Your Anti-Ageing Checklist

to do
We should be doing these things already, but life isn’t always so accommodating, we’re busy, we forget, we’re human. Sometimes it’s nice to have a check list to keep us on track. Nothing here is expensive or particularly hard to do, these are just little reminders – your aide-mémoire.

The three biggest causes of ageing which will accelerate your skin’s decline the fastest, yet are ALL totally preventable – yeah, you know what I’m going to say, the unholy trinity of excessive sun, sugar and smoking. These  three things will age you faster than blue eye liner and a scrunchie, and if you don’t know what a scrunchie is, then congratulations, you are officially too young for this website!

Of course, I wouldn’t mind seeing a study of non smoking, non sugar eating, non sun worshipping nuns just to see if they really do look younger than their years…

Start ticking these off now:

ANTIOXIDANTS

Nutrients that protect and repair cells from damage caused by free radicals (cell killers)

antioxfruits

Grapes, red wine, and dark chocolate also have potent antioxidants. See? This anti-ageing lark isn’t ALL bad.

Click the image twice for foods high in antioxidantsoxi

EXFOLIATION

The removal of dead skin cells speeds up the skin renewal process

If you don’t want to use heavyweight skin resurfacing products containing glycollic or lactic acids ie Skin Doctor’s Gamma Hydroxy cream or Liquid Gold; which have been proven to be effective, but possibly overly harsh for sensitive skin, then exfoliate twice a week with one of the excellent St Ives scrubs is a gentler alternative. ‘Blemish Fighting’ is the most abrasive.

I’m assuming you ALWAYS use a moisturiser with built-in sunscreen, but it’s even more vital after you exfoliate.

OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS

Thought to play an important role in reducing inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation can lead to loss of collagen and elastin, which in turn, causes wrinkles and sagging of the skin

The highest concentrations are found in cold water oily fish, eg sardines, salmon etc (don’t fry the fish); flax seeds (sprinkle on cereals); and walnuts. Quantities and tips here.

LIP SERVICE

For some strange reason it didn’t occur to me that using drinking straws (which I do all the time to stop my lipstick disappearing), would create those same ageing vertical lines around my mouth as people puffing cigarettes tend to suffer from – it’s the same pursing of the lips!

strawsfagsNEW

If vertical lines are a problem then Estée Lauder’s Perfectionist Targeted Deep Wrinkle Filler might help soften them and this lip plump tip also helps lips from drying out.

After I apply my eye cream, I rub the remainder that is on my finger around my lips

HANG UPSIDE DOWN

Lie on the bed, flat on your back, with your head and shoulders tilted over the edge of the bed until you’re almost touching the floor. Stay like that for 5 minutes (lock the door!). This gets the blood flowing to your face and hair follicles and will stimulate your scalp.

HAND SIGNS

Hands are a cruel age giveaway. The skin is so thin and it’s so easy to forget to put sunscreen on them. The best hand cream for instant results is L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand-Cream, But even an inexpensive hand cream will do as long as you use it regularly to keep your hands hydrated.

Also, those sachets of moisturisers you get free in magazines? Take the ones from the ‘lesser’ cosmetic companies and use on your hands.

DON’T SKIMP ON YOUR SLEEP

It’s during sleep when your metabolic rate is decreased that the body initiates the repair process

DON’T SLEEP ON YOUR SIDE OR FRONT

You’ll get wrinkles on the side you sleep on which will become more noticeable as you get older. Believe me, you will soon see a difference when applying eye make up on that side.

Worse, deep creases will form on your chest. As with your hands, the skin is quite thin here and more difficult to disguise and ‘repair’.

Get into the habit of sleeping on your back.

SUNSCREEN

The sun’s ultraviolet light damages DNA and breaks down collagen, the fibres that keep skin firm

Fake it, don’t bake it.

GREEN TEA

Green tea’s antioxidants called catechins, are more powerful than vitamins C and E in halting oxidative damage to cells

It’s a good idea to starting drinking 2 or better, 3 cups of green tea day. You’ll get used to the taste, let it steep for about 2/3 minutes (to help to bring out the catechins) but never more than 5 minutes or not only will it be bitter but it will always lose its effectiveness, don’t let it go cold either.

Some really helpful brewing tips are here.

Leaves are best, but not always practical. If you use tea bags, save a couple of them for the oldest and for many of us, our first ever beauty ‘trick’ and put the cold tea bags over your eyes for 10 minutes to freshen up your eyes.

Twinings have a good selection of green teas including flavoured ones which makes the tea more palatable to drink for some people. NOT ‘Jasmine’ though – it’s definitely an acquired taste! I’d stick to plain green tea.