"The idea of aging has a slightly negative connotation for many. In this world, we’re taught since birth that getting old, decrepit, sick, less mentally sharp and then dying is the way of life and we must accept it. Instead of proactively participating in the process so that we can mitigate many of these challenges, a huge number of people simply accept progressing deterioration as if there’s nothing they can do about much of it.”
That’s what we said in our previous blog, Truths About Aging: Here’s What You Need to Do to Slow It Down.
In that same article, we also share how “sickness or accelerated aging are [very often] caused by three things: toxicity, nutritional deficiency and emotion.”
Our reduced need for calories in our more mature years works against us. We consequently eat less food and take in less nutrition, the very thing we so acutely require especially at that time in life.
On top of that, many people tend to get less active as they grow older. A decrease in physical exercise also lowers the brain-body’s demand for enough food that would provide the necessary nutrients to maintain good nervous system function, elastic toned skin, plump muscle tissue, healthy strong bones, mental alertness and a vibrant immune system.
Then one day we look in the mirror and all of a sudden we’re noticing fine lines on the face and our skin isn’t as supple as it used to be. It’s thinner, has lost fat, hydration, plumpness and smoothness.
The thing is, nothing happens “all of a sudden.” If you stop and think about it, what we like to label as “sudden” (as if we had nothing at all to do with it) actually is the now visible end result of a steady slow process that has been at work in earnest behind the scenes all along.
When this happens, many of us scramble to look for miracle cures. Some even undergo plastic surgery procedures. You may be able to look younger with plastic surgery but what showed up on the outside in your skin and facial tone is actually also reflected in your body’s interior.
The wise adage, “As above, so below,” also translates to “As without, so within.”
The holistic lifestyle brings with it a host of remedies and a simplicity that produces emotional serenity, heightened well-being and quality longevity, including a more youthful appearance which is the mirror reflection of all of those.
Toshimi A. Kayaki, author of Green Tea Living: A Japan Inspired Guide to Eco-Friendly Habits, Health and Happiness tells her story of living in San Francisco with her husband and sons but with compromised health because they had adopted the American way of life.
Kayaki writes about Geisha Beauty—Japanese anti-aging beauty secrets in that book. She also shares her epiphanic realization that “the traditional Japanese ways were a good match for keeping us out of debt and in better health… We changed a lot of things about our diet—we went from coffee to green tea [Kayaki drinks five cups a day], bread to brown rice, milk to soy milk, steak to tofu, french fries to edamame and candy and sweets to fruit.”
Kayakai goes on to say how by living a more simple life her family members all slimmed down and their health issues were reversed.
The ten anti-aging hacks below may sound simple but they are incredibly potent.
1. Keep your chi or vital energy balanced and flowing.
Your chi is what we call an initiating energy or the energy of all your other energies. By keeping vital energy flow stimulated throughout the body we are giving energy to all of our cells. If cells aren’t properly nourished, the body begins to break down. When the cells are energized and nourished, it stands to reason that your entire body including your skin will be nourished, energized and radiant.
“Chi is the invisible envelope that lifts your energy. You can lift your face by lifting chi.” —Letha Hadady, D. Ac. in Asian Health Secrets: The Complete Guide to Asian Herbal Medicine
“Wrinkles begin from inside due to weak chi originating from poor digestion and circulation. The Chinese medical texts explain this energetically.”
Hadady goes on to explain in her book that chi becomes weak in certain acupuncture meridians located on the dorsal sides of both arms and hands. These meridians naturally flow upward to lift the face.(1) When these meridians become weak, when what is called the ‘upper yang’ deteriorates, wrinkles develop. A good acupuncture physician should be able to help with this as well as help you maintain a good consistent flow of energy. Consistent exercise and care of the liver will support vital energy flow. You may also want to visit an integrity energy medicine practitioner.
2. Maintain good blood circulation.
People with red, ruddy, rather flushed-looking skin—a sign of a little too much red blood circulation—don’t usually get lines and sagging later in life. This is because all that red blood marked by skin redness has been abundantly delivering nutrition to the skin cells all along. Good blood circulation is critical to beauty. It can prevent the formation of fine lines. It opens the capillaries in the body and improves oxygen uptake of the skin cells. When you cleanse your face and when you apply creams and serums, gently massage the face as you go. You should see a slight flushing come to the face—a sign you are stimulating blood flow to the face. An excellent natural essential oil serum will actually also itself bring this slight flush to the face and skin. Another technique is to once daily sit in a chair and bend your head forward and down until it is upside down for several seconds. This technique is sure to bring increased blood flow to the face! Exercise. Exercise. Exercise. We repeat the word three times not to convey that you have to go crazy with it but to convey how very important it is for circulation of all the body’s fluids. If fluids like blood and lymph (below) don’t move properly or become stagnant, you will age faster. Lack of or no exercise at all is going to show up as a weakened, collapsing body and it will present superficially in poor skin pallor and tone, sickness and disease. Walking is the best exercise but it should be combined with some sort of weight bearing exercise such as strength training with weights or yoga.
3. Keep lymph fluid flowing.
Lymph, which begins as interstitial(2) fluid full of waste material discarded by the cells, is a somewhat yellowish liquid containing white blood cells which bathe the tissues and drain through the lymph into the bloodstream. Good flow of lymph is tantamount to beauty and anti-aging. When lymph is able to flow freely, skin becomes purified, normalized and radiant. In addition to impeding immunity impaired flow of lymph accelerates the aging process. At the same time, the intensity of the aging process itself affects the functionality and dynamics of lymph flow. To encourage flow of lymph: Exercise, build and maintain muscle strength and lean body mass. Muscle contraction forces tiny one-way valves of the lymphatic system to open and close and push the fluid through the system. Walk or jump on a rebounder. Each step of a nice long walk you take or every jump on the rebounder lightly pounds the ground, floor or pavement to create pump-like gravitational pulls on the lymphatic system. Practice yoga to help direct lymph through the deep channels of the chest. Practice deep breathing techniques. The act of breathing creates a lymphatic pump in itself helping to direct lymph through the chest. Deeper more mindful breathing is the most important facilitator of lymphatic function while consistent shallow breathing leads to lymphatic congestion. Receive manual lymphatic massages from a licensed lymphatic massage therapist. Stay hydrated to help prevent lymphatic stagnation. Lymph gets thicker and more sludgy when you’re dehydrated but will flow well when hydrated. Avoid processed foods and bad fats. These can cause inflammation and lead to lymphatic system congestion. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables especially green vegetables because chlorophyll not only purifies the blood, it purifies lymph. Avoid chemical-laden skin and body care products, cleaning products and pesticides which impede the body from immediate detoxification. Learn how to resiliently respond to stress. The waste products of stress-fighting hormones are acidic and acidity leads to lymph congestion. Don’t wear tight-fitting clothing including underwear and underwire bras because both restrict the flow of lymph.
4. Be sure your diet includes good sources of collagen.
Collagen depletion causes skin to get saggy and lethargic. It contributes to lines and wrinkles. Collagen loss happens incrementally year by year until one day the percent of collagen loss is significant. You don’t get collagen by eating meat, fish or poultry, not unless you eat the bones, cartilage and gristle. In our former article, How Collagen Supplementation Can Help Reverse Chronic Inflammation, we wrote: “Even though we experience an abundance of food supply here in the U.S., studies find that very many of us don’t get enough of the basic building and sustaining nutrients our bodies need. In addition to fundamental nutrients like phosphorus, silicon, sulfur and glucosamine(1), there is one key nutrient most people are lacking even if they eat meat and it’s collagen. An so interestingly, the parts of foods that we tend to typically discard are the very parts that contain the collagen we need. Examples are skins, bones, cartilage, gristle and egg shells. Dr. Josh Axe, author of The Collagen Diet: A 28-Day Plan for Sustained Weight Loss, Glowing Skin, Great Gut Health, and a Younger You says:
“There’s a lesser known substance that’s notably absent from the typical Western diet—one that I believe can help us reverse our spiraling health issues and give all of us the best shot at a long, robust, active life. It’s called collagen. It’s the most abundant protein in the body, and a growing database of research shows it is vital for the structural integrity and healthy, long-term functioning of our bodies.”
a. You can ensure you get the collagen your body needs with Modere Liquid BioCell which utilizes chicken collagen. This type of collagen is the sternal cartilage from chicken which is a very clean source free of contaminants.
Modere Liquid BioCell provides excellent bioavailability and noticeable results. It is a highly bioavailable liquid form of a patented sternal chicken cartilage that is a naturally occurring matrix of collagen, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin; this is not true of any other collagen source. A Bio-Optimized™ process transforms this chicken sternal cartilage collagen into smaller bioavailable micro-molecules that are the ideal molecular weight and size to be utilized by the body. b. One way to topically reap the benefits of anti-aging collagen to the facial skin is to apply egg shell membrane (ESM) to the face. Eggshell membrane (ESM) is an organic substance that has been shown to increase cellular activity and collagen production. It helps slow skin aging and reduce damage caused by ultraviolet light and inflammation. How to use ESM (once a week only): Cleanse your face. Crack the egg, empty the shell, peel out the lining still attached to a piece of shell. (This will help you peel out the membrane.) Apply the wet side of the ESM directly to your face. It works best when fresh but you can refrigerate it for later use. In this case, moisten it before applying. Leave the membrane on the face for 20 minutes. Wet your fingers and dab fingertips onto the membrane to easily peel off when done. You may want to do a patch test in the inside of your upper arm beforehand to make sure you’re not allergic.
5. Drink and topically apply green tea.
Green tea provides skin with a whole host of nourishing, protective and age-mitigating actions. Skin has measurably more health, vibrancy, elasticity and firmness after continued application of green tea. And drinking several cups of green tea a day is a potent anti-oxidation and age-mitigating “treatment” for the entire body. Green tea can play a protective role in preventing free radical damage which causes aging and it’s also quite beneficial for many skin disorders. Research has proven that topical application of green tea to skin one half hour before ultraviolet light exposure protects the user against sunburn and epidermal damage. The effect is largely due to EGCG (the catechin, Epigallocatechin gallate), a primary polyphenol in green tea. EGCG is 20 times more powerful than vitamin E as a free radical-neutralizing antioxidant.
6. Ensure you get enough vitamin C.
In hack #1 above, Letha Hadady, author of Asian Health Secrets: The Complete Guide to Asian Herbal Medicine, tells us an excellent approach to amplify youthening collagen is by increasing our intake of herbal vitamin C. By “herbal vitamin C” we mean you are ingesting herbs that are rich in naturally occurring vitamin C. These vitamin C-rich herbs actually increase your chi.(1) Herbal vitamin C cleanses the liver ensuring healthy calcium absorption and better blood circulation (noted in hack #1 above). Vitamin C-rich herbs combine with important minerals and work together to maintain healthy collagen and blood circulation.
7. Consume rice bran and rice bran oil (also known as Nuka):
Rice bran oil is a highly valued anti-aging ingredient in Asia. Historically, Japanese women added the leftover water from washing rice to their baths to soften and smooth their skin. Both rice bran, known as Nuka or komenuka by the Japanese, and rice bran oil are commonly used in Asia to brighten and help detoxify the skin and remove blemishes. It is a very high compliment in Japan to tell a woman that she’s a “rice bran beauty” or that she has “rice bran splendor.” The ferulic acid content in rice bran oil, an organic phytochemical compound found in plant cell walls, has potent anti-aging properties. Unrefined brown rice bran is considered one of the most nutrient dense foods ever studied. Paul Pitchford, author of Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition, writes that rice bran is comprised of more than 70 antioxidants that protect against cellular damage and, as a result, preserve the youthfulness of skin. Deeply hydrating, rice bran oil is very light and readily absorbed into the skin. Vitamins B and E combined with a high percentage of fatty acids which deeply penetrate the skin, beautifully and gently moisturize, firm, tighten and lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Rice bran is exceptionally good for treating dehydrated, flaky, delicate and mature, fragile skin. Rice bran oil has been shown to prevent every aspect of ultraviolet damage and to reverse aging at the genetic level. Rice bran oil provides a good source of tocotrienols, an antioxidant that is even more potent than vitamin E. They have gained a great deal of recognition in the cosmetics industry because of their potent antioxidant properties. Coenzyme Q10 present in rice bran oil helps the skin maintain a more youthful glow. In addition, rice bran oil is an excellent source of squalene which helps to stimulate your body to produce collagen, the main structural protein found in skin and connective tissues which helps your skin remain firm. Squalene in rice bran oil helps keep the skin bright, soft, supple and smooth. “When you use rice bran oil, you get exactly the benefits you need to reverse skin aging, including the synthesis of vitamin D, essential for good health.” Roxy Dillon, Bio-Young: Get Younger at a Cellular and Hormonal Level
8. Intake appropriate amounts of natural sunlight.
Just like plants, humans need sunlight to grow and to live. Natural sunlight signals skin cells to produce vitamin D, a hormone precursor that people tend to lack as they age. This no cost “treatment” can help combat or prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, diabetes and many other conditions and diseases. Be reducing our exposure to artificial light, especially from computers, smartphones and televisions, in favor of natural sunlight we can help reduce aging of the eyes. Such bright artificial light suppresses the hormone melatonin. This hormone is responsible for helping us to get good sleep but what most people don’t know is that it helps the body regulate the production of gastric acids and controls the lower esophageal sphincter. With one in four Americans, especially aging Americans, taking prescription or over-the-counter antacids, perhaps safeguarding our melatonin production through natural sunlight intake might be a worthy consideration.
9. “Water is the least expensive anti-aging potion.”
So says Mirielle Giuliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Facelifts: The Secret of Aging with Style and Attitude. We can become seriously dehydrated if we’re not conscious about our daily water consumption.
“The majority of adults don't hydrate themselves close to the recommended level. In fact, multiple studies report that 75% of adults in the U.S. suffer from chronic dehydration, drinking only 2.5 cups a day on average.”
Lack of water is a contributor to brittle bones making many more senior adults more susceptible to dangerous bone fractures. Chinese medicine tells us that some time after 60 years of age, we begin to experience a tendency to stiffen and to dehydrate causing loss of skin tone. What compounds the issue is that as we age many experience a decrease in receptor sensitivity (osmo- and barareceptors) which is responsible for detecting the fluid within and around cells. This causes us to not feel thirsty when, in fact, our bodies are definitely requiring more water. For this vitally important reason, it’s more important than ever for older adults to drink several glasses of water daily even if not thirsty. Adding lots of fresh high water content fruits and vegetables to the diet can help provide additional very absorbable hydration.
10. Eat a painter’s palette of a diet.
How many colors of food appear on your plates every day? If your plates are looking monochromatic you are denying yourself of the nutrients your body needs to maintain vitality and buoyant vitality will mitigate signs of aging.
Commonly called a rainbow diet, it includes brightly colored fruits and vegetables which are packed with free radical-fighting antioxidants. The colors of the foods indicate the types of plant phenols or antioxidants you’re consuming: Blue, purple and black produce contain anthocyanins which help delay cellular aging. Yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables provide carotenoids. Red and orange, especially, provide the vitamin E very potent antioxidant. Green produce gives you antioxidants like vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and lutein. In addition to fighting age-causing free radicals, the painter’s palette of food will ensure you’re consuming foods that limit inflammation while supporting youth-supporting collagen production. It’s normal to have some free radicals in the body and a healthy balance between free radicals and antioxidants supports strong physiological function and health. But if the levels of free radicals in the body become too elevated, rogue molecules that they are, these free radicals can get out of control. This leads to oxidative stress which causes cell and collagen damage, compromised immunity, and inflammation all of which cause accelerated aging.
You have probably noticed that these ten anti-aging hacks are all not only quite simple but in most cases, won’t cost you any more money than you are already spending. In fact, by making lifestyle shifts to incorporate such a simplicity of approach as these hacks provide and similar to what author of Green Tea Living Toshimi Kayaki did, you may even save money, reduce age-causing stress in your life and start to feel and look more vibrant than ever before.
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(1) While you could visit an acupuncture physician to help remedy this, Hadady says you can prevent wrinkles and stay young and beautiful with blood and chi building herbs such as these:
red clover flowers
watercress with a pinch of paprika
(2) Interstitial denotes a space between structures.
Hadady, D. Ac., Letha. Asian Health Secrets: The Complete Guide to Asian Herbal Medicine. United States, Three Rivers Press, 1998.
Cheong, Ling-Zhi et al. Rice Bran and Rice Bran Oil: Chemistry, Processing and Utilization. Elsevier Science. January 14, 2019.
Jhin, MD, Marie. Asian Beauty Secrets: Ancient and Modern Tips from the Far East. Bush Street Press. May 2011.
Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. North Atlantic Books. November 2002.
Dillon, Roxy. Bio-Young: Get Younger at a Cellular and Hormonal Level. United States, Atria Books, 2017.
Axe, Josh. The Collagen Diet: A 28-Day Plan for Sustained Weight Loss, Glowing Skin, Great Gut Health, and a Younger You. United States, Little, Brown, 2019.
Yoo, Jinhee et al. “Effects of Egg Shell Membrane Hydrolysates on Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Wrinkle, Anti-Microbial Activity and Moisture-Protection.” Korean journal for food science of animal resources vol. 34,1 (2014): 26-32. doi:10.5851/kosfa.2014.34.1.26
OyetakinWhite, Patricia et al. “Protective mechanisms of green tea polyphenols in skin.” Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity vol. 2012 (2012): 560682. doi:10.1155/2012/560682
“How Many People Are Dehydrated?” Quench Water, 6 Feb. 2023, quenchwater.com/blog/how-many-people-are-dehydrated/#:~:text=The%20majority%20of%20adults%20don,cups%20a%20day%20on%20average.