• Stress, pollution, facial expressions, excess sun exposure, use of chemical products and makeup can make our skin age.
• Incorporating strength training, aerobics, Zumba, stretching or yoga no matter a person’s fitness level is a great starting point.
Ageing can be caused by a lot of factors.
According to clinical dermatologist Leo Kingori, stress, pollution, facial expressions, excess sun exposure, use of chemical products and makeup can make our skin age.
“Having a skincare routine is very important, that accompanied by eating right and using the right products can help reduce premature ageing,” Kingori told the Star.
While identifying fine lines, skin dryness, sagging, uneven skin tone and loss of volume as signs of premature ageing Kingori said that there is nothing experts can do to stop ageing but taking care of one’s skin can help slow down the process.
“The sun begins leaving its mark during the first years of life, researchers say by age 25, is when the signs of ageing begin,” he said.
“Age not only affects your collagen, but also elastin fibres which make your skin look young and pumped. Your skin then loses its elasticity and collagen production also slows down.”
He said that with age, an organelle called mitochondria found in most cells which is also plays a vital role when it comes to ageing, if there are dysfunctions, skin disorders and premature ageing may be manifested.
“This organelle is found in large amounts in the muscle cells, evidence also shows they regulate keratin, a protein inside skin cells responsible for skin elasticity,” he said.
“Caring and boosting your mitochondria doesn’t just help to slow down the ageing process, it also enhances your energy levels, cognitive powers and also increase your metabolism.”
How to boost your mitochondria
- Shower with more cold water
“Ending your hot showers with 30 seconds of cold water can help increase the organelle's activity,” he said.
A 2019 study published on March 27 by the Neuroscience and behavioural physiology states that cold adaptation has been shown to increase the number and activity of mitochondria which then boost collagen production through ATP.
- Reduce stress with relaxation and massage
“Stress hormones alter the mitochondria function, opting for relaxation techniques like saunas, meditation and massage and incorporating these techniques daily is good for the nervous and immune system,” he advised.
- Increase body activity.
Kingori advised people to incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.
“Physical exercise is the best way to increase your oxygen intake. When your body uses more energy, more mitochondria will be produced to keep up with the demand,” he said.
He said incorporating strength training, aerobics, Zumba, stretching or yoga no matter a person’s fitness level is a great starting point.
- Reduce sugar, carbs and soda intake
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found that excess carbs can lead to significant changes in the shape and function of mitochondria, particularly in certain brain cells.
The researchers suspect these changes might alter your hormone production and regulation, which is vital to optimizing your mitochondrial function.
- Eat foods that boost the mitochondria
By adding more omega 3 acids to the diet and vegetables like spinach, broccoli, yams, carrots and beets, which are good sources of alpha-lipoic acid, signs of premature ageing can be fought.
Also, eating eggs, beans, nuts, seeds and fruits like avocado, strawberries, vitamin C and B.
- Use sunscreen
Research shows that sun exposure is directly linked to the active breakdown of collagen and the reduction of collagen synthesis.
The research which was published in the journal of investigative dermatology shows that Ultraviolet rays produced by the sun unlock highly active molecules in the skin which then cause damage to skin membrane, DNA and protein.
Sunscreen works by reflecting the UVA away from your skin cells both inside and out.
Kingori recommended the use of a sunscreen of 30 and above, for use daily even when indoors as UV can pass through the glass.
- Get a good night sleep and skincare
Approximately eight hours of sleep is good for the brain.
Researchers say that good sleep allows it to clear the by-products of thinking that build up during the day (known as neutral waste).
When neutral waste accumulates, it is harmful to the mitochondria in neurons.
"Good skin care is essential for both males and females for healthy-looking skin," Kingori said.
Cleansing — Washing your face. Toning — Balancing the skin. Moisturizing — Hydrating with water helps in balancing the skin.