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!

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