Ten ways to make your face look younger

mSkin’s Dr Liz McCulloch offers some advice on how to look great for your age.

Whether it’s your sleeping patterns, stress levels, eating habits, exercise regime or skincare routine – all of this has an impact on your face and the health of your skin.

It makes sense that if you want to bring about any changes in the way you look, you’ll have to make a few changes in the way you live.

Here are ten ways of reviving your skin, with nothing to lose but a few wrinkles!

1. Protection from the sun

Exposure to ultraviolet light breaks down collagen, causes age spots, deep wrinkles and sagging. Wear sunscreen that is broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) all year round to reduce the risk of future damage and to protect you against skin cancer.

Tip: don’t forget to protect the tops of the ears, the hands and the “V” of the neck.

 

2. Nicotine

There is evidence that smokers suffer from more lines and wrinkles than non- smokers. Nicotine causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the top layers of your skin. This impairs blood flow to your skin, reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrients it gets, such as vitamin A. The thousands of chemicals in tobacco smoke damage collagen and elastin, which are fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. Pursing of lips when inhaling and squinting of eyes to keep out smoke also cause wrinkles.

Tip: your GP surgery can book you an appointment for Smoking Cessation Advice and Support.

 

3. Avoid sugar

Sugars break down collagen and accelerate ageing in the skin, leading to sagginess. Cutting down on the sweet stuff will make your skin firmer, noticeably clearer and brighter.

Tip: try a sugar-free day and if it goes well extend it to a week or even a month.

 

4. Practise relaxation or take up meditation

Stress is ageing. Getting into the habit of relaxing your face, whether its through deep breathing, yoga or meditation will ease the lines of tension and worry that we all develop with the years. Relaxing also aids sleep – the time when cells are busy repairing DNA damage from the day before. Beauty sleep really isn’t a myth!

Tip: get up 15 minutes earlier every day to practice meditation or simple stretches.

 

5. Wrinkle-relaxing treatments and Dermal Fillers

Forget frozen foreheads, it’s not about looking ten years younger overnight. It’s okay to have a few laughter lines but injections of Botulinum Toxin A can prevent and soften facial expression lines, such as frown lines and crows’ feet. Dermal fillers can make an immediate difference to laughter lines and increase the volume beneath the skin, giving a fuller, more youthful appearance.

Tip: ensure the person offering the treatment is professionally trained, qualified and experienced.

 

6. Laser treatments and chemical peels

Intense pulsed light treatment (IPL) can be used to remove age spots and fine lines caused by too much ultraviolet exposure. The laser treatments smooth wrinkles by destroying old skin and forcing the skin to regenerate itself, breaking up the pigment that forms the spots. Two or three treatments are usually required, depending on the extent of pigmentation. A course of skin peels is another effective way to remove older, mottled, wrinkled skin and reveal fresher layers beneath.

Tip: do your research and make sure the procedure is carried out by a healthcare professional.

 

7. Drink plenty of water and cut down on alcohol

When we’re dehydrated the body uses the water available for essential organs such as the heart and liver. The skin is not given biological importance. Boosting your intake ensures that water, needed for skin cell formation, goes to the skin too.

Drinking water improves the way your insides work and good gut health is soon reflected in glowing skin. Alcohol not only dehydrates the body but it has a general inflammatory effect that encourages ageing.

Tip: sometimes our body confuses a thirst signal for a hunger signal. Drink a glass of water before a meal or a snack.

 

8. Use Retinoids

These vitamin A derivatives have been proven to boost collagen production (reducing wrinkles and preventing fine lines), even out discolouration, brighten skin tone, unclog pores and reduce acne. Retinoid creams make the skin supersensitive to sunlight so use them before bed and apply a sunscreen every morning.

Tip: Use retinoids sparingly and only at night.

 

9. Antioxidants

Antioxidants are our body’s defences against free radicals that may lead to premature ageing and disease. Eat plenty of anti-ageing foods, including

carrots and tomatoes (stimulates skin cell growth and builds collagen for skin elasticity). Hazelnuts and brazil nuts are good too, they contain essential fatty acids that help replenish collagen, naturally moisturise the skin and promote skin firmness.

Tip: jazz up green salads with grated carrot, beetroot and apple.

 

10. Exercise regularly

Anything that gets you moving will improve your circulation, which helps with skin renewal as it promotes blood flow and transports nutrients to the skin’s surface, creating a healthy, youth-enhancing glow.

Tip: sign up for a morning workout session with a friend and start getting your weekly endorphins flowing.

 

For more information about dermal fillers and wrinkle-relaxing treatments contact www.mskin.co.uk

Dr_Liz_McCulloch

Dr Liz McCulloch is a GP and Cosmetic Practitioner based in Brighton and Hove.

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Austrian dermatologist Martin Zikeli talks to mSkin about his top skincare tips and the future of anti-ageing.

Skin ageing is influenced by a person’s genetics, hormones and metabolism as well as their sun exposure, nutrition, stress levels and whether they smoke and exercise.

A good anti-ageing regime is a holistic one, combining skin-ageing prevention with various therapeutic methods.

My top anti-ageing tips include:-

1)   Avoid sun, smoking and stress.

2)  Have a daily skincare routine with sunscreens in the morning and a cream containing retinol (one of the animal forms of vitamin A) in the evening.

3) Include antioxidants in your diet, such as vitamin C, B3, E, polyphenols (found largely in fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, nuts, legumes and cereals) and flavonoids (found in virtually all fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices). The powerful antioxidant Resveratrol has anti-ageing benefits too and can be found in foods such as blueberries, grapes, peanuts and jackfruit.

The future of anti-ageing   

In the future we will develop technologies to deliver skin nourishment, such as antioxidants, directly into the cells of our skin and our whole body.

We will also be influenced by epigenetics – the science of how environmental factors such as stress levels at work, exposure to toxins and what we eat might be subtly altering our genes – and hence the way we look.

Dermal fillers and wrinkle-relaxing injections

For now though, dermal injections of hyaluronic acid can be effective in promoting skin rejuvenation by increasing both hydration and plumping the skin.

Wrinkle-relaxing injections on a regular basis can slow down the visible ageing process by helping in the management of certain facial lines and wrinkles.

It’s important to remember though, that in clinical practice, “to look better” doesn’t mean “to look younger”.

That is why it’s essential to understand patients’ wishes and have a realistic therapeutic goal.

 

Martin_Zikeli

Martin is a dermatologist and a consultant in the Department of Dermatology at the State Hospital Wiener Neustadt near Vienna. He also has a medical practice.

 

www.mskin.co.uk

 

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