The key to achieving good skin isn’t a £150 jar of cream but a series of ‘lifestyle choices’ that don’t cost a fortune. Here are some tips, which if followed over time, will help to keep your skin in great condition.
Also, what tends to be good for your skin tends to be good for your health generally – so no excuses girls!
1. Apply and Re-apply a Sunscreen Product Throughout the Day.
This is the best thing you can do for your skin!
Moisturisers with an SPF 15 do not necessarily offer adequate protection especially on brighter days, so you are better to use a single purpose sunscreen regardless of the weather. Clinque City Block SPF40 is particularly recommended – it’s a good price, comes in a handy tube, is not greasy and it can be used around the eyes.
However anything is better than nothing, so make sure you buy a moisturiser and foundation with a UVA and UVB SPF.
Remember that if you layer two products with an SPF your level of protection is only that of the product with the highest SPF and isn’t the sum of the two. And don’t forget to use a lip product with an SPF as well.
Available at Boots.com
2. Don’t Skimp On Oral Hygiene
Floss your teeth daily (flossettes can be the easiest to use) and keep regular appointments with your dentist and hygienist. Not only will you have cleaner teeth and fresher breath but you will prevent your gums from receding and loss of bone density in that area. This in turn will help prevent lines around your mouth and the contours of your lower face sagging. Always seek advice about teeth whitening from your dentist.
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3. Keep Hydrated But Not Over Hydrated
Drinking 2 litres of water a day is one of the most common beauty tips, but those extra dashes to the loo are really of any benefit to your skin. Keeping hydrated is important but you should vary your water intake according to the weather and your activity levels. It’s common sense that if you exercise on a hot day you’re going to need more fluids than if you stay curled up on a sofa on a cold day. Herbal teas, soup, fruit and veg help keep you hydrated, but fizzy drinks, alcohol and coffee have the opposite effect.
4. A Good Diet
A healthy diet is vital for good skin because a limited intake of nutrients will get used up by your other organs first, leaving your skin under-nourished. Foods that are of particular benefit to the skin include oily fish; oats; eggs; tomatoes; broccoli; carrots; spinach; berries and milk. Nuts are also very good but be careful not to have too many as they can cause spots.
5. Effective Cleansing
Cleansing oil is the most effective and conditioning cleanser, but whatever you choose massage the product into your skin thoroughly and gently. This helps to get rid of the all the grime and also improves the circulation. Unless you have extremely dry skin use a damp muslin cloth to remove the cleanser. This will give a light exfoliation and is kinder to the environment than cotton wool. Avoid splashing your face with water as this encourages broken veins and allow ten minutes after cleansing before applying a serum/moisturiser.
Available at Boots.com
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Starter Kit available from JohnLewis.com
Muslin cloths available from LizEarle.com
6. Wear Sunglasses All Year Round
People might think you’re a poser but wearing sunglasses when outside during daylight offers real anti-aging benefits. They will help protect the very delicate area around the eyes from sun damage. They will also help prevent the whites of the eyes from developing the yellow tinge that results from years of accumulated exposure to the sun. However, wearing sunglasses in nightclubs is not believed to have anti-aging benefits.
7. Managing Breakouts
The common assumption is that either diet, hormones or stress are to blame for outbreaks of spots. This is true but there is another common cause of spots that is often overlooked. This is an allergic reaction. Skincare and hair care products and even laundry detergent can all cause breakouts. If you suspect that an allergic reaction is responsible for your spots swap your normal products for hypo-allergenic ones and see if this helps. If this clears up your skin you can then re-introduce your normal products one by one so you can establish the culprit.
8. Hand Cream And Beyond
Your hands can give away your age just as much as your face so remember to protect them with a hand cream with an SPF. There are some good priced ones on the market such as Neutrogena Anti-Aging Hand Cream and Nivea Age Defying Q10+ hand cream.
When you’re applying hand cream give your elbows a treat and smooth some cream into them as this is also an area prone to dryness and wrinkles.
9. Work Up A Sweat
Getting flushed and sweaty might not look good at the time but a couple of hours later your skin will glow. Sweating flushes out the pores and bringing the blood to the surface ‘feeds’ the skin. Exercise, sex and/or steaming on a regular basis will improve skin tone over the long term. The one exercise that it best avoided is jogging. It is thought that repeated pounding mixed with gravity can accelerate sagging.
Whichever skincare products you choose, it is important to use them regularly. Regardless of how much you spend on a moisturiser you’re not going to see any true benefit unless you apply it as directed. In fact, the same goes for most of these tips – routine is king. It might seem a bit of an effort at first, but not for long, and in years to come your older self will appreciate it!