The secrets to a more youthful complexion are more accessible than you think
We all know that smoking, drinking too much alcohol and not getting enough sleep will show on our skin sooner or later, but did you know that (in addition to our genetic makeup) our dietary habits, mental makeup, and even environmental factors can play a role in how fast we’ll age? So what else can we be doing to hold off those wrinkles? Here are some easy ways to get some youth back in your skin.
If you want a youthful glow, you might want to head out for a nice long walk. “Studies have shown that an increase in blood circulation due to regular exercise allows the flow of oxygen to nourish the skin and removes waste products, including free radicals, from the body,” says Biodun Olusesan, founder of skincare brand Radiant Glow Botanicals (radiantglow.co.uk). So pull on some comfy shoes and get moving.
As we age, we lose some of the subcutaneous fat under the skin, this causes the skin to sag. Dr Nitasha Buldeo, founder of Organic Apoteke (organicapoteke.com) recommends having plenty of good fats to recoup some of that youthful glow. Try mixing chopped avocado in with your salad and sprinkling some seeds on top for extra skin-boosting goodness.
As we age, fine lines can appear around our lips, giving our age away. Madeleine White, model, make-up artist and founder of Juni (junicosmetics.com) says, “Lips are delicate and prone to ageing. Fine lines, loss of volume and fading pigment are common but can be improved with a good routine.” She recommends using products with natural sources of retinol, a dedicated SPF and good hydration. If you love a pop of colour on your lips, Juni’s Luxury Hydrating Lipsticks contain nutrient-dense organic ingredients, such as argan oil and shea butter, along with botanical hyaluronic acid, which plumps and attracts moisture to the lips. Find your perfect shade, £48.
To help protect the skin from pollution, Amanda Winwood, founder of Made for Life Organics (madeforlifeorganics.com), recommends using a product with wheatgerm oil. “It’s a natural scavenger of free radicals,” says Amanda. Try Made for Life Organics Rejuvenating Face Oil, which contains wheatgerm oil, rose and vanilla. A perfect combination, £12-£49.
Believe it or not, your anxiety is written all over your face and not just in the form of worry lines. Chronic stress can accelerate ageing by shortening strands of DNA. To help keep anxiety at bay, Margo Lieber, co-founder of skincare collection Slow Ageing Essentials (Slowageing.co.uk), recommends a simple pre-bed routine: “Drink chamomile tea and take deep calming breaths – four counts in and eight counts out as a guidance. Finish with Slow Ageing Essential Balm. Simply rub it in and use a few deep breaths to take in the scent.” Pick yours up for £54.
“Vitamin C is vital for the formation of collagen and can slow down the rate of damage caused by free radicals,” says Lola Biggs, dietitian at Together Health (togetherhealth.co.uk). “Great sources include dark green leafy veg such as sprouts, kale and broccoli, along with brightly coloured fruit and veggies such as red pepper, tomatoes, oranges and kiwi.” If you’re looking for a supplement, try Together Health’s Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids, £7.99.
From the age of 30, collagen levels start to naturally diminish, and the rate at which women lose collagen greatly accelerates with the menopause. “As collagen levels drop, the structure and framework of the skin becomes weakened, resulting in visible signs of skin ageing,” says Susie Debice, food scientist and nutritionist at Ancient + Brave (ancientandbrave.earth). Supplementing with hydrolysed collagen peptides helps replenish these diminishing collagen reserves. Try Ancient + Brave’s True Collagen, £27, for a daily boost.
We’re serious! If you’re having a bath and want deeply softened skin, simply take a handful of porridge oats (ideally organic) and place into a muslin bag or a clean sock, then put it in the bath. “It forms a beautiful milk which is great for dry and damaged skin,” says Amanda. “You can also use this in the shower, just rub gently over the skin”.
According to Saint Iris Adriatica founder, Sanela Lazic (siadriatica.com), it’s a false economy to buy a serum that offers hydration only. “Instead, look for products that help to build resilience and tackle the impact of lifestyle stressors,” she suggests, “particularly hyperpigmentation and discolouration caused by pollution and sun damage.” Try Saint Iris Adriatica’s vitaminpacked Adriatic Wake-Up Droplets for improved elasticity and a more smooth and even skin tone, £46.
Our parents were spot on when they drummed into us how important it was to eat our greens. It turns out they’re great for our complexion, too, by helping to oxygenate the skin, stimulate lymphatic drainage and de-puff. “I like to use kale (packed full of vitamins A, C, K, E, B1, B2 and B3, and brilliant for repairing the skin),” says Lola. “Parsley is great for improving skin elasticity and clearing blemishes. Watercress can help clear and improve complexions, and spinach is great for glowing skin.”
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