8 Lifestyle Hacks to Prevent Skin Ageing
Having worked in the beauty industry in the marketing and medical areas, I have a in depth understanding of how the ageing process and beauty products work. I thought I would use the blog as an opportunity to share my knowledge.
In most cases, our skin is a reflection of how we feel. If you live a fast paced lifestyle such as have a stressful job with less sleep, are a new mom or travel a lot for work, you will quickly realise that your lifestyle takes it toll on your skin. Your environment also plays a big role for example if you live in a big polluted city.
I quickly saw this when I was pregnant and after baby was born. During pregnancy I had a very stressful job managing the Medical Department in a pharmaceutical company. This meant long working hours, very little sleep and lots of preparation for the arrival of our little one. For me personally hyperpigmentation (or dark spots) are my issue. I never had acne as a teenager an adult thankfully. What I found was that during pregnancy my pigmented areas became darker on the whole. This is because your body is making extra melanin to fight UV radiation during this sensitive time. After baby was born, I found that the pigmentation got better over time (approximately 3 months) but the glow I had during pregnancy was gone. I experienced the same effects that I do during times of work travel, stress and less sleep, dark patches under the eyes, eye bags and dull skin. Lines and wrinkles also became more prominent over this time.
The bad news is the pregnancy-related changes can only be managed but not fully cured. The good news is the changes are temporary and usually revert by the 6 month post-partum mark (I will go into this in further detail in a separate blog).
The extra good news is that there are ways to slow the ageing process and to preserve the glow of youth – prevention, maintenance, and reversal. Self-education and modern beauty advances are the key steps to having a life of healthy, youthful skin.
However ultimately, when you are up against time and an aggressive environment, prevention is key. Here are my top 8 tips to help prevent ageing. These might seem like no brainers but I swear they work wonders.
DIET AND NUTRITION
Drink plenty of water and eat healthy nutritious food. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day is one of the best preventative measures against ageing. Hydrated skin stays more supple, brighter, and reflects the effects of a hydrated body.
A healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein goes hand in hand with hydration to slow ageing from the inside out. I see this when I eat super healthy versus a diet of less healthy food when on a business trip for instance.
PROTECT YOUR SKIN FROM THE SUN
Sunscreens and protective clothing shield the skin from damaging, wrinkle-inducing ultraviolet rays. The most commonly affected areas are the face and hands; then the neck, shoulders, and feet. You might think that sitting in a park is great, which it is as you need your vitamin D, but make sure you wear a sunscreen. Sun protection should be used daily, not just for an afternoon at the beach. Even in colder climates, the skin does not catch a break from being covered.
USE ORGANIC OR FRAGRANCE-FREE PRODUCTS
Perfumes, dyes, and chemicals found in detergents wreak havoc on skin. This causes an effect on rougher areas like elbows and knees, causing noticeable ageing. Using detergents free from fragrance and keep up with general hygiene and moisturising the skin. Organic or natural products will cause less or no harm but check the ingredients as many brands that claim to be organic only contain a tiny proportion of natural/organic ingredients (2% is the minimum needed).
DRINK LESS AND DON'T SMOKE
Habits like heavy drinking, smoking cigarettes, and drug use can significantly impact the appearance and texture of our skin. I see this after a couple glasses of wine for instance! Of course, alcohol in moderation is okay and remember to drink lots of water after. Take responsibility for your health. You will be better able to take control over the rate that their skin ages and overall appearance.
Removing stressors and negativity from your life can have an invaluable impact on the way you look. Make a to do list to help manage your time and take it easy. Remember some things are just beyond our control!
GET PLENTY OF SLEEP
I know this one is tough especially if you have a newborn or work long hours. But getting plenty of sleep and entering each day with a positive outlook will begin show on your skin and get you on your way to lifelong skin health. After a night of less sleep, I often end up with dark circles and eye bags which resolve after a good's night sleep.
STICK TO A BEAUTY ROUTINE
Create a beauty routine and stick to it. Find products that work well with your skin type. Your skin care regimen should include regular face washing with a cleanser that is suited for your skin type, whether it be dry, oily, or combination. Many cleansers on the market that have the added bonus of age defying ingredients. Using a proper makeup remover and cleanser in the evening to remove cosmetics, dirt, oil, and environmental stressors from the face. Cleanser alone will not remove it. Regular morning cleansing removes any debris collected by the skin during sleep, refreshes the skin, and prepares the face for the application of serums and moisturisers.
Next, use a toner, serum, age-prevention/reduction cream and moisturiser. Use products who make a commitment to quality and results. Choose serums or creams that help clear blemishes, even tone, calm under eye puffiness, or any number of needs specific to their skin. Always look for age defying ingredients when choosing products, as this can be an easy way to sneak in ageing prevention. Price shouldn't be the identifier - an expensive product is not always the best, and one that is easy on the wallet may not provide the effects that you desire.
Do your research and find out for yourself which ingredients are best and which just don't work. Start an effective regimen as early as possible to get the most benefits.
USE ANTI-AGEING PRODUCTS
Research has shown that the earlier a skin care regimen is begun, the better your skin will be later. Starting young, between 12 and 15 years of age, will give you the best outcome. I was introduced to Clarins and Estee Lauder by my mom when I was a teenager and have no regrets. For make-up, moisture-holding and moisture-stimulating cosmetics are essential in ageing prevention. Don't make decisions on cost. Inferior make-up may contain harmful, pore-clogging chemicals that can hinder age defying efforts.
If you have beautiful skin in your mid-20s to age 30, focus on maintenance. To keep your skin beautiful as long as possible, go for facials and facial massages regularly, to rejuvenate and stimulate new skin cell formation. If you neglect your skin now, the mirror will tell you later.