A woman with her hand to the side of her face.

Women + Aging + Skin

Our skin changes with each passing year. As we age, our skin gets drier, thinner and less plump, showing more wrinkles each year. We know – it’s a bummer.

Here’s why it happens and what you can do.

Changing Hormones
During perimenopause and throughout menopause, the hormones estrogen and progesterone fluctuate and eventually drop. Estrogen is what helps skin produce oil and hold onto water. Less estrogen means drier skin and more wrinkles.

Less Plump Skin
Collagen is a protein that gives skin its structure and plumpness. A drop in collagen is a big contributor to increasing wrinkles. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, collagen drops 30% in the first five years of menopause and another 2% each year after that for the next 20 or so.

Hydration is really important for aging skin. As women naturally lose water, it’s important to replenish by eating hydrating foods (fruits and veggies) and drinking lots and lots of water.

Anti-Aging + Food
Eating foods that are plentiful in healthy fats, essential vitamins and minerals and antioxidants supports your skin. Don’t get me wrong, I am a believer in generously slathering my body with creams and serums and using hydration masks from time to time. BUT, daily food habits that support skin are really important and not talked about enough.

No food can reverse wrinkles or other signs of aging. Certain foods do a good job of supporting skin health and slow aging’s effects. In my opinion, the big hitters that you should include in your weekly diet include: 

  • Broccoli
  • Red Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Avocados
  • Blueberries
  • Nuts + Seeds
  • Pomegranate

Here’s Why

Broccoli: This anti-inflammatory aging-support powerhouse is packed with vitamin C, which is important for collagen production – the main protein in skin that gives it strength and elasticity. It has lots of fiber to keep bowel health and our microbiome strong. Broccoli is a good source of the antioxidant lutein, which is a powerful do-gooder. Eat broccoli often to support skin.

Red Peppers: Red peppers are also good sources of vitamin C (used for collagen production) and they contain powerful antioxidants called carotenoids which are anti-inflammatory and precursors to big helpers in skin health. Mini peppers with hummus is a delicious snack – chop into salads or use in a quick stir fry.

Spinach: Spinach is considered to be a superfood because of the quantity of antioxidants and supportive nutrients including lots of vitamin C (again for collagen) and vitamin A. Vitamin A is a big skin player. It is proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production, improving skin elasticity by helping to remove damaged elastin fibers and promoting cell turnover. Vitamin A also assists to prevent skin aging from environmental issues like the sun and pollution. Add a handful of spinach to your next salad or smoothie. 

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are another veggie with large amounts of an antioxidant called beta-carotene, which gives a beautiful orange coloring and is great for skin elasticity and promotes skin cell turnover. Sweet potatoes are considered fibrous, which is good for microbiome balance, which in turn assists skin. It is also rich in vitamins C and E, both skin health boosters. Bake a sweet potato and include it with dinner.

Avocado: Avocados are composed of anti-inflammatory fatty acids. So much so that you might want to eat avocado every day. It’s that good for your skin. Avocados have relatively high levels of vitamin C, E and A. Add to a salad or smoothie or fill the whole with dressing and eat as an afternoon snack (my favorite).

Blueberries: Blueberries are rich sources of vitamins A and C that support collagen and have loads of antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory and protect skin from sun damage. Add to a salad, smoothie or have on the side. 

Nuts: Many nuts, almonds especially, are great sources of vitamin E, which protect skin in several ways. They repair skin tissue, retain moisture, and protect against damaging UV rays. Walnuts are filled with antiinflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, a major ingredient in skin cell’s membranes. Eat nuts for a snack and add to salads for a delightful crunch. Don’t remove the skin – the skin of the nut has lots of good qualities.

Pomegranates: Pomegranates are a good source of vitamin C. They’re anti-inflammatory and have a variety of potent antioxidants, protecting from free radical damage to the skin due to sun or toxins or pollution. Pomegranate seeds are delightfully sweet in a salad (my fave is dark green lettuces, chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds and a maple vinaigrette), and delicious flavoring with seltzer for a mocktail.

About the Sun: One of the biggest factors to aging skin is sun exposure. Wearing SPF daily (year-round, especially in Colorado) even when it’s cloudy, starting in your 20s (but today is better than tomorrow) is one of the most important things you can do to protect against aging skin.

For more tips and intel on aging skin and nutrition, reach out to a holistic nutritionist. Book a complimentary consultation to see if Healthy Nest is right for you.