The way I like to think of it is: When is the right age to start looking after the skin?
The answer to that is that you are never too young. The care you give yourself and your skin from a young age will benefit you as you age, holding back the effects of the ageing process.
Of course, we can’t hold it back completely. There are 2 types of ageing: external and intrinsic.
Intrinsic ageing is the natural process that we inherit in our genes, we can’t stop this. External ageing is down to us and our lifestyle choices.
Top 10 anti-ageing habits
- Moisturize: you can never start too early. Get into the habit from at least the onset from puberty, if not before, to moisturize the face and body after washing. Dry skin encourages wrinkles so keep it supple.
- Sleep: Lack of proper sleep can cause reduced circulation leading to dull and fatigued skin. The poor circulation can also contribute to dark circles under the eyes . The body naturally repairs itself while we sleep, so its important we give it sufficient to do this.It also beneficial to sleep on your back if you can. Sleeping on your side or front can cause ’sleep lines’ which, over years can become etched into the skin’s surface.
- Don’t smoke: The chemicals inhaled when smoking cause biochemical changes in our body that accelerate the intrinsic ageing process.Also think about that constant puckering action, causing those nasty ‘pucker’ lines around the mouth to develop.
- Drink alcohol only in moderation: It is a little harsh to say cut it out! As long as we don’t drink in excess that is fine. Excessive consumption causes the blood to rush to the surface of the skin and this in turn can lead to broken capillaries.
- Drink plenty of water: Our bodies are largely made up of water and if we don’t keep them hydrated properly it shows in the skin. Always drink plenty, aim for 2 litres a day. It is also essential for every other organ in the body.
- Eat plenty of fruit: Fruits are a valuable source of vitamins needed for healthy cell function. Without sufficient levels the skin cannot properly repair and renew itself, leading to premature signs of ageing.
- Exercise regularly: For the skin its not so important what exercise you do as long as its done regularly. Its important to increase the circulation, which in turn stimulates cell renewal and repair.
- Sun protection: There is some controversy about certain ingredients (namely methylparabens) in suncreams actually accelerating the ageing process. The most important thing is that you avoid midday sun, use adequate protection (natural sunscreens if you can) and always avoid burning. Ageing due to sun exposure (photo-ageing) is a big problem and massively increases wrinkles, fine lines and age spots.
- Cut the stress: High levels of stress, whatever the cause, change the skin. It compromises our immune system and can lead to higher levels of sensitivity – not to mention those ‘worry’ lines.Remember to take some time each day to refocus yourself and let your worries melt away.
- Smile: Remember smiling uses less muscles than a frown! It also makes you feel better on the inside when you smile.If ever there was a way to look and feel more youthful its gotta be a smile…….
“They say that age is all in your mind. The trick is keeping it from creeping down into your body” ~Author Unknown
Image courtesy of Cobalt 123 at Flickr