Which is the best anti-aging cream?
My clients never want to hear the answer: boring, unglamorous sunscreen. They roll their eyes and call me a nag. In reality, there is no magic potion: just protect your collagen from the sun, sugar, stress and pollution – guard it with your life. (Think of collagen as scaffolding in your skin).
Skincare is only part of the solution- diet and exercise are just as important. That never goes down well.
My Top Ten Anti-Aging Tips
Use only proven anti-ageing skincare ingredients, not the latest fad ingredient
A message to skincare companies: I dare you to submit the ‘miracle’ ingredient in your latest potion to rigorous scientific testing – you can afford it. ‘Clinically proven’ means nothing whatsoever.
My clients might be seduced by such marketing, but I am not. Instead, I tell them to stick to proven ingredients only.
Retinoids are still the gold standard for stimulating new collagen. I have been using prescription-strength retinoids since I was 17, which I buy from a cosmetic nurse. It is not as enticing as a luxurious anti-aging cream – it has a medicinal smell, but I receive endless compliments on my skin.
Swap your SPF anti-aging cream for a UVA sunblock
Sun damage should be renamed ‘daylight damage’. UVA (aging) rays are present all year round and can damage your collagen even on a cloudy day.
Think you are covered by the high SPF in your moisturiser? Think again. The SPF refers to UVB (burning) rays only.
Skincare companies are loathe to add too much UVA protection because it changes the texture of the cream, and the texture can make or break sales.
Read my review on Heliocare 360 Mineral Fluid Sunscreen spf 50
Pollution damages your collagen just as much as the sun, so layer a good quality antioxidant serum under your sunscreen.
Top up your protection levels with antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables, but remember that they start to lose their vitamin content soon after being picked; organic is good, but locally sourced is better. So those expensive goji berries that have travelled halfway across the globe probably aren’t worth their price tag.
- Rosacea – Ten tips on how to live with it
- Cleansing tips – How dirty is your skin?
- Teoxane 3D Lip Review
- Cleansing Oil Review: Medik8
The Mediterranean diet is far more anti-aging than a low-fat diet
When you get to 35, you have to choose between your face and your bum – I choose my face every time.
Don’t be too thin or lose weight too quickly: your arse will look great, but your face will look gaunt and haggard. Abandon that soul-destroying low-fat diet – your skin and hair need good fats to keep them lubricated and soft.
My clients like the Mediterranean diet because it is healthy but a little bit naughty.
Weight training has made it onto my top ten anti-aging tips because it’s just as important as cardio. Don’t be afraid of weight machines – you won’t bulk up. Weights will help reshape your body and stimulate precious collagen production.
Manage your stress levels
Walking to work is calming for me, but find some exercise you enjoy and watch your endorphin levels rocket.
- Can CBD oil de-stress your skin?
- PHA exfoliation – Review of Neostrata Bionic Cream
- Ten Years Younger in Ten Days: Controversial makeover show gets a makeover
Lovely sugar makes your collagen go brittle – how cruel. Limit white bread, white rice and white pasta because they all turn into sugar as soon as you eat them.
I know cooking from scratch is time-consuming, but try and eat clean rather than processed food, which tends to be full of hidden sugars.
I am a hard-core sugar addict, but I maintain my blood sugar levels by combining the Mediterranean and the GI (glycaemic index) diet. Most of the time!
Drinking water is excellent for your health, but you spend the whole day on the loo. The body can hold on to water that you eat much more easily – so eat lots of water-rich fruit and vegs like watermelon, grapes and cucumber.
Perfect for those who aren’t keen on drinking water.
Swap energy-saving bulbs for LED bulbs
A bizarre tip. Energy-saving bulbs emit UVA rays which will destroy your collagen. The heat from a lamp (or radiator) also destroys your collagen, so sit a couple of meters away instead.
Lastly, but certainly not least, on my top ten anti-aging tips: don’t smoke! But you knew that already.