Revealed: secrets to beautiful skin

Laura Williams

Some believe the secret to good skin is simple clean living; others emphasise the importance of products, creams and treatments. Either way, there’s plenty you can do to get that much sought after glow...

The Real Skin Superfoods

Whether you suffer from spots or dryness, a change in diet can help. Pop these ingredients in your shopping trolley to maximise chances of a clear complexion:

Fish. High in Omega-3 fatty acids that help to reduce dryness and inflammation and keep skin supple, tuna’s not to be overlooked as a skin-friendly sarnie.

Berries. Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and plums were found to have the highest antioxidant capacity of any food in a recent study (antioxidants help prevent premature ageing).

Whole grains. Whole grains (that’s the brown variety, as opposed to the processed stuff) contain selenium, a key mineral for skin health.

Sweat Your Way to Perfect Skin

Everyone knows the effect exercise can have on your waistline, but it can also give your skin a helping hand. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to all your cells, including the skin, so when you boost blood flow through exercise, you’re providing a nutrient fast-track for your skin.

There’s also an indirect link between exercise and good skin: whether you’re a runner or a yogi, exercise helps to relieve stress, lowering the risk of stress-related skin flare ups such as acne.


Don’t Forget Your Zzz…

A recent US study found that poor sleepers showed increased signs of ageing. To ensure a skin-friendly good night’s sleep, make sure you aim for the following:

Go to bed and set your alarm at the same time every day. Your body – including your skin – will thank you for the routine.

Try and get into the habit of sleeping on your back. Years of sleeping with your face pushed into a pillow is thought to etch lines onto your face.

Ensure you get quantity and quality. Bad sleep means insufficient release of human growth hormone (HGH), which increases muscle mass and skin thickness. HGH is only released during deep sleep so while everyone’s night time requirements are different, aiming for an average of 7.5 hours of good quality shut-eye is recommended.

…And if all else fails, treat your skin to some quick DIY pick-me-ups

Get hydrating. It’s not just something the glossies nag you about – failure to drink enough water can result in a loss of elasticity, more wrinkles and a duller colour.

Go garlicky. One Danish study found that skin cells treated with garlic had seven times the lifespan of skin cells that weren’t. Get your daily fix in clove or supplement form.

Match your moisturiser to the season. As we head into the colder months, think about investing in a slightly heavier, non-clogging moisturiser. The combination of cold weather and indoor heating means that skin requires a little more TLC.

Fake a glow. If all else fails, mix a little moisturiser with a little self tan to make skin look healthy and sunkissed.