The prerequisite for reading this post is that you go back and review the article I wrote on maintaining a strong facial bone structure. I believe that strong facial bones are the foundation to having a youthful (and attractive) appearance. When we are young, our bones are strong, providing the skin great support. But as time passes, bone loss begins to occur taking away the structure needed to keep the skin looking taunt.
|via my "Perfect Skin" Pinterest board|
Since I was making all these efforts to help build collagen, I had to also get serious about removing obstacles to the efforts I was making. The biggest obstacle to firm, youthful skin (besides sun damage) is sugar. Sugar rapidly enters the blood stream. When they attach to proteins, they create a new molecule known as an Advanced Glycogen End product (AGE). The new molecule damages our collagen proteins causing our skin to age more rapidly. Another ill of eating too much sugar is how it leeches calcium from our bodies. Calcium leads to bone loss. When our bones & our skin lose volume, there's no wrinkle cream on the market that can save us. So if you are looking to retain firm skin for the long run, keep sugar intake to a minimum. Oh, and keep in mind that some foods turn to simple sugar in the body so even if you are passing on dessert, be aware of other foods you are eating that behave in the same way.
The next tip to creating firm skin is to firm the muscles. I first learned of facial exercise several years ago. The idea is to work the muscles in your face similar to how one would exercise to keep the body fit. Facial exercises are fairly easy to do and doesn't take long before you start to see results. Exercise can help lift sagging checks and strengthen the muscles around the eyes. Basically, it helps fight against the effects of gravity on the face. Sculpta, is a procedure that fills in the face by injecting a lactic acid complex into the skin. This complex stimulates collagen production that can last up to two years. Incidentally, exercise creates lactic acid in the muscles. I'm not saying the two are related, but wouldn't it be cool if facial exercise provides some of the same benefits as getting an injectable skin plumping treatment? The perfect compliment to facial exercise is facial massage. I love facial massage for stimulating the skin and increasing blood flow. Where blood flows, there is life.
In the past year or so, I've experimented with more vigorous forms of facial stimulation. The goal was to promote firmer skin and collagen production from the stimulation to the skin. Some say that collagen can also be regenerated through stimulation therapy with micro needles. The needles create microscopic damage to the skin and, as it heals, the skin will produce additional collagen. I have some micro needles which I intended to use on my acne scars but now I'm considering experimenting on trying them out to promote collagen production. Other forms of facial/collagen stimulation include gadgets that create suction (like my Riiviva microderm machine).
Remember the time when I experimented with drinking a gallon of water a day? One of the wonderful side effects was the feeling that my skin felt plumper overall. People pay hundreds of dollars to get hyaluronic acid fillers. Truth is, HA fillers work by drawing water to the area to create volume. I felt like I got similar results without having to experience needles going into my face. Not to mention how many other benefits you receive when you drink lots of water on a regular basis.
The bad news is that you begin to lose collagen at a rapid rate once you hit a certain age. The good news is that we have multiple options available to us to stimulate and reproduce collagen to restore the look of the skin. The key is to remain consistent and try multiple strategies to see what your skin responds to most.