I am fast approaching thirty. That isn’t old by anyone’s standards but I am still aware of the gradual changes to my skin that are taking place. Coco Chanel was once quoted as saying ‘Nature gives you the face you have at twenty. Life shapes the face you have at thirty. But at fifty you get the face you deserve’. I think she got it spot on. No matter how young you are, it is never too early to make changes to your lifestyle which will set up a good foundation for the ageing process. Your older self will thank you for it.
Stay hydrated – Water is quite literally the elixir of life. Your body is approximately sixty percent water and it plays an essential role in many of the processes that happen within your body. It will also help to keep your skin clear and assist your body with flushing out toxins. With that in mind, you need to stay properly hydrated in order to look and feel your best. Official guidelines state that you should be drinking six to eight glasses of water per day for optimum health but don’t forget many foods such as fresh fruit also contain water. Many people drink hot water with a slice of lemon but bear in mind that this is a very acidic drink and will erode your teeth when drunk on a regular basis. Alcohol and caffeine are dehydrating so it is a good idea to drink some plain water each time you consume a drink that contains either substance.
Eat well – Genetics and heritage determine how your skin looks, behaves and ages but you can do much to assist the process by improving your lifestyle. As well as staying well hydrated, another way to do this is by eating a good, well balanced diet to give your body the nutrition it needs. The most beneficial vitamins for your skin are A, C and E. These are found in abundance in fruits and vegetables so try to include at least five portions each day. Fruit and vegetables are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and proteins (enzymes) that can help prevent and repair damage to your skin. They work by preventing or slowing down free radicals. Free radicals are good cells gone bad. When an apple turns brown – that’s free radicals doing their thing. They are caused by pollution, sun damage, smoking, a poor diet and can even be caused by the makeup and skincare you use. Other beneficial foods for your body include beans, dairy, eggs, fish, nuts and whole grains. Remember that the nutritional benefits of eating the right foods will always be better for your body than consuming them in pill form.
Sleep well – Sleeping is the time your skin repairs itself and helps to maintain the elasticity and thickness of your skin. It also helps to sleep on your back. Over time, sleeping on your side can leave wrinkles on your face.
Protect yourself from the sun – Never underestimate the damaging effects of the sun on your skin. A golden tan may look attractive in your twenties but when you are in your fifties and have wrinkled, sagging skin peppered with moles, it will not look quite so appealing. And of course, too much sun exposure can cause skin cancer. Sunscreen helps prevent those pesky free radicals and many skincare and makeup products contain a sun protection factor (SPF) so keep a look out for these when you are shopping for supplies. Also use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 and avoid midday sun when UV levels are at their strongest. Don’t forget to wear a hat and sunglasses – constant squinting in the sun will help to give you the dreaded ‘crow’s feet’ wrinkles around your eyes. There’s no better reason to buy those designer sunglasses you’ve been eyeing up!
Exercise – Most of us are aware of the health benefits of exercise but of course it can benefit the way we look too. As well as helping to build a slim, toned physique, all of the sweat you produce when you exercise will help to bring impurities out of your skin helping to keep it clear and fresh. As you get older, as well as keeping your body healthy, exercise will also help to manage your weight. As you age, your metabolic rate (the rate at which your body burns calories) decreases leading to an increased likelihood of weight gain.
Get into a good beauty routine – As well as the lifestyle factors that will play a part in maintaining the beauty of your skin, getting into a good routine with skincare will also help. Look after your skin by moisturising daily, exfoliating weekly and use face masks depending on your skin type. Normal moisturiser formulas are often too rich and heavy for the delicate skin around the eyes and can cause puffiness. Make you use a specially formulated cream for eyes. As we age, our skin produces less collagen and so skin loses it’s elasticity and becomes less firm. If you have mature skin, look out for products containing peptides and retinoids which will help your skin to build collagen and appear firmer. Also try to avoid foundation formulas that are too dry as they will settle into wrinkles. Keep your skin well moisturised and use a moisture rich foundation formula.
Stop smoking – Smoking is one of the primary causes of skin ageing. I used to have a twenty (sometimes thirty) a day habit so I know how hard it is to stop. But with self belief and sheer willpower, you can stop. You will look and feel so much better for it believe me.
Remember, it’s never too early to begin thinking about preserving your skin for the future.
Until next time, stay beautiful x