These days, everyone is obsessed with skin-plumping. They want their complexions to look full and alive – even dewy.
But getting to that point can be a challenge. The world tends to work against you, thanks to pollution, work stress, and poor diets.
If you want to successfully plump the skin on your face, it requires an understanding of how your body does it in the first place.
It turns out that the skin relies heavily on a protein called collagen to bind it together and give it that taut, bouncy look you want. Unfortunately, over time, collagen structures begin to break down – and that’s why your skin starts sagging.
Good news, though: there’s a lot that you can do to prevent this from happening and reverse the years.
Here’s how to plump up your skin and make it look more youthful:
Get hyaluronic acid injections
Hyaluronic acid is one of the most exciting substances to come out of the beauty and cosmetics industry. It’s a compound the body makes naturally. But it appears to have pro-youth effects on the body.
The main purpose of the acid is to increase hydration in the skin. Many cosmetics surgery patients, for instance, get it alongside a facelift. It helps to undo wrinkles and makes the face fuller.
But the wonders of hyaluronic acid may go deeper than its ability to add volume. There’s evidence that the body uses it as a signalling compound to tell it to produce more collagen and elastin. So applying it to your face or adding supplements to your diet could lead to profound facial changes.
If you’re still smoking, it’s time to quit. Smoking is like breathing in concentrated pollution all day long. And it can have a devastating effect on your skin quality.
Research, for instance, suggests that chemicals in cigarette smoke actively encourage the collagen in your skin to break down, making you look older than you are.
Lack of blood flow to the face can also cause the fat pads under your cheeks to shrink and shrivel away, giving you a sunken look.
Cut back on sweets
Sugar and refined grains are a nightmare for your skin. The reason for this comes down to how sugar affects the skin.
It turns out that there is a process called glycation that occurs in the body. It happens when sugar binds with proteins in the body to create what scientists call “advanced glycation endproducts.” Eventually, these chemicals lead to wrinkled skin and might be a cause of ageing itself.
Exfoliate your skin regularly
Why would you bother removing the top layer of skin cells from your face?
For the same reasons, you’d do exercise.
It turns out that the body responds well to manageable levels of stress. So when you apply an exfoliant, it shocks the skin into renewing itself.
Adding acid to your exfoliation can enhance the process even further, signalling to cells that they need to buck up their ideas and behave more youthfully.
Avoid the sun
UV rays don’t just damage the top layer of the skin – they cause adverse changes right down to the bottom layers, and even the blood vessels beyond. The current advice is for people to wear SPF-15 sunscreen or greater to protect against ultraviolet radiation while outdoors.
Add retinol to your routine
Retinol is another hot product in the skincare world right now. It’s actually a form of vitamin A, and it appears to stimulate collagen production, making your complexion look lighter and bouncier.
If you have sun or age damage to your skin, try including retinoids in your stack. You can get high-strength prescription formulations, as well as less aggressive forms over the counter.
Add antioxidants to your diet
A few years ago, researchers believed that ageing occurred because of free radicals damaging cells and DNA. They also thought that adding antioxidants to the diet would help combat that process.
That theory appears to be wrong. But eating foods high in antioxidants still appears to be important. That’s because they activate the body’s own defence pathways, which tend to be much stronger.
If you want great skin, therefore, basing your diet around sweet potatoes, quinoa, beans, nuts, seeds, broccoli, kale and pomegranate could help substantially.
Eat more plant proteins
On the subject of food, eating plant proteins may also help support your skin health. It turns out that skin needs oestrogen to fight wrinkles. But as you get older, you produce less of it.
Some plant protein foods, like soy, for instance, contain phytoestrogens. And these may help the skin recover some of its youthful vitality.