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About face

Ageing is a fact of life, but how soon those tell-tale wrinkles appear depends a lot on how well you look after yourself. Laura Day asked skincare and nutrition experts for advice we can all afford to follow


OUR BEST SKIN YEARS are over in a flash. At the surprisingly tender age of 25, it all starts going south. Our body clock begins to tick that little bit faster and the natural signs of youth – think plump, clear and glowing skin – start to deteriorate.

Collagen, the skin’s natural building block, begins to decline; there’s a weakening of facial tissue structures and a reduction in the substances that keep us looking firm and smooth. To top it all off, when women hit the menopause, the ovaries stop producing oestrogen, which is also responsible for collagen production. But how long or short a time the skin-ageing process takes is determined by more than just good luck.

‘I see beauty as a state of health,’ says Alexandra Soveral, cosmetic designer, aromatherapist and facialist. ‘Treatments and products are designed not to give quick results, but to sustain the health of the skin by keeping it supple, healthy and beautiful, alongside a good routine and a healthy diet.’ It’s not just what you put on the skin and into your body, she says. ‘High stress levels and not getting enough sleep are also major contributing factors in the accelerated ageing of the skin.’


Before we talk about how to reduce those wrinkles and fill in the fine lines, we need to understand the factors that accelerate them in the first place, says Dr Ben Esdaile, consultant dermatologist at London’s Highgate Private Hospital. ‘The most important factors in skin wrinkling are sun damage and smoking,’ he says. ‘The best treatment for wrinkles is prevention, so adequate sun protection and quitting smoking are essential.’

Nutrition editor Amanda Ursell adds that keeping well hydrated is also vital. ‘Our skin is a thirsty organ and if we become dehydrated, it shows. Skin looks less elastic and older, and fine lines more pronounced,’ she says. ‘On hot days, in heated and air-conditoned rooms and when exercising, you need to drink even more water.’

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