by Helene Larson
As we age the effects of stress, lack of exercise, poor sleeping habits, not taking care of our skin and unhealthy eating habits can begin to show, especially in our faces. While we can’t stop the ageing process, we can help keep our skin looking radiant and youthful without resorting to surgery.
Give your skin some TLC
You can help your skin stay healthy and youthful for longer if you invest a little time keeping it properly cleansed, nourished and protected. Cleansing skin each morning and night is essential for removing grime, dirt, pollution and make-up, and will also help it feel bright and vibrant.
Regular exfoliation to remove dead, dry surface skin cells is important to make way for fresh new cells and help bring a glow and vibrancy to your complexion. Look for products that contain natural or organic ingredients and are sulphate and paraben-free, to minimise chemical exposure.
Take special care of your delicate eye area to help keep crow’s feet and fine lines at bay. Unlike the rest of your face, eyes have no surrounding oil glands, so the skin around the eyes is much finer and more prone to ageing.
It can help to apply a good eye cream morning and night. Look for nourishing and hydrating natural ingredients such as rosehip oil (high in essential fatty acids), evening primrose oil, vitamins A, C and E, white and green teas, chamomile, aloe vera and other soothing botanicals.
Find an activity you enjoy and set aside time for it each week. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise 3 - 5 times per week. Make it fun and you will more likely stick with it longer term. Regular exercise boosts blood circulation and rejuvenates and refreshes our entire body, including our skin.
Boost your water intake
Keep your body properly hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of pure, filtered water every day to help smooth fine lines and plump up your skin cells. If possible, drink water at room temperature as ice-cold water can slow digestion.
Not only does your mind need to rest and recharge at night, but your skin does too. During this resting phase your body secretes hormones to speed up the production of collagen, which helps with skin elasticity and tone. Sleep also allows skin to rehydrate and assists with circulation.
Eat your way to younger looking skin A good diet is essential to help skin look youthful and dewy. To help fight inflammation and skin ageing aim for a diet that is rich in bright, vivid fruits and vegetables, along with nuts, seeds and legumes. These foods are rich in anti-inflammatory phyto-nutrients, which are powerful antioxidants. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pecans are full of fibre, protein and essential fatty acids, and can help keep your skin hydrated, firm and glowing. Include plenty of leafy green vegetables, along with berries for a big antioxidant kick. Green tea is packed with antioxidants too, so a few cups a day can help make an impact on your skin’s radiance.
All the above steps contribute to a healthier and more youthful looking skin. Aim to include all of them and you will be amazed at the difference it can make to your skin!
Collagen is a protein naturally produced in the body, which is responsible for the strength and elasticity of our skin’s connective tissue. Collagen production begins to slow from age 21 onwards and skin starts to lose elasticity - leading to wrinkles, fine lines and sagging. To fight premature ageing and boost collagen stores include lots of dark leafy greens such as spinach, cabbage and kale in your diet. These leafy vegetables contain lutein, a chemical that encourages collagen production. Eat plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits such as berries and citrus, which can help flush toxins from the body and assist with keeping your skin looking plump and firm. Applying a topical Vitamin C serum every day under your moisturiser can also help, as Vitamin C naturally stimulates the creation of collagen.