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Why focusing on your health from the inside out is key for longevity and beauty

When it comes to aging, most of us don’t necessarily look forward to it. No one is eager to age.

The usual picture that comes to mind when we think of aging is one of slowing down, disintegrating, medical conditions, pills, and losing our good looks. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We are meant to grow in wisdom while enjoying a healthy, joyful, and vibrant life.

Understanding the process of aging and implementing the proper habits will help us achieve this and enjoy a long, vibrant, and fulfilling life! 

Longevity is a byproduct of good conditions in our internal terrain.

Longevity without good health is meaningless.

All aging starts at a cellular level. It happens from the inside first and then extends to skin and hair areas—most of the anti-aging solutions and skin and hair products available on the market focus on the outside.

But we will see why this is not effective and doesn’t stop the real cause of aging.

The two most noticeable aspects of our body that determine whether we are young or old are our skin and our hair. To keep them young and healthy, in addition to adequate nutrition, we need proper blood flow, optimal mitochondrial function, healthy hormone levels, functioning stem cells, and proper hydration (not as simple as just drinking enough water).

We are about to see how interconnected they are and how light affects them all.

Fantastic hair and beautiful skin require love & care.

First, we need enough minerals and vitamins (i.e., good nutrition) to create and maintain them.

Our body will favor crucial functions when we have a low reserve or a deficiency of one or multiple of these nutrients.

Having beautiful hair isn’t one of them, so they start to get thinner, grayer, or fall out. Radiant skin isn’t necessary for survival so the body will favor other more important functions.

This deprives the skin of optimal conditions, and you’ll get changes in coloration or loss of elasticity and smoothness. 

Eating whole, nutritious mineral-rich food is non-negotiable for longevity. But, like a plant, you can give your body all the nutrients and water it needs, but if you don’t give it enough sunlight, it cannot metabolize and absorb the nutrients.

That’s where light comes in. 

 

Blood flow

Human body blood flow circulation

We need good blood flow to deliver these nutrients to our skin, scalp, and hair follicles. More and more people are developing high blood pressure, a sign of unhealthy blood vessels and poor circulation.

One of the crucial aspects of cardiovascular health is the production of nitric oxide (NO), an important molecule that dilates our blood vessels and improves blood flow. Supplements exist to boost NO, but they do so in an exogenous way (outside-in).

A more straightforward way to augment your endogenous production of NO is to get in the sun.

Yes, you read that right.

The UVA spectrum in natural sunlight boosts NO production when it hits your skin.

It helps dilate your blood vessels and improves overall circulation so your skin and your hair can get the nutrients and oxygen they require to thrive.

 

Mitochondrial Function

 mitochondrial function

Another beneficial component of sun exposure is that it provides infrared light. Infrared light also improves blood flow but also increases the efficiency of our mitochondria, the energy-producing factories in our cells.

Better mitochondrial function equals better health overall.

If you are losing hair, chances are your scalp and brain might not be getting enough infrared light to feed their mitochondria, so you start shedding hair to allow more light to hit your skin and penetrate your skull.

Mitochondria are implicated in 95% of diseases.

In addition to producing energy, they are responsible for crucial functions in the body like autophagy and apoptosis, the production of melatonin and pregnenolone, the regulation of stem cells, and the creation of a unique type of water.

Mitochondria are responsible for producing energy in the form of ATP, the currency of our cells.

To create or repair something, your cells need to ‘’spend’’ ATP. DNA tends to accumulate ‘’breaks’’ with time and to repair them, you need ATP. The same goes for the sun or artificial light damage that we get.

When your mitochondria are working properly, you have enough energy to repair the damage and keep the skin young and healthy.

When they don’t, you develop aging spots and other signs that make your skin look older. 

Every healthy habit that we can do (sun exposure, exercise, diet, supplement, sleep optimization, etc.) aims to improve the energy production capacity of our mitochondria while reducing our free radicals production.

This leads to improved intracellular hydration and better detoxification so that all the wrong fats, toxins, pathogens, heavy metals, and microplastics that age your cells and your skin can get out of your body instead of accumulating in your tissue. 

Mitochondria control autophagy (cell recycling) and apoptosis (programmed cell death).

You can think of autophagy as fixing your car, while apoptosis is more like getting a new one. When cells get dysfunctional, your body has two choices: destroy the bad parts and create new ones from the raw material it harvested or tell the cell to die to let a new one take its place.

When these two mechanisms stop working correctly, the intricate workings of our metabolism start to break. This is what aging is.

You accumulate stuff in your body that you should have repaired or gotten rid of.

Autophagy is controlled by infrared light and apoptosis by UV light. Both are provided by sunlight but absent from artificial light and are interwoven with melatonin production.

In short, Mitochondria require a lot of full-spectrum sunlight during the day and darkness at night.

Why darkness?

Because this is the time when mitochondria clean and repair themselves. Exposure to artificial light at night destroys the mitochondria’s ability to regenerate.

Day after day of being exposed to artificial lights at night, the mitochondria start losing efficiency, and the overproduction of free radicals starts damaging the mitochondrial DNA leading to aging and chronic inflammation.

 

Hormones

types of hormones chart

Melatonin is one of the most important hormones produced by our body.

It is anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-aging and regenerates tissues.

All of those things are important for healthy aging. Often called the hormone of darkness, melatonin is produced when our eyes and skin are exposed to the sun (i.e., during the day).

It is stored in different places in the body and released after a period of darkness (i.e., at night) in our bloodstream to act on other tissues.

One of the meaningful impacts melatonin has on your skin is that it gives you natural protection against sun damage equivalent to a sunscreen with an FPS 15.

Melatonin chemical formula

The problem is that melatonin can get destroyed, especially by artificial blue light.

Depending on the light source you are exposed to after sunset, the suppression of your melatonin can reach as high as 98%! That puts you at a higher risk for sun damage and poor sleep, fatigue, and diseases like cancer and all sorts of conditions you simply don’t want to have.

It is important to increase your melatonin stores by going outside during the day, but it’s also essential to protect them by avoiding artificial blue light (especially at night). 

Autophagy & apoptosis happens in deep sleep (the first half of the night, mainly before midnight), and deep sleep can only happen when sufficient quantities of melatonin are circulating in your blood. This can only happen when you stop being exposed to blue light, which occurs naturally after sunset when we live in Nature.

Therefore, wearing advanced blue-light-blocking glasses helps protect the important stores of melatonin you produce during the day and allows your body to release it at the appropriate time to give your body the much-needed rest & repair downtime it deserves.

If you are constantly under artificial blue light at night, you won’t be able to shift your nervous system into a parasympathetic state to repair the damage in your body. 

Another important hormone that your mitochondria produce is pregnenolone. It’s the raw material from which cortisol and sex hormones (DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, and estrogens) are produced. In times of stress/survival, you turn it into cortisol.

In times of peace and abundance, you turn it into sex hormones.

All of these hormones are essential if you want to keep your body healthy and young.

Dysfunctional mitochondria can’t produce pregnenolone; thus, your hormone levels start to fall off a cliff, and then symptoms appear.

Your mitochondria usually lose about 10% of function per decade of life, but it can go relatively faster if you don’t take care of them.

Hormones like estrogen and progesterone are important to keep your energy levels up, but they are also crucial to maintaining youthful-looking skin and hair. They are tied not only to your longevity but also to the quality of life you’ll enjoy.

Artificial blue light at night will create mitochondrial dysfunction, leading to low hormone levels. 

menopause

Menopause is a normal step in a woman’s life. But having symptoms that make your life miserable while you’re in menopause isn’t contrary to popular beliefs.

During pre-menopause, your ovaries slowly stop producing sex hormones. But in a healthy woman, the adrenal glands are supposed to compensate by secreting small quantities of estrogen and progesterone to ensure the transition goes smoothly and is as easy as possible.

Unfortunately, chronic stressors like artificial blue light impede this process by forcing the conversion of pregnenolone to cortisol.

With no amount of estrogen or progesterone being produced, the usual hot flashes, weight gain, and fatigue that are way too common these days appear. 

Exposure to artificial blue light also raises your blood glucose and insulin levels, and it does so without you having to eat anything. Insulin is the hormone of aging.

High insulin levels are correlated with most of the comorbidities associated with aging like high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc.

The more artificial blue light you are exposed to, the more Insulin you secrete, and the faster you age.

Proper thyroid function is crucial for healthy skin & hair.

healthy skin and hair

One of the early signs of an underperforming thyroid (hypothyroidism) is thinning hair or unhealthy skin.

Your thyroid gland sits directly behind the skin of your neck. Blue light penetrates 3-6 cm in your body, so we know that the thyroid gland is one of the most affected organs by artificial light.

It’s no surprise that thyroid conditions have exploded in the past 2 decades.

Living in an artificial blue-lighted environment creates inflammation in your body and disregulates your thyroid function.

 

Stem Cells

stem cells microscopic view

When your body renews itself after normal wear and tear or trauma, it does so with the help of stem cells which are special cells that can differentiate into any type of cell.

Let’s say you have a knee injury. Your body will mobilize stem cells into the knee area to replace cells that have been damaged or destroyed by the trauma. They are the key to a long and healthy life.

The older you are, the fewer stem cells are available, and the less potent they are.

Recent research demonstrated that artificial blue light inhibits the proliferation and differentiation of stem cells, making it harder for them to go where needed to replace older cells.

It also induced apoptosis and the destruction of stem cells. This leads to inflammation, faster aging, and the reduced ability to renew much-needed tissues in your body.

Like autophagy and apoptosis, stem cell regulation is tightly maintained by your mitochondria.

 

Hydration

woman drinking water due to hydration

There is a difference between extra and intracellular hydration. Drinking water helps mainly with extracellular hydration.

It helps to keep your blood volume and electrolytes balance in a healthy range. But you can drink plenty of water and still be dehydrated at the cellular level.

Intracellular hydration doesn’t come from the water you drink but rather from the water your mitochondria create!

This type of water, called exclusion zone water or EZ water, has unique properties. 

Intracellular water is important because it allows you to store energy from the sun and food, maintains the integrity of your cell so it can work as intended, and enables your skin to create vitamin D (EZ water is necessary for the vitamin D creation process via the photo isomerization step), potentiates magnesium (responsible for more than 3000 enzymatic reactions in your body!) and boosts detoxification (which allows you to eliminates toxins that accumulate with time and are a big part of aging).

The more you are exposed to infrared light (42% of the sunlight spectrum), the more EZ water you produce.

The more artificial blue light you are exposed to, the less EZ water you have.

For most people, the head is the part of the body most exposed to artificial blue light. Mitochondrial dysfunction in the skin of the face caused by blue light will lead to local dehydration of the skin. This is what causes wrinkles.

Having enough EZ Water is the difference between having your phone with a full battery vs. running on battery-saving mode.

Healthy mitochondria provide you with ample levels of EZ water which gives you smooth, healthy, and young-looking skin. As mentioned before, it’s inside-out!

Every color/frequency of natural sunlight has an impact on our health.

Specific frequencies are present or absent at different times during the day. Exposure to a natural and balanced light spectrum is crucial for our health.

Problems arise when we are not exposed to the correct frequencies at the right time (ex: red & infrared light in the morning) and when we are exposed to the wrong frequencies at the wrong time (ex: blue light at night). 

After sun exposure, the best habit you can have for longevity and health is to wear advanced blue-light-blocking glasses.

Man wearing vivarays glasses outside

Our glasses stop the spectrum of light usually absent after sunset from reaching your retina, allowing your circadian rhythm to work optimally.

This way, you’ll optimize your blood flow, ensure optimal hormone levels, maintain stem cell function and ensure proper hydration at the cellular level. 

The saying ‘’beauty is skin deep’’ holds when it comes to circadian biology: healthy mitochondria (which are deep into your cells) will create healthy, beautiful, and youthful-looking skin & hair while providing you with ample energy to enjoy the long and fulfilling life you deserve.