While this habit change may have dramatic effects, there are natural substances that can help as well
While claims of anti-aging made by many cosmetic makers are often suspect, there is one trick that could have a truly dramatic impact on skin age for a select group of people.
Dramatic reversal of skin aging has been observed in smokers who stopped for at least nine months. This extremely encouraging research is relevant to non-smokers who may experience similar improvements by eliminating avoidable chemical exposures, detoxifying, and changing their diet to include longevity-promoting nutrients and phytocompounds, such as blueberry, zinc, and chocolate. In fact, a wide range of natural substances has been studied to contribute to restoring youthfulness, elasticity, and health to the skin, as you shall soon see.
First, let’s take a closer look at what happens to your skin when you stop smoking.
Smoking Cessation Results in Dramatic Biological Skin Age Reversal
In a study published in the journal Skinmed in 2010, titled “‘Quitting smoking rejuvenates the skin’: results of a pilot project on smoking cessation conducted in Milan, Italy,” researchers evaluated the benefits on the skin obtained by cessation of smoking in a sample of 64 actively smoking Italian women who, over a period of nine months, were followed by a team of dermatologists, psychologists, and nutritionists to track changes.
Each participant was given a clinical score to measure several criteria of skin health and appearance. Participants’ skin was assessed on the basis of the presence of lines, vascular and pigmentation state, elasticity, brightness, and texture.
These measurements were then used to determine the biological age of the skin. At the beginning of the study, the average biological age of participants was nine years older than their chronologic age. Amazingly, after nine months after cessation of smoking, the average reduction of the biological age of the patient’s skin was 13 years.
If simply stopping smoking is responsible for reversing the aging process by as much as 13 years, can you imagine what removing fluoride, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, and thousands of other chemical exposures would do to your skin, and bodily health in general?
Natural Substances That Pack a Powerful, Age-Defying Punch
A number of clinical studies have been performed in order to ascertain the value of natural compounds in improving signs of aging, including the following:
Aloe: A 2009 study in women, published in the Annals of Dermatology, found that the daily ingestion of between 1.2 and 3.6 grams of aloe gel, taken daily for 90 days, significantly improved wrinkles and elasticity in photoaged skin in healthy female subjects over the age of 45.
Pine Bark: A 2012 study in women, published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging, found that oral administration of 40 mg or 100 mg of French maritime pine bark (pycnogenol), daily for 12 weeks, improved clinical symptoms in photoaged facial skin.
Chocolate: A 2006 study in women, published in the Journal of Nutrition, found that long-term ingestion of high flavanol cocoa provides photoprotection against UV-induced redness (erythema) and improves skin condition.
Green Tea: A 2005 study in women, published in the journal Dermatologic Surgery, found that a combination of topical and oral green tea supplementation resulted in improvement in skin elasticity following exposure to ultraviolet light.
Multi-Nutrient Mixtures: In 2004, a study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment found that a multi-nutrient mixture of vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, amino acids and glycosaminoglycans, blueberry extract, and pycnogenol improved visible signs of aging in women 45 to 73 years of age after only six weeks of treatment.
In 2005, a study published in the Journal of International Medical Research found that a multi-nutrient mixture of marine proteins, alpha-lipoic acid, pine bark extract, vitamins, and minerals is safe and efficacious in the treatment of aging symptoms of the skin in women after six months.
Finally, a 2006 study, published in “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” found that multi-nutrient mixture of soy extract, fish protein polysaccharides, extracts from white tea, grape seed, and tomato, and vitamins C and E, as well as zinc and chamomile extract, improves signs of skin aging in postmenopausal women after six months.
Only the Tip of the ‘Anti-Aging’ Iceberg
Of course, there are many things that will help to improve skin quality and the appearance of youthfulness that haven’t yet been officially vetted through human clinical trials, and probably never will, due to the amount of time, effort, and prohibitive quantities of money that it takes to do such research.
There is, however, a sizable body of preclinical research—much of which we have accumulated on the GreenMedinfo database—on other natural compounds that appear to promote longevity. Those concerning skin, in particular, can be viewed at the subset of that database called Preventing Skin Aging, which now includes more than 80 natural substances. The wider set of data concerns aging as a whole, and includes more than 180 natural substances that have experimentally confirmed longevity-promoting potential, which can be viewed in the Anti-Aging Research database.