Forever young: Top 10 tips for year round health and beauty, part 4.

So, it’s been a while hasn’t it? Well I’m back so let’s get right on to another post on how to maintain a youthful you all year round!

So this post looks primarily at a certain health concern rather than the aesthetic issue of beauty, but surely a heathy individual leads to happiness and all round beauty does it not? I know so!

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Number 4: stress

Yep, that’s it. Stress! and in this world of busy busy busy lifestyles and careers it’s an increasing problem and a major cause of premature ageing.

So what stresses us out? Well it all depends on what we do and how we are able to handle certain situations.

In my job as an assessor and lecturer I put up with stressful situations on a daily basis and experience has taught me to cope with them better. However, there are some circumstances that cause me a great deal of stress and anxiety, and as a result, they can often make me feel nauseous, tired or dizzy and even give me migraines in extreme cases.

Stress can be caused from a whole host of issues and causes an imbalance in our body’s equilibrium, which suppresses our body’s immune system, leaving us more prone to illness and infection.

So how does stress age us and why is it a beauty/skincare issue?
Well, here is a list of a few symptoms of stress and a few I’ve picked out that are the most interesting…and relevant to explore a little further.

1. Indigestion
2. Lack of sleep
3. Diarrhoea
4. Eating more or eating less
5. Using drugs such as alcohol and cigarettes to relax

In part 2 we looked at how cigarettes age the skin by slowly suffocating it by replacing the oxygen in the red blood cells with carbon monoxide.
In a later episode, we can explore the effects of alcohol on our body and skin.

By not having enough sleep, the body cannot heal and repair itself properly. This includes the skin. Over time our skin will become lack lustre and sallow, bags will start to appear under the eye area and elasticity will diminish.

Food has an effect on our bodies and the look of our skin too. If we eat the wrong food or not enough of the right food our skin and bodies will become malnourished and age faster.

So what can we do about it?

RELAX!
Watch a movie, go for a run or walk have a warm bath or shower, listen to your favourite songs and sing along. Meditate, have a laugh with friends or head to your nearest spa or salon for a massage!
The solutions are simple but not always easy to do when you feel worked up about something.

Yes, it’s easier said than done but trust me it helps and there are some products that can assist with stress. So I’d like to draw your attention to my personal favourite, from Decleor.

Decleor’s aromessence de Bain is a calming, replenishing and nourishing bath oil that not only has the most gorgeous aroma that fills the whole house with fragrance but nourishes the skin leaving it silky smooth and soft.

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To use: add 20-30 pumps into a still bath of water and relax for at least 20 minutes.
It can be purchased from the Decleor website for £50, click here: http://www.decleor.co.uk

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So that’s part 4 over! Thanks again for reading!

Remember, with this episode especially we’re only scratching the surface.
So should you need any more information regarding stress management and causes please check it out online or visit your GP.

Please, stay tuned for part 5 and then we’ll be half way through the series!

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Forever young: top 10 tips for year round health and beauty, part 3.

Welcome back to my 10 part series in how to maintain a youthful appearance all year round.

In episode 2 we looked at smoking and how carbon monoxide in cigarettes slowly suffocates the skin by replacing the oxygen in our blood. It also looked briefly at exfoliation methods to help get our blood flowing to the skin’s surface.

To introduce this episode I’d like to briefly start with the difference between skin types and conditions and give a couple of examples.

Our skin has a type, this much never changes. Skin types can include dry, sensitive, oily and combination, which are determined by genes and as mentioned, do not alter. Skin types can only be controlled, not cured.

A skin condition is something that can change, depending on external factors such as the environment. Skin conditions can include dehydration and sensitisation and can be treated with lifestyle changes and products.

So what are we going to look at today? A skin condition, that can be treated in various ways.

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Number 3: dehydrated skin.

In the UK we’re still in weather-limbo so to speak, sometimes we need to use our central heating and other times we need our air con, so it can be quite confusing for our skin.
Central heating and air conditioning strips the moisture out of our skin and if we are moving from areas of cold to areas of heat we are not only contributing further to this effect but also increase the risk of developing broken capillaries, which can look unsightly.

So if artificial heat and cold cause dehydration what else does? Other factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and exposure to the environment contribute to stripping the moisture from the skin if not protected and treated.
Products containing alcohol dry our skin too, these include hairspray and perfumes. So I do beg you, please please please never spray perfume directly onto the skin or use hairspray on the face to seal down makeup!
A good quality toner in a spray bottle does this job just as well and can be used throughout the day.

So how does dehydration age us? Not only will our skin look sallow and feel chappy and tight, the lack of moisture reaks havoc on our collagen and elastin proteins, leading to the appearance of fine lines and scales on our skin. Our skin is also less plump and healthy looking and any makeup products we use look poorly applied as our skin needs to be treated, not covered.

So what can we do? The average human body is 50-65% water so this tells us that water is important! We must ensure that we are replenishing lost moisture by drinking around 6-8 glasses of water a day or eating foods with a high water content such as cucumbers, oranges and watermelons. Try to limit alcohol consumption and reduce, or quit, smoking cigarettes.

In terms of skincare, products that target dryness and dehydration are essential buys and fortunately, moisturisers containing hyaluronic acid (the key to the fountain of youth) and exfoliators containing lactic acid can help to improve his problem. Toning, using a spritz throughout the day over our makeup can help maintain hydration levels and also serves as a great pick-me-up.

Below are images and links of suitable products to target this skin condition and maintain hydration levels.

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Dermalogica AgeSmart skin kit, a collection of anti-ageing but hydrating products containing microexfoliating properties and hyaluronic acid.
Can be purchased here: http://www.dermalogica.co.uk

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Decleor’s Hydra Floral range, designed to maintain hydration levels and protect against TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss).
Can be purchased from http://www.Decleor.co.uk or http://www.qvcuk.com.

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Dermalogica’s skin hydrating booster is a great add-in product that can be placed under your existing moisturiser if you don’t fancy changing your entire routine and product line.
Can be purchased from http://www.dermalogica.co.uk.

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To put it quite simply, hydration is the key to anti-ageing; if you can keep hydration levels to an optimum level you’re already on your way to healthier, younger looking skin.

Stay tuned for episode 4 and remember, if you have any questions please comment and I can answer them for you!