Thursday, 7 March 2013

Super skin

Birthdays tend to focus the mind on the ageing process and how it's going! Some people like my cousin, have got such naturally fine and soft skin that they never seem to age, but sadly I'm not so lucky and this birthday has definitely brought a couple of extra wrinkles with it!

Luckily for those of us without porcelain skin there is a lot you can do to keep your skin baby soft rather than old and weathered.

Externally it's the usual list, wear spf everyday to stop sun damage, exfoliate and moisturize religiously and don't just take care of your face (a wrinkly neck or hands tend to give your age away!)

Internally it's all about fat and water - your skin is made up of water held in a balloon made of fat. So you need to drink plenty of water and eat healthy fats everyday - oily fish, nuts, seeds, olives and olive oil, avocados etc. If you don't like these or can't manage to eat them regularly get a good EFA supplement and take it every day.

Anything that dehydrates you is therefore the enemy, so caffeine of any form, alcohol and salt should both be avoided to get your skin in top condition.

Also anything that hardens fats will harden your skin cells so to keep it baby soft you need to avoid alcohol and refined sugar. Remember hard skin = wrinkles.

Any exposure to toxins also damages fats and hardens them so smoking, drugs (legal or illegal), food additives and burnt or fried foods are all extremely ageing. I'm sure we all have seen or known people who've aged prematurely from too many cigarettes and glasses of wine.

This is why antioxidants are also so key as they can minimize the damage of toxins on our cells. All fruit and veg are therefore skin friendly, but particularly those with red, orange, purple and blue skins.

For a daily skin checklist have one portion of each (eg a plum, red pepper, sweet potato and blueberries) plus a serving of oily fish or a palmful of seeds, nuts or their oils plus 1.5 litres of water.

This may all sound super vain and respect to those of you who can ignore the endless pressures to look eternally young. But remember that anything that keeps your skin young from the inside is also keeping every other cell young - your heart, your brain, your lungs, liver, kidneys etc will all age slower which means a longer, healthier and happier life - now that isn't so superficial is it?!

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