There’s only so long we can get away with burying our head in the sand and thinking ageing is something we don’t have to worry about yet. When we’re in our early twenties we tend to think we’re invincible, between all the partying, junk food and long beach days in the sunshine (sans SPF), ageing is pretty much the last thing on our minds.
Then as we hit our late 20s and early 30s we start to notice changes - dark circles appearing, blotches and blemishes, uneven skin tone and the dreaded sagginess start setting in.
This is largely due to a loss of collagen that is responsible for plumping, firming and smoothing our skin that naturally occurs with age. And while we know there are plenty of things we can put on our skin like night creams, eye creams, serums and sunscreen, beauty really does start from within and there are a number of things we should be doing to combat ageing from the inside out. Because prevention really is better than cure, and when the signs show up on your skin it’s much harder to reverse them than stop them in the first place.
So while a time machine to go back to our 20s and start looking after our skin properly then would be great, it’s not too late to take action now.
1. Hydration hydration hydration
There’s a reason your mum and your grandma always nag you about whether you’ve been drinking enough water – because yes it’s the key to good health, but you guessed it, it’s also the key to good skin. Keeping skin hydrated is essential to ensure skin cells are receiving the proper nutrients and ensure the skin cells are replenishing tissue and maintaining elasticity. Simply put, dry skin equals wrinkles and fine lines – and while topical products aimed at hydrating skin do help, that vital moisture really needs to come from good old H2O.
2. You are what you eat
When we’re younger we may have been able to get by on a diet of fast food and soft drinks, but as we get older the signs of an unhealthy lifestyle catch up with us, fast, and nowhere more than on our skin. That’s why a healthy balanced diet is essential to maintain overall health, which in turn, helps us to keep looking our best and get that healthy glow.
There are certain foods which are renowned for their anti-ageing properties and essential nutrients for a glowing complexion. So think fatty fishes high in omega-3 like salmon, chia seeds and walnuts foods that are high in vitamin C like blueberries, broccoli, oranges, and sweet potato. Rich sources of vitamin E like brazil nuts, almonds and avocado as well as zinc from foods such as fish, lean red meat, whole grains and poultry.
You should also look to quit smoking cigarettes (as if there aren’t enough reasons to quit already!) and limit your alcohol, caffeine and sugar intake as much as you can as these all contribute to toxins building up in your body and cause inflammation which will age you faster.
3. Take a collagen supplement
Collagen levels start to deplete from your 20s (and this only speeds up as you continue to age) so taking a collagen supplement is the best way to help slow down the depletion of this vital protein and help provide the skin with nourishment and improve its appearance. The Collagenix Beauty range from Naturopathica contains 7 key beauty-centric nutrients, scientifically formulated to help skin regain and maintain its youthful appearance focusing on increased skin firmness, reduced wrinkle depth and increased hydration.
4. Sleep is not for suckers
We all know the importance of getting a good night’s sleep for overall wellbeing, but another reason to be clocking those quality zzz’s is ageing – it’s not called beauty sleep for no reason. If you’re not getting enough sleep all the expensive products in the world will be rendered useless as sleep is vital for your body to repair, replenish and rejuvenate cells and tissue thanks to the release of growth hormones during the deep sleep phase.
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5. Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly
Remaining active is vital for slowing the effects of ageing, and the oxygenation and the increased blood flow that occurs during physical exercise helps the skin regenerate collagen and it also helps reduce inflammation and aid weight loss. However drastically losing or gaining weight can wreak havoc on your skin, and crash diets where you cut out essential fats can drastically affect the appearance of your skin. So try and maintain a healthy weight, without major fluctuation is important for looking after your skin long term.
6. Stress less
It’s no secret that stress is bad for our health, and you guessed it, it’s also bad for our skin. In this day and age stress is hard to avoid, so finding ways to manage and minimise it are key. Whether it's speaking with a professional or looking at ways to manage it yourself, through meditation or yoga, lifestyle changes or finding a hobby that helps you unwind are important.
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