beauty

Here's how to stop the ageing process.

It always amazes me how much time, money and effort we put into trying to reverse the ageing process while at the same time, we are doing so many things that actually accelerate ageing.

We are all aware of at least one or two things we do that we really shouldn’t because they are prematurely ageing us, but I’ve got six things that you should really, truly try to stop doing.

Because we all want to look good for our age. Not young (we know we won’t look young forever), but “good for our age” – because that’s a pretty decent goal, don’t you think?

Nothing beats the feeling when people think you look younger than you actually are. Why is that? Vain, superficial, stoopid ego, that’s why.

So if we all stop doing these six things we will not only save ourselves time and money, but we’ll also stop the ageing process in its tracks.

Okay, okay, that might be a slight exaggeration – but these tips will definitely SLOW the ageing process in its tracks.

1. Sorry, I may as well start with the hardest one.

But a glass of wine tastes so good.

Drinking ages you. I know, I know, Alicia on The Good Wife drinks wine almost every night and she looks fine. Don’t make me give you the ‘TV Is Just Make Believe’ speech because seriously, nobody looks THAT GOOD.

Regular alcohol consumption ages you and that’s the bottom line. Of course you can choose to completely ignore this advice and just follow steps 2-6 but I urge you to cut back, or at least switch to red wine.

And don’t just stop drinking. You have to replace it with something. I am going to share with you the best recipe I’ve ever ripped off from somebody (my local cafe) in an attempt to curb my night time coffee habit.

Buy a really nice water jug, and fill it up with water. Then slice half a punnet of strawberries and half a lemon with the rind on. Place them in the water and put it in the fridge. The flavours infuse into the water and it tastes incredible.

It’s not as good as a glass of wine but it’s 97% as good.

2. Skin trauma. Your skin is not a pin cushion, nor is it a stress ball.

Any time you touch your face, squeeze a pimple, rub your eyes, rub any part of your face or even just lean your cheek on your hand for an extended period of time, you are ageing yourself.

Don’t touch the skin on your face under any circumstances.

Your skin doesn’t like to be ‘smooshed’ or moved in any way.

I’m not saying to stop smiling or sobbing or anything like that. Facial movements that come from the muscles in your face are actually good for you. Just don’t use your hands for any reason.

I used to be a bit of a pimple squeezer and skin scratcher and I started knitting to stop the habit.

3. Not using the right products.

Not many of us take the time to consider which skin products are right for us. We tend to just pick things up here and there. Every now and then we’ll purchase a skin ‘system’ but then fail to reconsider our use of it as our skin changes and ages. It’s a common mistake. It’s called the Product Rut. And it is also ageing us.

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You really need to give your skin and its care a rethink. I recently found that indeed labs’ retinol skin resurfacer has helped to soften my skin and (as the name suggests) provides a clearer, smoother surface  and reduces the appearance of lines. I use it with their eye cream and it has made a difference.

You can be healthy, drink lots of water, exercise and eat right but you also need to take care of the outside. Your skin is the largest organ out of all the organs in your body. It will benefit from a healthy lifestyle but also from the TLC that only comes from using the right products.

So discuss your skin with a professional. Explain your challenges and concerns. Then let them recommend the right products for you.

Do this every year or two and stay on top of your skin health. You’ll save yourself money in the long run by preventing damage.

4. Not getting enough sleep. Your teenage self was onto something.

We all need more sleep.

Remember those glorious days when you were a teenager and some days you’d just stay asleep until 2pm, because you could? You hadn’t even been out the night before. You were just tired.

Gone are the days when we have a seventeen hour sleep, just because, but they shouldn’t be.

If you consistently sleep too little, you are ageing everything in your body on the inside and out. I don’t mean to be alarmist but as I constantly say to my husband (who thinks he is Superman), that sleep isn’t optional.

So get some sleep and if you have a tough week, give yourself at least one day each week when you can have a massive sleep in. Even if you have to take turns with your spouse, do it. You’ll feel incredible afterwards, or just slightly jet lagged. But eventually, incredible.

5. Stress less. Keep reading. This is possible.

Stress is called the silent killer and not for nothing. It’s ageing in every way and not something you want to make a habit of.

But you can’t just switch the feeling of stress off. It’s not like feelings are a light switch. You can’t switch it off completely, but you can minimise it in so many ways.

And I know what I’m talking about. I’m Italian and my emotions fluctuate ridiculously and I used to have meltdowns over the smallest things. But no more.

When I feel my emotions getting the better of me, I just stop, and I breathe. Or I sit in the fresh air for a few minutes. Or go for a walk.

Do something to jolt you out of that feeling of intense stress, even if you are on deadline or late. Because nothing matters more than your health. And I mean nothing.

6. I shouldn't even have to say this one, but I will.

STOP SMOKING! Better still, don’t even start.

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