Your skin is the mirror to your health and wellbeing so it’s also the first organ to show the signs of ageing. You can’t stop the clock or avoid the ageing process but, by introducing a few good daily habits, such as the 10 revealed here, you can stroll through the years with health, confidence and radiance on your side.
If exaggerated promises from products claiming to ‘make you look 10 years younger’ sound too good to be true, they probably are. Harnessing the latest research, trusted expert wisdom, innovative botanicals and a few high-tech advances, here are some of the best and most effective options for an ageless beauty. Ones that put the glow into skin, a spring in your step and help you radiate positivity that’s more youthful than a needle-full of wrinkle smoother, whatever your age!
1. Eat mindfully
As we age, our metabolism slows down, which is why you can pile on the pounds more easily. ‘The simplest way to weight management is to stop eating mindlessly,’ says wellness expert Akcelina (akcelina.com). ‘Turn off the TV, computer and mobile phone and put away books or magazines – when eating, just eat and pay attention to what you’re eating, how much and how. Once you become mindful, you may avoid certain foods. Be aware of overeating, hear when your body is full and differentiate between emotional eating and genuine hunger. Visit mindlesseating.org for more inspiration.
2. Stay sharp
Every day at 8am, the alarm goes off to remind beauty guru Josephine Fairley to do her brain training. In her book, The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible (by Josephine Fairley and Sarah Stacey, £12.99 victoriahealth.com) she recommends five minutes of online games (try lumosity.com) a day. The games are fun and engaging, such as matching colours, shapes and moving things around the screen, and are designed to improve memory, speed, reaction times and other cognitive abilities.
3. Find a good face cream
It’s the one beauty secret everyone wants to know. What’s the best moisturiser to use? Miracle claims aside, a good moisturiser should hydrate, nourish and protect from environmental damage. Organic, natural or botanical-packed face creams can be just as high-performing as synthetic alternatives. Here are our favourites.
Antonia Burrell Holistic Skincare Cream Supreme Facial Moisturizer
(£68 for 50ml; antoniaburrell.com)
As facialist to the stars, Antonia Burrell’s chief concern is fixing troubled skin, which is why this award-winning moisturiser contains an anti-acne formula with olive-leaf extract to reduce bacterial activity and redness, balance oil production and hydrate.
Avene PhysioLift Day Smoothing Cream
(£25 for 30ml; boots.com)
More than half of people surveyed by Avene recently revealed they experience irritation, dryness or breakouts when anti-ageing skincare products are too much for their sensitive skins. The new PhysioLift range addresses these sensitivity issues without compromising on hydration or protection.
Weleda Evening Primrose Age Revitalising Concentrate
(£34.95 for 30ml; weleda.co.uk)
Evening primrose oil has been found to have high levels of essential fatty acids, which can protect against moisture loss so this is formulated especially for very mature skins. Additional support comes from aloe vera juice to soften and soothe and inca nut oil to help regenerate. The result is a serum-like texture, but this is deeply nourishing like an oil.
Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare Superskin moisturiser
(£39 for 50ml; uk.lizearle.com)
An oil-rich cream that sinks in quickly and leaves skin glowing, thanks to borage oil and avocado oil. It makes a great base for make-up as it gives skin a plumped-up look. It’s now available as a fragrance-free formula, ideal for sensitive skins.
4. Supplement your skin
‘Deep down inside the gut is where real ageing begins,’ says Dr. Nigma Talib, a naturopathic doctor, skin expert and author of Reverse the Signs of Ageing (Vermilion, £12.99), a holistic guide to youthful skin from the inside out. If you’re thinking of taking supplements, here are the nutrients that will enhance skin renewal and ensure it stays clear and fresh.
VITAMIN Bs – these help metabolise proteins and fats and are essential for cell renewal and supple skin.
EAT IT: Green leafy vegetables and watercress.
BOOST IT: Honestly Healthy Alkaline Superboost Powder Blend (£21.99 for 150g) contains maca, spirulina, moringa leaf, wheatgrass and chlorella for a medley of B-vitamins from natural and organic sources. Simply add to smoothies or juices.
VITAMIN C – a multi-purpose antioxidant used by your body for tissue repair and formation of collagen, which keeps skin firm.
EAT IT: Kale boasts an impressive 41mg of vitamin C per 100g. To retain as much of this as possible, avoid overcooking or boiling. Instead, lightly sauté in hot oil then add a ladle of water and it will cook in 10 seconds on the steam.
BOOST IT: Vitabiotics Ultra Vitamin C (£5.95 for 60 tablets) provides slow-release vitamin C formulated with 25mg of citrus bioflavonoids, for maximum absorption and effectiveness. Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic Berry Complex (£22 for 100g; nealsyardremedies.com) has an exciting blend of different berries making it rich in vitamin C to support the immune system and collagen production. Add it to drinks, yoghurt or cereal.
VITAMIN E – an essential antioxidant and protector for skin.
EAT IT: Sunflower seeds, almonds and spinach. Soak nuts overnight to reduce the phytic acid (which can be a gut irritant) and activate the nutrient-packed enzymes.
BOOST IT: The Organic Pharmacy Skin Radiance Capsules (£45 for 120; theorganicpharmacy.com) is an intelligent skin-strengthening supplement that also contains MSM, a natural compound that helps to reduce inflammation and nourish skin.
OMEGA-3 – proven to help reduce the body’s production of inflammatory compounds and keep skin cells flexible, which affects how healthy the skin looks and feels. The two types of omega-3 fatty acids to focus on are EPA and DPA.
EAT IT: two servings of salmon, halibut, sardines or anchovies a week.
BOOST IT: Take a teaspoon of organic, inland, fresh-water-sourced fish oil, complete with environmental and sustainability considerations from Viridian 100 per cent organic Scandinavian Rainbow Trout Oil (£24.70 for 200ml; viridian-nutrition.com). If you prefer capsules, try Vitabiotics Ultra Omega-3 Formula (£10.15 for 60 capsules; boots.com); alternatively, suitable for vegans is Viridian Organic Ultimate Beauty Oil (£9.85 for 200ml; viridian-nutrition.com) for an organic plant-based blend of omega 3, 6 and 9.
5. Drink yourself beautiful
Collagen occurs naturally in our bodies and helps keep skin looking plump and youthful. Liquid supplements containing collagen, such as Skinade (skinade.com), are said to help hydrate skin, keeping it looking clearer and healthier and can get be a more efficient way of ingesting the ingredients. As supplement pills have to be broken down and digested, absorption will be lower if you have a poorly functioning digestive system. With a liquid, absorption relies less on the gut as digestion is bypassed and nutrients are assimilated more quickly into the blood stream.
Even skin doctors now recommend sipping Skinade (£99 for 30 x 150ml; skinade.com) containing 7,000mg of marine collagen, B-vitamin complex, omega 3 and 6 from organic flax seed, and amino acid L-lysine to help keep your skin healthy and strong.
6. Get quality sleep
Yes, you’ve heard it all before, but sleep really is the magic bullet that pushes premature ageing back. ‘Overnight is when the body produces the most growth hormones, which aid cell and tissue repair. Your body also makes new collagen, the protein that keeps skin strong and elastic. For long, restful sleep, avoid consuming heavy, rich foods two hours before bed, unwind with a relaxing bath and put a few drops of soothing essential oils on your pillow,’ says skin expert and facialist, Lisa Franklin (lisafranklin.london). This is our pick of the best products for helping you sleep and boosting those youthful looks.
Oskia Bedtime Beauty Boost (£74 for 50ml; oskiaskincare.com): With a staggering A-Z of vitamins, minerals and omega oils to help repair and fortify skin overnight, this is an overnight indulgence your skin will thank you for.
NEOM Perfect Night’s Sleep Pillow Mist (£20 for 30ml, neomorganics.com): A beautiful blend of lavender, sweet basil and jasmine to help you unwind into sleep. Wonderfully addictive and it works!
Tazeka Aromatherapy Roll-on Remedy Peaceful Slumber(£25.50 for 8ml; myshowcase.com): An inspired aromatherapeutic roll-on releasing bergamot and sandalwood essential oils to relax the body and mind. Apply to pulse points and doze off.
7. Sculpt your face
If you buy one thing to enhance your graceful-ageing efforts, make it the Lift & Sculpt Butterfly Stone by facialist Georgia Louise (£29; spacenk.com). By using the contours of the rose quartz stone, you can massage and sculpt your jawline and cheeks, drain away puffiness from under your eyes, lift eyebrows and help smooth away fine lines and wrinkles. It’s natural, simple and you can see the effects instantly. We’re hooked!
8. Try the make-up facelift
You can lift away the years with a fresher make-up look. Try these tips from Karim Sattar, Dr. Hauschka International Make Up Artist.
PLUMP: Layer your skincare to give a plumped-up, cushiony look to skin. ‘Tap a small amount of day oil onto your face, avoiding the T-zone and follow by softly massaging in a pea-sized amount of day cream. Massage as you go.’
BRIGHTEN: Bright eyes are a sign of youth, so give yourself an instant boost by lightening and correcting under the eyes. ‘Mix your concealer or foundation with a dab of day cream to soften the formula and avoid caking around the eyes.’
POP: Dust blush onto the apples of your cheeks. ‘A trick I use to create a ‘younger’ appearance is to lightly dust the same blusher you use on your cheeks to just under your eyebrow in the socket of your eyelid. It will instantly soften and lift your face.’
9. Halt hair ageing
Greys (we like to call them wisdom hairs!), dryness and lack of shine can all mean your hair is struggling with age, but these products will help hold back the signs.
Charles Worthington Instant Root Concealer, £9.99 for 75ml; boots.com: While you wait for your next colour appointment, hide grey roots with a few sprays of this root cover up.
Insight Oil Non Oil, £12 for 250ml; mrventuresstore.co.uk: A hair oil can smooth ends and add shine, but if loaded with silicones, this can weigh hair down and even dry it out over time. This oil is silicone-free and will nourish hair, seal ends and de-frizz with plant extracts and natural oils only.
Odylique Gentle Herb Shampoo, £11 for 200ml; odylique.co.uk: Packed with botanical goodness from horsetail, coconut oil, nettle, rosemary and aloe vera to treat all hair types, including coloured. The shampoo’s natural and botanical ingredients will gently cleanse hair without stripping it of its natural oils and the natural plant proteins will fortify and strengthen. Great for itchy, irritated scalps too.
10. Do yoga for your age
Traditional yoga prescribes different practices to keep you at your best in different stages of life, says yoga teacher and founder of Battersea Yoga Centre in London (batterseayoga.com), Angus Ford-Robertson. ‘In your twenties, for example, your body naturally demands a physical, dynamic and fast-flowing practice to loosen the body and help you burn off excess mental energy and calories. In your thirties, however, this can over-activate the adrenal glands, which will simply get you fired up and may not compliment an already demanding schedule. You still want a strong practice, but one that helps to balance and maintain your wellness. By choosing a slower practice and changing the focus from doing to being, you may feel some of yoga’s profound benefits as it starts to work on a parasympathetic (nervous system) level. Tune in to your breath and how your body is breathing and you’ll start to feel more grounded, while awareness areas of the brain light up, heart rate goes down, brain activity gets quieter and emotions are more balanced. Over time, this means less of the stress hormone cortisol, which can accelerate ageing, and you may even find challenges in daily life easier to manage.’