As we get older, it can become all too easy to prioritise those around us and neglect ourselves. I am a firm believer that emotional health and well-being begin by taking good care of YOU – not just now and then, but every day.
This means eating well, exercising regularly, and having a daily skincare routine that gives you a healthy glow inside and out.
If establishing healthier everyday routines sounds like hard work to you, especially on an already long to-do list, relax …
Grab yourself a cup of your favourite tea or coffee and spend five minutes reading this blog with 10 simple-to-follow tips to help you feel tip-top from morning to bedtime.
1. Understand your largest vital organ
Skin is the largest organ in the human body, making up around 15% of an adult’s total weight. It is made up of layers packed with all manner of cells performing various vital functions.
The wafer-thin outer layer (epidermis) forms an incredible protective barrier against external elements, while the layers underneath (the dermis and subcutaneous layer) contain blood vessels, nerves, oil glands, sweat glands and fat. Each layer also has collagen fibres that give support and elastin fibres for flexibility and strength.
Our skin renews itself every 28 days and, over time, it changes both naturally and as a consequence of environmental and lifestyle factors – the most detrimental being over-exposure to the sun, smoking, and poor diet.
As we age, the epidermis physically becomes thinner and also appears thinner because the number of pigment-containing cells reduces. Changes to collagen and elastin levels affect our skin’s strength and elasticity. The blood vessels are more fragile. Oil glands slow down making it harder to stay moisturised, resulting in dryness.
Fortunately, there are lots of simple things we can do to take good care of our skin and slow down some of these processes.
2. Start every day with a good cleanse
The first step in your daily routine is a good wash with warm water and a gentle cleanser, such as the Take Good Care Melon and Cucumber Cleanser. This favourite of mine gives skin a deep, yet gentle, clean that soothes and softens.
I like to wet my face and neck with clean water, massage the cleanser in with my fingertips, wipe away with a damp cloth and clean water, then pat dry.
3. Exfoliate like an expert
As skin ages, cell turnover slows down, which can result in skin having a dull appearance. To reveal fresh and healthier skin, exfoliation is key.
The Take Good Care Acai and Goji berry microdermabrasion scrub will gradually remove dead skin cells to reveal brighter glowing skin.
Studies show that using an exfoliant on a weekly basis will help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You can increase this frequency if you wish, but don’t overdo it. Remember: older skin is thinner and more delicate and not suitable for daily scrubbing. Once or twice a week is enough.
4. Take the time to tone
Don’t be tempted to skip this step after cleansing/exfoliating. Toners after designed to remove excess oil and tiny impurities that may not be visible in the mirror.
Our Rose and Aloe Vera Toner with added orange essential oil, not only smells delightful, it makes sure pores are properly cleaned.
I like to apply it with an eco-cotton wool pad in little circular motions to stimulate the cells.
5. Use a super boosting serum
A serum gives skin a super boost before moisturising by delivering active ingredients to the lower layers of the dermis.
Get into the habit of dabbing a few drops of serum onto your cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead and massaging in. Before long, you’ll begin to enjoy the added radiance and vitality that your face takes on.
I’ve chosen a Hyaluronic Acid Serum for the Take Good Care range. Hyaluronic acid – also known as HA – is naturally produced by the body and its main function is to keep tissues lubricated and moist.
Around half the body’s hyaluronic acid is found in the skin, with the highest concentrations around the eyes. It’s like a magnet for water and can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight.
Hydrated skin looks plumper, fuller, and more radiant. Best of all, this means lines and wrinkles appear to fade. In addition, our serum is blended with carrot infusion to stimulate collagen production, which further reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
6. Lock in moisture with a facial oil
I’m always surprised at the number of people that stock up on anti-ageing serums but don’t moisturise!
Moisture is the secret to plump, smooth skin. So, after cleansing and toning, moisturising is the third vital step in ensuring your skin’s barrier is protected and soft.
I used to use a moisture cream until I discovered Marula Facial Oil with Vitamin E – available to buy in the Take Good Care shop. A few drops go a long way.
Don’t be put off because it’s an oil. Marula oil is really lightweight and easily absorbed. It helps to restore hydration, which we know makes skin look smoother and reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It’s also rich in protein, antioxidants, and amino acids with anti-ageing properties. No wonder it’s a firm favourite with beauty editors!
7. Protect your skin from the sun
Nothing ages the skin more than exposure to the sun. Over time, ultraviolet (UV) light damages the skin’s elastin, which causes the skin to lose its elasticity and to sag and stretch. UV radiation can also affect levels of hyaluronic acid in the skin.
So, if you’re heading out into the sunshine, follow your morning moisturiser with an SPF sunscreen and wear a hat.
8. Beauty starts from within
As well as starting your day with a good facial regime, the next thing you can do is to make sure you’re consuming all the vitamins and minerals known to boost a healthy glow.
Vitamin D is one of the best vitamins for your skin and 10 to 15 minutes of daily exposure to sunshine (with protection from the damaging UV rays) helps manufacture vitamin D throughout the skin. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to protect against UV damage and therefore against wrinkles.
Vitamin C is another great antioxidant and also helps with collagen production. Vitamin K helps a variety of skin issues, while many of the B vitamins also play an important role in maintaining healthy skin.
You’ll notice that a lot of skincare products contain added vitamins, but to ensure you’re getting the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of everything, you need to get the balance right with what you consume. A healthy, balanced diet is the best way to do this with the option of a daily multivitamin supplement.
9. Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated
Dehydration is very common and leads to all sorts of issues, including dry and itchy skin. The simplest, and cheapest, way to stay hydrated is to drink water. Carrying a refillable water bottle with you wherever you go, is a simple way to keep your fluids up.
10. Repeat and repair at night
Finally, before getting under the sheets, make sure you remove all of the day’s makeup, dirt and grime with an evening skincare routine incorporating cleansing, toning, serum and moisturising.
A good night’s sleep will also help your body, mind and skin repair naturally.