If you’re over 40 years of age, look in the mirror – or don’t. Wrinkles are a telltale sign of age and you simply can’t avoid them. And living longer doesn’t mean we’re not going to get wrinkles, it just means we’re living longer with wrinkles. But for most of us, we simply want to age gracefully and with the fewest amount of wrinkles our genetics allow.

Genetics aside, experts say, many of us are losing the wrinkle battle, watching helplessly as the glow of youth dims and sags. As we age we loose collagen, elasticin and our outer skin layer thins. All of this makes us susceptible to the fine lines, sagging and hollowness that appear on our face.

If that weren’t bad enough, lets talk free radicals; those unstable molecules that damage our skin and speed up the effects of aging. Free radicals come in the form of pollution, sun and poor food choices.

With so much against us, how do we prevent wrinkles? Some have gone under the knife, tried laser treatment or chemical peels. All of these attempts are expensive and only lessen the appearance of wrinkles and are mostly temporary solutions.

But I’ve always been a believer that we are what we eat and it seems I’m not alone. Researchers are now discovering a stronger connection between natural foods and our complexion. They say, natural foods have a way of supplying us with what we need as long as we know what we’re looking for. Homemade, natural food remedies, both topical and internal allow you to take control of the
level and speed of age damage. Yes, even free radical damage can be overcome with antioxidant rich foods containing vitamins A, C, and E, and beta carotene.

For me it makes sense. I once interviewed the Sake Master at the Ontario Sake Company in Toronto. When I asked how old she was, all I was told was that she was well over 80 years of age. Yet to look at her, her skin didn’t look a day over 30! Making sake means she constantly has her hands in rice mash and she also admitted to using it daily on her face. Her skin was soft, clear and had the texture of youth. By the way, they sell sake mash as a beauty product at Ontario Sake Company in Toronto’s Distillery District. It’s inexpensive and apparently very popular.

A little closer to home in Thorold there is a little shop called Fig Street. Here you can find cold pressed, organic, unrefined moringa seed oil. It has the ability to rejuvenate dull, tired and aging skin, it fights free radical damage, it improves the appearance of wrinkles, prevents sagging of facial muscles, stabilizes collagen, reduces fine lines and repairs damaged skin cells. Amazing claims I know, all I can tell you is my friends and I have used it along with a proper diet and have had amazing results. Which brings me to my next point, a proper diet.

Yes, you can buy expensive creams and serums but if you’re not eating the foods that support skin health, you may actually be working counter productive to the intentions of those expensive products. The best youthful results combine a topical as well as an internal program.

Many women as well as men believe that aging skin is inevitable, but with the information and technologies we have today, you really can look as young as you feel. So in the name of wrinkle prevention, here are some surprisingly inexpensive ways to more radiant, wrinkleless skin.

Fish

Most cold water fish are good choices but particularly salmon because it contains omega-3 fatty acids which are building blocks of great skin. It works to plump up your skin, keeping it looking youthful. Salmon is also a great source of protein and we all need protein to maintain and repair our skin on a cellular level. Eat salmon at least four times a week and if you’re not a salmon fan, try different varieties of salmon. Most available salmon is Canadian farm raised. I prefer salmon farmed or fished in colder waters and these can be found at Commisso’s in Niagara Falls. Try them all, they do taste different.

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables

There are loads of antioxidants in fresh fruits and vegetables. These fight skin damage caused by free radicals and sun damage. All fruits and vegetables will help so go ahead and eat plenty of your favourites. But know there are some super-foods worth a mention. Blueberries and Acai berries hold a particularly concentrated combination of antioxidants and collagen-protecting vitamin C. Tomatoes are packed with vitamin C and lycopene that protects the skin from sun damage and improves the vascular system for a natural glow thanks to extra blood circulation. Goji berries contain protein and because you don’t cook it, you ingest it in the purest form for more effective cellular repair.

Cocoa

Yes, as a chocoholic I really needed to include the benefits of cocoa’s flavanols that protect the skin from sun damage, it improves circulation to skin cells, improves antioxidant capacity, affects hydration and makes the skin look and feel smoother. Not sure how much to consume because my waistline always rebels before I see skin results, but a little taste here and there doesn’t hurt.

Drink lots

Good skin starts from within. Stay hydrated with water, coconut water and green tea (which is full of antioxidants). Not only is moisturizing from within important, but water rids your body of toxins and good skin is all about detoxing.

Banana

Bananas are a powerfully healthy fruit that can be used as a creamy facemask. Mash one banana with a teaspoon of orange juice and a teaspoon of plain yogurt, then leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes. The vitamin A will help fade dark spots and blemishes, vitamin B will prevent aging and potassium will moisturize and hydrate skin cells. Vitamin E is known as “the protector” because of its strength in fighting free radical damage and bolstering the skin’s resistance to UV damage.

Morenga Oil

Morenga oil was first used over 5,000 years ago by the Egyptians who quickly adapted it as a cosmetic product. It’s used more often as a moisturizer because it softens dry skin, maintains moisture in all skin types and is a great winter conditioner for dry, chapped lips. In addition, morenga oil rejuvenates dull, tired and aging skin, fights free radical damage, helps improve the appearance of wrinkles, prevents sagging of facial muscles, promotes cell growth, its Vitamin C stabilizes collagen and helps reduce fine lines and repairs damaged skin cells.

Lemon Juice Honey Wipe

Lemons boost and encourage collagen production, tightens the skin, shrinks pores and lightens dark skin spots, while honey preserves skin moisture. Mix a tablespoon of honey with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to use as a facemask and rinse off after 15 minutes. Do this a few times a week.

Cucumber Yogurt Blend

After a day in the sun puree half a cucumber, a few mint leaves and half a cup of good quality yogurt. Refrigerate it until you’re ready for a cool, naturally hydrating facemask. One cucumber contains tons of vitamins and minerals that work to tighten, lighten, hydrate and tone the skin, while protecting it from dryness, peeling, or cracking.

By Lynn Ogryzlo