The key to having younger looking skin even as you grow older, is to adhere to an effective anti-ageing regimen when you’re young. Taking care of your skin goes beyond using the best skincare money can buy or getting the latest aesthetic treatments. Just like eating healthy and working out, it’s a lifestyle. Here are nine things you can do to ensure no one can tell your real age.
1. Do cover up when you’re in the sun
Did you know the sun is the #1 cause of skin ageing? Short wave UVB rays, cause damage to the epidermis inhibiting its ability to heal itself. UVA rays on the other hand are long wave rays and cause damage to the deeper layers of the skin breaking down collagen and elastin, which help keep the skin firm and plump. It’s best to avoid being out in the sun for extended periods of time. But if you can’t help it, wearing a hat and covering up with a thicker material like denim will help minimise damage from the sun’s rays. (TIP: To determine if a fabric is thick enough to prevent sun damage, hold it up against the light. If you can still see the light, it is too thin.)
2. Don’t rub your eyes
You’ve probably read this a thousand times, but I will put it down again: the skin around your eyes is very thin and delicate. Vigorously rubbing your eyes can stretch the delicate skin causing irreparable damage. Even when you apply your eye cream, make sure you apply it with your ring finger – it offers the least amount of pressure – with a dabbing motion to ensure there is no rubbing, pulling or tugging at the skin. The same applies when removing your eye makeup – gently does it. Hold a cotton pad soaked in eye makeup remover against your eye for a few seconds to first dissolve stubborn mascara and then gently wipe it off swiping from outside to inside.
3. Do grow out your eyebrows
I cannot stress enough the importance of lush eyebrows. The shape and size of your eyebrows can completely transform your face. As we age, the brows tend to thin – just like the hair on your head – as a result thin brows are associated with being older. Lush, full brows on the other hand will have you looking youthful again. So put down the tweezers. If you have naturally sparse brows Benefit now have a full range of eyebrow products that can help you bulk up your brows.
4. Don’t sleep on your face
Sleeping on the same side of your face night after night can cause what industry insiders call sleep lines. These are wrinkles that form because your face is compressed against your pillow at the same place every night. Sleeping on your side can also cause wrinkles to form at the centre of your chest and between you breasts. It’s best to try to sleep on your back. If you absolutely can’t sleep on your back try sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase. Which brings me to my next point.
5. Do shower in tepid water
Sometimes, there is nothing better than a long, hot shower. But that’s exactly what’s wrecking havoc with your skin. Standing under a hot shower for an extended period of time strips the natural oils from your skin dehydrating it. And dehydration exacerbates the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Switch to showering in tepid water, and your skin will thank you for it.
6. Don’t place your face directly in front of the shower
I know it feels great: that refreshing spray of water on your face after a long day. It’s just so refreshing. And damaging. Sticking your face in front of the shower means your face is the first to get the full force of the water. This can be damaging to capillaries and increase redness if you have sensitive skin. Even if it’s a rain shower, make sure to keep your face looking forward and not tilted back where it gets hit with the full force of the water. The best place to wash your face is the sink, where you can gently splash water to rinse your face.
7. Do pat dry
A personal pet peeve, I cringe each time I see someone rubbing their face dry with a towel. The skin on your face is very delicate, and requires the utmost care. Rubbing it with a towel not only irritates it, it also causes it to lose its elasticity. When you’re wiping your face two times a day, everyday, the damage adds up. Use the softest towel you can find, and always make sure to pat your face dry. It’s best to have a separate towel for your face. Using the same one you use to wipe your hands or body can transfer germs causing you to break out.
8. Don’t eat too much sugar
Thanks to a process called glycation, the sugar in your bloodstream attaches itself to proteins to form harmful molecules called advanced glycation end products or AGE. Over time, AGE build up and attach themselves to the elastin and collagen (proteins that give skin its plump, firm, youthful appearance) degrading the quality and making them weak, brittle and discoloured. On the surface this shows up as fine lines and wrinkles. And with the proteins compromised, skin is more susceptible to damage from UV rays and pollution. Cut down, or better still, eliminate aerated drinks, confections, that glass of wine… anything that will get stored as sugar for younger looking skin.
9. Do an inversion
Any yoga asana that has your heart positioned over your head is called an inversion. Inversions help with blood circulation and helps oxygenated blood flow you the brain and face stimulating the facial capillaries and giving it a burst of energy. You don’t have to be a seasoned yogi to do an inversion. A simple down dog or even forward bend – when you bend over with the aim of touching your toes will help blood flow to the face.
I’ll keep updating this as I think of anything that will help keep the wrinkles at bay. What do you do to put off the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles?