Are you struggling to keep your skin glowing in midlife? Maybe it’s time to upgrade your skincare routine, but you can give your face that extra boost by building skin-loving habits, too.
Ageing better, not younger it’s possible and making changes to your diet or lifestyle sometimes can make wonders on your complexion as well as the serums and moisturizers you choose to apply every day.
Genetics, ageing, hormones, unprotected sun exposure, an unhealthy diet, stress, a lack of sleep, smoking, and excessive washing with harsh soap can all impact the skin’s ability to operate as an effective protective barrier.
However, there isn’t one for-all formula to enhance your complexion.
Glowing skin can be achieved by following a holistic approach- says Dr Jaishree Sharad one of India’s leading celebrity cosmetic dermatologists and author of Skin Rules: Your Six Week Plan To Radiant Skin. -it’s a harmony between balancing skincare with a healthy lifestyle. I make sure that I eat healthily, straying away from sugar, dairy, junk food, and refined flour. Plus, I ensure that I drink at least 3 litres of water a day. Neither do I smoke or drink alcohol. I also make it a point to work out thrice a week and meditate every morning.
Here is what you can do so as not to sabotage your best skincare efforts and get glowing skin. Because you cannot look good on the outside if it does not feel good from within.
Smoking may not only harm the other vital organs of your body but also impact your skin making it look older. It damages collagen and elastin — the fibres that give your skin strength and elasticity causing wrinkles, and it narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, making it paler. If you can’t stop, ask your doctor for tips or treatments to help you.
Drink water and reduce alcohol consumption
Alcohol deprives the skin of vitamin A by preventing its absorption and speeding up its breakdown as well as reducing its storage in the skin. Even if you’re not a heavy drinker, the toll that alcohol can take ages you. One night of heavy drinking can make your wrinkles more evident. While that consequence is temporary, if it continues, it could have lasting effects. Instead, develop a habit of drinking plenty of water. It helps your body get rid of toxins and get your skin hydrated from the inside out. If the idea of drinking plain old water doesn’t appeal to you, you can add a squeeze of lemon, lime, or a few mint leaves to add some flavour.
Stress may cause dark circles, grey hairs, fine lines, and wrinkles. If sometimes is inevitable, try to look for ways to cope with it: get enough sleep (at least 7-8 hours helps that improve blood circulation and the way you look in the morning by reducing those dark circles under the eyes), when possible set reasonable limits and boundaries, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. Practising yoga, breathing exercises, or mindfulness may help.
Make sure you apply SPF daily
You’ve heard it a million times: wearing SPF is the best way to prolong healthy, glowing skin, even in the midst of winter. Look for a formula that offers broad-spectrum protection to guard against UVA rays (the ones that cause premature ageing) and UVB rays (one of the leading causes of skin cancer). Also fill your diet with foods that provide natural UV defence for your skin, such as tomatoes, watermelon, green tea, cantaloupe, and cherries. Remember, a lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems and increase the risk of skin cancer.
Cut down sugar
Sugar is sweet on the palate but hard on the skin. It leads to glycation, a process that corrupts your collagen and leads to premature wrinkles. According to the British Journal of Dermatology, the visible effects of glycation tend to emerge in women around age 40. By this time, the accumulation of oxidative damage, hormonal changes and AGE development compound. Your skin, unable to counteract the oxidative damage done with sufficient collagen and elastin synthesis, begins to show wear and tear. Also, steer clear of “hidden sugars” like barley malt, fruit juice concentrate and maple syrup.
Exercise increases blood circulation, which carries vital, repairing nutrients to the skin cells. You can try jogging, walking, or trekking (fresh air oxygenates skin cells even more) or even enjoy a session of face-lift yoga. Vasanthi Bhat, founder of Vasantha Yoga Health and Fitness in California recommends regularly practising backwards-bending poses (such as fish, camel, and cobra) or forward-bending poses (such as child pose, bowing pose, and modified headstand) to replenish the blood supply to facial skin.
Treat your skin gently
Irritating your skin accelerates ageing. The American Academy Of Dermatology suggests stopping using skin care products that sting or burn, avoiding harsh scrubbing, strong soaps (as they can strip oil from your skin) and cleansers that have alcohol or fragrance.
For maximum hydration, look to products that contain hyaluronic acid and glycerin. “These ingredients are humectants that draw much-needed water to the skin – says Degha Fongod M.D., a Virginia-based aesthetic physician and founder of Delight Medical & Aesthetics. – You should also choose formulas with ceramides—lipids that seal in moisture and help keep the skin’s barrier intact and healthy“.
After washing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on your skin. Finish with applying a moisturizer daily (moisturizer traps water in our skin, giving it a more youthful appearance).
If the idea of developing these skin-friendly habits is challenging, try to master it one at a time. Slowly but surely, every little step will lead you to the glowing skin you deserve.