Spring skin savers

Here’s a few hints to help you improve the tone of your skin, and stop it suffering from premature ageing…

UAEasy.com picture 1. Don’t smoke. It damages the skin’s microcirculation and tends to make it dull, grey and lifeless. Your hair is affected in the same way. Smoking also leads to the early formation of wrinkles, especially fine lines around the mouth. Many models smoke partly as an attempt to keep slim, but they are in fact wrecking their careers.

2.Don’t drink too much. It’s important to keep alcohol intake to a moderate level, which is no more than 14 units a week for a woman. The most important thing is to avoid binges and the tendency to drink all your allowance in one go. It’s bad for the liver, which is your body’s natural toxin filter. It also dehydrates your body, and the one thing your skin needs to look its best is moisture.

3.Eat and drink wisely. Your skin needs a healthy and balanced diet, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables to provide essential vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. You should also drink two litres of water a day to keep your skin hydrated.

4.Get regular exercise. This will help to make your skin glow, give you beautiful poise, and help you keep in good shape.

5.Stay in the shade. There’s plenty of evidence that strong sunlight is extremely dangerous to the skin. Over exposure can cause skin cancer - often of the relatively non-threatening kind (’rodent ulcers’), but also the more lethal melanoma, a disease that has increased dramatically over the past 20 years.

In Australia, (where most large skin cancer studies have been performed), studies show that almost 50 per cent of the total population will develop a skin cancer at some time in their lives. This is, no doubt, due to the hot exposed conditions and the prevalence of people with pale skin.

The Australian government has gone to enormous expense to educate the population about this danger, and the use of effective skin creams coupled with reduction of sun-hours seems to be starting to work.

Sun tips

* Don’t spend too many hours in the hot sun.
* Cover up - with clothing and/or a really effective barrier cream. The big danger is ultraviolet light A (UVA) rays, which cause the collagen in the skin to break down, making it thinner and helping wrinkles to form.
* Don’t let children burn in the hot sun. This is known to be a real risk factor for melanoma in later life.
* Take a peep at yourself now and again! Or get a friend or partner to do it for you. Any non-healing skin ulcer, or a pigmented area such as a mole which changes in appearance, starts to bleed or enlarge, should be viewed with suspicion.

6.Get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for body repairs and keeps your skin looking calm and rested.

7. Find effective ways to deal with stress. Try these tips. Get a professional massage - or ask a friend or partner to give you an impromptu neck and shoulder rub.
Divert your energies into something creative, such as acting, playing an instrument, writing poetry or singing.

Have a laugh - not only will it make you feel better, it will make you look better too. Practise always having a smile on your face.

Be positive. We talk to ourselves all the time, even though we’re not aware of it. This ‘self-talk’ determines our attitudes and self-image, so try to change both with a bit of positive chatter. Positive self-talk also promotes favourable body chemistry as it activates the parasympathetic nervous system and causes relaxation. Try some simple affirmations. Don’t let stress show in your face and posture.

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