Introduction to My Anti Aging Secrets
Over the years I have tried dozens and dozens of products and procedures to stay looking young but most of them were a waste of my time and my money. However, with persistence and research and I have found 7 things that, year after year, have proven to me their effectiveness in preserving a youthful appearance by reducing and delaying the onset of aging. These things are: water, sleep, less sugar, sunscreen, retin-a/retinol, botox/dysport and the fractional CO2 laser.
Drinking enough water is the most important thing you can do to retain a youthful appearance and keep your body healthy. Good hydration is important to flush out the toxins from the body and to deliver nutrients and oxygen to your organs (remember, the skin is your largest organ).
- What happens when you don’t drink enough water? When you don’t drink adequate levels of water, your blood thickens, blood circulation slows down and necessary nutrients are delivered at a slower pace; thus, the skin begins to sag, hair falls out, energy drops, memory fails, hormone levels drop, the risk of heart disease increases.
- How much water do you need to drink? I drink one cup of coffee a day and, the rest of the time, I only drink water. I don’t drink alcohol, no soda, maybe once or twice a year I sip on sparkly cider or fruit juice. My favorite water is Evian because it doesn’t taste bitter.
Sleep is my favorite anti-aging secret. While you sleep, the human growth hormone (HGH) is at its highest level of production. The HGH is key in preventing slow metabolism, saggy skin, muscle loss and belly fat.
I sleep 7-8 hour a night on a regular basis and I always wake up feeling refreshed with glowing skin, my mind is active and my body has energy to get me through my day. Yes, there are nights when I don’t have time to sleep my 7-8 hours and immediately I feel a difference in my body. I’m sluggish, my brain is less alert, I have dark circles underneath my eyes and my skin looks dull. Now imagine if not getting enough sleep is the norm! First, your body would have to work harder to give you energy to complete your work and daily tasks, increasing the stress put on your heart and organs. Second, perpetually tired and dull skin, will age much quicker.
3. Eat Less Sugar
This is my least favorite anti-aging solution because… I love sugar!!! Nonetheless, two years ago I started reducing sugar in my diet and the health and beauty rewards have been worth the “depravation” for the following 2 reasons:
- In my early 30s, during my annual physical, I learned that the inflammation of the plaque in my arteries was high year after year which increased my risk of heart attack. I was surprised because I was healthy, slim and worked out on a regular basis. However, after I cut my sugar consumption drastically for the last two years, this past December, my blood analysis revealed that the inflammation dropped to bellow average! How amazing!
- Beyond the immediate health benefits I’ve been enjoying from eating less sugar, my body and my face are more attractive. My face looks less puffy and my skin is brighter and looks healthy. I’ve gained muscle definition and I’ve lost two inches around my torso, dropping to 32 inches from 34 inches in the first 4 months of reducing sugar.
The easiest way to control my sugar consumption is to not bring it into my house. At times I’m tempted to buy lots of sugary treats and breads but I remind myself that sugar leads to inflammation in the body and inflammation speeds up the aging process and my risk of diabetes and heart disease go up. Sometimes when I walk past the desserts in the grocery store, I also visualize my toned, slim waist I’ve gained from controlling sugar and I make it through the temptation.
Remember: Sugar hides in many foods not just desserts. Avoid all foods that rank high on the glycemic index such as: breads, starches, potatoes, baked goods, pastas, soda, and most important alcohol.
If you remember only one thing from this article, remember this: sunscreen is the most effective anti-aging cream; no anti-aging serum on the market does more to preserve your youth than sunscreen! Sunscreen protects your skin from the harmful UV-A and UV-B rays, therefore you have to wear sunscreen everyday whether it’s sunny or rainy, doesn’t matter!
I love the HK 180 Sunscreen SPF 30 because it doesn’t leave a white tint on my face; it is not too greasy to cause breakouts nor too dry for my skin; I can use it on both my face and my body; and one bottle lasts me for several months with everyday use.
5. Retin-A / Retinol
As I mentioned above, sunscreen is the most effective anti-aging cream you can buy. If you want to invest your money in one product in addition to sunscreen, it has to be a Retin-A or Retinol based product. There is so much research proving the effectiveness of Retin-A in the delaying and preventing aging that Retin-A is a must in your skin care routine. Retin-A works on a molecular level to speed up cell turnover and preserve collagen, which is essential in the firmness and elasticity of your skin.
I’ve been using Retin-A for over 5 years now because Retin-A smooths and diminishes wrinkles and keeps the dead-cell built up at a minimum so my skin looks vibrant. I currently use the Power Rich Retinol Serum 10x from the HK 180 Skincare. This product is a Retinol not a Retin-A based product, allowing me to benefit from the same anti-aging effects without the irritation, redness and/or flakiness that Retin-A can cause.
Botox is the easiest of all my anti-aging secrets because the tiniest needle is used for the injections rendering the procedure virtually painless and quick. Botox is injected in specific muscles to improve and prevent the appearance of wrinkles on the face. Every 3 to 3 and a half months, I have an appointment with Dr. Bill Kortesis from Hunstad Kortesis Plastic Surgery + Medspa for Botox. Usually I have Botox injected in between my eyebrows, across my forehead and in the outer corner of my eyes, to prevent crows feet especially when smiling. Last year I switched to Dysport from Botox because Dysport seems to work better and sometimes I used to get a slight headache the day I got Botox.
7. Fractional CO2 Laser
I don’t have enough words to describe how much I love the Fractional CO2 Fractional Laser! The CO2 Laser is a powerful laser (so make sure you find a good doctor!) that produces amazing results. I had two CO2 Laser treatments so far with Dr. Kortesis and I plan on having other treatments because I want to maintain my skin in a state of perpetual perfection. Read a detail account of my experience with the CO2 Laser, the recovery and the results.
Beyond the above 7 anti-aging secrets, I have to mention two more procedures that I’m very fond of but I don’t have enough experience with them to be 100% certain they will remain part of my anti-aging regiment. These two additional procedures are: Ultheraphy and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections.
Ultheraphy is an intensive ultrasound procedure that tightens and lifts the skin with no downtime. I had one Ultheraphy treatment on my neck, full face and forehead in September 2015 and I loved the results. I started to notice a lift and tightening around my jawline and mid face as soon as 2 weeks after treatment, with the results getting better and better until 3 months after treatment. I’m planning to repeat Ultheraphy in the fall, the same day I’ll have my next CO2 Laser treatment. In fact, another reason I love Ultheraphy is that I can have it done the same day as the CO2 Laser, thus I’m getting one of the best anti-aging treatments available – all noninvasive and all done under general anesthesia so I experience no discomfort during the treatment.
2. PRP Injections
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Injections are one of my new favorite anti-aging procedure. PRP is derived from your own blood and is injected into different areas of your face to promote an overall facial rejuvenation. First, blood is drawn and then spun in a centrifuge to separate the plasma out which contains an elevated number of platelets. Once the plasma is injected, it stimulates collagen and over the next few weeks, your face will begin to look fuller with increased volume and the skin grows smoother and tighter… and the best part: all these results have a natural appearance and no one can tell you had anything “done” to your face. I started to have PRP injections to my face in March 2015 and repeated them every 3 months for a year. Recently I started to have the injections every 6 weeks because I love the natural results of PRP and I would like to see if PRP injections can replace the need for fillers.
The above 7 anti-aging secrets are my gold standard for delaying and preventing aging. Whether they are easy, such as sleep and Dysport, or a constant battle with temptation, such as controlling sugar consumption, I religiously follow each of the 7 steps. At the same time I constantly learn about new treatments and lifestyles that are effective anti-agers. For instance, one new laser treatment that I plan to try within a year or so is the Profound Laser but that’s an entire new article to come… 🙂
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© Isabella Adkins – 2016