We all occasionally look in the mirror and lament the loss of our youthful skin. I try to remember that each one of those lines is a night spent up with my children, or a late night laughing with friends – all things that go to making life worth living.
If you follow the Oscar Wilde philosophy on youthfulness, “To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable” then fair play to you (and enjoy yourself). But if you’re up for a quick and mostly free way to look bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning just follow this age old advice.
First off let me say we’re not re-inventing the wheel here. You already know what to do; this is just a quick reminder (think of me as that annoying nagging voice on your shoulder).
1. Drink two litres of water today. Go on, get yourself a glass now. It’s the advice we all know and probably don’t always follow but dehydrated skin will show the lines much more and look less firm. By the way there is a difference between dehydrated skin and dry skin - dehydrated skin is lacking water, dry skin is lacking oil. That’s why water based lotions temporarily plump up our skin – they’re adding water from the outside. You need to hydrate from the inside for a longer term fix.
2. Go easy on the alcohol – in fact try to spend the evening without a drop passing your lips (it is only Wednesday you can do it). As well as dehydrating you (and you’re trying to hydrate – have you got your glass of water yet??), overdoing the alcohol can give you red eyes and a puffy face the next morning. When you drink too much alcohol before bed, the quality of your sleep declines in that you have fewer REM sleep cycles, which leads me nicely on to …
3. GET TO BED! When you sleep your body goes into repair mode and is busy renewing and restoring cells. The less you sleep, the less time your body has to recuperate. For me, eight hours is a must and any less for a few days definitely shows in my face (also from my grumpy expression – I’m not good at lack of sleep!).
4. Before you go to bed, make sure you remove all your make-up and the day’s pollution. I’m a fan of oil based cleansers that you remove with a face cloth as the warm cloth acts as a daily, gentle exfoliator.
5. Final step is a few drops of a night time vitamin A oil such as rosehip oil. Don’t overload your skin with a heavy, perfumed cream. In fact if you’ve used an oil based cleanser, you won’t need much in the way of a night time moisturiser but the rosehip oil contains retinol which is helpful for cell renewal.
That’s it – no £100 magic creams, no rejuvenating face washes. You can opt for those and some of them may work, but you need to get the basics in place too. It’s a little like wearing a good bra – an amazing dress won’t look good unless you have the foundations of well fitting underwear. So it goes with the foundations of good skin – water, sleep and a smile.
Of course diet plays a massive factor in how your skin looks too and next time I’ll be giving you the top five foods for great skin.
So let me know if you manage your two litres and eight hours and how you look in the morning. I’m off to fill my glass.