Inflammaging: What Is The Role Of Inflammation In Aging?

Inflammation + aging = inflammaging. In other words, chronic, low-grade inflammation leads to accelerated signs of aging in our bodies – and in our skin.

To be fair, some inflammation is healthy, since inflammation is part par of our body’s healing and immune response. When something stresses our body, it triggers inflammation (which you can recognize by heat, redness, swelling), which increases the presence of repair agents such as healing proteins and infection-fighting white blood cells. 

However, chronic, low-level inflammation are our enemies. Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and heart issues are just some of the diseases that are associated with excess inflammation. At the level of the skin, chronic, low-grade inflammation leads to an increase in free radicals – the source of accelerated signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, and more. 

What induces inflammation? Constant exposure to low-level pollution, irritants, smoke, cytotoxic substances, stress, and UV light (basically, life in general) are key causes of increased inflammation.  

So how do you ensure keeping chronic inflammation at bay and live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle? Here are some tips:  

  • Avoid sugar at all cost (candy, deserts, sodas, refined carbohydrates) – this is possibly the most important tip for an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.
  • Minimize alcohol consumption. 
  • Have an antioxidant-rich diet: think fish, berries, leafy greens, avocadoes, nuts, tomatoes, green tea.
  • Sleep a minimum of seven hours per night. 
  • Look for anti-inflammatory ingredients in your skin care products (such as antioxidants). 
  • Minimize inflammation-inducing treatments and products (strong peels, home care products highly concentrated AHAs and BHAs. 
  • Wear broad-spectrum SPF daily. 
  • Do not smoke. 
  • Ensure any vitamin supplements you take do not contain iron (unless prescribed by your doctor).

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