The demands of motherhood can make you feel like you’ve aged 40 years overnight, and although beauty sleep isn’t an option at this stage of life, there are other simple ways to help you turn back time.
Collagen is the key word here. It is the most abundant protein in our bodies and crucial to maintaining plump, youthful skin. However, as we age production significantly decreases … but the good news is you don’t need to resort to invasive procedures to boost collagen levels. Here are five natural ways to achieve supple, younger looking skin:
1. Beauty foods: Encourage your body to produce more collagen by eating foods rich in Vitamin C. Dark leafy greens such as kale, broccoli and spinach, are not only packed with Vitamin C, they also help reduce oxidative damage. Food containing sulphur, such as garlic, cabbage and onion also increase collagen production, while orange vegetables, like carrot and sweet potato are rich in Vitamin A which regenerates damaged collagen. And for the sweet tooth, opt for blueberries, mango or kiwi fruit which also contain skin boosting nutrients.
2. Hydration: All the makeup in the world won’t hide a dull, dehydrated complexion. Remaining hydrated is the best (and cheapest) way to bring life back to your skin. Celebrities aren’t lying when they credit water as their secret to eternal youth. After all, our bodies are made up of more than 60% water. In fact, a variety of structures in the skin that support collagen require water to work effectively. You should aim to drink about two litres throughout the day (don’t guzzle it all at once) so invest in a reusable drink bottle and carry it with you at all times. Jazz it up with some cucumber, lemon or orange slices and even berries. Cameron Diaz leaves a 500ml bottle next to her bed and drinks it upon rising so she begins the day strong. Some foods with a high water content can also count toward your H20 intake, such as watermelon, cucumber, strawberries and grapefruit.
3. Be a quitter: Smoking causes permanent damage the skin by eating away at the proteins and killing collagen. And it’s frightening to think that sugar has a similar effect on your appearance, they don’t call it sweet poison for nothing. Cut back on refined, white sugars and kick the smoking habit and not only will your skin thank you … but your entire body too.
4. Massage: We know a nice rub down works wonders on a tired, sore body … well giving your face some TLC can actually help strengthen muscle memory and produce collagen. Gently massaging facial muscles daily boosts blood circulation, instantly making the skin look more refreshed. With two to three fingers, apply moderate pressure in circular movements along the cheeks, chin and forehead.
5. Supplements: Even if you’ve followed all of the advice above, it still won’t hurt to give yourself an extra collagen power punch via a supplement. This will ensure you’re always feeding your skin even during hectic times of stress or fatigue. After all, we can’t be angels all of the time. Beauty Chef products have a cult following, Rebecca Judd swears by Proplenish Marine Collagen, the Beauty Boosters range has received plenty of acclaim and Bodyism Beauty Food has a fan in Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.