Whether you are 20 something and just beginning to see frown and smile lines, or 50 something and beginning to notice more folds and loss of elasticity, don't worry this is natural! However, the natural ageing process is something we all want to slow down and try our best to avoid. Incorporating the following steps into your lifestyle and skincare regime will be sure to maintain young and healthy looking skin.

ANTIOXIDANTS

Antioxidants are naturally occurring substances that protect our bodies from free radical damage. It is recommended to consume as many antioxidants as possible to keep us healthy, and to use antioxidant skincare products for immediate benefits to the skin. Antioxidant ingredients are promoted in a wide range of pharmaceutical skincare products for their multiple benefits for the skin, helping to correct and prevent many different skin concerns. Antioxidants help protect the skin against environmental damage, such as smoke, pollution and UV radiation, which produce free radicals that effect and damage our skin.

As we cannot physically see these environmental aggressors damage our skin as it happens, it is important to always ensure skin is protected to avoid premature ageing. Antioxidants help to preserve the skin against environmental aggressors that damage our skin, which eventually cause loss of elasticity, wrinkles, lines and hyper-pigmentation, to name a few! It is better to incorporate antioxidants into your skincare regime sooner rather than later, so that is it a case of successfully preventing the visible signs of ageing, rather than reversing existing damage and preventing more.

Antioxidants protect all skin types and it is recommended to use an antioxidant serum in your skincare regime, as well as antioxidant moisturisers and cleansers. The benefit of antioxidant serums is that they are highly concentrated with the ability to penetrate all three layers of skin, due to its small molecules, which provides complete protection beyond just the surface of our skin.

WEAR AN SPF

You wouldn't go without a sunscreen on holiday - so why do we throughout the rest of the year? SPF protects our skin against harmful UVA and UVB radiation which effects our skin all year round.

UVA rays account for 95% of all radiation and is the type that penetrates deep into the skin, more so than UVB, which causes wrinkles and premature ageing. UVA radiation is present during all daylight hours, not just when the sun is shining, which is why it is so essential to always be protecting the skin from photo-damage. UVB radiation is the type that is present in sunlight, that is important to protect our skin from during the summer time. However, this type of radiation does not penetrate the skin so deep, but is the cause of skin reddening and sunburn which tends to cause more damage if allowed to affect the skin, which can lead to skin ageing concerns and skin cancers.

Not only does sun damage cause premature ageing, but other skin concerns too such as hyper-pigmentation and loss of elasticity. So if you want to hang on to youthful skin, keep out of the sun and be sure to use products that contain a high SPF all year round!

CLEANSE AND EXFOLIATE

Step 1 of The Apothecaries Skincare Philosophy, and many other great skincare regimes, is to cleanse! Effectively cleansing the skin rids it of impurities, dirt and oil that block pores and build dead skin cells on the skin's surface, which create a dull and aged complexion. However, it is important to cleanse skin with a cleanser to suit your skintype for this phase to be effective - not just a bar of soap!

As a minimum you should cleanse your skin once in the morning, to prepare it for the day ahead, and once at night to cleanse away all of the impurities and pollutants that collect on your skin throughout the day. If you wear makeup, it is important to remove this before cleansing, as most cleansers cannot remove all tough makeup and cleanse. Instead, remove makeup first using a cotton pad and gentle makeup remover, and then cleanse your skin for best results.

Depending on your skin type, depends on how often you should exfoliate and what type of exfoliator to use, but one thing that's for sure, we all need to be exfoliating our skin! If we do not exfoliate, dead skin cells will build up on the skin's surface and make our complexion appear dull, rough and aged. In addition to this, dead skin cells can also lead to blackheads, blemishes and acne. Exfoliating the skin removes dead skin cells to reveal the fresh new cells below, as well as clear the skin to allow skincare products to follow to penetrate deeper into the skin. Give your complexion a healthy glow and fresh look with regular exfoliating and cleansing.

DRINK PLENTY OF WATER

As we get older our thirst sensation is not as active as it once was, so we must make the conscious effort to consume water without waiting until we think we need it. Drinking plenty of water helps to prevent ageing by hydrating our skin to look glowing and feel soft. If we are dehydrated, ultimately our skin will be too which will lead to loss of elasticity and dry skin - the perfect combination for lines and wrinkles! Not enough water can also cause acne and contribute towards eczema flare ups. It is advised to drink at least eight glasses of water throughout the day, with two of these in the morning to boost our metabolism and purify yourself internally before you eat anything.

SLEEP

The skin naturally repairs itself when we sleep - so it only makes sense to recommend a good night's sleep for better skin! Adults should aim for between 7-9 hours of sleep per night for healthy and glowing skin when you rise in the morning.

A good night's sleep goes hand in hand with the cleanse phase of your skincare regime too, as if the skin is not cleansed before you reside for the night, it is more difficult for the skin to repair itself with all of the impurities and dead skin cells still present on the skin. In fact, we should be taking full advantage of when our skin naturally repairs itself and helping it out. Always cleanse before bed and add in night time targeted treatments to help achieve your desired complexion. Mature skin types should try and include retinoids in their night time skin care regime, as retinol is an excellent anti-ageing antioxidant, but is inactivated by sunlight.

As well as getting plenty of beauty sleep, you should also bare in mind your sleeping position too - if you can help it! Sleeping in a position where your face is pushed against the pillow can lead to an increase in wrinkles on your cheeks, chin and forehead, because you are repeatedly disturbing the collagen. To ensure that your face is not affected when you sleep it is recommended to sleep on your back to avoid any contact affecting the face.

So, if you want to prevent lines, wrinkles, age spots, pigmentation and other ageing concerns, be sure to integrate these 5 steps into your skincare regime and lifestyle. You can find a range of anti-ageing products including cleansers, antioxidant serums and everyday sun protection products on The Apothecaries. Need help choosing what products are best for your skin type? Contact us on info@theapothecaries.com for expert help and advice. 

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