Every face tells a story, sang the (forever young) Cliff Richard. Often called Peter Pan in reference to his youthful looks, the face of this 73 year old songster tells us of a life lived in deference to health and wellness. Then, there’s rebellious rocker Keith Richards – the same age as Sir Cliff (71), his face tells an entirely different story. Those stories etched on faces, say University of Glasgow (Scotland) researchers, tell of our health and medical histories. The upshot of the research – while we cannot fundamentally alter the faces we’ve won in the genetic lottery, we can ensure we take the very best care of what we’ve been given, starting with busting these bad beauty habits…
Water sustains life – and keeps us looking young and fresh. Not drinking enough water can cause bloating, leave skin, lips and hair dry and flaky, and contribute to headaches and chronic fatigue. You know that light-headed, weak feeling you get when you think you need to eat? Could be that you need to pour yourself a glass of water.
Do it: Drink six to eight glasses of plain water a day (not carbonated water or soda!). If you dislike the taste, add fruit – slices of citrus or berries can jazz it up. But, rest assured, once you get into the good habit of drinking water, your body (and palate) will crave it! For an instant skin boost, just add water with a spa hydrating facial treatment to moisturise and nourish your skin.
Your mama told you about getting your beauty sleep, and right she was! You already know how grumpy you feel when you haven’t had enough, but there are other effects of not catching enough zees, including contributing to under-eye circles, inflammation of the joints, increased blood pressure, weight gain AND dull-looking skin.
Do it: It’s during sleep that skin cells are repaired and rejuvenated (one of the hormones governing this process – growth hormone – only functions at night). Aim for eight hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep every night. You may have to ‘teach’ your body the new routine, by going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time every day (including weekends) but once you’re in the swing of things, you will achieve that sought-after well-rested look. PS: You may want to check out a sleep spa, where a schedule of ‘enforced relaxation’ helps strung out/burned out folks recover…
We all know it’s a bad habit, right? But health risks aside, it’s also an incredibly ageing habit – depleting the body of Vitamin C (which the body uses to build and maintain connective tissue, like skin) and constricting blood flow in the skin’s capillaries (leading to dry, wrinkled skin). Smokers also tend to develop those heavy lines around the lips, a result of pursing to suck on a ciggie.
Do it: It’s a hard habit to kick, but here’s some extra motivation – when you exhale cigarette smoke, toxins waft up and settle on your skin and can cause breakouts. Not. Pretty.
We’ve all done it – come home from a hard night out on the town or (sigh) too long a day at the office and slumped into bed without taking off our makeup, first. Your skin will forgive you once or twice but indulge this nasty habit too often at your peril – it not only clogs pores but (horror!) stretches them over time as makeup becomes impacted deep within them. Skipping the nightly cleansing routine can also cause collagen to actually break down as skin becomes inflamed, a result of afore-mentioned clogged pores.
Do it: Book yourself into a spa right away for a deep steam clean! Then, diarise a return visit (regular spa facials can help keep skin healthy and radiant), invest in the best skincare products you can afford – cleanser, toner and moisturiser – and, most importantly, make the time and effort to thoroughly remove your makeup every, single night before bed.