Aging Skin? Do These 6 Things to Naturally Restore Its Youthful Glow

Updated on January 19, 2024

Aging gracefully is great, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting to slow that process down just a bit...

The skin on your face is usually the first visible sign of aging. Even if your hair, joints, and energy still feel youthful, your face may not have that same luster it had ten years ago.

Consuming a well-balanced diet, getting high-quality sleep, and exercising daily all enhance the health of your mind and body—but is there anything else you can do to restore your skin's youthful glow?

In this article, we’ll address why as your skin ages, and what you can do about it.

Table Of Contents

Why Does Skin Age?

One of the most tell-tale signs of aging are wrinkles.

It often feels like it happens overnight…You look in the mirror one morning and notice that your smooth skin has become thinner, drier, and less elastic.

So, where do these wrinkles come from?

Skin aging is a complex process marked by both internal and external factors. It begins with your extracellular matrix (ECM)—the tissue surrounding (and supporting) your cells. As you age, this structural support begins to break down, slowing the production of collagen (1, 2, 3).

The result: A loss of skin elasticity (AKA the appearance of wrinkles).

The primary culprit for the breakdown of your ECM is oxidative stress. Oxidation can come from natural processes in your body, but it can also occur due to sun damage (which is the primary external factor affecting skin health) (3).

Oxidative stress and cellular aging. A healthy cell being attacked by free radicals. Hand-drawn cartoon sketch vector illustration, marker style coloring.

When oxidation occurs, it produces (highly) reactive oxygen species (ROS). The unstable molecules of these ROS go on to cause damage as they interact with cells and tissues. At this point, your immune system gets involved and releases antioxidants to combat the damage created by ROS.

However, with age comes a decline in antioxidants—leaving you vulnerable to the detrimental effects of ROS (4).

Because skin aging occurs from natural and external processes, researchers have been on the hunt for a "fountain of youth".

While there is no magic pill, there are 6 things you can do to support the health of your skin and delay signs of aging.

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6 Ways to Support Skin Health Naturally

If you want to tap into that fountain of youth, here are the 6 most effective ways to achieve healthy, youthful skin:

1. Use Sun Protection

Sunlight triggers oxidative damage and is one of the primary external causes of aging skin, but that doesn’t mean you should hide inside all day. Just be mindful of how much sun you’re getting each day and if you’ll be outside for an extended period of time, apply a natural sunscreen.

Getting enough sunlight is vital for the production of vitamin D.

Without vitamin D, you’re at risk of (6, 7):

  • Malabsorption of calcium and phosphorus (leading to decreased bone mineral density
  • Increased risk of osteopenia and/or osteoporosis
  • Neurological diseases
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Cancer 

NativeTip: Be mindful of how much sun you’re getting each day. When you know that you’ll be outside for an extended period of time, apply a natural sunscreen.

2. Consume Antioxidants

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Because oxidative stress is one of the underlying causes of skin aging, antioxidants are your best bet in combating its damage (8).

The best way to get your antioxidants is through food. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants and compounds, along with other phytonutrients that support the health of your body on a cellular level.

Excellent sources of antioxidants include (9):

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Dark Leafy Greens
  • Broccoli
  • Avocado
  • Red Cabbage
  • Nuts
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Turmeric Curcumin
  • Astaxanthin, found in krill oil

When buying antioxidant-rich foods, look for a variety in color. The more colors you have on your plate, the wider the range of antioxidants you'll be providing your body.

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3. Avoid Smoking Cigarettes

Smoking cigarettes speeds up the aging process of your skin and often results in wrinkles.

The chemicals in cigarettes directly damage your extracellular matrix (ECM) by degrading collagen and elastin. This leaves your skin looking dull and less elastic.

In addition to this, the nicotine in cigarettes narrows the blood vessels in your skin, impairing blood and oxygen flow to your cells (10).

4. Reduce Stress

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Emotional stress can directly impact your skin’s health through several pathways, most notably inflammation and oxidative stress. Although reducing stress may be easier said than done, the potential benefits of lowering your stress levels are far-reaching for your overall health and well-being (11).

If you don’t know where to begin, try stress-reducing practices like meditation, breathwork, yoga, or journaling to calm your mind.

5. Stay Hydrated

Water is the main component of your body, making up (12):

  • 45-75% of a person’s body weight
  • 70-75% of a person’s muscle mass
  • 10-40% of a person’s fat tissue

With that being said, it plays a vital role in your physiology and the maintenance of cellular processes. In short, every tissue and organ in your body needs water to function, and your skin is no exception (13).

When you're dehydrated, your skin becomes dehydrated—appearing dry and dull. If you want to keep your skin happy and healthy, be sure to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day.

6. Take a Collagen Supplement

Collagen makes up nearly 30% of the protein within the connective tissue of your extracellular matrix (ECM) (14). Your ECM is the part of connective tissue that provides scaffolding and structure, maintaining balance throughout the body. It occupies the space between your cells, connecting and holding everything in place (15).

When it comes to your skin, your ECM is its main support system. The stronger your ECM, the tighter and firmer your skin will be. While there are approximately 28 different types of collagen, Type 1 and Type 3 are the most abundant types in your skin. In fact, 80-90% of the collagen in your body is made up of either Type 1, Type 2, or Type 3 collagen (16, 17, 18).

With collagen being a vital component of your extracellular matrix, several studies have confirmed its potential to slow aging skin.

A woman pouring a scoop of NativePath Vanilla Bean Collagen Peptides into a blender full of fruits and veggies

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Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, it’s essential for the health of your bones, joints, skin, hair, nails, digestion, and more.

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The Bottom Line

Aging is a natural process, there’s a lot you can do to slow it down.

Collagen is one of the most well-studied nutrients for skin health. It not only supports the integrity of your extracellular matrix directly, but it also enhances your ability to produce other skin-supportive proteins like elastin.

If you're looking for ways to slow down the effects of aging on your skin, supplementing with collagen peptides should be your first step. In addition, lifestyle practices like stress reduction, drinking enough water, consuming antioxidants, and using sun protection are steps that can be taken to support your skin's health.

Dr. Chad Walding, DPT
Article by

Dr. Chad Walding, DPT

Dr. Chad Walding is the Co-Founder and Chief Culture Officer at NativePath. He is a Doctor of Physical Therapy with a passion for helping people eat, move, and live in harmony with their natural state.

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    Medical Disclaimer

    This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Chad Walding nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

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