Five Tips For A More Youthful Skin
The genetic hand you’re dealt has something to do with how your skin ages-but only determines about 30% of the process. What you do everyday; how you eat; how you live, is what really has an impact on how your skin looks.
Keep Your Face Out of the Sun
Just because we don’t often enjoy azure skies and sunny days doesn’t mean we’re not impacted by UV rays-the number one cause of damage to the skin. Even when you’re driving or sitting on a plane, light coming in the window does damage. All light exposure has an impact on skin which is exposed regularly. Just compare the skin on your arms to the skin on your bottom. Case closed.
You can mitigate the effects of UV light on your skin by always using products containing SPF (sun protection factor). As the entire skincare industry is now aware of the long term damage caused by UV light, most day moisturisers and many foundations contain an SPF. You need a minimum of factor eight, and you should really try to use factor 15.
Don’t Yo-yo Diet
Fluctuations in weight take a toll on your skin. If you put on weight, your skin may look plumper on the surface, but those excess pounds cause levels of insulin (hormone made in pancreas to control blood sugar) and cortisol to rise, which leads to a breakdown in collagen. Going up and down in weight by even 10 or 15 pounds can cause sagging, have an effect on the elasticity of your skin, and give you jowls like a bulldog. Not to mention stretch marks.
Give Up the Sweeties
Sugar has a dreadful effect on skin; when it breaks down and enters the bloodstream, it bonds with protein molecules of collagen and elastin (the fibres that support skin). This process is called glycation, and it degrades both collagen and elastin, leading to sagging and wrinkles. Cut sugar out of your diet as much as you can.
Refined carbohydrates like white bread, soft drinks and white rice are all converted into sugar and speed the glycation process too. If you’re dying for a sweet treat, you can have a square of pure dark chocolate; it has antioxidants that help protect from free radicals (unstable atoms in the atmosphere that bind to your skin and cause wrinkles).
Increase your vitamin C intake, especially if you’re a smoker. Smoking is astoundingly bad for your skin, both the mechanical action of pulling on a cigarette which causes harsh lines around the mouth, and the appalling morass of toxic chemicals you inhale. Vitamin C helps generate collagen, and is easy to find in foods like oranges, broccoli, strawberries, kiwis etc.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Chronic stress, which many of us suffer from, increases production of Cortisol, which damages collagen and decreases the skin’s ability to repair itself. Cortisol can make you put on weight, too. Without even realising it, we may be frowning intensely when we’re stressed, and over time those repeated muscle contractions make the lines become permanent. Exercise helps get stress and anxiety under control, as does deep breathing, yoga or Tai Chi.
Prevent Moisture Loss
Staying well hydrated is vital to your overall health; not just your skin. As skin is the largest organ on our bodies, the effects of dehydration become very evident as skin dried out from within and look crêpey and old. Also as we age, women tend to lose oestrogen. As oestrogen stimulates oil and collagen production, skin gets drier as levels drop.
Use moisturiser to help; drink at least two litres of water each day, and clean your face every night. Clogged pores and dirt won’t allow your skin to breath. If you are nearing menopause, you may consider HRT; or you can achieve more instant results in reliving the signs of aging with anti-wrinkle injectables or dermal fillers