Every year a great number of us spend huge amounts of money on skin products that purport to keep our skin youthful, supple and generally trying to keep the rigors of old age at bay. In fact in the USA alone 33.3 billion dollars was spent on cosmetic and beauty products in 2010 according to the American Commerce Department. The skin on our body and especially our face can be a huge indicator of age and well being. As we get older we typically have more wrinkles and our skin is less elastic, these outward appearance are very telling of our age. So by combating these indicators of age, we can actually make ourselves look younger.
In this article we will discuss some new scientific research and some techniques which are magic silver bullets to combating the signs of aging.
A brand new study published by researchers at McMasters University in Ontario has lead to concluding that exercise can dramatically keep skin looking evenger even for those over 65. The researchers took two groups of volunteers all between the ages of 20 to 89; the first group exercised frequently, doing at the very least 3 hours of medium to strong physical activity every single week, the second group were more sedentary and only exercised less than 60 minutes per week.
What the researchers were looking particularly at was the last two layers of our skin, which are most telling when it comes to determining the signs of aging. The stratum corneum layer of the skin, which is the outer layer of our epidermis is exposed to the outer environment, the part we can see and feel. As we get older this layer gets direr, denser and flakier. The second layer they were looking at is just under the outer layer, the dermis, which with age starts to thin and loose elasticity giving skin a saggy appearance.
In the group who practiced soon they found that even after the age of 40, the stratum corneum layer of these people's skin was thinner and healthier than those who were more sedentary. They also concluded that the dermis layer was actually thicker than those of the same age in the second group. The findings indicated that active people over the age of 40 actually had skin that more closely resembled the skin composition of 20 and 30 year olds than others of the same age, even past the age of 65.
The researchers went even further with their study by taking a group of over 65 year old sedentary volunteers who had normal skin samples and put them on a normal endurance training program. They jogged or cycled twice a week at a moderately strenuous pace for 30 minutes and continued this program for three months. At the end of this time they had their skin layers checked again and that exercise produced amazing results.
The exercise had improved this once sedentary group's skin samples markedly. Now their skin layers looked very similar to those of 20 to 40 year olds. The primary researcher, Professor Mark Tarnopolsky, said; “I do not want to over hype the results, but really it was pretty remarkable to see”. He said that under a microscope, “The skin looked like that of a much younger person, and all they had done different exercise”.
Yet exercise is not the only magic silver bullet that can help us combat the signs of aging. If we want to maintain a healthy and fuller appearance to our dermal skin layer, it is vital that we drink plenty of water to keep our skin hydrated. Chemicals and impurities in our environment can also contribute to the dermal layer of our skin shrinking and the stratum corneum thickening. Chemicals added to our water supply such as Chlorine attacks our epidermal skin layer while we shower, drying out our skin and sucking moisture from the epidermal layer. At the same time hard water particles are bombarding our stratum corneum causing it to become thicker and showing more signs of aging. We need to ensure that in our showers we have installed a shower filter to remove the environmental impacts that can lead to our skin showing the signs of aging.
This is an incredible study with far reaching implications for everyone over the age of 40 who are looking to improve the health and appearance of their skin. Even for those of us who are under 40, it tells us that creating the habit of exercising and continuing that into our older age will definitely keep us looking younger.