You can’t do much about the dip in your oestrogen levels that lead your skin to sag or your genetics or bone structure, but there are a number of factors that influence just how your skin ages.
With an array of so-called anti-ageing products on the market — catering to all budgets too — it’s hard to know what to choose or even if you should bother, which is why having the advice of a dermatologist can come in handy.
Here are some helpful tips right from the dermatologists’ mouths.
Think about what you put in, as well as on
You might think that a dermatologist would be all about what goes onto your skin, and that in part is true. However, you should also be aware of what you are putting into your body as the key to healthy skin starts with the nutrients it absorbs from within the body.
You can achieve the right amount of nutrients by eating plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, so think olive oil and salmon for example. These fats look after the moisture barrier of your skin, which means you’re decreasing your risk of dry skin as you age.
Read more: <em>Are you getting enough essential fatty acids?
Reducing your intake of sugars and processed foods is also a good idea if you want to reduce the amount of inflammation in your skin.
Of course, you also want to drink water, more than the recommended eight glasses if you are more active.
Limit your exposure to the sun
Most dermatologists will agree that exposure to UV is one of the top causes of aged skin. When you skin is damaged by the sun your elastin is damaged and this causes a loss of collagen. You might get drooping, wrinkles, discolouration and a rough texture to your skin. Needless to say sun damage also increases your risk of skin cancer.
How can you protect yourself?
Slap on the sunscreen. You want to be using a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 — though there are higher SPF creams out there — on your face. Be sure to spread it on your neck and ears too.
Wear sun protective clothing, such as a hat, sunglasses, collared shirts etc. when you are out and about. If possible walk on the shady side of the street to avoid direct sunlight. (Maybe Dracula was just really sun smart?)
It’s also recommended that exercising in the early morning or late afternoon is better for your skin (so avoid the hours between 10am and 4pm) if you want to avoid the most potent UV rays.
Use quality skin care products
Knowing which ingredients in your skin care products are most effective is definitely going to help with your anti-ageing regime.
Retinol, peptides and antioxidants are all buzzwords tied to skin care.
- Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A and promotes an increase of collagen and skin elasticity. You use it to treat wrinkles and age spots, but be sure your skin is clear of makeup before using.
- Products with peptides can give your collagen production a boost, which will lead to your skin looking healthier and younger than your years.
- The vitamins C and E can help your skin repair itself from sun damage. Though they aren’t miracle cures for ageing, they can reduce the appearance of those annoying age spots.
Read more: Seven ways you could be ageing your skin
Avoid these skin care sabotaging habits
When it comes to skin care mistakes, there are some pretty common ones out there. If you:
- go to bed without removing your makeup
- use too many different skin care products at once
- change your skin care regime too frequently
- exfoliate too often
- don’t pay attention to the ingredients in your food or skin products
Then you are contributing to the ageing of your skin.
Read more: Natural ingredients for healthy ageing skin