Anti-age your body
In terms of looking good for longer, it's important to consider your whole body. So, while you might slather moisturiser on your face, don’t forget to pay attention to the rest of your skin if you don’t want to prematurely age on your chest, legs and arms, says Josephine Fairley and Sarah Stacey, authors of The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible. “We lavish TLC on our faces then forget about the rest,” says Sarah. Here’s how to age-proof your body from head to toe.
If you focus your skincare regime on your face, it can be easy to neglect the rest of your body. To ensure the rest of your skin is nurtured and protected, make sure you moisturise every square inch of skin. “The mantra for women is ‘Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise’ from top to toe,” says Sarah. “And yes, that includes your hair right down to your feet. One of the most effective ways to make sure your body soaks up cream or lotion is to exfoliate first.”
The skin on your chest is among the most fragile on your entire body – but you can help keep it plump and line-free. “Your bosom is admirably angled to catch UV rays – so the biggest thing you can do to keep it young and luscious is to shield it from the sun, both with clothing and sunscreen,” says Sarah. “If you do sunbathe, make sure you have it well-shielded from the sun. Like everything, it’s more difficult to treat than prevent damage, but if your décolleté does look a bit like a crocodile handbag, lavishing the richest moisturisers on it – plus sun protection as above – should at least arrest the process and hopefully allow the skin to restore and regenerate.”
Along with our feet, our hands are the hardest-working parts of our anatomy. So treat them well - put on sunscreen every day, apply cream whenever you remember (and always after they’ve been in water) and wear washing-up gloves when doing the dishes. “When you exfoliate and apply a mask to your face, do the same for your hands. We love Yes to Carrots Feel the C – Pampering Hand & Nail Spa, with dead sea salts in an unctuous oily base which really transforms skuzzy paws,” says Sarah.
A combination of nutrition, body-brushing, exercise and massage can make a huge difference to the appearance of cellulite. “Targeted body exfoliation brings about rapid improvements in skin texture. It can take less than a week of daily blitzing to combat ‘goosebumps’ in the cellulite zone,” says Sarah. That’s along with massaging cellulite-prone areas with your knuckles, three to five minutes of body brushing each day and avoiding processed and preserved foods.
One of the biggest issues with feet as we grow older is dehydration. The skin thins, we lose under-the-surface fat, and our tootsies simply dry up. “It’s vital to moisturise your feet every night. It’s also important not to wear closed-in shoes without socks or tights,” says Sarah, explaining that it will cause your skin to dry out even more. The wrong choice of footwear can also cause hard skin to build up on your feet. “Supportive footwear, from Birkenstocks to trainers, may all cause problems if you don’t replace them annually.”
Don’t put up with stretch marks after pregnancy or birth – nurture your hip and stomach skin and you should see their effects lessen. Sarah recommends starting by oiling your body with olive oil, cocoa butter, shea butter or rosehip oil every day. “When your skin is well-nourished, the marks are less obvious. It will also feel smoother and sexier, and more strokeable generally.” She also recommends eating foods rich in vitamin K and essential fatty acids. “Vitamin K is a fantastic skin-healing vitamin found in leafy green vegetables, lentils, kidney beans and dairy products.”
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