While lines and changes in complexion are a natural part of getting older, protecting and caring for your skin can help to slow the process and improve its health and appearance.
Protect your skin from the sun
Approximately 90 per cent of skin ageing is a result of UV damage. Protecting your skin from the sun is important at any age as it prevents further degeneration and damage. The first layer in your morning routine should be sunscreen. There is also a range of affordable two-in-one products that combine moisturiser with SPF protection.
Wash your face
Wash your face with warm water and a gentle cleaner twice a day. Avoid using harsh soaps or scrubbing your face, as this will remove moisture and natural oils from your skin.
Use a cleanser
Soaps can be harsh on the skin and strip it of its natural oils. Cetaphil, recommended by most dermatologists, makes a range of gentle cleansers for your face and body. Soaps by Dove, Aveeno Cleansing Bar for Dry Skin, Oil of Olay Sensitive Skin Soap and Neutrogena Dry Skin Formula are also less likely to dry out your skin.
Every organ in your body needs water to function, including your skin. Keeping hydrated helps the appearance of your skin, helps the removal of toxins and slows the ageing process. Water improves your complexion, helps with dryness and minimises skin conditions, according to a study in Nutrition Reviews. However, the same study found that increasing water intake was not enough to counter the effects of sun damage or signs of ageing related to genetics.
Use a humidifier
Low humidity draws moisture from your skin, causing cracking, flaking and peeling. A humidifier, ideally set to between 30 and 60 per cent humidity, will help to keep your skin hydrated. Keeping a humidifier in your bedroom or most frequented room during winter can help to improve the health and appearance of your skin.
A study suggests that carotenoids in fruit and vegetables help keep your skin toned. Eating fruits, vegies, protein and healthy fats will help keep your body looking healthy.
Exfoliating your skin removes dead skin cells that make your skin appear dull and flaky. Use a mild exfoliator no more than once a week, because over-exfoliating can dry out your skin.
Avoid long, hot showers
Hot water dries out your skin, so as relaxing as they may be, it’s best to limit the temperature and length of your baths and showers.
Moisturise your whole body at least once each day. Thick, oil based moisturises are generally best for ageing skin, although there may be some more suited to your skin type.
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Health disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.