You know the saying, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, and the second-best time is today”? It also applies to skincare, making today the perfect opportunity to check in on your skin’s health and maybe even provide a little extra TLC.
Some people come to skincare through the advice of a parent or grandparent, while others discover it following a health concern. For example, red, bumpy skin around the nose might indicate a skin condition known as an “alcoholic nose”. What is an alcoholic nose? It’s a skin condition characterised by rhinophyma flare-ups that can affect both people who drink alcohol as well as those who don’t. These flare-ups can be a result of drinking alcohol, but they have many other causes, too. While addressing such concerns, individuals often explore various skincare options, and in recent years, there has been growing interest in understanding the role of different skincare compounds like peptides. Some may wonder about the potential benefits of the best peptides for anti-aging, as peptides are increasingly studied for their role in promoting skin health.
And then there are wrinkles. Getting fine lines and wrinkles is natural as we age, but improving our overall skin health can help minimise their appearance. You can also have a wrinkle correction treatment if it suits your fancy.
Here are four top tips for healthy skin past the age of 40.
The largest organ of the human body, the skin is made up mostly of water, along with protein, fats, and minerals. Drinking water helps flush toxins from the body, which is especially important for the skin because it plays a role in the body’s natural detoxification process.
Staying hydrated also helps the skin maintain its elasticity, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Aim for at least eight glasses of room-temperature water per day.
Stress can wreak havoc on our immune system. Regarding the skin, studies have shown that regular exposure to stress can prolong healing time and even cause skin irritations and conditions such as rashes, psoriasis, and eczema. It’s thought that acne flare-ups can also be stress-induced.
Reducing stress doesn’t have to involve taking up a mindfulness practice or going on an expensive beach vacation. It does usually require an alteration in behaviour, but this can be as simple as using your phone only for texting or calls on particular days, taking regular breaks at work to focus on your breathing for a few minutes, or going to bed 30 minutes earlier.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain polyphenols, plant compounds that have been shown to provide numerous health benefits. This includes helping protect the skin from ultraviolet light and enhancing skin cell growth, both of which contribute to healthy skin.
In the process of being broken down in the gut, polyphenols provide more nutritional benefits than fruits or vegetables would on their own. However, the process does require a healthy gut microbiome. The good news is that eating fruits and vegetables helps maintain good bacteria in the gut.
There has been some concern in recent years that sunscreen use can be harmful to our health, with claims that it doesn’t actually prevent skin cancer and can even cause it. Research disputes claims against sunscreen’s benefits, and medical professionals still highly recommend the use of sunscreen and other forms of sun protection.
This recommendation typically involves using a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30, applying it before sun exposure, and reapplying it every couple of hours. Many doctors also recommend wearing sun-protective clothing and staying out of the sun between the hours of 10am and 2pm, when harmful rays are at their peak.
In addition to being a known human carcinogen, ultraviolet radiation can damage the connective tissue in the skin, leading to more wrinkles and other signs of ageing.
It probably comes as no surprise that the simple things we can do to improve our skin’s health and appearance are all things that also benefit our health in general. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and it plays a critical role in protecting us from harm. Taking steps to keep it healthy pays off today and in the long run.
Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.