Thursday, 21 January 2016

How to Optimise Your Skincare Routine to Fight Ageing

How to Optimise Your Skincare Routine to Fight Ageing
Despite all the anti-ageing messages that the media constantly bombards us with every day, I'm sure that most women, myself included, would like to do their best to keep wrinkles at bay for as long as possible. Whilst the ageing is process is inevitable and there is, of course, absolutely nothing wrong with getting older (in fact there are many benefits!), anything that unnecessarily accelerates the ageing process is something we all want to avoid.

Optimising your skincare routine is one of the first things you can do to fight ageing - or rather, slow down the ageing process. To say it's a fight suggests it's a negative thing, but in this post I want to concentrate on the positives - things that will make you feel as well as look better.

And if you look better, you'll feel better. See where this is going...?!

I've teamed up with Seven Seas, the vitamins, minerals and supplements supplier, to bring you two posts about the Simple Things, their campaign encouraging us to embrace the simple things in life that make you feel young.

I'm not claiming to be a skincare or nutrition expert by any means, but between this post and another in early February I'll be discussing what I do to maintain a healthy lifestyle that, in turn, naturally slows down the ageing process.

Cod Liver Oil Benefits
Keep reading for the four steps of my skincare routine (more than just what goes on my face) and for my top tips for how to achieve youthful, beautiful skin!

How to Optimise Your Skincare Routine to Fight Ageing

My general health - the facts

Generally speaking where my health is concerned, I'm very aware of keeping my immune system in tip-top condition as I don't "do" illness. I'm not a very good poorly person, and I get terribly frustrated when I'm unable to get on with my daily routine and feel 100% whilst doing it.

I rarely get colds or the flu, and I want to stay active for as long as possible as I get older.

I'm pretty good with my diet and fitness, and despite a recent back/leg injury (which has left me itching to get back to peak fitness, especially post-Christmas!) I think I'm much healthier now than I was in my 20s.

I also look after my skin so much better than I used to. I don't remember thinking 20 years ago how what I put on my face or what I put in my body would affect my skin, but age and wisdom (and a lot more available information) has taught me that it's never too late to start looking after yourself - inside and out.

I'm going to share with you some tips for getting healthy skin that will also age beautifully - here are my top four Simple Things...!

My top 4 anti-ageing skincare tips

How to Optimise Your Skincare Routine to Fight Ageing | A Healthy Diet

1. Put good food into your body

Although I think all four points I have made here are as important as each other, there is one thing that will jeopardise healthy skin at any age: A bad diet. (They don't say "Beauty starts within" for nothing!) Consistently eating junk food, and not giving your body the nutrients it needs, will show up on the outside, and your skin cannot repair itself each day without the goodness a healthy diet gives you.

Of course the occasional indulgence won't age you 10 years overnight, but a continuously poor diet will speed up the signs of ageing over time. Too much sugar and processed food can damage the collagen in your skin, which leads to excess wrinkling and premature ageing.

I truly believe in everything in moderation, and I try not to let a day go by without eating plenty of veg, a little fruit, protein with every meal and healthy fats. Preparing and cooking food yourself from scratch (which really can be quite simple) will ensure you know what's going into your meals and you're not eating all the excess, unnecessary salt and sugar that goes into processed foods.

How to Optimise Your Skincare Routine to Fight Ageing | Drink Plenty of Water

2. Drink plenty of water (and cut out fizzy drinks)

If you're drinking fizzy drinks (soda) and no water, be warned: Not only is it terrible for your overall health and not only will the massive doses of sugar lead to (potentially massive) weight gain, but your skin will be severely lacking hydration. Flushing out your system by drinking water every day is one of the best things you can do for your skin. Dehydrated skin can become tight and flaky (especially in the winter), and dry skin ages much faster than oily skin.

So ditch the fizzy drinks (including the zero calorie/diet versions as they just keep you addicted to sugar) and up your intake of water. If you're not a fan of plain water, a good tip is to down your first pint of water first thing in the morning - it will wake you up and you'll be too tired to notice how tasteless it is.

Get yourself a BPA-free water bottle or Instagram-worthy Mason jar with lid and straw and sip it throughout the day, refilling as necessary. I aim for three pints (1.5 litres) each day - get yourself in a routine of having water at certain times of the day and you'll be drinking that much without even noticing.

How to Optimise Your Skincare Routine to Fight Ageing | Cod Liver Oil Benefits

3. Ensure you are getting the right vitamins and minerals

A diet mostly made up of sugar and processed foods will damage your overall health because of all the nutrients you are lacking. And as mentioned in point 1, what you put in your body will reflect on the outside! However, it's not always easy to get all the vitamins and minerals you need every day, and I do take some supplements for both my skin and my health.

Having recently slipped a disc, I now appreciate a healthy body more than ever (I'm glad to say I'm on the road to recovery and finally mobile again). There are all sorts of reasons (aside from a poor diet) why some people are deficient in some vitamins and minerals, and I thoroughly believe in prevention rather than cure where my health - especially as I get older - is concerned.

Cod liver oil is one supplement I have always taken; it provides you with vitamins A, D and E and is a rich natural source of Omega-3 (unsaturated fatty acids) essential to health. Not only that but it is so good for the holy trinity of beauty: Skin, hair and nails.

How to Optimise Your Skincare Routine to Fight Ageing | Use a Daily Moisturiser with SPF

4. Wear a daily moisturiser with SPF

I'm sure you're already aware of how damaging the sun is to your skin, but it absolutely has to be included here. I'd like to think the days of people going out and baking themselves in the sun are long gone, but the sore, lobster-coloured fools you see in every British seaside resort at the end of a sunny summer's day ("the sun didn't seem that hot!") prove otherwise.

The fact is, sun damage can occur all year round - even in the miserable depths of a British winter, and especially in the summer sun anywhere. I wish I had done this much sooner, but I only started wearing a daily moisturiser with SPF in my early 30s. I could have had 15 extra years of protecting my skin if I'd known about everyday sun damage, but luckily for younger girls, with the number of moisturisers on the market now there is so much more choice than there was 30 years ago.

There are two daily moisturisers with sun protection that I currently use: Olay Total Effects Anti-Ageing Day Moisturiser SPF15 (it has a really luxurious texture and the lower SPF is suitable for the weaker winter sun) and Nivea Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Age Spot Day Cream SPF30 (great under make-up and the higher protection is perfect for the summer months).

How to Optimise Your Skincare Routine to Fight Ageing | Use a Daily Moisturiser with SPF
For those of you wondering, I am not totally bare-faced in these photos. I am wearing a little make-up just to brighten my face, add colour and stop shine. The products I used were:

A very light BB cream to even out my skin tone
Cream blush
Waterproof mascara (my eyes water a lot and I cry at anything remotely sad)
Eyelashes curled with my fave eyelash curler
The Best Eyebrow Product Ever to Have Been Invented (I'm going to trademark that phrase)
Lip balm
My favourite face powder (a very light dusting)

So no heavy foundation, under eye concealers or contouring. My skin is not perfect by any means (where we shot the photos the light is very flattering), but I'm pretty happy with my skin for nearly 44.

Cod Liver Oil and Its Health Benefits
As mentioned earlier, I have always taken cod liver oil as a supplement to my diet. My mother suffers from arthritis and swears by it, and I think it's the first supplement that comes to mind when you're thinking about getting older and how to look after yourself better.

Its best-known benefit is the fact that it contains Omega-3. It can be tricky to get enough Omega-3 in your diet, and even though I love oily fish like mackerel and salmon I know many people don't... It is rather stinky and unsociable, after all! Seven Seas say cod liver oil is one of nature's best ways of protecting our health as we age:

"Even after decades of research, the evidence continues to grow for the many health benefits of Omega-3 oils. Today, many experts recommend fish-oil supplementation for those of us who don't manage to eat the recommended two portions of oily fish a week. Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil is a rich natural source of the most effective type of Omega-3 fatty acids."

It's available as both the traditional liquid and the more convenient capsules. I've always taken the capsules but am intrigued to try the liquid - I've read it can be hard to take, but some of the simple tips I've seen (thanks, Pinterest!) suggest adding it to to smoothies, fruit juice or homemade salad dressings.

The health benefits of cod liver oil include*:

  • Building resistance to infections such as coughs and colds (vitamin D supports a healthy immune system)
  • The relief of muscular pains, joint pain and stiffness
  • Good vision
  • Healthy hair, skin and nails
  • Strong bones and teeth
  • Maintained brain function
  • Support for a healthy heart (Omega-3 which contains EPA and DHA)

*Disclaimer: Food supplements are intended to supplement the diet and should not be regarded as a substitute for a varied diet and a healthy lifestyle. See the Seven Seas cod liver oil product details for more information.

How to Optimise Your Skincare Routine to Fight Ageing | The Benefits of Cod Liver Oil
Cod Liver Oil Benefits
So that's it for the first post, part two of the Simple Things will be up on the blog at the beginning of February - make sure you subscribe via Bloglovin so you don't miss it!

And don't forget - this list is not exhaustive. There are many more things that contribute to healthy, youthful skin.

It should go without saying, but for goodness sake PLEASE DON'T SMOKE. Stop smoking right now if you want to avoid skin that looks years older than it actually is. Also, excessive alcohol is also terribly dehydrating for the skin as well as being bad for your liver. Aside from all the health risks associated with smoking and drinking, who wants to excessively age their face...?

Finally, I want to mention the phrase "anti-ageing" itself. I personally see it as a way of saying we have to fight (there's that word again) nature taking its natural course in a very negative way, as mentioned at the beginning of the post.

How about we say "optimum ageing" instead of anti-ageing? Who's with me...?!


What are your top optimum ageing skincare tips? And do you take any supplements - if you do what do you take and what for? Tell me in the comments or tweet me @notlamb!


P.S. Like this post? You might also want to read my Nivea Q10 review!

Linking up to: Let It Shine, Brilliant Blog PostsFriday's Fab Favourites

Disclosure: I have written this post in collaboration with Seven Seas (click here for my full disclosure). All content is original, however, and opinions are my own and 100% honest.


  1. Yes, for "Optimum aging"!

    Aging is not a dirty word...and I wholeheartedly agree with the message of your post.
    I do try to eat healthily (and not so healthily, in moderation) but I am guilty of not drinking enough water....I must try harder (although I drink GALLONS of tea, maybe that counts?)
    I must say that the quality of your photography is exquisite!
    Congratulations to Mr Lamb.
    Brilliant work.
    As for your looks beautiful.
    Especially with a smile on your face!
    I know many people worry about smiling in photos because they think that it highlights lines around the eyes, but, I think the lines made by a smile are beautiful!
    Everyone looks better smiling. Nutrition can affect our digestive comfort as well as how our joints and bodies feel.
    Happy body = Happy face
    And that has to be a good thing for everyone!

    1. P.S. Sleep is my tip....although I can only dream (pardon the pun) of 8 hours unbroken sleep.
      When I do get a full night it is as if 5 years has fallen off my face.
      P.P.S Another great tip is not to eat carbs before bed or have a carbohydrate-heavy meal late at night. If you do you will wake up with puffy eyes and a puffy face (known as a Carbohydrate face...hahaha). This is honestly true. If anyone tends to wake up puffy, cut out the late night carbs (sugar is included...sweeties, biscuits and booze) and you will notice a big difference.

    2. Thank you so much for all the lovely compliments, Samantha!! I always prefer smiling in photos - I'd much rather have the wrinkles showing than the jowls which I find make me look older and tired... I rather love my crow's feet, I know it's weird but they don't bother me at all!!

      And a big fat YES to sleep... Something I also wish I got more of!! I too avoid carbs in the evening, but I've never associated it with a puffy face (I'm sure I get it though). I'm usually too preoccupied with feeling bloated and lethargic the next morning if I've had pasta or similar the night before!! x

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  3. Sorry I accidentally deleted my comment somehow. I'll blame age ;) A while back out of nowhere I started suffering from dry eyes syndrome. It was bad, I thought I was losing my vision. After reading some forums and info about it I upped my intake of fish oil and flax supplements and within a few weeks it was dramatically better. I continued taking them and have not had any issues again. That stuff truly does work.

    1. Wow, Sara - that's amazing!! Glad to hear you got your eyes sorted, that must have been quite scary...!! x

  4. Great tips!


  5. I like "optimum ageing." :-)

    I like your tips! And I agree with Samantha, gorgeous photos! You look fabulous!

    I don't leave the house without sunscreen, and I really like a serum with glycolic acid; since I've been using it, my skin feels a lot softer and looks better.

    1. Aww thank you Andrea, we were really pleased with the photo shoot! The tip to never leave the house without sunscreen is such a good one, and I don't *think* I use anything with glycolic acid but I might look into that! x

  6. Even my son at 23 and a fitness addict, uses cod liver oil on a daily basis. He came across Seven Seas when he spent time at boarding school in England!
    I love your term "optimum ageing" and do follow all your advice but I am guilty of not drinking enough water... I need to get better on that.

    You do look absolutely fabulous, Catherine!!!

    Annette | Lady of Style

    1. Wow your son sounds like he's looking after himself at a very young age, Annette (much younger than I ever did)...!! Glad you like "optimum ageing" - and thank you for the lovely compliment! :))

  7. Hi Catherine, you look great. Having Turned 45 in December I can honestly say I've never looked after myself better. I have regular facials, derma roller and take my Collagen Shots. I try to eat healthy but I'm a chocolate addict.I should look like a house side really!! Great tips. Have a lovely Sunday xx

    1. You sound a little like me with the healthy food with naughty stuff on top, Tracey...!!!! Thank you sweetie, glad to hear you feel and look better now than you ever did, it's refreshing to hear x


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