There is nothing wrong with ageing – ageing is a privilege that some people don’t get. Having said that I do think you can age well. I’ve heard it said that how well you age is mostly down to genetics, however a study conducted at Columbia University in New York showed that identical twins who had different lifestyles aged differently. In fact lifestyle was shown to be a far bigger factor than genetic influences. The full study can be found here. Here are the top 10 habits of women who age slowly:
1. Women Who Age Slowly Use SPF every day
Sun damage is the number one cause of wrinkles. UV rays also lead to age spots and other types of discolouration on the skin. A study carried out on 298 caucasian women from 30 years to 78 years old, showed that UV exposure was responsible for 80% of visible facial ageing signs. The full study can be found here.
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Invest in a good sunscreen
I use a sunscreen with SPF 50 every day and my current choice is Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart. It’s a broad spectrum mineral sunscreen so it blocks out both UVA and UVB rays with a combination of zinc and titanium dioxide.
2. Women Who Age Slowly Strive to Breathe Cleaner Air
The quality of the air we breathe in big cities has become seriously compromised, and traffic exhaust is one of the most toxic substances for the skin. Recently there have been more and more studies showing that air pollution may be one of the primary causes of skin ageing. Big polluted cities such as London, New York and Beijing are particularly affected.
A summary of studies into the impact of both outdoor and indoor pollution on the skin can be found here. Overall they showed that pollution was found to intensify the signs of skin ageing such as dark spots and wrinkles. Living in a polluted environment was also shown to reduce skin moisture resulting in dryer skin that is more likely to wrinkle.
Invest in Anti-Pollution Skincare Products
Another reason I love Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart is that as well as being a sunscreen it also creates a barrier against pollutants in the air such as car exhaust and cigarette smoke. It contains anti-pollution ingredients which form an invisible protective barrier to help prevent harmful toxins and pollution particles from penetrating your skin. It also neutralises free radical damage caused by pollution.
Invest in an Air Purifier
I ordered a LEVOIT Air Purifier last year and have noticed a huge difference both in my breathing and skin health. I usually leave it on all day while I’m at work and when I get home in the evening I notice the effects of it as soon as I walk in. I’ve also observed there is less dust in the room. I would recommend investing in one of these if you live in a big city. I changed the filter a few weeks ago and when you see how much it has filtered out of the air it makes you realise how much of a good investment it was.
3. Women Who Age Slowly Don’t Smoke or Drink Alcohol
Smoking and drinking leads to all kinds of health problems and depletes our bodies of nutrients. Smokers end up with more fine lines around their mouth and are more likely to develop bad teeth. Smoking also deprives the body of oxygen and over time can speed up ageing. Excessive drinking can also caused skin discolouration, poor muscle tone and broken blood vessels or spider veins.
4. Women Who Age Slowly Drink Plenty of Water
Youthful skin retains its turgor, resilience and pliability, due to its high content of water. Studies have shown that women who regularly drink plenty of water have more hydrated and less wrinkled skin.
One study looked at the water intake of 49 healthy females who were then divided into two two groups: the first group drank less than 3.2 litres per day and the second group drank more than 3.2 litres per day. Approximately 2 litres of additional water was then added to the daily diet of the second group for 1 month in order to study the impact of this increased water consumption on their skin. The outcome of the study showed that increasing the women’s water intake led to significant increases in their levels of skin hydration. The full study can be found here.
As well as drinking Water, also incorporate Hyaluronic Acid into your Skincare Routine
A key molecule involved in skin moisture is hyaluronic acid which holds a thousand times its weight in water. It not only retains moisture in our skin, but also prevents moisture from evaporating into the air. In my skincare routine I use Indeed Labs Hydraluron Intense Moisture Lotion which contains high, medium and low molecular weights of hyaluronic acid. I wrote a full review of this product here.
5. Women Who Age Slowly Eat the right food
You should avoid foods that cause inflammation such as refined sugar, white flour and excessive dairy products; inflammation in the body contributes to the ageing process. At the same time you should try to incorporate healthier foods such as salmon, nuts, spinach, sardines, and garlic.
Salmon and sardines both contain omega 3 fatty acids which are the ultimate anti-ageing nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids strengthen the skin’s outer layer of skin cells. They help the skin to hold onto water which leads to plumper, softer skin and this helps to prevent wrinkles. Omega 3 fats also help to improve the quality and texture of the skin.
Fish oil found in salmon and sardines contains two main types of omega-3 fatty acids: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). A study in Korea also showed that EPA actually slows the skin’s ageing process. The full study on this can be found here. Not only does EPA stop wrinkles from developing but it can also slow the effect of ageing on the entire body. See this article in Science Daily on the effects of EPA on the entire body.
OMEGA 3 PROTECTS YOUR SKIN FROM THE SUN
Omega-3 fatty acids are strong anti-inflammatories. These fats also fortify cell membranes, allowing them to protect other parts of the cell against harmful free radicals. They protect skin cells against sun-induced inflammation and help control how the body responds to UV rays. Studies have shown that unprotected skin doesn’t burn as quickly in people who take fish oil supplements.
As well as eating a lot of oily fish such as salmon and sardines in my diet I also take a triple strength Omega 3 supplement. The one I currently take is the Solgar Triple Strength Omega-3 Softgels. I take 2 capsules per day which provides 1008mg EPA and 756mg DHA
6. Women Who Age Slowly Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being too thin or too heavy can add to the ageing process. If you are underweight this reduces the natural fats in your face which may allow the skin to sag and also adds to the appearance of wrinkles. At the same time being overweight can lead to a number of chronic health problems which contribute to the ageing process.
In order to monitor my weight I have a Fitbit Unisex Aria 2 Smart Scale. This scale records not only your weight but also your body fat over time. It allows you to monitor whether you are gaining or loosing weight and it automatically syncs with your home wifi so your readings are all uploaded to the Internet. This means you can monitor whether you are gaining or loosing weight over time. I’ve had my Fitbit Unisex Aria 2 Smart Scale for a couple of years now and still use it every day. The white one is currently on Amazon for £80.88, the black one is £99.99.
7. Women Who Age Slowly Keep a Positive Mindset
Your mind plays a significant role in determining whether you are ageing fast or slow. Happier people who have more optimism and hope live longer and have fewer health problems. Anger and distress can eventually appear on your face in the form of lines and wrinkles. Wrinkles are formed when the faces expresses chronic sad or angry emotions. A happier person has less scowl marks because the muscles have spent more time in a relaxed state.
A book I recommend which might help you focus on being more positive is The Secret
This book was also made into a film and audio recording. It is based on a belief in the law of attraction, which claims that thoughts can change a person’s life directly. I found it helped me to focus on being more positive in life.
8. Women Who Age Slowly Manage Their Stress
Chronic high stress will cause you to age faster. Aside from the impact that a worried face has on facial wrinkles, stress affects every area of our health. People who are regularly overwhelmed with stressed also tend to have illnesses that can help the ageing process along.
My recommendation for managing the stress in your life is to take up daily meditation and practice gratitude.
There are also a number of books and CDs on Amazon to help you train your mind to be more positive.
I also have a great shiatsu foot massager that I keep under my desk which I also find helps me to relax.
9. Women Who Age Slowly Keep Their Brains Active
If you want your brain to stay young and sharp you need to keep using it. Try to regularly exercise your brain through mentally stimulating activities like puzzles, games and hobbies. It is important to keep learning throughout your life in order to delay ageing. I try to do things which stimulate the creative side of my brain such as going to musicals and the theatre, as well other hobbies such as writing, reading and playing chess. It’s important to flood your life with stimulating activities of all varieties: join groups, go to musical events, do things that put you out of your comfort zone, travel, try new things regularly, read, pursue hobbies.
One of my main ways to keep my brain active is playing chess, and if anyone wants to challenge me to a game you can find me playing chess here.
10. Women Who Age Slowly Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation is linked to skin ageing as well as poor cognitive performance. A study by the Department of Dermatology at the University in Cleveland Ohio showed that chronic poor sleep was associated with increased signs ageing including a diminished skin barrier function. The full study can be found here.
I have a FitBit fitness tracker which monitors not only my steps and heart rate, but also my sleep. At night time it monitors your movement and heart rate to determine whether you are in deep, light or REM sleep. Below is an example of my sleep on 20 November 2019
I have found that since using my FitBit fitness tracker to monitor my sleep it has made me think more about how much sleep I was getting. There is also a setting where the FitBit fitness tracker can alert you at a specific time to start getting ready for bed. I believe this makes you more conscious of the amount of sleep you are getting. There are currently a number of different models of Fitbit available on Amazon and I find that Amazon is normally less expensive than the Fitbit website.
AGING / AGEING FAQs
Anti aging / ageing is a product or technique which is designed to prevent the appearance of getting older.
In the United States there are only two skin care ingredients that the FDA will legally let you claim to be anti-ageing: SPF and Retinol.
Most supplements recommended to delay ageing will increase the function of mitochondria. Some examples include acetyl-l-carnitine and ubiquinol which will increase your energy. Magnesium is excellent for keeping the brain young, and vitamin C is great for maintaining the elasticity in your skin.
Vitamin C increases the elasticity in your skin. Omega 3 fish oils and coconut oil contains vitamin E and healthy fats, which help to make your skin look smoother.
Use a good quality moisturiser with retinol, drink plenty of water and make sure you get enough sleep. Keep out of the sun and wear a broad spectrum SPF which is at least factor 30 every day.
One of the causes of ageing is oxidation. It is the same chemical reaction that causes iron to rust, or fats or oils to go rancid. Oxygen plays a similar corrosive role in our bodies and can damage DNA, mitochondria and cell membranes. This type of damage in the body is the underlying cause of many diseases, particularly those of the heart, lungs and brain, since these organs are heavy users of oxygen.
Like vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant meaning it will protect your body from the damage that oxygen can cause to your cells. For this reason it may slow ageing. There is some preliminary, but not conclusive, research which suggests that vitamin E supplements may slow skin ageing specifically.
There is no evidence to show that biotin supplements reduce wrinkles however many people take biotin to strengthen their hair and nails after a study found it improved nail brittleness.
There has been suggestion that omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil help cells
in the body live longer. Fish oil is anti-inflammatory which may contribute to its anti-ageing properties.
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