As we get older, skin ageing is inevitable. Over time our skin becomes thinner and loses its elasticity, and we develop lines and wrinkles. Lines on the forehead, crows feet, lines around the lips and mouth, sagging skin on the jowls and neck are all signs of growing old. Exposure to the sun, diet. lifestyle and environmental factors also have an impact on the skin. What can you do to keep looking younger for as long as possible?
1. Protect your skin from the sun. Use sun protection products with an SPF factor 15 or higher on your face throughout the year, whether the sun is shining or not! When on holiday or spending a lot of time outdoors in the summer, choose a product with SPF 30 for longer lasting protection form the sun.
2. Drink Plenty of Water. Hydrating you skin from within will keep it plump and firmer looking. Drinking at least 8 glasses or 2.5 litres of water a day also flushes out harmful toxins which can cause premature ageing of the skin. Try replacing as many of your drinks as possible with water, and reduce your intake of coffee and alcohol, which dehydrate the body.
3. Eat a Well Balanced Diet. Eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. A glass of orange juice can be counted as one portion. Try adding grapes, raspberries or strawberries to your breakfast cereal, a banana at lunchtime, and 2 portions of vegetables with your main meal. Eat plenty of fibre rich foods, the recommended daily intake is 25g. If your natural diet does not contain enough fibre, swap your breakfast for a high fibre one, and consider taking a supplement which contains natural fibre, such as Psyllium husks. The recommended calorie intake is 2000 per day or 70g fat per day.
4. Protect Yourself from Harmful Free Radicals. Anti-oxidants absorb harmful free radicals that can damage cells and cause disease. You can buy supplements at a health food shop, and many supermarkets stock a good range of vitamins and supplements. Good anti-oxidants are vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, beta-carotene, pyconegol and lycopene.
5. Hormones and the Menopause. In most women, the menopause occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. At this time, the skin becomes thinner and loses its elasticity. Natural collagen is lost which can result in sagging of the skin, particularly around the jaw and neck. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or a natural alternative such as soy isoflavones can relieve menopause symptoms.
6. Use Quality Skin Care Products. Cleanse your facial skin twice a day with a product for your skin type. Use a skin firming moisturiser at night, and an SPF protection cream during the day. Some cleansers and other skin care products contain exfoliating ingredients which remove dead skin cells, help to keep wrinkles at bay and reveal a brighter, more youthful complexion. There are many anti-ageing skin care products available which will help you to look younger.
7. Stop Smoking. You only have to look at people who smoke to see how the effects of smoking make them age prematurely. Most smokers have more wrinkles than non-smokers. Also, their teeth are generally stained with nicotine which makes them look older than their years.
8. Smile! Finally, there is nothing better than a smile to lift your face instantly! Try not to worry about the small stuff, learn to enjoy what you have, and without yearning too much for what you do not have if it is not easily achievable.