201311-grooming-ageingYou can purpose to have a beautiful skin by following a lifestyle that keeps ageing enemies at bay. Regular exercise, treating your skin with tender loving care, eating a healthy diet and distressing are some of the things you can include in your life to ensure a healthy and ageless looking skin. Follow these tips for healthy skin.

  1.  Avoid stress

Look closely in the mirror when you are stressed and you will notice how your muscles, especially in your neck, shoulders and face, tense up. No one looks youthful when they are stressed. Stress floods the body with chemicals, including adrenaline and cortisol. In the long-term, this can lead to physiological changes that cause premature ageing, as well as leading to serious health problems, such as heart disease and cancer.

Stress-busting mind and body exercises, such as meditation, can slow the ageing process. One study reported in the International Journal of Neuroscience found that people who had been practicing transcendental meditation for more than five years were biologically 12 years younger than their chronological age. Those who had meditated for less than five years were biologically five years younger. Yoga has also an anti-aging effect, strengthening and conditioning muscles, boosting suppleness and stamina, and detoxifying your system. It also purifies the nervous system, expels unwanted toxins and improves blood circulation.

Acupuncture can also keep skin youthful. Any imbalances in the body speed up ageing. The two main organs governing the skin are kidneys and lungs. When the energy is weak, this shows up in the skin. If there is a kidney deficiency caused by stress or too many late nights, it can lead to premature wrinkles, puffy, saggy skin and greying of hair. If lung energy is weak from worry or grief, the skin looks pale, dull and dry. A few sessions of acupuncture can lead to smother, firmer and more radiant skin.

2. Exercise

Regular exercise is a must if you want to maintain a youthful face and body. Good blood circulation, which results from regular exercise, keeps the complexion and skin all over healthy, firm and youthful looking. A healthy circulatory system also keeps the muscles and tissues oxygenated. Experts recommend at least one hour of exercise a day, but you should not over-exert yourself. Over-exercising stimulates the production of free radicals, which will make you age faster. Moderation is the key when it comes to exercise.

Regular resistance workout such as weight training is essential for keeping your muscles youthfully firm and toned. One of the biggest problems with ageing is age-related muscle shriveling, which results from a sedentary lifestyle. Research suggests men and women who do not exercise will lose one pound of muscle every two years after the age of 20; that is about five per cent of muscle each decade. If you don’t exercise to correct this process, your muscles will shrink even more, making you look flabby and old. Boosting your energy level, improving posture and muscle tone will all help you exude youthful vitality. Exercise also lowers the risk of ill-health and disease. Illness in itself is extremely ageing, so you should avoid it at all cost.

3. Eat a balanced diet

Ensure to eat a healthy and balanced diet that includes all food nutrients. A healthy diet comprises of lots of mixed vegetables eaten cooked or raw, fruits, protein from plants, animals and dairy products, and whole grains. Nutrition experts recommend cutting down on red meat and instead eating poultry and fish. The way you cook your food is also important. Avoid deep fried and oily foods and limit your intake of fats and oils, salt and sugar, as well as refined foods.

4. Pamper your skin

The latest anti-ageing skincare breakthroughs combine new cosmetic technology with healing natural ingredients you would normally see in health food stores. You have probably seen products containing powerful antioxidant ingredients, such as green tea, vitamin C and vine extracts. Others contain one of nature’s most potent anti-aging ingredients found in mushrooms, particularly the Chinese reishi and kombucha types, and elm oyster used in Chinese and Eastern medicines. The mushrooms contain active ingredients with an anti-inflammatory and healing effect on the skin. Go for these natural products instead of the traditional chemical-based products.

Don’t forget to exfoliate your skin regularly to keep skin looking bright. Also protect your skin from the biggest ageing factor of all – the sun. Sunbathing without sufficient sun protection is one of the main reasons for premature ageing. UVA rays penetrate the skin and break down elastin and collagen. Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of 30 SPF and choose foundations and moisturizers with an SPF.

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The ageing enemies you should avoid

  1. A little bit of sun is good for you, but too much puts you at risk of skin cancer and prematurely ages your skin. Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30.
  2. Binge drinking has an ageing effect and can cause tiny, broken veins especially on delicate skin like that of the eye area.

Lack of sleep. This speeds up ageing and leads to premature lines and wrinkles, because while you sleep, the pineal gland secretes melatonin, which helps stimulate cell growth and repair.

  1. This deprives your skin of oxygen and generates free radicals that cause premature ageing. Apart from risking your health, you will also have more and deeper wrinkles than non-smokers.

Crash dieting. Constant dieting can reduce your skin’s elasticity, making it more saggy.

Coffee and tea. These are diuretics and can dehydrate you, causing your skin to become dry and lined. They interfere with absorption of essential vitamins and minerals, impairing skin health.

Published in Nov 2013