The condition of our skin externally is a great barometer for how we are actually doing, internally – so while having great skin may only seem to be a cosmetic concern – keeping any eye on your skin is a very useful health strategy.
Women have a harder time of it, skin-wise than men – our skin is thinner – and thus more prone to wrinkling and of course we have hormonal fluctuations to contend with too – which can cause all sorts of problems ranging from acne – to premature wrinkling. The good news though is that there is lot that we can do to improve our skin externally – and our health overall.
Nutrition: Speaking for myself, I have noticed that since I became vegan, my skin has dramatically improved. I have actually seen wrinkles disappear – much to my amazement. I was not expecting it and it’s certainly an added bonus. I try to eat as much raw, living food as possible – e.g. sprouts including sunflower, broccoli, alfalfa. These foods ‘punch way above their weight’ nutritionally and certainly have outstanding health benefits. We’re only just beginning to understand, scientifically, why they are so amazingly good for us – and more answers will come from the field of nutrigenomics – where scientists are attempting to understand how foods affect the expression of certain genes. The added advantage of following a vegan diet is that, if done correctly, it will be very low in simple carbohydrates e.g. sugars, which, when we eat them, combine with proteins in the presence of oxygen to form Advanced Glycation End-products or “AGEs”. AGEs reap absolute havoc in our bodies – which can result ultimately in kidney disease, macular degeneration and other so called ‘diseases of ageing’. Externally though we can see AGEs in action as they attack the collagen in our skin, stiffening it – which causes it to collapse into wrinkles.
Exercise: I personally prefer mind/body approaches such as Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates as part of my natural anti-ageing strategy. These types of exercise can really connect you with your body – and this can be a legitimate and powerful mindfulness approach – more so than hardcore aerobics performed to loud driving beats. Mindfulness itself has been proven to lengthen telomeres – those caps on the ends of our chromosomes, which stop them from ‘unravelling’ – it also causes telomeres to grow – according to the very latest research, just in from the USA. This constitutes a reversal of the biological age – which means that mindfulness actually makes us younger.
Jayney’s Top 5 ‘Must Haves’ for Naturally Younger Looking Skin
1) Facial Exercises. These have largely been popularised by Eva Fraser – a marvelous lady who is now in her mid 80’s and looks absolutely incredible. The idea is that you can lift and sculpt your face and defy the ageing effects of gravity by building muscles in your face through exercise, just as you can change and tone your body shape. This approach takes work – and dedication – as you do have to do the exercises every day – however they are quick and can be done whenever you have any ‘down-time’ such as sitting at traffic lights etc. You can go for lessons with Eva at her London studio – or she has an excellent DVD and book.
2) Hydration. Correct hydration internally and externally is vital to younger looking skin. Ensuring that you drink sufficient quantities of water throughout the day will help plump up your skin, thus erasing fine lines, it has the added advantage of helping our brains work efficiently too. Externally, moisturisation is an absolute must in order to look cosmetically better – however using a good natural moisturiser has enormous long term beauty benefits too. Look for products which don’t contain dangerous chemicals such as parabens.
3) Lymphatic Drainage. This is a highly effective complementary medical technique that employs very gentle touch which is used by practitioners to help move lymph fluid around the body to assist in detoxification and drainage. I was taught a specific facial lymphatic drainage routine that makes a huge difference to my face – getting rid of any puffiness caused by excess fluid. I now have a routine that I do every day – its quick and very effective – you can learn from a practitioner or take a look at the many YouTube videos available.
4) Low Carb eating is one of the best ways of reducing any bloatedness around the face – and elsewhere in the body. If you’ve heard the term “carb face” you’ll already know that refined carbohydrates are the main culprits because they cause water retention. Biscuits, cakes, breads and pasta are all generally high in processed grains and sugars and for every gram of carbohydrate, your body will retain three to five grams of water. In addition, steer clear of snack foods like crisps, which are are full of salt which also contributes to water retention. Much of the fluid retained in the body as a result of eating sugary, salty snacks can result in facial bloating.
5) Lastly, consider taking a hyaluronic acid supplement – it helps to maintain the collagen ‘scaffold’ in your skin that prevents wrinkles – the added bonus is that it can also help joint health considerably.Tags: anti ageing, anti aging, anti-ageing, anti-aging, skin, skincare