Getting older is one of those inevitable events that most of us dread and consider a privilege in equal measure. Yet as our bodies age, it is by no means inevitable that our skin will give up the ghost and lose all of its youthful elasticity. There are many things we can do to help our skin age gracefully and look as youthful as we hope to still feel inside.
Water is the key to staying healthy and maintaining a fresh look for your skin. Aim for around two litres per day to help your skin receive the water it needs to retain a youthful, healthy glow. You can add natural flavourings to your water to keep it interesting, such as fresh lemon or coconut. The water will help get rid of toxins trapped in the skin, as well as retain moisture and elasticity to ward off the wrinkles that would be caused by dryness and tightening through dehydration. That said, however, avoid over-use of water while washing your face, as you can strip it of its natural barrier oils if you are too rough or if you wash your face or hands too many times in a day. Use a cleanser rather than soap to lock in the moisture and protect your skin from dryness.
You are what you eat
Just as your water intake will impact directly on your skin, so it will also benefit from the right kind of diet. Aim for foods that contain a high level of anti-oxidants to guard against harmful radicals causing damage to your body and skin. Anti-oxidants include vitamins C and E, which can be found in such foods as berries, green apples, plums and kidney beans, was well as oily fish with a high omega 3 fatty acid content, such as salmon and other cold-water fish. Essential fatty acids are excellent at nourishing skin and keeping it looking plump and youthful.
Never an easy fix, this one, but cutting cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco-based products out of your life will do wonders for your skin, as well as your overall state of health and bank balance. Nicotine patches and vape-style inhalers can help you wean yourself off, plus there is plenty of support online to help you stay strong, should you feel tempted to pick up a lighter. Your skin will become clearer and healthier as your blood flow improves, allowing it to take in more of the important vitamins it needs to stay in good shape, such as vitamin A. This boost in nutrients in turn stops your complexion from becoming dry and your skin from prematurely sagging and wrinkling.
Crème de la crème
As well as focusing on what goes into your body, don’t forget to concentrate on what you put on the outside. Investing in a good quality anti-wrinkle cream can really help protect your youthful complexion and promote a radiant glow. Look out for creams that are designed for older skin, as these will contain valuable added extracts aimed at safeguarding elasticity and adding valuable hydrating ingredients. Added SPF is also good to watch out for, as this helps your skin stay protected against ultraviolet A and B rays that can damage the skin’s layers, both outside and further into the dermis. Many skincare specialists advise avoiding the sun wherever possible to protect against wrinkles, but if you get sunburnt while outside, apply a suitable after-sun lotion with plenty of moisturiser added for ultimate protection and repair.
It’s no accident that we are all urged to get plenty of ‘beauty sleep’, as a good night’s rest really helps to protect our skin and keep it wrinkle-free. Around eight hours is a good rule of thumb, as it allows the body to repair itself and replenish its vital nutrients without causing us to oversleep and feel sluggish. You can accelerate the process with the application of a good quality night cream, paying careful attention to the areas of your skin that are more exposed during the day, such as your face, neck, hands, arms and lower legs. Some people swear by sleeping on your back to help prevent your skin from becoming wrinkled from your weight lying on it and marking it permanently when you adopt other positions, such as lying on your side or curled up tightly into a ball.