Preliminary findings out of an academic study shows that exercise can prevent and even reverse the effects of aging in the skin. Yippee!

The skin ages because the dermis thins and then the outer coating, the stratum corneum which is the outer part of the epidermis, thickens causing the sagging appearance.Exercise prevents the dermis from thinning and the stratum corneum from thickening, making skin look younger.

Whilst Conscientious Chic disagrees with animal testing this result was found when studying the effects of exercise on mice genetically modified to age faster. Comparing sedentary mice to those who exercise on a wheel three times a week massive systematic benefits were found.  To test the theory further, the study looked at skin biopsies of humans, taking samples from the upper buttocks, an area that wouldn’t be exposed to damage from the sun.

The researchers found that, after age 40, those who had been active had visibly younger looking skin, similar to that of someone in their 20s or 30s, even if the participant was over the age of 65.

Researchers then had the sedentary participants over the age of 65 start exercising each week over the course of three months, after first obtaining skin samples from their buttocks. At the end of that time, they studied the volunteers’ skin microscopically and compared it to the way it looked before they started exercising. They say the results were remarkable, noting that the skin samples looked very different, with outer and inner layers of skin looking like those of 20- to 40-year-olds after exercise.

This is only one study but it does make sense that exercise is about building and repairing proteins.  Of course there is the question of what sort of exercise – running on hard ground in freezing conditions won’t do anyone’s skin any favours and over exercise won’t help either. Also as you will have seen from those mental body lifter women, taking steroids and building drugs will lead to your skin looking like a man and an aged one at that!

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Weights 3 or 4 times a week with 3 x 30 minute cardio sessions will be enough to improve your figure and your skin. Eat enough protein – beans such as black eyed, chick peas, kidney and grains such as quinoa plus lentils and perhaps has a vegan protein powder – Eat enough vitamins which act as Anti-oxidants to fight free radicals and assist in skin repair  – oranges, apples, spinach, broccoli, kale- Eat another good fats for healthy radiant skin – avocados, nuts, olive oil.

My skin has never been more even and balanced than since I started exercise. I used to suffer from blemishes, redness around the nose and shadows under eyes.. For early thirties I think my skin is decent and can only put it down to two things: exercise and going diary free.  I don’t see why we should have to chose between face or body as we get older – why can we not have both and just stay looking good!