Anti-ageing is an antiquated term, and these days, we’re more interested in ageing smarter than the eternal chase of looking younger.
We want to look our age, but a healthier, more glowing, more radiant version of ourselves, with our skin looking better and brighter: the way you look when you’re on a seven-day vacation in the sun.
So how do we retrain our skin to have a perma-rested, just back from holiday vibe? Dr Stefanie Williams, dermatologist, founder of EUDELO clinic and author of Look great, not done! The art & science of ageing well shares the seven steps to healthier looking skin – whatever your age.
Step 1: Give up smoking
Smoking is one of the most damaging habits for your skin, says Dr Williams. This also includes e-cigarettes, as even vaping has been shown to significantly restrict oxygen supply to our skin.
Step 2: Future-proof your diet
“Sugar and starch, which is cut down into sugar molecules as soon as you take it into your mouth, contributes to low-grade inflammation in the skin and results in inferior quality collagen, the building blocks of good skin,” explains Dr Williams.
She recommends including high-quality protein and good fats in your diet, which are important for your skin. Also drink lots of water and anti-oxidant-rich green or white tea, and watch your alcohol intake.
Step 3: Protect your skin from the sun
“Ultraviolet irradiation from the sun can severely damage our skin and not only lead to premature skin ageing, but also skin cancer. So be sensible in the sun and wear an SPF 30-50 every day, if you truly want to keep your skin in best condition.”
Step 4: Protect your skin from urban pollution
Urban pollution is a modern-day drain on your skin, so it’s best to avoid highly polluted areas where possible.
When you have been exposed to strong pollution levels, though, cleanse your skin carefully in the evening. Dr Williams suggests using a specialist electronic anti-pollution brush and applying a high-grade anti-oxidant serum before you step into the fog.
Step 5: Chill
“Try to moderate your stress levels (why not try out a meditation app or mindfulness course, they are literally everywhere at the moment) and never, ever accumulate sleep debt over prolonged periods of time – put sleep first.”
Yep, that means turning off the TV before midnight. More sunrises and sunsets, less Stranger Things 2.
Step 6: Get to know a real expert
Having a dermatologist, says Dr Williams, is extremely important and could unlock the key to having healthy skin all your life.
“Just as everybody has a dentist to look after their dental health, everybody should have a dermatologist to look after their skin health. I recommend an annual mole check done by a specialist dermatologist. A (cosmetic) dermatologist can also help putting together your optimal skincare regime to protect your skin and keep it in top shape long-term.
“Be wary of supposed skin-experts who don’t have the qualifications to back up their claims – even if they have a trillion followers on Instagram…”
Step 7: Upgrade your facials
To get super serious about your skin, you need to be having regular facials – and not pampering ones, but dermatology grade facials, which get to the root of the problem.
“A monthly schedule is ideal to support your skin’s natural renewal process. They are particularly useful for anybody with a tendency for breakouts like adult acne or rosacea, clogged pores and dull skin.”