0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110
7

Skin is looking old....what am I doing wrong?

by (1146)
Updated about 14 hours ago
Created January 28, 2011 at 4:36 PM

The last couple weeks or so my skin has began looking old and worn down and I have no idea why. I sleep about 8-10 hours a day, I consume plenty of fat (about 200 grams a day), and I consume about 20-30 grams of carbs daily. At 21, old looking skin isn't something I'd like so young. Could I be missing some essential nutrients? I have been paleo for about 8 months now, but just recently my skin has gotten worse. Only different things I have done the last couple weeks have been intermittent fasting, and an increased amount of exercise. Could my carbs be to low? Am I, in some way, depleting electrolytes, which in turn are making me look older? Is increasing my carbs up to 150 grams per day to supplement my exercise and help restore electrolytes too much?

F2f559fe327007fd064a0f5bd79d6278
156 · February 02, 2012 at 11:01 PM

A good portable humidifier has helped me tons with the radiator dry heat.

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a
1074 · November 07, 2011 at 7:17 AM

ps. I added baked sweet potato/yuca to my diet this past week. my skin is MUCH more "puffed out" too. great tip, +1!

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a
1074 · October 24, 2011 at 4:34 AM

wait are you sure that when you lowered the VitD supplementation, you experienced changes? I take 5-10,000IU/day for the past 1-2yrs, this might be affecting my skin. Also how did K2 affect your skin?

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a
1074 · October 24, 2011 at 4:21 AM

when I used to NOT control sugar (eat alot of carbs/sugars), my skin was alternating between VERY DRY and SUPER GREASY. needless to say, i have serious acne scars now. i should dry lowering D since i take 5,000 a day for like 2 yrs now LOL

88905cfc5bb098ad3830671a1af373a8
803 · March 12, 2011 at 5:41 AM

I agree on the lack of C. When I went zero carb - and wasn't eating rare meat or organ meats to get C - my skin really started to change. It seemed to be aging/losing form fast. I started cutting myself shaving whereas that wasn't much of a problem before. Since I've returned to moderate vegetables and some fruits, that has improved.

3eafb88d6a6d762fcfa8ed4eb0576260
642 · January 31, 2011 at 10:06 PM

Also, the average whole foods vegetarian probably has a higher vitamin C intake than the average paleo dieter, on account of relying more heavily on fruits and vegetables. This probably helps.

3eafb88d6a6d762fcfa8ed4eb0576260
642 · January 31, 2011 at 10:02 PM

I couldn't access the link, but excessive protein intakes are believed by some to accelerate aging, to offer one explanation. I know one of the researchers who lived with the Inuit commented that they had really old looking skin and tended to die of "old age" in their sixties or seventies. I think a lot of paleo dieters overeat protein because they eat way too few carbs. (Mark Sisson's 150g maximum should really be most people's minimum!) I eat about 4-6 ounces of animal protein at every meal (plus milk) but depend on much larger amounts of fat and carbs (by calories) to fill myself.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29
3976 · January 30, 2011 at 2:51 AM

Hydration was the first thing I wondered about as well. Crucial for me and looking young.

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe
1159 · January 29, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Could that just be you entering ketosis and your body making the switch, thus causing the lack of energy?

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe
1159 · January 29, 2011 at 6:22 PM

Could that just be you entering ketosis and your body making the switch causes the lack of energy?

5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0
1386 · January 29, 2011 at 5:06 PM

very interesting topic indeed (vitamin D and aging). "aging shows a U-shaped dependency on hormonal forms of vitamin D suggesting that there is an optimal concentration of vitamin D in delaying aging phenomena.": http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19444937

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1
4086 · January 29, 2011 at 4:56 PM

WTH?! Vitamin D makes your skin cells turn over more slowly?

101b3a5c96d313d22262f65bdff20acf
539 · January 29, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Ditto the salicylic acid suggestion -- I crush some aspirin into some rosewater glycerine and make a mask/scrub with it. My skin is slightly on the oily side, however, your mileage may vary.

0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110
1146 · January 29, 2011 at 4:06 PM

I only get about 5 grams of PUFA a day, and most of my fat comes from saturated fat. I have noticed I am usually low on vitamin C, and I have, just yesterday, received marrow bones to make stews, so I will look into making some collagen rich bone stocks. Thanks.

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe
1159 · January 29, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Care to explain how carbs make your skin look "younger"?

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458
9948 · January 29, 2011 at 7:37 AM

I stopped using soaps and shampoos a long time ago. Now I use baking soda on my hair and I use a washcloth with baking soda in it for my body. A great exfoliant. I put a little wet soda in my hand and use one finger to exfoliate my face. At first it feels a bit rough but does the job. Then I follow with a collegan based trans dermal cream that penetrates the face skin and gets rid of some of the wrinkles.

1d952d225819b0229e93160a90bf9bf8
1600 · January 29, 2011 at 4:05 AM

I use a stiff long handled brush on my legs,back,behind and arms.Around the more delicate parts,like neck and cleavage,I use a washcloth.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335
1591 · January 28, 2011 at 11:44 PM

What do you use for a brush? Like, a scrub brush? I'd like to exfoliate more on my arms and legs (lost of little bumps), but I'm afraid of damaging the skin...

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f
8255 · January 28, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Your skin elasticity will be affected if you don't drink enough water (dehydrated). One of the tests for dehydration is to pinch the skin between the thumb and forefinger and see how long it takes to snap back.

5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0
1386 · January 28, 2011 at 6:42 PM

exactly. i'm noticing a clear decrease in energy and alertness when going below 100g for a few days. best is 100-150g, depending on muscle mass and activity level. i'd only go lower if i had to lose a ton of fat.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10
5838 · January 28, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Noticed very similar things. Been paleo for almost a year. Skin looks very aged. Also made a connection recently that I should be drinking more water.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd
6433 · January 28, 2011 at 5:45 PM

I was theorising, based on fact that acne is caused by androgenic hormones (triggered by either puberty or unstable blood sugar), whose presence proportionately signals to the sebaceous glands to pump out more or less sebum. Make sure not to wash your face with hot water, as this is also drying. A strawberry or an aspirin mask is an effective natural exfoliant, although you could also try using a slightly coarse wash cloth on a daily basis.

0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110
1146 · January 28, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Interesting. I tried salicylic acid before, but I prefer to steer clear of any type of chemical use on my face, because I feel its not natural. I find what you say about controlled blood sugar levels relationship to sebum control interesting. What you are technically saying is that controlling your blood sugar levels will dry your skin??

0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110
1146 · January 28, 2011 at 5:15 PM

I think it might be the water thing because I just realized I only consume about 20 ounces a day. For some reason though when I consume more my mouth tends to become very dry.

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe
1159 · January 28, 2011 at 5:03 PM

By the way, i'm guessing it's the water thing. I've been drinking a bit less these past few days...

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe
1159 · January 28, 2011 at 5:00 PM

That's funny, the same thing is happening to me :)

0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110
1146 · January 28, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Well, it looks very dry and thin. Now that I think about it, my water intake has dramatically decreased since beginning IF.

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12 Answers

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e
9
4163 · January 29, 2011 at 4:34 PM

It could be several things.

    • Weight loss, past age 25 when you get thinner you look older, especially as a woman. So goes the old adage, after forty you have to choose between your face and your ass!
    • Too much vitamin D supplementation - look at mice given too much vitamin D, they age rapidly. I noticed this too when I overdid the D supplementation (10,000IU day for 8 months!) I got gray hairs and started to get crows feet at only 26! This has subsided since reducing to 2,000.
  1. Lack of C - C is essential for the formation of collagen.

  2. Lack of carbs, yes I know it's heresy, but adding back in 100g a day of 'safe' carbs to my diet has made my skin so much better, more 'puffed out'.

  3. Lack of K2, K2 is great for skin, you should notice a difference in 2-3 days.

5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0
1386 · January 29, 2011 at 5:06 PM

very interesting topic indeed (vitamin D and aging). "aging shows a U-shaped dependency on hormonal forms of vitamin D suggesting that there is an optimal concentration of vitamin D in delaying aging phenomena.": http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19444937

88905cfc5bb098ad3830671a1af373a8
803 · March 12, 2011 at 5:41 AM

I agree on the lack of C. When I went zero carb - and wasn't eating rare meat or organ meats to get C - my skin really started to change. It seemed to be aging/losing form fast. I started cutting myself shaving whereas that wasn't much of a problem before. Since I've returned to moderate vegetables and some fruits, that has improved.

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a
1074 · October 24, 2011 at 4:34 AM

wait are you sure that when you lowered the VitD supplementation, you experienced changes? I take 5-10,000IU/day for the past 1-2yrs, this might be affecting my skin. Also how did K2 affect your skin?

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a
1074 · November 07, 2011 at 7:17 AM

ps. I added baked sweet potato/yuca to my diet this past week. my skin is MUCH more "puffed out" too. great tip, +1!

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd
5
6433 · January 28, 2011 at 5:15 PM

The cause of your problem could be increasing your vitamin D intake. Vitamin D (and calcium) are parathyroid hormones, whose signalling effect can slow down the maturation of new skin cells. In fact vitamin D is a potent anti-proliferative agent for keratinocytesis, and so is used topically to treat psoriasis, by slowing down skin turnover. A sluggish rate of skin cell turnover is one of the main reasons that more mature skin tends to look tired and lacking in that youthful "peachy, rosy glow".

There are many cosmetic treatments out there that such as micro-dermabrasion and glycolic acid facial peels. However, these are both a drastic and expensive way of dealing with the problem. I suggest that you buy some daily salicylic acid face pads or toner, usually marketed as an over the counter acne remedy. Salicylic acid is an effective chemical exfoliant, which will gradually increase skin cell turnover without the irritation of a mechanical exfoliant. Make sure that the concentration is around 2% salicylic acid, as a lower concentration will be ineffective, and a higher one too irritating.

If you can't find an alcohol-free product formulation (the alcohol will dry out and irritate your skin), or just want a more natural solution, you can make an exfoliating face mask at home by either crushing up some aspirin or strawberries (both contain salicylic acid).

Don't forget to keep your face well moisturised, as dry skin can often give the appearance of being prematurely aged. Provided that your skin isn't acne-prone, jojoba oil (which mimics the composition of skin's natural sebum) is a good Paleo option.

EDIT: an additional possibility is that more controlled blood sugar levels = more controlled androgenic hormones = less sebum produced, so drier skin.

101b3a5c96d313d22262f65bdff20acf
539 · January 29, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Ditto the salicylic acid suggestion -- I crush some aspirin into some rosewater glycerine and make a mask/scrub with it. My skin is slightly on the oily side, however, your mileage may vary.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1
4086 · January 29, 2011 at 4:56 PM

WTH?! Vitamin D makes your skin cells turn over more slowly?

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd
6433 · January 28, 2011 at 5:45 PM

I was theorising, based on fact that acne is caused by androgenic hormones (triggered by either puberty or unstable blood sugar), whose presence proportionately signals to the sebaceous glands to pump out more or less sebum. Make sure not to wash your face with hot water, as this is also drying. A strawberry or an aspirin mask is an effective natural exfoliant, although you could also try using a slightly coarse wash cloth on a daily basis.

0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110
1146 · January 28, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Interesting. I tried salicylic acid before, but I prefer to steer clear of any type of chemical use on my face, because I feel its not natural. I find what you say about controlled blood sugar levels relationship to sebum control interesting. What you are technically saying is that controlling your blood sugar levels will dry your skin??

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a
1074 · October 24, 2011 at 4:21 AM

when I used to NOT control sugar (eat alot of carbs/sugars), my skin was alternating between VERY DRY and SUPER GREASY. needless to say, i have serious acne scars now. i should dry lowering D since i take 5,000 a day for like 2 yrs now LOL

0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd
4
2283 · January 28, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Increase carbs? Paleo does NOT mean low carb.

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe
1159 · January 29, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Care to explain how carbs make your skin look "younger"?

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe
1159 · January 29, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Could that just be you entering ketosis and your body making the switch, thus causing the lack of energy?

5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0
1386 · January 28, 2011 at 6:42 PM

exactly. i'm noticing a clear decrease in energy and alertness when going below 100g for a few days. best is 100-150g, depending on muscle mass and activity level. i'd only go lower if i had to lose a ton of fat.

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe
1159 · January 29, 2011 at 6:22 PM

Could that just be you entering ketosis and your body making the switch causes the lack of energy?

03d5a967b935e1e8ef202f313467878f
3
485 · January 28, 2011 at 7:13 PM

You might want to also try using a humidifier in your bedroom at night and see if that helps, especially over the winter months.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051
3
15229 · January 28, 2011 at 5:28 PM

my money is on the water intake. up that and see if it makes a difference. do you use any oil on your skin? i dont know where you live but my skin ages ten years every winter, i think! the dry cold combined with the old radiator heat isnt great. also, maybe you just lost a bunch of fat around your face and hands and theres a bit of sag that needs to catch up.

but i bet drinking some water will make a huge difference.

F2f559fe327007fd064a0f5bd79d6278
156 · February 02, 2012 at 11:01 PM

A good portable humidifier has helped me tons with the radiator dry heat.

6a4fd73b4ae4761eefec8e0d38e6f224
2
1008 · January 29, 2011 at 2:15 AM

Maybe try the oil cleansing method for your face: http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/

Now that it's cold and dry where I live, I do it once every couple of days (and use castile soap and water the rest of the time), and also add a few drops of sweet almond oil to my face cream every time I moisturize. Seems to smooth and balance everything out.

1d952d225819b0229e93160a90bf9bf8
2
1600 · January 28, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Drink more water, and stop using commercial soaps.The Romans used to bathe using hot water,natural oils and a stiff brush.Switching to that has made a huge difference in how my skin looks.

1d952d225819b0229e93160a90bf9bf8
1600 · January 29, 2011 at 4:05 AM

I use a stiff long handled brush on my legs,back,behind and arms.Around the more delicate parts,like neck and cleavage,I use a washcloth.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335
1591 · January 28, 2011 at 11:44 PM

What do you use for a brush? Like, a scrub brush? I'd like to exfoliate more on my arms and legs (lost of little bumps), but I'm afraid of damaging the skin...

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458
9948 · January 29, 2011 at 7:37 AM

I stopped using soaps and shampoos a long time ago. Now I use baking soda on my hair and I use a washcloth with baking soda in it for my body. A great exfoliant. I put a little wet soda in my hand and use one finger to exfoliate my face. At first it feels a bit rough but does the job. Then I follow with a collegan based trans dermal cream that penetrates the face skin and gets rid of some of the wrinkles.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f
2
8255 · January 28, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Define what you mean by "looking old". Wrinkled? Dry? Thin? Are you drinking enough water?

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f
8255 · January 28, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Your skin elasticity will be affected if you don't drink enough water (dehydrated). One of the tests for dehydration is to pinch the skin between the thumb and forefinger and see how long it takes to snap back.

0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110
1146 · January 28, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Well, it looks very dry and thin. Now that I think about it, my water intake has dramatically decreased since beginning IF.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29
3976 · January 30, 2011 at 2:51 AM

Hydration was the first thing I wondered about as well. Crucial for me and looking young.

3eafb88d6a6d762fcfa8ed4eb0576260
1
642 · January 29, 2011 at 5:01 AM

Are you eating a lot of PUFA (nuts, fish oil, pork and poultry fat)? Do you get much vitamin C (such as from raw fruits and vegetables at every meal)? Excess of the former and deficiency of the latter are probably not great for your skin.

Increasing carbs is probably a good idea just in general. 20-30 grams a day sounds like starvation rations. That may slow down your thyroid in the long term and then you'll really start looking old. I would also recommend making gelatin from collagen-rich bones (like beef knuckles or chicken feet) slow-cooked in water for 12-24 hours, and then include some with all your meals (you can cook your meats and vegetables in it, make soups, sauces, etc.).

0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110
1146 · January 29, 2011 at 4:06 PM

I only get about 5 grams of PUFA a day, and most of my fat comes from saturated fat. I have noticed I am usually low on vitamin C, and I have, just yesterday, received marrow bones to make stews, so I will look into making some collagen rich bone stocks. Thanks.

F57a2481f3d0133e302f7742c6c60d86
0
0 · October 04, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Thanks for the tips!

0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110
0
1146 · January 29, 2011 at 4:09 PM

When researching my question a bit more I stumbled across a thread which discussed whether paleo dieters age faster than vegetarians, if we do, is there a reason?

Here is the thread:

http://www.imminst.org/forum/topic/28705-do-paleo-dieters-look-older-or-younger-than-vegetarians-in-their-30s-4/

3eafb88d6a6d762fcfa8ed4eb0576260
642 · January 31, 2011 at 10:02 PM

I couldn't access the link, but excessive protein intakes are believed by some to accelerate aging, to offer one explanation. I know one of the researchers who lived with the Inuit commented that they had really old looking skin and tended to die of "old age" in their sixties or seventies. I think a lot of paleo dieters overeat protein because they eat way too few carbs. (Mark Sisson's 150g maximum should really be most people's minimum!) I eat about 4-6 ounces of animal protein at every meal (plus milk) but depend on much larger amounts of fat and carbs (by calories) to fill myself.

3eafb88d6a6d762fcfa8ed4eb0576260
642 · January 31, 2011 at 10:06 PM

Also, the average whole foods vegetarian probably has a higher vitamin C intake than the average paleo dieter, on account of relying more heavily on fruits and vegetables. This probably helps.

5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0
0
1386 · January 29, 2011 at 12:33 PM

could be lack of certain nutrients, and/or a new food allergy that has developed as you have introduced new paleo food items you didn't eat before in large quantities (like some herbs ans spices like carlic, or even eggs). i'd try the following: take 2x1g vitamin C, 2x 500mg quercetin, 100-200mg grape seed extract, 25-50g pecans or almonds a day. up your carb intake to 100g/day, mainly as colored mixed vegetables and 1-2 fruits (or even better, berries). closely inspect your skin (not just on the face) for signs of low grade inflammation. usually you will see very fine/tiny inflamed (reddish) wrinkles. if that is the case, it's either a food sensitivity, lack of some nutrients or anti-oxidants, or a predisposition to atopic eczema or dermatitis that can be triggered for a gazillion of reasons (change in lifestyle, shower gel, intensive exercise, etc etc). it could also be caused by certain supplements you already take, like too much iodine for example.

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