Want to make an investment that pays serious long-term dividends? Change one thing in your life each day for the next seven days, and it could dramatically change how well your skin will age. In time, you’ll look 10 years younger than your contemporaries who have kept up their old habits. Here’s what to do.
Day 1: Stop smoking. This is one of the single, most crucial moves to keep your skin looking young. Come on – it’s never too late!
Day 2: Start using broad-spectrum (UVA / UVB) sun protection. Instead of your regular moisturiser, switch to an SPF20-50 formula and use it every single morning, year-round – summer and winter. I use an SPF50 product whether or not I plan to spend time outside. Aiming high with sun protection is important, since studies have shown that we rarely use enough product to reach the SPF factor stated on the package! And sun beds? Don’t even go there…
Day 3: Get the antioxidant habit. Apply a good antioxidant serum to your face, neck, chest and hands every morning before you apply sun protection.
Day 4: Change your diet. Make sure you include lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, low-GI carbohydrates, lean, high-quality protein and unsaturated fats.
Day 5: Drink 2 litres of water daily. You can also include unsweetened white or green antioxidant teas in your quota.
Day 6: Start using a vitamin A ‘repair’ cream. Apply it to your face, chest, neck and hands each evening. Look for over-the-counter products containing retinol or retinaldehyde, or ask your dermatologist to prescribe a ‘gold-standard’ tretinoin cream. As vitamin A derivatives can be potentially irritating, they need to be adjusted to whatever your skin tolerates.
Day 7: Make sure you have enough sleep and reduce your stress levels! Sleep deprivation and stress raise your levels of cortisol – a hormone known to have negative effects on collagen metabolism. Did you know too, that increased cortisol levels due to chronic sleep loss can lead to insulin resistance, a risk factor for obesity and diabetes?
It only takes a week to change the future of your skin. Start now – and prepare to look fabulous for your age!