Beauty

The Ageing Process

The Ageing Process

Whilst some causes of ageing are genetic, most of the ageing process is determined by lifestyle choices. As a Nutritionist, I know that the health of our skin is hugely impacted by our diet, and it’s never too early to make anti-ageing choices.  

Here’s everything you need to know about the ageing process.

Sunlight 

Collagen, elastin and water determine how youthful our skin is. As we age elastin levels decrease, with UV light responsible for the majority of this damage, known as ‘photo-ageing’. Whilst we all require more vitamin D in the UK, you should always protect your skin from UV damage with SPF. 

To reach our vitamin D goals, it is recommended that all people in the UK take vitamin D supplements between October and March, with the minimum recommended dose set at 10 micrograms 

Vitamin D3

Collagen  

Water and collagen levels also decrease as when we age. We lose water absorption and filtration efficiency, and also have a reduced ability to metabolise protein (needed for building the collagen matrix). Drinking lots of water helps to keep hydration levels high, and provides ‘plumpness’ to the texture of skin.  Dietary sources of collagen include healthy fats such as avocados and nuts, white meats, fish, berries, and dark leafy greens.  

Alternatively, collagen supplements can help. Supplementation of this protein reduces eye wrinkles, improves skin elasticity, and helps to reverse the damage from photo-ageing.  

Collagen shot

Anti-Oxidants  

Part of the damage that occurs when we age is due to ‘free radicals.’ These harmful molecules cause oxidation within our healthy cells. Intake of ‘anti-oxidants’ helps to defend against the oxidative stress that occurs due to an accumulation of free radicals. Vitamin C cannot be made in the body, so must be taken in via supplementation and dietary sources include citrus fruits and berries. 

Vitamin C, whilst commonly known for boosting immunity also holds extensive anti-oxidant properties, and plays a role in the building of the collagen matrix, which is an integral part of skin health.  

Ageing

Healthy Fats 

It is well known that oily fish such as salmon and mackerel are high in omega-3’s, with the recommended intake being at least one portion per week. Omega-3’s play several roles in the anti-aging process; higher omega-3 intake is found to counteract the effects of UV ageing on the skin as well as helping to protect the brain against the damage of ageing.  

Omega-3’s can be found not only in fish, but also in plantbased sources including nuts, flaxseeds and vegetable oils. Having moderate amounts of these omega-3 containing healthy fats can increase skin elasticity (needed for ‘bounce’) and decrease the appearance of the fine lines that appear round the eye area.  

@graceysfitness

Sleep 

Factors that continuously affect our sleep are known as ‘sleep disruptions’ and can have a shortterm effect on general well-being and health, as well as more serious consequences long term. Being tired decreases our mood, increase our stress levels, and makes us more likely to choose foods high in processed sugars and low in nutrients and anti-oxidants.  

Sleep also affects our external health, with poor quality sleep associated with a negative impact on our skin: cell repair becomes slower, leaving us more susceptible to the damage from UV light. Decreased sleep increases water loss, so our skin looks less hydrated, and the appearance of eyebags becomes more pronounced. Most adults require 7-9 hours of sleep and a good sleep schedule can help achieve this number. 

In summary, we can do something about ageing. Our diet and lifestyle habits have a big part to play in the elasticity and firmness of our complexion, especially when it comes to collagen. To find out more about this important protein, take a look at our blog post.  

Introducing Our New Collagen Range

Health & Fitness

Introducing Our New Collagen Range

2020-04-14 17:01:42By Alicia Brittle


  1. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/ 
  2. Uitto. J. (2008). The role of elastin and collagen in cutaneous ageing: intrinsic aging versus photoexposure. J Drugs Dermatol, 7(2), S12-6.  
  3. Choi. F., Sung. C., Juhasz. M., Mesinkovska. N. (2019).  Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications[online] JDD, 18(1). Available from: https://jddonline.com/articles/dermatology/S1545961619P0009X/3 
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  6. Dyall. S. (2015). Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and the brain: a review of the independent and shared effects of EPA, DPA and DHA[online]. Front. Aging Neurosci. Available from: https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2015.00052 
  7. Medic. G., Wille. M., Hemels. M. (2017). Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption. Nat Sci Sleep, 9, pp. 151-161 
  8. Nagata.C., Nakamura. K., Wada. K., Oba. S. (2010). Association of dietary fat, vegetables and antioxidant micronutrients with skin ageing in Japanese women. British J Nutr, 103(10), pp. 1493-1498 
  9. Walker. M. (2017). Why we sleep: The new science of sleep and dreams. London: Penguin Random House UK.   
  10. Oyetakin-White, P., Suggs. A., Koo. B., Matsui. M., Yarosh. D., Cooper. K. et al (2015). Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing? Clin Derm, 40(1), pp. 17-22 


Rachel Greene

Rachel Greene

MSc Registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr)