It’s got to be the cosmetic industry’s most lucrative problem: How to freeze the physical signs of getting older. (Yup, wrinkles, crow’s feet and liver spots – we’re looking at you!). So, we’ll do what we do best and unlock the secrets to a younger, more youthful looking you! (Get excited – there is so much information we’ve decided to split it into two parts!)
We may as well get what is fast becoming our mantra out of the way. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen – all day, every day. This is because UV rays are responsible for breaking down collagen and causing abnormalities in elastin, resulting in thinner skin, wrinkles and uneven, pigmented patches (melasma – read more here.). You know the rules by now (and if you don’t, we suggest you check out our blog archive here!) – use at least 30 SPF, reapply every two hours and wear even when you don’t think it’s that hot (it’s New Zealand – it’s always hot.). Wear hats and protective clothing, too.
So much to say on the best natural anti-aging foods so bear with us:
- Eat sunscreen. In a sense. Yup, certain foods have been proven to increase lycopene – the skin’s very own SPF. An antioxidant found in red and orange fruit and veg, such as tomatoes, it can boost your sun protection by 33%! Green tea is another great example, as is – wait for it – dark chocolate, thanks to its being packed with flavonoids that can help prevent sunburn – double win!
- Reduce white foods. Sugar, flour and salt can all help accelerate the process of glycation – where excess glucose binds to the skin’s collagen and elastin. The result? A fast-track to aged skin.
- Honey. Get your sweet fix elsewhere by drizzling honey on certain foods as this attracts water naturally, keeping your skin flake-free and full of moisture.
- Increase protein. Amino acids, contained in protein, are the building blocks to your entire body, and must be eaten as they are not provided by the body. Fish, meat and eggs are all good – and tasty – sources.
- Omega 3s. The good fats found in fish, fish oil, chia seeds, flaxseed and walnuts perform vital functions for the health of the cell membrane, such as nutrient uptake, waste removal and water retention. You can never go wrong with taking some daily supplements or applying facial oils topically each night before bed, either.
- Vitamin C. An important component for collagen. Aim for one citrus fruit a day.
- Go nuts. Another brilliant source of Omega 3s, nuts also help improve the elasticity of the skin and boost collagen.
- Pepper. No matter your colour of choice, bell peppers are full of antioxidants, which not only help to reduce wrinkles but also offer sun protection, too!
- Turmeric. Make this your spice of choice as it helps combat inflammation.
- Edamame. This favourite appetiser is also a vital tool in the fight against aging, thanks to collagen-preserving properties.
- Drink. Another age-old piece of advice that is the answer to almost everything; the older our skin gets, the harder it becomes to retain water, resulting in flat skin and fine lines. If you don’t want your face to look like the Sahara Desert, aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. In less than a week you’ll notice an improved tone, texture and even refined contours to a brighter, tighter face. Don’t love the taste of water? Eat your share of water-based foods instead, such as cucumber, grapes and watermelon. Cranberry juice is another great option for the skin – drunk in moderation, of course. A word, also about alcohol; whilst the occasional glass of red wine will not harm you, excess drinking will not be a friend to your face.
- Supplements. If you’re not getting what you need from diet alone, you should look into taking anti-aging supplements and vitamins to give you an added boost.
Continuing on from the point above, your skin will also benefit massively from a daily routine of moisture-retaining skincare, such as anti-aging serum or moisturiser. Joan Collins reportedly keeps a tub next to each basin at home and applies every time she’s in the bathroom, and we don’t know about you but we wouldn’t mind looking like her at that age!
Remove make up
However exhausted you are at the end of the day, just think how tired your skin will look if you neglect to remove the make up that’s been sitting on it all day. By clogging pores, it will cause the breakdown of collagen over time – it’s just not worth it!
Use gentle products
Using harsh chemicals on your face is counter-intuitive and will both dry and damage the skin.
Picking at spots can result in pock marks, scars and even wrinkles.
We’re going to have to stop here – we wouldn’t want to keep you here longer than necessary (thus aging you, in the process) – and although next week we’ll focus more on the treatments we offer, be an early bird and start seeing what’s on offer now!
Featured image: PracticalCures.com/Flickr