Fine lines looking back at you in the mirror indicate the need for action if you want to preserve your youthful appearance. Collagen and elastin, which give skin its structural support and resilience, come under attack from our bodies as we start to age. By stimulating the production of these proteins in your body naturally, you can increase elasticity in the skin.
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According the researchers from London's Kingston University and Neal's Yard Remedies, white tea and green tea contain high levels of antioxidants, which inhibit enzymes that damage skin cells. These enzymes, collagenase and elastase, damage the skin by breaking down collagen and elastin. When you drink green or white tea, the antioxidants allow the body tissues to repair themselves, keeping your skin from sagging. The lungs, arteries and ligaments also benefit from the antioxidants in white and green tea.
Herbs and Plants
Certain herbs and plant extracts inhibit collagen and elastin-destroying enzymes. Rose and pomegranate extracts boost the elasticity and have calming and healing properties that make them suitable for sensitive, dry or sensitive skin. You will find them in serums aimed at repairing ageing and damaged skin.
Bladderwrack, seaweed consumed in some Asian cultures as a food, stimulates collagen and elastic production. According to Medline Plus, laboratory studies suggest that the plant has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties and suppresses cancer cells and lowers blood sugar in laboratory animals. Anise, angelica and cleavers also make the list of plants that prevent lost of skin elasticity. Purchase supplements in place of food or tea when necessary.
Phytessence Wakame, Japanese sea kelp, blocks the hyaluronidase enzyme. This enzyme robs the elasticity-imparting proteins of the skin of hyaluronic acid causing them to loose their glue-like quality, leading to sagging skin. The Japanese eat it commonly for its invigorating effects and the makers of skin care preparations add the extract to anti-ageing products. (reference 5)
A study by the Central Food Technological Research Institute in India notes that humans cannot synthesise ascorbic acid, commonly known as vitamin C. You need vitamin C to produce collagen, which keeps the skin taut, prevents the common cold and has cancer-preventing properties. Adults should have 100 to 120 mg of vitamin C each day, so take supplements or eat plenty of citrus fruits, dark berries and leafy green vegetables.
Coenzyme Q10 is another antioxidant that increases collagen production, according to researchers at the Shiseido Research Center in Japan. It may also prevent heart disease, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and shrink tumours caused by breast cancer. Though you can find it in many skin care preparations, fish such as salmon and tuna, liver and whole grains contain CoQ10.
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