Aging skin can feel like a drag, but you’ve got allies. Probiotics are nature’s secret weapon, and here’s how you can use them to your advantage.
If you’re not thinking about it yet, one day, you will. The threat of thinning, sagging skin spares no one. And for those of us who consider ourselves particularly skin-conscious, taking pride in good skin has been a way of life. Aging feels like it’s coming to destroy everything we’ve worked so hard to achieve. For that reason, we tend to treat it like the enemy, and that attitude isn’t doing us, or our skin, any favors.
AGING GRACEFULLY: THE POWER OF POSITIVITY
The first thing to address when it comes to aging is our mentality around it. The evidence linking the mind + body connection has been going strong since the 1970s. Psychology Today explains the findings from a 1974 study this way:
“In the same way that the body affects the mind, however, the mind is capable of immense effects on the body. The literature has demonstrated again and again that thoughts affect neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that allow the brain to communicate with different parts of itself and the nervous system. Neurotransmitters control virtually all of the body’s functions, from feeling happy to modulating hormones, to dealing with stress. Therefore, our thoughts influence our bodies directly because the body interprets the messages coming from the brain to prepare us for whatever is expected.”
Letting go of the fear and anxiety society throws at us around aging is an important aspect of skin protection. One healthy way to balance that anxiety is to stop looking down and start looking up. Find badass older women who’ve embraced the wisdom and freedom aging allows for, and follow them on social media. Some of our favorites are @thetennillelife_, @and.bloom, @roz_creativestylist, and @jens_going_gray.zy.
WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR SKIN AS WE AGE?
What exactly happens to our skin as we’re aging? The first thing to know is that it all depends on your genes, and whether or not you’ve proactively taken care of your skin over the years. Sunscreen is a must, and we love the Daily routines like eating well, getting regular exercise, and having healthy responses to stress (yoga, meditation, etc.) all make a difference in how your skin looks and feels as you age. So depending on what you’re working with from about your early 20’s onward, you can expect the effects of aging to exacerbate those conditions.
Here’s a breakdown, by decade:
- Loss of baby fat in your face
- The first effects of sun damage start to appear (sunspots, hyperpigmentation, crows feet)
- Collagen production declines
- Skin becomes duller and less firm
- Loss of subcutaneous fat
- Loss of elasticity
- Skins ability to repair itself slows down
- Wrinkles and crows feet become more pronounced
YOUR 50’s and Up:
- Menopause causes hormones to fluctuate
- Skin becomes drier
- Lines and wrinkles become deeper as collagen and elastin levels decrease
HOW TO AGE GRACEFULLY AND KEEP THAT GLOW
In addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there is something you can do to help your skin work for you as you age. Supporting your skin microbiome can work wonders, and you do that by helping the thousands of microbes that live on your skin thrive. If they do their job as effectively as possible, it spells big benefits for the quality of your complexion.
On your skin, it’s those microbes that protect you from internal and external stressors. They maintain the skin’s pH, regulate your immune response, and defend against pathogens. Healthy skin relies on a healthy relationship with these microbes to prevent skin inflammation, redness, and the dehydration, dullness, and loss of elasticity that become problematic as we age. The way to support those microbes is by giving them more of what they need, and less of what they don’t.
Harsh cleansers that contain too much alcohol can dry out your skin. This forces your microbes to work overtime, defending your skin against the very cleanser you think is helping you. Many moisturizers aren’t any better. Depending on their ingredient profiles, they could be throwing the pH of your skin out of balance- and that’s a bad thing.
UC San Francisco dermatology professor Peter Elias, MD, explains:
“Scientists have known for decades that the skin is slightly acidic… when the pH is thrown off…the three lipids aren’t produced in the right ratios. The result is a naturally occurring “Swiss cheese” that gives rise to skin conditions such as eczema. The body perceives the “Swiss cheese” as an injury, and in response produces cytokines, small molecules that trigger the inflammation response that leads to healing. But in people with sensitive skin or skin conditions, their repair machinery – the enzymes that make the three lipids – aren’t functioning properly. So the injury remains and the cytokines keep coming, causing greater inflammation and irritation.”
When your microbial defense system is constantly on alert, it spends more time battling the enemy than it does working proactively for your skin. If you want to get it out of defense mode, you need to support it with more of what it needs. That’s where probiotics come in.
THE POWER OF PROBIOTICS
High-quality probiotic supplements, taken orally and applied topically, support your microbiome in powerful ways. This inside + outside approach tackles the effects of aging by supporting your gut microbiome and your skin microbiome through the power of a healthy and diverse selection of probiotics.
Once-a-day Daily Glow Supplements are clinically proven to improve skin hydration, elasticity, and visibly smooth wrinkles in only 15 days. Used together with our topical Renewing Probiotic Serum, you’ll see an increase in hydration and elasticity, two of the biggest skin culprits as we face as we age. Made with natural Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) in the form of lactic acid, it helps improve skin’s natural moisture, and helps firm skin, fade spots, and smooth fine lines and wrinkles with continued use. The roughness and dullness that result from skin that’s dried out starts to brighten, and the lines and wrinkles that you see in the mirror every day start to become noticeably smoother.
Another key to probiotic happiness is choosing your everyday cleanser and moisturizer wisely. Bar soaps can disrupt your skin’s natural pH, and drying alcohols like specially denatured (SD), ethyl, and isopropyl alcohols disrupt your skin barrier by damaging natural lipids and fatty acids. Harsh parabens and antibiotic ingredients kill off the good bacteria that your skin actually needs more of in order to defend itself.
Instead, use cleansers and moisturizers that support that microfloral diversity rather than kill it off. You can clean away impurities and keep your skin pH happy and balanced with our Balancing Milky Cleanser. It’s got a prebiotic and probiotic blend of yogurt powder and lactobacillus ferment that helps to soften rough skin and improve hydration. Our Immunity Moisturizer contains lactobacillus ferment and extracts of pomegranate and milk thistle. These increase your skin’s microflora diversity, ensuring a resilient system of defense from the elements and well-nourished, supremely hydrated skin.
No matter your age, it’s never too early or too late to start taking your skin seriously. A healthy lifestyle, a tough SPF, and a potent probiotic routine are what make all the difference. Not only will the mirror thank you down the road, but your body will, too. Remember, it’s all connected: your mind, your body, and your complexion. A holistic approach to skincare is insurance you can count on for glowing skin at any age.