Win the fight against the ravages of time with antioxidant-rich foods, such as those with vitamins A, C and E, and beta-carotene, which speed up the repair of UV-damaged skin. Find them in foods like almonds, tomatoes, broccoli and sweet potatoes. Load up on omega-3 and -6 fatty acids too, which contribute to smoother and healthier skin, strengthening it against inflammation, eczema and acne. Your body doesn’t make these fatty acids, so the only way is to consume them. Go for salmon, sardines and walnuts for omega-3s, and eggs, avocados and chicken for omega-6s.
Sweat it out
Regular exercise increases blood flow, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells. It also helps detoxify the body by flushing out toxins and waste products. As skin becomes cleaner and clearer, it also appears brighter and younger.
If your complexion appears dull and uneven, it may be time to exfoliate. A good scrub once a week can remove gunk build-up in the pores and improve blood flow to the skin, giving you a rosy glow. Before you start, look at yourself in the mirror in natural light – this will show you where the problem bits are. Follow a scrub with a moisturiser. If you have particularly thin skin, apply face oil for added protection before using a scrub.
Get into position
Turns out it’s not how much or how well you sleep, but how you sleep that contributes to wrinkles on your face. So if you love burying your mug in the pillow, be warned: The sleep lines that form on your chin, cheeks and forehead can deepen over time. Sleep on your back instead.
Know your type
Skincare and makeup are effective only if they suit your skin type – oily, dry, normal, combination or sensitive. For example, the lightweight texture of serum penetrates oily skin better, while cream can clog pores and lead to problems like acne. Be aware, too, that your skin can also be affected by other factors, such as your periods.
Keep it gentle
Rubbing and tugging can stretch your skin and lead to sagging. Help preserve suppleness by patting on skincare and makeup instead.
Load up on goodies
Over-the-counter formulations come packed with an array of ingredients. Look for these: Retinol encourages skin cell turnover for smoother, brighter skin. Hyaluronic acid helps retain more than 1,000 times its weight in water in skin cells, and contributes to tissue repair and elasticity. Vitamin C protects against UV damage and helps reduce the visibility of wrinkles, fine lines and acne scars.
Getting great skin calls for diligence – even the most potent products need time to show results. Consistency is key too. For example, products that promise to remedy pigmentation generally require at least three to six weeks to work.
This article was originally published in Simply Her August 2015.