1. Cleanse at the end of each day
Some experts recommend you cleanse morning and evening but this depends on the condition of your skin and where you live. If you live in a tropical climate or your waking-up face is covered in sweat and oil then, by all means cleanse in the morning as well as evening. If you fall into neither of those categories, it is sufficient in the morning to wash your face in warm water, maybe a splash of toner or floral water (optional), then moisturise.
What if I only want to cleanse in the morning? You spend your day living, so your skin will pick up dirt and grime and produce sweat, oil and dead skin cells. Just as you brush your teeth at night to remove food that’s collected in the teeth, so should you cleanse at the end of the day to remove all of the above. But I don’t wear make-up so I have nothing to remove. Oh yes you do. Without make-up, you still need to remove the dirt. You may not see it but it’s there.
2. Don’t sunbathe We need the sun. It is good for us hormonally, physiologically and for vitamin D production. A tan is your skin’s way of saying “help! I’m under attack!”. A tan looks lovely now but in 10-20 years time it will come back in the form of wrinkled skin and pigmentation. If you want a tan, get a spray tan.
3. Use SPF What do we all do constantly every day of our life? We age. It is said that as little as 10% of our ageing is genetic. The remaining 90% is due to external factors, most of it UV light. Wear a hat, wear dark glasses to protect your eyes and the skin around them, and if you’re out a lot wear SPF. Some mineral make-up products contain sunscreen, check the label.What do we all do constantly every day of our life? We age.
4. Feed your skin from the inside out Include lots of brightly coloured vegetables and fruit in your diet. Include fish, particularly oily fish for the omega 3. Ensure you have protein from meat, pulses or vegetable source. Your skin mirrors your health. Anything that’s going on inside you will reflect on your skin. Your inner organs will extract the nutrients first and your skin will get what’s left.
5. Take a good quality multi-vitamin, multi-mineral supplement Even if you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, as we get older, we need more help. Plus if you live in a sunny climate, the sun depletes our skin of vitamins.
6. Moisturise at night This may sound obvious but some people prefer to only moisturise during the day. At night our bodies undergo the circadian rhythm where cells do their supercharging and super-renewing. Our skin works hard to repair and renew so feed it with a moisturiser that will hydrate and nourish it.
7. Get quality beauty sleep During the day our skin cells go into defence and protect mode to defend themselves from UV light, pollution and weather factors. At night, they switch off their defences and shift into repair mode, producing healthy cells to replace damaged ones. If you don’t get enough sleep, your skin cells won’t get the chance to finish their repair work. If your day/night cycle is disrupted regularly, then the repair and regeneration cycle does not work efficiently.
8. Skincare in moderation This is a strange one to put in as we’re constantly being encouraged to cleanse, tone, moisturise, exfoliate, serum, eye gel, SPF, and we haven’t even got to the make-up yet! Over-cleansing can lead to stripping the skin of its natural oils. Applying too much moisturiser is just a waste. Your skin will absorb as much as it needs. The same goes with eye gels and creams. Some skincare doctors even go as far as to say that eye gels can collect in the skin under the eyes, which eventually causes it to sag. We’ve gone a bit mad with exfoliation in the last 20 years. The idea of removing dead skin cells is sensible because your moisturising products will work better. Overdoing the exfoliation is like over-cleansing but worse.
9. Drink water When the recommendation of 8 glasses of water a day first came about, it included the water that is contained within food. But, not everyone eats the same amount of fruit, vegetables and liquid foods a day so 8 is still a good number to aim for. Our skin needs water just as the rest of the body does. Too little water and it can become dehydrated as water leaves the skin cells. Too much water can upset the water/salt balance in the body.
10. Eat less sugar Sugar bonds to proteins in the skin and forms Advanced Glycation Ends, or AGEs for short. These make your collagen and elastin fibres stiff and inflexible when they should be smooth and flexible and eventually cause your skin to form furrows and lines. So, remember that sugar causes AGEs which AGE you.