like a Mandelic, Glycolic or Lactic. A more experienced "peeler" would choose something along the lines of a TCA Peel.
TCA is one of the best acids to choose if you are treating all things aging related on the face. TCA has been well studied and it's proven that it actually stimulates the production of collagen, elastin and even glycosaminoglycans in the skin - all of which your skin function better and also make you look younger.
We suggest to the majority of our anti-aging clients that a chemical peel will help their journey to better skin move more quickly. So consider trying something that may be a bit "out of the normal" range for you. If this is your first time ever hearing about a chemical peel, there is a lot to learn.
Find out everything you ever wanted to know about chemical peels here.
17. Vitamin A -- AKA Retinol -- AKA Tretinoin -- AKA RetinA.
Oh so important vitamin a to the rescue. Vitamin A benefits the skin by stimulating the body's natural production of collagen, (one of the key building blocks of skin). This rebuilding action can make wrinkles look less severe and can reduce the appearance of splotchy-ness, age spots, and sun damage.
Retinol also benefits acne skin and super speeds the healing of acne lesions. Other popular Vitamin A treatments are RetinA tm (prescription retinoic acid aka tretinoin) which is mainly for Acne, and Renova tm which is for Aging skin. You will need to see your family doctor or dermatologist for these options.
Many people find they prefer the Molecular Retinol that we manufacture here because it does not turn into retinoic acid until it is deep in your skin. When this happens, the redness and irritation that happens with prescriptions can be avoided.
Antioxidants are ingredients that can counteract the Free Radicals that attack our cells each day. There are many antioxidants such as grape seed, copper, vitamin E, resveratrol, etc... but, Vitamin C is in a class all its own. It has been studied for decades upon decades and is well known for its ability to...
- Protect your skin from UVA & UVB damages.
- Protect your face from the effects of aging.
- Neutralize free radicals prior to causing damage.
- Stimulate collagen production.
- Improve your skin's tone and texture.
- Improve pigmentation issues
- Increase elasticity.
- Reduce fine lines.
19. Peptides and Neuro peptides.
Peptides are naturally occurring amino acids, which are building blocks of the protein collagen. There are many, many peptides that are used in aging skin care products. But don't make the mistake in thinking there is only one "magic" peptide that is going to change your skin.
Make sure to use a variety and also follow your other aging skin guidelines we have listed. Make sure to concentrate a great deal of your attention on the neuro peptide. They work by affecting the neurotransmitters in the skin.
Basically, they tell your nerve cells to RELAX. When they relax, wrinkles appear smoother and the surface of the skin is younger looking. Learn more about neuro peptides in our video The Top 5 Anti Anging Ingredients.
These peptides are not equivalent to a Botox or Dysport injection, but they will help to smooth fine lines over the long run.
This is so very important for proper penetration of ingredients. Thinnest to thickest is the easiest way to remember the order, but we can go more in depth than that. Always start with your targeted treatments. Meaning, if you have pigmentation spots, you will dab that product on first. Here, that is our Fade Bright Serum. Now wait about a minute for it to absorb. Then you will continue applying any other serums that you have waiting a bit in between each layer.
Serums are the powerhouse products that generally have the highest concentration of active ingredients. That is why they don't have emulsifiers to block any penetration and are usually in a liquid base that encourages deep absorption.
Now, move onto your creams. Generally you will have a couple of serums and one main cream. Wait about a minute and then apply any oils that you may have. Oils can block absorption, so we don't want to put them on prior to our serums.
*Not every oil blocks, but just to be safe we will apply here.
Last and not least Morning: Now you will apply your SPF of at least 30 to protect your skin from the sun. Remember that 90% of aging is from the sun.
Last and not least Evening: Now you will apply your Retinol or Tretinoin/RetinA product. As we explained above, vitamin A is mandatory for your skin's health and needs to go on every evening. If you are unsure of which percentage you need, please see this page.
21. Professional treatments.
We would never want to turn you away from professional treatments such as lasers, injections and surgical procedures. These absolutely have their place when they are warranted.
If you have been following all twenty of our tips for several months, and you feel that you may need more... then please find a local board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon for those results.
Never think about getting injections outside of a medical establishment and be careful.
To sum things up. There isn't just one magic bullet to fix your aging skin. There are many, many things that you can do internally and externally to have your skin looks its absolute best. When you are following all of these tips you will be proud of the skin you see in the mirror.
If you have any questions regarding products please call us 1-800-917-3155 Monday - Friday between the hours of 9-5 eastern. We are also available by Chat (bottom screen) and socially on Facebook and Instagram.