When it comes to anti-ageing we often focus a lot of attention on keeping our face looking youthful. But the problem is, you’ve then got a gorgeous radiant face, which doesn’t match the forgotten chest and arms that have been left to age. Josephine Fairley and Sarah Stacey, authors of The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible, tell us how to age-proof our whole body.
Your face isn’t the only part of your body that needs moisturising. Lack of moisture is the leading cause of aged and wrinkled skin, so “moisturise, moisturise, moisturise, from top to toe”, says Sarah. The best way to reap the anti-ageing benefits of moisturiser is to exfoliate dead skin cells off first so your skin can soak up the moisture.
Your decolletage (don’t you love that word) can be one of the first places to give away aging, thanks to overexposure to UV rays. It’s perfectly angled to soak up the sun and the skin is super fragile, so make sure you’re protecting your chest with both sunscreen and clothing. It is difficult to undo previous damage, but coating it in a good moisturiser and protecting further damage may allow the skin to regenerate a bit. You could also use an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) cream, which can increase the rate of skin cell turnover.
Our tummies can go through a lot of changes during our lifetime, bearing the brunt of most of our weight fluctuations. Moisturisation is key here again, to lessening the appearance of any unwanted stretch marks. Sarah recommends starting by oiling your body with olive oil, cocoa butter, shea butter or rosehip oil every day. “When your skin is well-nourished, the marks are less obvious. It will also feel smoother and sexier, and more strokeable generally.” She also recommends eating foods rich in vitamin K – a fantastic anti-ageing skin healer, found in leafy green vegetables, lentils, kidney beans and dairy products.
If you’re battling cellulite, then a good dose of body-brushing and massage can help minimise their appearance. Sarah says less than a week of daily targeted body exfoliation can show a massive improvement in skin texture. That’s along with massaging cellulite-prone areas with your knuckles, three to five minutes of body brushing each day and avoiding processed and preserved foods. Doing some targeted leg workouts like squats and lunges will also help to improve the tone of your legs.
Along with our feet, our hands are the hardest-working parts of our anatomy. So treat them well – put on sunscreen every day, apply cream whenever you remember (and always after they’ve been in water) and wear washing-up gloves when doing the dishes. “When you exfoliate and apply a mask to your face, do the same for your hands.” says Sarah.
One of the biggest issues with feet as we grow older is dehydration. The skin thins, we lose under-the-surface fat, and our tootsies simply dry up. “It’s vital to moisturise your feet every night. It’s also important not to wear closed-in shoes without socks or tights,” says Sarah, explaining that it will cause your skin to dry out even more. The wrong choice of footwear can also cause hard skin to build up on your feet.