There’s no escaping it; you’re getting older. But don’t reach for the expensive creams just yet. There are other, much cheaper (not to mention tastier!) ways to keep the tell-tale signs of aging at bay.
The key to youthful skin ultimately lies in your lifestyle choices. Live off chocolate, cigs and booze and your face will be the first place to show it. Fuel your body with the nutrition it needs to stay young and fresh, starting with these 5 age-fighting foods.
Bulk on Berries
Forget about loading up on fruit to curb chocolate pangs – you need to bulk up on berries for the sake of your skin. Blueberries especially are packed with those free radical fighting antioxidants that leave your complexion looking lush and radiant. Dark berries are an excellent source of vitamin C; a property that helps keep your complexion blemish free and promote a healthy immune system. But importantly, this vitamin is also a collagen-boosting agent. It plumps and strengthens aging skin, leaving it oh-so smooth.
Lead scientist of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University, James Joseph agrees ‘there is nothing quite like blueberries.’ Their diverse health benefits make them a superfood snack you have to stock up on.
Yes, again we’re telling you to put avocados at the top of your shopping list. Its vitamin E content is through the roof, making it one of the best foods for healthy cell growth; they’re loaded with skin-loving fats that delay the aging process and protect against oxidative damage.
But in this case, we’re suggesting that you try applying avocado extract oils directly to the skin. It’s the perfect natural moisturiser to beat fine lines and promote a gorgeous glow. Ran out of makeup wipes? Dab avocado oils over your skin and wash away. This fruit’s more than just a great salad-filler.
You Can’t Beat Brazil Nuts
Snacking on the wrong foods can lead to outbreaks and tired looking skin. For a mid-morning treat that stops tummy rumbles till lunchtime and prevents wrinkles, stick to Brazil nuts. These little beauties are rich in selenium, which is one of the best minerals for healthy skin.
Selenium is a component of glutathione peroxidase, which works within the body to protect against cellular damage from harmful pollutants. As a result, Brazil nuts help maintain the elasticity in the skin; keeping it plump, young and free from deterioration.
But remember: try to be snack-wise. Just 2 Brazil nuts contain your recommended daily intake of selenium, at 31 calories a nut. If you’re watching your weight, be careful not to rack up the calories.
Sweet Potato Mash-Up
If you’ve a carb-craving and don’t know what to plump for, choose super-tasty sweet potatoes – your skin will thank you for it. High in beta-carotene / vitamin A, these potatoes provide the nutrients you need to naturally fight the aging effects of sunlight (but don’t stop topping up the sun cream!)
Rather than relying on the false promises made by beauty brands – ‘be wrinkle free in 30 days with the latest anti-aging cream!’ Simply increase your vitamin A intake through your diet, by eating sweet potatoes and the likes. The retinoids found in age-fighting serums derive from vitamin A, which you can get by eating the right foods.
If you’re reluctant to dish out the cash for a cream that might not even work, stick to using a moisturiser that suits you and let your diet do the hard work. Or even apply the potato directly to your skin! Rustle up a homemade facemask by dicing up boiled sweet potatoes (cooled, of course) and combine with yoghurt and oats – it’s a great natural moisturiser.
We’re usually warned against the dangers of caffeine. Rely too heavily on coffee to get you through the 9-5, and you could experience increased feelings of nervousness, irritability and restlessness; all of which shows on your skin. That being said, it does hold secret super powers that leave the skin looking younger.
Like your morning cup of coffee, caffeine based products wake up your complexion; smoothing sleepy skin and reducing fine lines. As an anti-inflammatory, it soothes irritation and creates a natural glow.
Rather than sipping on sugar-filled coffees, take up green tea. Okay, so it’s not ‘technically’ a food, but its age-fighting properties make it one to start sipping on. 2 cups a day hydrates, tones and de-stresses the skin – promising visible, effective results in weeks.
Alternatively, keep your green teabags to one side and use them as an organic eye mask. After boiling and brewing, pop 2 teabags in the fridge for 15 minutes and then rest them on the eyes for up to half an hour. The caffeine can help reduce dark circles, relieve swelling and prevent wrinkles.