Aging Skin: Signs of Premature Aging & What to Do
Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
- The most common culprits of aging are free radicals and cellular damage.
- Increasing your intake of antioxidants and healthy fats, using sunscreen, quitting smoking, using sunscreen can all help reduce the appearance of premature skin aging.
- Fatty15 is a healthy fat that supports cellular membrane health, mitochondrial function, and cellular balance.*
Medically reviewed by Eric Venn-Watson, M.D.
While the wisdom and freedom of our older years can absolutely be awesome, the physical changes that come with age are a bit less exciting. Because of this, we’re continually looking for ways to preserve our physical health and mindful wellness as we age.
The skin is the body’s largest organ, and it’s also the organ that tends to age the quickest, primarily because of its exposure to external stressors. If we don’t take care of our aging skin, it ages faster than it should, losing elasticity and collagen. Premature skin aging can make us look years older than we are.
Being proactive in anti-aging in how you approach your skin health can help you stay looking younger, longer, and can also protect your skin against cellular damage.
We’ll talk about what causes premature skin damage and give you five tips to reduce premature skin aging.
What Causes Skin to Age Prematurely?
Theoretically, our skin should age along with us at the same rate our bodies age, but because our skin is exposed and not protected inside our bodies, it tends to age a bit faster. There are few reasons our skin ages faster than it should.
Free Radical Damage
Our skin is constantly under attack from environmental enemies called free radicals. Free radicals are unbalanced molecules that attack our healthy skin cells.
To fully understand how free radicals damage our skin, remember that everything is made up of molecules. These molecules need two electrons to be balanced. When they only have one electron, they become unbalanced and begin looking for an extra electron.
They find those extra electrons attached to healthy, balanced molecules, like the ones that make up our skin cells. They latch on to these healthy molecules, steal the electron, and cause damage to the cell where that molecule lives.
Free radicals can come from a lot of different sources:
- UV rays
- Cigarette smoke
- Pollution (smog and smoke)
- Fumes from household cleaners
Your cells become more fragile as you get older, and if you aren’t actively protecting your cellular health, your cells will break down faster. This fragility of cells that comes with age leaves them susceptible to free radical damage and premature skin aging.
Cellular breakdown begins at the cell wall. When the cell wall weakens, it exposes the cell to internal damage. Cellular instability doesn’t just make us look older. It can make us feel tired and places us at a higher risk for developing age-related diseases.
5 Tips to Reduce Premature Skin Aging
You can attempt to fight the signs of premature aging with hyaluronic acid creams and retinol serums, or you can go straight to the source of the problem and work on strengthening your cellular health and making lifestyle changes to help keep your skin healthy and youthful.
Here are our top 5 tips to reduce premature skin aging from the inside out.
Antioxidants are nature’s way of helping protect you against free radicals. Antioxidants are molecules that freely give up an electron to free radicals, shielding your cells from damage.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants. Vitamin C, in particular, is one of the best antioxidants available and can also be added to skin creams to be applied topically.
You know you need it, and you need it daily. There is a reason dermatologists preach about the use of sun protection. High-SPF sunscreen (SPF 30 or above) lotion shields your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays and helps prevent photoaging and premature skin aging.
At the same time, skin care products with broad-spectrum sunscreen also drastically reduce your likelihood of developing skin cancer and protect from severe sun damage from sun exposure.
Protective clothing helps, too, and it goes without saying that tanning without protection isn’t recommended by your local dermatology specialist.
3. Stop Smoking
If you smoke, you’re increasing your skin’s age dramatically, and much of that damage can’t be undone. Your skin will improve after you stop smoking, but the longer you smoke, the worse it is for your skin.
Smoking exposes your skin to free radicals and toxins that severely damage your skin cells and prevent them from getting adequate oxygen. You can experience dry skin, age spots, pigmentation, and skin changes you never expected.
4. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is beneficial to your entire body, but you might be surprised to learn it’s a great tool for keeping your skin healthy.
Exercise increases blood flow to your skin cells. That blood flow nourishes your skin, providing it with hydration, oxygen, and nutrients. It also helps expedite the removal of waste products (like toxins) from your skin, which helps your skin cells function better.
5. Increase Your (Good) Fat Intake
Did you just do a double-take? We understand, but you read that correctly. Increasing your intake of healthy fats can help support your skin health, strengthen your cells, and keep you looking younger, longer.* Here’s how.
Healthy Fats for Good Skin
We’ve spent decades being told that fat was bad for us, but as it turns out, not all fat is bad.† In addition to the studied benefits of omega-3 fatty acids to our skin health, research shows that another particular fat, C15:0 (pronounced, see-fifteen), is essential for our bodies (and our skin) to maintain proper cellular health.*†
What is C15:0?
C15:0 is an odd-chain saturated fatty acid known as pentadecanoic acid. This fatty acid is present in small amounts in full-fat dairy products like butter and whole milk. So, if you are like many people who avoid whole-fat dairy products, you probably aren’t getting much (if any) C15:0 in your diet.
Saturated fat has always gotten a pretty bad rap, and there’s a reason. Even-chain saturated fatty acids are associated with negative health markers, like inflammation, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Odd chain saturated fatty acids, however, have been associated with positive health, like balanced immunity, healthy heart function, healthy metabolism, red blood cell health, and liver health.*
C15:0 is beneficial for us, and by protecting our cellular health and targeting key components of the aging process, it may also help us avoid the visible signs of aging.*
C15:0 for Cell Membranes
C15:0 helps strengthen your cell membranes, making them more resilient and able to withstand more stress than they can without it.†* In fact, research shows that this fatty acid is essential in keeping your cell membranes strong so they don’t age as quickly.†*
These studies support that C15:0 provides an 80% improvement in cellular stability.†* When cellular stability increases, cells are less likely to break down prematurely.†*
C15:0 for Mitochondrial Function
Our mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells. They’re responsible for charging your cells and giving them the energy they need to stay healthy and function properly.
As we age, our mitochondrial function declines, decreasing our energy and increasing cellular stress. Cellular stress ages our cells, which in turn ages our skin. These effects of aging can be hard to manage after the fact.
C15:0 for Cellular Balance
Just like your weekly hot yoga session balances your mind and body, C15:0 can help balance your cellular health.†* While aging can cause your cellular immunity and metabolism to become unbalanced, C15:0 naturally binds to receptors called PPARs, which help improve cellular and immune homeostasis to help keep you (and your skin) healthy.†*
You can get the benefit of C15:0 with a once-daily, easy to swallow supplement called fatty15. Fatty15 is the only supplement that contains FA15™, a pure powder form of C15:0.
Fatty15 can help give your cells a fighting chance and help you take charge of your skin health.†* By strengthening your cellular membranes and supporting overall cellular health, you may be combatting the signs of premature skin aging in a powerful yet convenient way.†*
Creams and potions from the cosmetics counter might increase the moisture level on the surface of your skin, making fine lines and wrinkles less visible for a time, but if you’re serious about slowing the hands of time, promoting your health at the cellular level is the best solution.
Eric Venn-Watson M.D.
Senior Scientist, Co-Founder
Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.
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