Age Defying Beauty Tips

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We all aspire to ‘perfect’ skin. The even toned, wrinkle- and blemish free, radiant and healthy-looking kind. Pretty much the skin we had when we were teenagers (minus the odd blemish or two). If you find yourself yearning for your skin of yesteryear, here are 9 top tips when it comes to beauty and preserving your youth:


Skipping sunscreen is the biggest mistake you’ll ever make

Obviously you want to start early on in life, but that old adage does really ring true here: better late than never. Because UVA and UVB rays cause photoageing, SPF is only half the sunscreen puzzle as it only protects against burning UVB rays. The UVA kind can lead to wrinkles, dark spots, and skin cancer – so look for a sunscreen that’s labeled “broad-spectrum. UVA shields including Mexoryl and Helioplex don’t break down easily in the sun. If you have sensitive skin, avoid potential irritation by picking a chemical-free sunscreen that contains physical blocks such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Also if regular sunscreens turn your face into an oil slick, choose an oil-free formula labeled “noncomedogenic.” If even oil-free lotions make you break out, go for a gel. If you have dry skin, you won’t really have a problem. For dry skin try Bioderma Photoderm Max SPF 50+ and for oily skin try a gel such as Heliocare Advanced SPF 50.

Check out this really cool video on sunscreen and what the sun does to you (without you even knowing)…


the a in anti-aging stands for antioxidants

Not only do antioxidants combat the free-radical damage that is responsible for the visible (and hidden) signs of aging, they also enhance the effectiveness of sunscreens in preventing sun damage. During the day, the combination of antioxidants plus sun protection provides a strong defense against many signs of aging, including wrinkles, dullness, and discoloration. At night, dosing your skin with a range of antioxidants will promote cellular repair and healing. Try C E Ferulic or Phloretin CF from Skinceuticals for an antioxidant boost and load up on foods rich in antioxidants like raspberries, strawberries, purple grapes, cranberries, walnuts, blueberries, kidney beans, dark green veggies, wholegrains and fish.

9 beauty tips


avoid smoking at all costs

Besides lung cancer, heart attacks, and strokes, just one more good reason to stop smoking is that it’s definitely making you look a lot older. Research has shown that smoking leads to sagging and wrinkled skin (the chemicals in tobacco destroy collagen and elastin) and actually changes the skin, teeth, and hair in ways that can add years to your looks. Smoking chronically deprives the skin of oxygen and nutrients and can lead to poor skin tone and even discolouration. Smoking even increases your risk of osteoporosis.



Stay active

Exercise does far more than just keep your body ticking, it can actually turn back the clock. More and more research shows that exercising can help your brain, bones, heart, and skin look and act younger. Pollution, gravity, and too much sun all work against your skin. Before you turn to Botox, try getting on the elliptical first. Increasing blood flow to any area of the body promotes the metabolism in that area. When you exercise, toxins would get flushed out and cells heal and grow faster. In other words, more blood to your dermis provides a better environment for collagen growth and promotes younger-looking skin.

* Don’t go balls to the wall though because too much exercising at high intensities may leave your skin more vulnerable to the effects of gravity. The constant pounding of the pavement can cause your skin to sag, and if you drop too much weight, you’ll lose the layers of fat underneath your face, resulting in a droopy look. Moderate exercising is just as good. Why not try a yoga or pilates class?



in retinol we trust

Retinol is just another name for vitamin A. Retinol is an extremely effective cell-communicating ingredient, which means it can literally connect to almost any skin cell and tell it to behave like a healthy, younger skin cell. It helps to improve skin texture, wrinkles, and diminish brown spots and can even help to shrink pore. Overall, it gives the skin a healthy glow. It’s pretty powerful, so you’ll need to tailor its use to best suit your skin type – luckily it comes in varying forms and strengths. Remember that Retinol is photosensitive and should only be worn at night. Never go outside or into the sunlight with it on as this could cause adverse effects. Try Skinceuticals Retinol (0.5 or 1.o) or Vichy Liftactiv Advanced Filler Pure Retinol.



get used to lukewarm showers

Pleasurable though they may be, long and steamy showers are terrible for your skin. The hot water washes away skin’s protective oils, leaving it dry, tight, and itchy. Using a harsh, soap-based cleanser in a hot shower is double trouble: the heat from the shower makes the skin’s oils soften (much like butter softens and melts when heated) and the soap washes away the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of skin cells and sebum. Also, no amount of hydrating body wash can replace the mantle that keeps your skin in a healthy balance. To take it easier on your body’s largest organ, switch to a lukewarm shower. The lower temperature helps keep the stratum corneum from rinsing away. Try Lipidol’s Cleansing Body Oil (budget-friendly) or L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil (budget-buster) as an alternative to harsh soaps.


Clearly this lady is NOT happy with the lukewarm shower part. (And also why is her hair dry underneath that towel?)


eye cream is a must

The skin around your eyes is very delicate, and is one of the first places to show fine lines. It is significantly thinner than the rest of the face and is much more sensitive to topical products. Some moisturisers can irritate or sting fragile under eye skin and the benefit of a cream specifically formulated for the eye area is that it will be less irritating than a typical moisturiser. A properly formulated eye cream will be milder and free of fragrance. Eye creams are also formulated specifically for the delicate skin around the eye, so they tend to be thicker. They contain more oil than a regular facial lotion, and they have a lot of active ingredients aimed at the challenges that arise with skin around the eyes. Fine lines and wrinkles are a result of sun damage and your skin making less collagen as you age, puffiness is a buildup of fluid and blood under the eyes and dark circles come from genes, sun damage, age, and blood build-up. If you’re worried about the tiny crows feet that are starting to appear, go for an eye cream containing a bit of retinol and hyaluronic acid to plump up fines lines. Some studies show that caffeine can help circulation, which could reduce puffiness. Try lightening your dark circles with an eye cream that contains vitamin B3.

Look out for these power ingredients in potential eye creams: hyaluronic acid for hydration, ceramides to retain moisture, retinol to promote new cell growth, neuropeptides to increase the production of collagen and elastin production, vitamin C for collagen production and vitamin E to nourishes and soothes skin. I like Skinceuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex. You can read a full review of it here.



get your dose of hyaluronic acid

As a naturally-occurring polysaccharide found in the human body, hyaluronic acid acts as a cushioning and lubrication agent for our joints, nerves, hair, skin and eyes. HA helps to keep skin soft and supple. Babies are born with a high level of hyaluronic acid, that’s why their skin is so deliciously plump and smooth. Our ability to produce hyaluronic acid declines with age, which can lead to increased dryness, fine lines, wrinkles and sagging. Because we lose it, we can make use of synthetically-derived hyaluronic acid products to help replenish our lost stores of it. Applied topically, it increases hydration, improves elasticity and also reverses free radical damage.  HA molecules have the unique ability to attract and retain more than 1,000 times their weight in water. The bonus? HA is one ingredient that works across the board –  every skin type, even oily, can benefit. Look for HA serums and apply one alone if you have oily skin or under moisturiser if you have dry skin. I love Vichy Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Rich Cream.

* Just a word of caution, if you’re using a hyaluronic acid based serum alone and in very dry climates, the water-binding ingredient can’t draw moisture from the environment, so it may actually start to pull moisture out of the deeper layers of your skin. Apply your HA serum with a hydrating moisturiser on top to prevent this from happening.



keep your teeth white

It might be unattractive, but brushing with activated charcoal helps to keep your teeth white. Because activated charcoal is a highly absorbent substance, it removes toxins and tannins when they adhere to the surface of the charcoal. How do you do it? Dip a clean, wet toothbrush into the powdered charcoal (I would recommend getting a toothbrush just for charcoal brushing). If you don’t have the loose powder, empty a capsule onto your wet toothbrush. Be careful not to spill the charcoal anywhere as it is densely black and stains (grout and clothes included clothes). For this reason, you might want to lay a piece of toilet paper down near your basin. If you do spill wipe immediately with a cloth. If that doesn’t work, use a baby wipe. Brush as normal for about a minute or so and then rinse really well. If there are any pesky black lurkers still in your mouth, simply brush with toothpaste. I would recommend doing this at night time. In the beginning, do it for 3-5 days in a row and then once a month.

* A word of advice: don’t brush too vigorously as the charcoal is an abrasive substance and can damage your enamel.



Oil pulling is another  thing you can do. It sounds gross and, truth be told, it is. Basically you swish a tablespoon of coconut oil (do not use any other oil) around in your mouth for 20 minutes on an empty stomach. This action supposedly draws out toxins in your body, primarily to improve oral health but also to improve your overall health. Be mindful to NOT swallow any of the oil, because it contains toxins – the very thing you are wanting to get rid of. The oil is supposed to double in size due to saliva and toxins (eeeeeuw) but don’t be put off.  I have done it and my teeth were definitely whiter when I spat the oil out. P.S. Be sure to spit the oil out in your toilet and not your basin. Trust me on this one. Also, in the colder months you might have to chew it until it turns into liquid form. Also kinda gross.


If you want to get all fancy, you can even add activated charcoal to your oil pulling routine for maximum results.

So there you have it, Lovelies. No excuses for not looking at least 2 years younger.