Better Skin Each Birthday Your Diy Beauty Guide To Ageing Gracefully

Better skin each birthday: Your DIY beauty guide to ageing gracefully

With a plethora of anti-ageing beauty products available, it’s hard to know what’s the most helpful and the least harmful. The good news is that by taking consistent care of your skin with healthy habits, nourishing foods and a few smart tricks, you can create a smooth, firm and fresh skin complexion.

As we age, are we destined to dodge harsh lighting and mirrors like vampires? Or are there ways to accept ageing so that we shine in the spotlight? If you’re skin-smart you can look attractive at all ages, sans filters and foundation. Sample these beauty bites for forever fresh skin.

Boundless beauty

In the black comedy Death Becomes Her Isabella Rossellini plays a stylish witch touting an immortality elixir. She moans, “This is life’s ultimate cruelty. It offers us a taste of youth and vitality and then it makes us witness our own decay.” In reality Rossellini is ripening not rotting with age. Having signed a Lancôme contract at 65 she’s luminous and loving life on her organic farm, producing pet projects such as hilarious Green Porno. Her secret? “With wrinkles, you have to assume them. And I have a lack of self-hatred. It seems to be working!”

Always wear a sun-blocking broad-brimmed hat, chemical-free sun protection and 100 per cent UV protective glasses to reduce squint lines and pigmentation.

Allure no longer has an age limit thanks to mature icons such as Christie Brinkley, Joanna Lumley and Helen Mirren. Recently featured in HuffPost, cancer survivor Barbara Rabin looks sensational at 67. She says, “Sexy is self-confidence. It’s being comfortable in your own skin. It’s looking in the mirror and liking what I see.” None of these women resorted to drastic measures to preserve their appearance. They haven’t lost their unique look to the bizarre Barbie ideal care of Botox and fillers. Through effective self-care including skincare, diet, exercise and pleasure they’re getting better each birthday.

Skin sins

Are you creasing your face with excess expression, resting your fingers on your face or sleeping on your side? With awareness and a silk pillowcase you can cultivate a smoother visage.

If you want to accelerate ageing, then smoking is the answer. It not only increases lip lines but promotes premature wrinkling everywhere via free radical damage, collagen breakdown and a sallow hue from poor oxygenation. Nicotine teeth add to the aged effect. Dehydrating drinks such as caffeine and carbonated beverages leave our skin thirsty. Cleansers stripping skin of sebum leave it dehydrated and defenceless. Prefer pH-balanced cleansers such as natural oils or micellar formulations free from drying alcohol. Always remove make-up, preferably with an ionic brush such as the Clarisonic which has oscillation technology clinically proven to cleanse skin six times better than hands alone. Not removing make-up blocks pores, promotes pimples and breeds blackheads. Sun damage is the most detrimental disturbance to skin.

Always wear a sun-blocking broad-brimmed hat, chemical-free sun protection such as clear zinc oxide and 100 per cent UV protective glasses to reduce squint lines and pigmentation. At 72 Stevie Nicks attributes her ageless skin to avoiding sun exposure. Step away from the sweets if you want to look sweet: eating excess sugar destroys skin through a process called glycation.

Antioxidants can ameliorate this effect including alpha lipoic acid, astaxanthin and resveratrol. Snuggle up for beauty sleep for a fresh visage. “Sleep-deprived women show signs of premature skin ageing and a decrease in their skin’s ability to recover after sun exposure,” according to Dr Baron, director of the Skin Study Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. Other enemies of super skin include air-conditioning, alcohol, allergies, chemicals, heat, stress, pollution, wind and hormonal imbalances.

Longevity lunch

In the classic Stardust, Michelle Pfeiffer’s character Lamia, Queen of the Witches, is determined to eat stardust to achieve eternal youth and beauty. Unfortunately, there’s no such supplement of immortality but collagen comes close. For centuries, collagen has been Asia’s anti-ageing elixir for dryness, lines and sagging. Collagen also contributes to stronger nails, longer hair, a super skeleton and dynamite digestion. The hydrolysed marine collagen is primarily type I and type III collagen, which has been shown to have superior bioavailability compared to other animal sources. Don’t heat collagen above 300°C as it undergoes irreversible degradation.

Foods high in antioxidants vitamin A, C, E and zinc promote rapid skin regeneration.

Skin superfoods can reduce inflammation, increase plumping collagen, hydrate for dewiness, cleanse blood for clarity and activate epidermal repair. Foods high in antioxidants vitamins A, C and E and zinc promote rapid skin regeneration. These include açaí, almonds, citrus fruits, gooseberries, maca, orange vegetables, papaya, pomegranate, seeds and turmeric. For radiantly healthy skin, try blood-purifying aloe vera juice, chlorella, chlorophyll, spirulina, wheatgrass and organic green vegetables. Select the most suitable internally lubricating oil to glow from every pore. The following are a rich source of skin-saving fatty acids: algae oil, black seed oil, coconut oil, evening primrose oil, fish oil, flaxseed oil, ghee, hemp seed oil, olive oil and pumpkin seed oil. The classic supermodel secret to stunning skin is plenty of pure water. Room-temperature or warm water cleanses channels and promotes digestion more effectively than cold water. Aim for at least two litres of pure water daily.

Out, damned spot!

A spray of freckles is sweet but pigmented patches of melasma look like coffee stains that won’t wash off. Over the years, age spots, red dots, broken capillaries and keratoses start appearing like barnacles on a boat. Make-up evens skin tone miraculously, but what about when you want to be fresh-faced? Natural brighteners and whiteners require patience but can be as effective as intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy, lasers and chemical peels. Non-flushing niacinamide (vitamin B3), mandelic acid (from almonds) and vitamin C in the form of ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate are highly effective at fading spots. Rosehip oil is rich in vitamin A, lycopene and vitamin C which effectively diminishes discoloration and reverses sun damage. Other whitening whizzes are ripe papaya fruit mask, liquorice tea, lime juice and arbutin from the herb uva ursi.

My favourite lightening mask is a mix of ½ tsp mandelic acid powder with ½ tsp vitamin B3 powder combined with equal parts of warm water. For sensitive skin, substitute water with ¼ cup of pure yoghurt and apply daily to areas of concern for 10 minutes. Be aware this can cause temporary flushing which soon subsides. Reducing sun exposure and balancing hormones prevents further pigmentation. Broken capillaries can be treated with blue light and red clay masks.

Acne rosacea can be connected with allergies, gut dysbiosis, a tendency to flush, external irritants and the microscopic mite demodex. Effective treatment may address the gut with probiotics and an anti-inflammatory diet. IPL can be effective along with antimicrobial herbs. Externally applied essential oils such as sandalwood and rose can calm the skin or a pharmaceutical cream such as ivermectin as appropriate. Sebaceous hyperplasia are little red or yellow 2–3mm bumps occurring more commonly in fair, oily skinned women over 40. Close inspection reveals a central hair follicle surrounded by yellowish lobules. They can be reduced with laser treatment, acid peels, retinoids and microdermabrasion but often reoccur. Because sebaceous hyperplasia looks incredibly similar to serious basal cell carcinoma, it’s important to get a skin cancer specialist to examine them.

The same goes for keratoses which are the common non-cancerous skin growths nicknamed “age spots”. Keratoses are raised, scaly and brown, black or light tan. Under the guidance of a qualified natural therapist, bloodroot salve or true dandelion stem sap can remove keratosis. Vitamin B3 taken at a daily dose of 500mg may reduce non-melanoma skin cancers according to research funded by the Cancer Council NSW.

A fine line

An unlined face looks odd like a cabbage patch doll. Life creates lines from laughter, tears, triumphs and trials; they’re the map of our journey. Happy lines around the eyes are parentheses of pleasure, but frown lines can be reminders of past pain we’d rather erase. Beauticians have a bevy of anti-wrinkle wonders to empty your wallet and hopefully raise your confidence. But there are wonderful ways to boost beauty on a budget. Taking consistent care of your skin with DIY tools and tricks can create a smoother, firmer, fresher you.

Life creates lines from laughter, tears, triumphs and trials; they’re the map of our journey.

Beauty icon Christie Brinkley attributes her sensational skin at 66 to her plant-based rainbow diet and daily scrub. “I start every day by exfoliating my face. That’s something I’ve done for the past 40 years. I feel like it’s really contributed to my skin feeling fresh and smooth.” Exfoliating unclogs pores and clears dead cells so the skin is ready to absorb products. Once a week, consider doing a home microdermabrasion with a high-quality device. The latest craze of face shaving to remove peach fuzz also assists the absorption of products and seamless make-up application. Safe facial razors are available online. Other gadgets to get your goddess glow include the DermaWand for lifting and tightening and a vibrating rose quartz facial roller or kansa healing wand to smooth and increase product penetration.

Facial massage and slapping will also increase circulation to stimulate skin regeneration and lymphatic drainage. To steamroll wrinkles away, I recommend a hyaluronic acid serum and moringa oil followed by tapping hard on wrinkled, sunken areas and using a titanium 1-1.5mm dermaroller every second day. A LED light therapy home device provides rejuvenating wavelengths of light energy to treat fine lines, redness and wrinkles. It takes six to eight weeks to notice improvement with daily use.

Face feast

With a plethora of anti-ageing products available it’s hard to know what’s the most helpful and the least harmful. Everything you apply will eventually sink into your skin so it should be edible. If you can’t make it yourself, select skincare with minimal alcohol, chemicals, fragrance, preservatives and non-clogging oils. Check for an allergic reaction by dabbing some on your inner wrist and observing for 12 hours before applying it to your face.

Homemade masks are much cheaper and purer as they don’t need preservatives or absorb plastic packaging. An organic egg white and cornstarch facemask is miraculous for smoothing, whitening and tightening the skin. Just whisk one egg white with equal parts of cornstarch and apply to your face for a shrink-wrap effect. Wash off when your face is throbbing from pulsing blood. A moisturising mask can be made with 1 heaped teaspoon white kaolin clay with 1 teaspoon yoghurt and enough water to make into a thin paste. Apply and wash off when dry. A mineralising mask made from Argiletz green clay or Dead Sea mud will purify pores and tighten skin.

Saturate mature, thirsty skin with oils, ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Correct non-comedogenic oils won’t clog pores but will repair the skin barrier to reduce redness, inflammation, acne, dryness, damage and excess oiliness. Moringa is my favourite oil for ageless, supple skin. Its high zeatin content stimulates cell growth and prevents premature ageing, evens skin tone and heals scars or stretch marks. A close second is sea buckthorn which has abundant fatty acids, flavonoids, vitamin E, beta-carotene and vitamin C plus antioxidant superoxide dismutase for smoothing, soothing and strengthening skin. Jojoba oil is most similar to our natural sebum, hence sinks seamlessly into the pores creating a protective seal. With wonderful hydrating, antioxidant, anti-ageing, cleansing and regenerating properties, jojoba is the safe choice for sensitive skin.

Ageless attitude

Preserving and priming our gorgeous glow is as much about attitude as it is about actions. If we behold ourselves as beloved, we become beacons of beauty. An attractive woman makes the most of what she has rather than making herself feel inadequate. Ultimately, beauty comes from self-love and joie de vivre. The best beauty aid is to affirm, “I’m enough. I’m beautiful. It’s a blessing to be breathing, an honour to live a long, enriching life!” A pro-living party is more empowering than an anti-ageing battle.

Revealing your goddess through make-up, clothes, beauty products and diet is pointless if you don’t release her from within. You become a goddess from the inside out, not from the outside in. Inner serenity is the best wrinkle cream. As author Amit Ray wrote, “Meditation is realizing and expanding your inner beauty in every direction.” To enhance your attractive essence list and recite all your qualities daily. Invite Aphrodite’s energy into you and, as Jennifer Lopez shared, “I think all women in a sense are Venus, the goddess of love. That’s our job, right? To spread love, and to spread goodness, and beauty, to mother and nurture.”

Caroline Robertson

Caroline Robertson

Caroline Robertson is a naturopath and homoeopath with thirty years experience. For phone or skype consultations please contact info@carolinerobertson.com.au.

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