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.
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!
My general health - the factsGenerally 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
1. Put good food into your bodyAlthough 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.
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.
3. Ensure you are getting the right vitamins and mineralsA 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.
4. Wear a daily moisturiser with SPFI'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).
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
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)
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.
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.
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...?!
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 Posts, Friday'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.