As I was in the shower this morning I thought I would “treat” myself by way of a face mask after, *I had a little time this morning but had my day planned before me (read below*) I have a few of these call it a collection if you will, because a few years ago I signed up to BirchBox and every month I receive a variety of goodies, including moisturisers, face masks etc. I have been attempting to try to use the face masks and more recently face clays, whatever takes my fancy at the time but at least once a week because up until now I think I have been relying on the “family genes!”

From a young age I have been told how lucky I am to have such a good complexion and in all honesty, I don’t think I ever appreciated the comments or the fact there may have been truth in them. However, now I must thank my parents/grandparents for these genes and I know my cousins feel the same, as our Nana’s side of the family all aged pretty well, this includes my Mum who has always had beautiful skin, eaten healthily, never smoked, drank alcohol or worn make up – quite an inspiration I have to say!

The girls are also pretty lucky as they have this good complexion legacy from all the Grandparents and of course the Greats, I just hope they realise this now and look after their skin, ass now they are in their twenties and for all the reasons I mention in this article – it is more important now than the generations that went before us! I don’t really have a proper skin care routine though, my Nana always said, no soap on your face and cold/warm water will do the job….I have never used soap and every morning I will wash my face in cold /luke warm water! But since the girls have left home I have generally had the time to actually try to have some kind of a routine, I think I have always associated a “beauty routine” with being a bit selfish really, which of course it’s not but when the girls were little or we were running for the 6.30am bus, water seemed the quickest option! Or the once a week Sunday morning routine – when I remember! Cleansing is important, and when I do wear make-up I take it off as soon as possible, I do use a good make for eye makeup remover and tend to use Rose Water as a cleanser then moisturise with one of my two absolute favourites.

You see, for me, the next ‘zero number’ is approaching – fast, a bit too fast actually, *gulp* I feel that maybe these days my skin is more likely to suffer damage especially with more exposure to sun (yes, we do get more sun and we don’t really protect our skin as they would have done in the past, sun hats and long sleeves, because it was deemed “unlady like” to have a suntan and then the general increase in Free Radicals over the years, our generation are already at a disadvantage! I swim a lot and when the pool top is off during the summer months there is the likely chance of getting redder in the water than out, so I took to applying coconut oil a couple of hours pre swim on areas that are exposed – it seemingly worked as I didn’t burn!

My fave moisturisers are Coconut oil for face at night (and pre/post swimming) and Vitamin E oil blend for arms and body, which I try apply daily and I have promised myself I will use one facial moisturiser a week to give each one a fair trial – I say this but then realise the week has gone and it’s Sunday morning and the tube remains on the shelf still!

Nutrition also has a huge impact on our skin, we still don’t really think of skin as an organ, but it is. Not only that, it’s actually the largest organ in your body and the largest detox organ, as well. Our skin has a huge job to do, and its work is cut out for it.

Our diets have changed also over the years, we have more alcohol, sugar, trans fats, fried foods, tobacco and they all play a huge part in aging our skin!

Obviously the best way to help our skin is to limit exposure to the increase of free radicals and exposure to the sun and protect it by using a good sunscreen, this will help keep it healthy!

Then of course we need to consider food and what we could be sensitive to, the obvious is to cut back or quit smoking and limit alcohol, cut out processed sugar, trans fats found in fried foods and takeaways! Also if there is a likely hood of having issues with gluten, dairy or nuts etc.. it is clearly best to avoid if possible. These changes can make all the difference to a clear and happy skin!

There are of course nutrients you can add to your daily regime and many foods hold these, so by adding these can still take a proactive approach to repair the damage incurred and do our best to prevent further damage. Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory practices are your friends let’s meet them….

Antioxidants help to prevent and repair free radical damage.

Powerful antioxidants include green tea and vitamin A (more specifically, the carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene), which act as the repair crew for damage done to the skin. Green tea is a potent antioxidant with loads of studies extolling the benefits that it has on the skin, both internally and externally. If you can tolerate caffeine, adding green tea or matcha into your morning routine can be an excellent anti-inflammatory addition.

What you eat can have a big impact on your skin health. Consider adding these into your weekly menu which could also help to keep your skin healthy and your inside will thank you also!

fatty types of fish, such as salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce inflammation and keep skin moisturized. They’re also a good source of high-quality protein, vitamin E and zinc.

Avocados are high in beneficial fats and contain vitamins E and C, which are important for healthy skin. They also pack compounds that may protect your skin from sun damage.

Walnuts are a good source of essential fats, zinc, vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium and protein — all of which are nutrients your skin needs to stay healthy. (FYI – please avoid if you are on thyroid medication, it is best to avoid dietary fibre in foods like walnuts, soy products, iron supplements and multivitamins containing iron).

Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of nutrients, including vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant for the skin.S

Sweet Potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which acts as a natural sunblock and may protect your skin from sun damage.

Bell peppers contain plenty of beta-carotene and vitamin C — both of which are important antioxidants for your skin. Vitamin C is also necessary to create collagen, the structural protein that keeps your skin strong.

Broccoli is a good source of vitamins, minerals and carotenoids that are important for skin health. It also contains sulforaphane, which may help prevent skin cancer and protect your skin from sunburn.

Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C and all of the major carotenoids, especially lycopene. These carotenoids protect your skin from sun damage and may help prevent wrinkling.S

Soy contains isoflavones, which have been shown to improve wrinkles, collagen, skin elasticity and skin dryness, as well as protect your skin from UV damage. (FYI – please avoid if you are on thyroid medication, it is best to avoid dietary fibre in foods like walnuts, soy products, iron supplements and multivitamins containing iron).

If you need one more reason to eat Dark Chocolate, here it is:
The effects of cocoa on your skin are pretty good. Cocoa contains antioxidants that may protect your skin against sunburn. These antioxidants may also improve wrinkles, skin thickness, hydration, blood flow and skin texture. *Make sure to choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa in order to maximize the benefits and keep added sugar to a minimum.

Collagen is also a necessity to keeping our skin looking good, collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, it’s one of the major building blocks of bones, skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Collagen is also found in many other body parts, including blood vessels, corneas and teeth. Because our bodies are amazing we may be able to help our body produce this important protein by adding plenty of the following nutrients:

Vitamin C: Large amounts are found in citrus fruits, bell peppers and strawberries .

Proline: Large amounts are found in egg whites, wheat germ, dairy products, cabbage, asparagus and mushrooms.

Glycine: Large amounts are found in pork skin, chicken skin and gelatin, but glycine is also found in various protein-containing foods.

Copper: Large amounts are found in organ meats, sesame seeds, cocoa powder, cashews and lentils.

In addition, your body needs high-quality protein that contains the amino acids needed to make new proteins. Meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, legumes and tofu are all excellent sources of amino acids.

AND last but by no means least – drink WATER, daily and at least 2 litres of it!
As always the above foods have been researched for your information, I am not saying they are miracle cures but if we eat to keep healthy everything will glow inside and out, got to be a win win no?
Always talk to your doctor if you have skin problems that cause you worries or discomfort.

*Planned morning/day went a little bit wrong – poorly cat led to extra cleaning led to late start!! This is why I don’t generally plan – back to my “Ta Da list” will I never learn?

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