I’m getting married in six months so it’s time to up the ante and give my skin some serious attention and much-needed TLC.
Long, dehydrating days at work, harsh winter weather, central heating, poor sleep patterns and good old-fashioned ageing and stress are taking their toll and I look noticeably older. I have dark shadows and undereye bags, sagging jowls and more lines than I’d like around my mouth and lips. And let’s not even start on the laughter lines. But this isn’t false modesty or deliberate self-deprecation; I’m happy in my skin. It’s just that I’d rather that skin looked a little fresher.
We know that miracle lotions and potions don’t exist, although I do have firm favourites. Time and time again, I return to those products that enhance my skin and that are a pleasure to use. What I want is look and feel my best. I’d like to have more energy, look less tired and see an improvement in my skin. And most of this starts from within.
A healthy diet
I’ve always had a good diet. Plenty of healthy fats in the form of avocados, nuts and seeds. Anti-oxidants from the berries I scatter over my Greek yogurt most mornings. And Omega 3 courtesy of chia seeds and flaxseeds that I put in smoothies and from salmon. Don’t get me wrong. I have my vices- Hotel Chocolat, white wine and champagne if you’re asking, but I make everything from scratch and I believe I have a balanced diet.
However, there can always be improvements. One I implemented recently is to ensure I drink a litre of water when at work and another litre when I’m home. I’ve swapped my afternoon cuppa for green tea. I’m more mindful of my alcohol consumption on non-work evenings. (I hardly ever have an alcoholic drink on a work night). I keep almonds and other healthy snacks to hand and I no longer buy biscuits or cakes. (I just make them instead!!). And, I’m trying my best to get to sleep earlier and to relax a little more.
However, even with all of this being said, I still feel like I need a boost both emotionally and physically. For the former, I’ve added a few steps to my skincare routine and invested in some new make-up; I might write about these in a future blog post. And, for the latter, I’ve added some supplements to my diet.
As I said above, I strive to get enough Omega 3, an essential fatty acid that the body can’t make itself. So even though I consume it in my diet, I want to increase the amount so I take one capsule per day. The directions say that it is safe to take up to three per day, but I don’t want to overdo it. Omega 3 contributes to heart and brain health. As well as that, it helps with certain types of dry eye, so I often recommend Omega 3 to my patients. (Read more about dry-eye management in this blog post I wrote on the subject).
Vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin D called cholecalciferol. It’s essential for maintaining healthy bones, muscles and in supporting the immune system. It helps the body absorb calcium too which in turn helps to support normal muscle function. The body can make vitamin D, but it comes from exposure to sunlight. It’s found in small traces in foods like oily fish and egg yolks, but of us don’t get enough in our everyday diet. I work three consecutive 11-hour days in an artificially lit room. At this time of year, I walk to and from work in the dark so I feel like I’m lacking in vitamin D. I’ll cease taking these when my commute is once again in daylight.
Hair, Skin and Nails
Hair, Skin & Nails, is a blend of vitamins and minerals including zinc to help maintain hair, skin, and vitamin C to support normal collagen levels. Enough said.
Collagen Beauty Shot
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is a key part of all connective tissues. each of these Collagen Beauty Shots provides 25mg of hyaluronic acid, as well as biotin and selenium, which also help to keep the hair, skin and nails in good condition. Plus, there’s added magnesium to help with fatigue.
I’ve written before about how good quality sleep often eludes me. I’ve tried so many things. Some of which help. Some don’t. So here are two new things, one physical and one chemical to help me in the quest for my Holy Grail: a good night’s sleep.
I’m a real fidget in bed. I toss and turn then get hot then cold. I’ve read a lot of praise for silk pillowcases because of their temperature regulating properties. Some claim to help reduce split ends, (because they’re low-friction). They absorb less moisture than cotton so will cause less drying of both skin and scalp- a nice bonus I’d say, especially during winter when our homes are often dry because of central heating. I ummed and ahed about ordering one because they’re an investment but there was a Valentine’s sale at Slip so I ordered one as a gift to myself. (Which in turn I hope will be a by-proxy gift to Ian, by virtue of a more restful night and a more youthful-looking fiancée).
Talking of silk, I also ordered some silk scrunchies. I have to tie my hair back for work and I could see and feel that my plastic spiral bobbles were damaging my hair. I’ve been growing it for the wedding, but because of lockdown, I haven’t had it trimmed as often as I do normally. These were another investment, but, I hope, a sound one. They’ll be useful for our honeymoon too for when I tie my hair back to swim or sunbathe.
5-HTP (5-hydroxy L-tryptophan) is a compound that the body makes from the amino acid, tryptophan. It works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of the chemical neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin levels affect, among other things, sleep, appetite, temperature and pain sensation.
These things take time a while to have an impact, so, if I see or feel any improvements, I’ll write a follow-up post in around three months time.
It’s wise to consult a GP, nutritionist, pharmacist or other healthcare professional before taking dietary supplements.
All supplements in this article were kindly gifted by MyProtein
Joggers: My Protein, (gift).
Sweatshirt: My Protein, (gift).
Silk scrunchies: Nice Cream
Silk pillowcase: Slip (I got Queen size which is the standard size for UK pillows and chose the zippered rather than the envelope fastening).