We all age – that is undeniable. Most of us, though, want to limit the effects of aging to keep a young-looking appearance for as long as possible. Of course, this is nothing new – for thousands of years both women and men have taken steps to make their skin look smooth, wrinkle free, and radiant.
Despite the length of time mankind has grabbled with this question, its answer remains frustratingly elusive – for some. There are, however, pioneers in the field of anti-aging treatments who are rewriting the rulebooks and making significant advances. We recently caught up with one of them, Dr. Thiago Freire, and were able to get an insight into his thinking on the subject of anti-aging. We also got him to give us advice and divulge some of his best anti-aging secrets.
Before getting into that, however, who is Dr. Thiago Freire. If you are a celebrity in Beverly Hills, you might already know the answer to that question as Dr Freire helps a number of well-known names in the entertainment industry get young-look and health skin.
Dr Freire is a doctor who specialises in anti-aging medicine. He is also an associate professor and lecturer at the PFUR University of Moscow as well as being a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. In addition, Dr. Freire works in the American company EMK where he is the Head of Product Development and head of EMK Research, you can read here an interview that dr. Freire, recently gave to WSIMAG.
He is, therefore, the best person to quiz on what you should do to slow the signs of aging and reverse its affects. Here are the questions we put to him, and his illuminating, interesting, and, sometimes, surprising answers.
Dr Thiago, are there any foods that can prevent aging? If so, what are they and how do they work?
Diet does have an impact on how you age in terms of your appearance and how healthy you are.
Let's start with foods you shouldn't eat. This primarily involves anything that is high in sugar or salt. These have an impact on your health in a number of ways. For example, eating excess salt is known to be a cause of cardiovascular disease. Eating too much sugary foods can cause diabetes among other conditions that affect people in their older years. It also leads to weight gain.
In addition, salt affects the moisture levels of your skin. This can leave your skin feeling dry plus it will be dull in appearance. This will make you look older.
Eating too much sugar can make you look older too. This is because of glycosylation, a process where the sugar you eat binds to the collagen in your skin. This weakens the collagen giving you an older appearance.
What about foods that you should eat?
Generally, you should eat a balanced diet with lots of fresh foods. In particular, you should eat foods with healthy fats - olive oil is a good example. Salmon and walnuts are also good as they’re rich in Omega-3, plus you should eat foods that are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. This includes most green vegetables as well as citrus fruits and berries. All these foods make your skin look more vibrant and healthy.
One of my favourite anti-aging foods, however, is one that is not well-known in countries like the US - the seaberry. It is a fruit that is grown primarily in central Asia and in Russia. In countries where the seaberry is common it is used to make jam, fruit juice, wine, ice cream, and more.
The reason I am such a big fan of seaberry is because of the benefits it brings to your skin. This includes naturally protecting your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays. It can also help with conditions like eczema and it has healing properties so can help cuts and burns.
In your opinion, what is the greatest cause of wrinkles? Is it age, certain foods, stress, or something else?
Normally, wrinkles are caused by a number of factors. This includes all of the factors mentioned in the question and more. Age certainly plays a part, but it is possible to slow the signs of aging, particularly wrinkles, by taking steps to deal with the other main causes.
As already mentioned, foods high in sugar and salt can cause wrinkles and make your skin look older. Stress, not getting enough sleep, and spending a lot of time in the sun while not wearing sunscreen can cause wrinkles too. Exercise - or not exercising – is also a factor.
In addition, not taking good care of your skin can also cause wrinkles. Moisturising, exfoliating, and washing your face in a way that lets the skin breathe, are all good ways to avoid wrinkles.
This is a very personal experience, but I lost 20 kilos, which is great, but wrinkles I never knew existed suddenly appeared. Does being overweight prevent the appearance of wrinkles?
Losing weight can impact your skin in a negative way, including causing wrinkles and stretch marks. That doesn't mean you should avoid losing weight - the health benefits are too important, particularly as you get older. There are things you can do, however, to prevent wrinkles appearing as a result of weight loss.
This includes regularly moisturising your skin. You should also make sure you drink plenty of water while also ensuring your diet is high in fruits and vegetables (although it probably is if you are on a weight-loss diet). You should also exercise while avoiding things known to cause wrinkles, such as smoking.
Is it true that fish like salmon and sardines are high in Omega-3 so can help rejuvenate your skin?
Yes, salmon and sardines are high in Omega-3. Other foods that are good sources of Omega-3 include walnuts and flaxseeds.
Omega-3 is good for your skin so, by extension, foods that are high in Omega-3 can help to make your skin look healthy, rejuvenated, and vibrant. Omega-3 does this by helping to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays as well as supporting the skin’s structure. In addition, Omega-3 helps to keep your skin hydrated.
Put together, these things reduce the appearance of wrinkles to give you younger looking skin. This is in addition to the other health benefits you’ll enjoy by including foods rich in Omega-3 in your diet.