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The key to aging gracefully

We all want to stay forever young, but over the years, our skin naturally changes and signs of aging begin to appear. Au revoir, baby-soft skin and bonjour wrinkles, undefined contours, uneven skin. But what’s actually happening beneath the surface? And what can we do to slow down the aging process and keep our skin looking forever young, as long as possible?

What happens to skin as it ages?

Aging is a complex process that starts deep within the lower layers of the skin before it becomes visible to the eye.
It’s caused by 3 main processes: decreasing cell activity, glycation and oxidation. As we get older, the activity of our skin cells decreases and our metabolism slows down, producing less collagen and elastin, two proteins responsible for skin elasticity and firmness. After the age of 20, 1% less collagen is produced in the skin every year! This leads to increased wrinkles and undefined contours. Plus, collagen and elastin are prone to glycation: sugar molecules adhere to them and change their mechanical properties causing them to become stiff and less flexible. This glycation process amplifies skin oxidation which promotes the production of free radicals that speed up the appearance of aging.  

So what can we do to keep skin looking young?

A healthy lifestyle is the key to glowing, radiant skin. While diet and exercise can’t halt aging completely, there are several things we can do to make the signs of aging less visible. 

1. Move your body and your face

When you exercise and boost your heart rate and blood flow, more nutrients like vitamins and oxygen are delivered to skin cells which helps them reproduce and feed the fibroblast cells. Plus, try facial yoga! Facial yoga is a series of exercises that relax and tone facial muscles to prevent and even help to reverse wrinkles.

2. Relax

When you’re stressed, a spike in cortisol levels can cause unwanted skin inflammation. Meditation, deep breathing or simply some quiet time alone can help eliminate stress and the havoc it can wreak on the skin. Self-care is extremely important. Take some “me time” at a Maria Galland Paris institute with a treatment designed for your unique needs and enjoy the incredibly soothing touch of your beautician’s  hands.

3. Eat a balanced diet low in sugar

You’re already sweet, no need for extra sugar! Reducing your sugar intake directly lowers the effects of glycation on the skin. Avoid processed foods and added sugars when possible or try sugar substitutes richer in nutrients like coconut sugar or honey. A balanced diet is essential for radiant skin. Choose foods rich in antioxidants like blueberries, green tea or pomegranates, in vitamin C like broccoli or oranges and in beta-carotene and lutein that contribute to improving skin elasticity like spinach. Make sure to eat (or drink!) foods rich in water like watermelon, coconut water or cucumber - a hydrated body produces more collagen to keep the skin smooth and tight! 

4. Find the right homecare beauty regimen

... that will help stimulate cell activity to increase collagen and elastin production. The result? Tighter, firmer, smoother skin!

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