From the best anti-ageing supplements to the skincare routine you should adopt to prevent wrinkles, it can sometimes be hard to navigate the minefield of information we're bombarded with by the beauty industry.Doctors and dermatologists, however, have first-hand experience of the factors that can influence the composition and appearance of your skin, so we've sought their advice on the lifestyle changes you should adopt to stay looking young...
1. Choose your supplements wisely
Collagen is important for building new skin, but many dermatologists are sceptical about collagen supplements, pointing out that simply swallowing the stuff doesn't necessarily mean it will be converted into a glowing complexion.Instead, cosmetic physician Dr Sabika Karim recommends focusing on supplementing your diet with amino acids, which are essential for your body to produce its own collagen. Holland & Barrett has a wide selection.
2. Wash your face twice day
For those with acne-prone skin, the importance of washing skin twice a day has been drummed in for years – but actually, cleansing your face is also important to prevent ageing.Why? Because skin-sapping pollution particles will stick to the oil your face produces naturally, which, according to dermatologist Dr Zein Obagi, is 'dynamite for the face'.He recommends twice-daily cleansing, and also regular scrubs to budge the dead skin cells that are 'poisoned by pollution'. Eek!
3. Cut down on sugar
Bad news for all of us with a sweet tooth, because as well as adding inches to our waistlines, it seems sugar is a major culprit in creating a haggard complexion.Dr Obagi links sugar to chronic inflammation, which ages the skin.His advice? Cut down on sugar and eat a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables if you want to look younger. Bye bye, biscuits.
4. Drink more water
'Drink only what a fish can survive in' is one of Dr Obagi's favourite mottos for his patients, citing two litres of water a day as the ideal goal.According to him, cola, coffee, alcohol and energy drinks don't count as part of your skin-hydrating quota, so if you think you're being good by guzzling four coffees a day, it might be time to reconsider.
5. Stop smoking
Not a surprising one – but if great-looking skin is important to you, then you need to ditch the cigarettes. 'Studies on identical twins have shown that if one twin smokes then over five years his or her skin will look significantly worse than the other,' says Dr Simon Zokaie, a dermatologist.If that isn't enough to make you ditch the habit, we don't know what is!