written by Dr. Filza Swalah, ND
Skin health is so important because it’s actually the largest organ in the body and serves as a protective barrier from the outside world.1 Some of the jobs your skin has are; to filter UV light, keep you cool (think sweat and moisture loss), and provide all the sensations of touch and temperature.2 Skin truly is the connector between the outside world and the body. The healthier your skin is, the better job it can do and you (along with people you interact with) will see it in your reflection. The health of our skin is both a reflection of our inner health and the external influences around us.
And just like the rest of our body, our skin ages too, and this affects how it functions and appears. You’ve definitely noticed it on other people, and maybe even yourself. For example, loss of moisture and collagen looks like drier skin and wrinkles. Let’s take a deeper look at what happens to the skin in each decade, and what you can do to slow the aging process.
In your 20’s, your skin has ample amount of the skin proteins: collagen & elastin. These two proteins give the skin it’s plumpness, hold in moisture and even give that “glow” we all try to strive for. And although your skin may look the best, it’s important not to take it for granted! Yes, the skin proteins are present but that doesn’t mean there is no aging. Skin aging begins in this decade.
What to do?
This is the perfect time to get into good skin health routine:
- If you plan to be in the sun, wear sunscreen!
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Your skin needs water, that’s what gives it a glow and hydration. Get into the habit of drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day!
- Avoid added sugars. Sugar reacts with the collagen and elastin proteins and damages it.3
- Fuel your skin with collagen! No, it’s never to early to start a collagen supplement!
Another common skin woe during this decade is acne! As frustrating as it seems, 20% of Canadians live with acne.4 Acne, in a very simplified form, is the combination of too much oil production, clogged skin & bacteria all leading to inflammation of the skin.5 There are factors that can either trigger it or make it worse like: hormones, medications, diet filled with refined sugars and stress.5
What to do?
- Keep your skin clean to keep oils and clogged pores at bay
- Avoid refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, bagels, chips and switch to whole-grains.
- Stress less – stress doesn’t cause acne but it can make it worse
- Try Smart Solution’s GLA Borage Oil which reduces redness & skin inflammation.
In your 30’s, collagen production continues to decline. It’s estimated that collagen declines about 1% per year.6 This is where laugh lines, crow feet and other wrinkles will either get more prominent or begin to appear. Some women also experience dullness, especially later in the decade.
What to do?
- Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! Even when you’re in the house. Wear it, embrace it, love it! UV rays damage your skin and can cause premature aging. We’re all going to age eventually, but let’s slow the process.
- If you haven’t already started taking a collagen product, it’s about time you start! Try Smart Solution’s Active Collagen+ Capsules. It can reduce the number of wrinkles after just 28 days.
You guessed it, collagen continues to decline! But there is a entirely different factor at play here and if you haven’t already guessed it…it’s your HORMONES! Women typically enter the perimenopause stage during this time and here is a snapshot of what your hormones are doing:
Image credit Dr. Laura Briden ND7 and Dr. Jerilynn Prior MD
As you can see, during the perimenopause stage, hormones are produced less consistently and are more sporadic. This not only impacts the menstrual cycle but also the skin. Estrogen is the primary sex hormone that influences skin health as one of its functions is to maintain skin moisture by increasing hyaluronic acid.8 Estrogen influences elastin’s structure so when it begins to decline, it can lead to wrinkles and skin dryness.9
What to do?
- Keep up with collagen supplementation! This is also a great time to incorporate Smart Solution’s Collagen Plus. It provides the essential building blocks of collagen production to support the health of hair, skin, nails & bones. Why is this important? Because collagen production doesn’t stop out right, it just declines. So you need to support your bodies’ natural production while supplementing the losses.
- Support your skin’s hydration with Smart Solution's Skinsmart. It contains Celadrin and olive oil, which can soothe irritated skin.
- Keep your hormones in check with Cyclesmart. It has herbs like vitex, which helps to stabilize irregular menstrual cycles and other nutrients like DIM to reduce symptoms of recurrent breast pain during this time of the cycle. If you’re experiencing symptoms of the beginnings of menopause, like hot flashes and night sweats, another great option is Menosmart+. It contains herbs like black cohosh and sage to reduce these symptoms and ease the transition.
Your 50’s & beyond.
At this point, collagen continues to decline and hormones continue to fluctuate. For some women, it can take a few years for hormones to stabilize and the symptoms of menopause to decrease. Be patient and kind with yourself during this process. In terms of skin, as estrogen continues to decline, changes in skin will continue. Skin pigmentation and sun spots are more visible during this time1 so it’s important to practice good skin hygiene and sun protection early on!
What to do?
- If you haven’t already, start taking a collagen supplement like Smart Solution’s Active Collagen+ Capsules.
- Support symptoms of menopause with Menosmart+.
Your skin reflects your inner health. Put your best face (and skin) forward with Smart Solutions!
- National Geographic. Skin. Accessed April 17, 2021 at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/skin-1#:~:text=Skin%20is%20our%20largest%20organ,2%20square%20meters)%20of%20it.
- Structure and functions of the skin. HSE. (n.d.). Retrieved June 24, 2022, from https://www.hse.gov.uk/skin/professional/causes/structure.htm#:~:text=Provides a protective barrier against,(touch%2C detects temperature).
- Danby FW. Nutrition and aging skin: sugar and glycation. Clin Dermatol. 2010 Jul-Aug;28(4):409-11. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2010.03.018. PMID: 20620757.
- Canadian dermatology association. Skin conditions by numbers. Accessed April 16, 2021 at: https://dermatology.ca/public-patients/skin/skin-conditions/
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, May 25). Acne. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved June 24, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acne/symptoms-causes/syc-20368047
- Ganceviciene, R., Liakou, A. I., Theodoridis, A., Makrantonaki, E., & Zouboulis, C. C. (2012). Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermato-endocrinology, 4(3), 308–319. https://doi.org/10.4161/derm.22804
- Muhleisen, A. L., & Herbst-Kralovetz, M. M. (2016). Menopause and the vaginal microbiome. Maturitas, 91, 42–50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2016.05.015
- Shah MG, Maibach HI. Estrogen and skin. An overview. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2001;2(3):143-50. doi: 10.2165/00128071-200102030-00003. PMID: 11705091.
- Alexandra K. Rzepecki, Jenny E. Murase, Rupal Juran, Sabrina G. Fabi, Beth N. McLellan,Estrogen-deficient skin: The role of topical therapy, International Journal of Women's Dermatology,Volume 5, Issue 2, 2019,Pages 85-90, ISSN 2352-6475, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijwd.2019.01.001.