Liz Earle

Her se­cret to age­ing youth­fully

Good Health Choices - - Contents -

For the past 30 years I’ve ad­vo­cated a daily in­side-out beauty rou­tine that works on two lev­els, in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal. What we put in is as im­por­tant as what we put on, and so my ap­proach to sk­in­care is two-way. The se­cret to glowing skin is to feed it with the right nutri­ents as well as to ap­ply them top­i­cally. For the in­side, I fo­cus on eat­ing ben­e­fi­cial fats, such as olive oil, flaxseed and rape­seed oils, all packed with skin-strength­en­ing es­sen­tial fatty acids as well as the age-de­fy­ing an­tiox­i­dant vi­ta­min E. Pro­bi­otics are also im­por­tant for a clear com­plex­ion; I take a daily pro­bi­otic sup­ple­ment con­tain­ing at least eight dif­fer­ent strains of ben­e­fi­cial bac­te­ria, and start my day with a serv­ing of plain live yo­ghurt or ke­fir. These in­gre­di­ents are used more in sk­in­care too, with pro­bi­otics pop­ping up in all kinds of creams and serums. One of the most im­por­tant in­gre­di­ents to look for is lacto­fer­rin, which helps boost our ben­e­fi­cial bac­te­ria and sup­ports healthy mi­crobes on the skin both in­ter­nally (from live yo­ghurt and ke­fir) and ex­ter­nally added to face masks and creams.

Start­ing right

My choice of cleanser is the most im­por­tant start­ing point for clearer, smoother skin. I never use any­thing that foams on my face, as foams or gels (even ‘gen­tle’ soaps) can dis­rupt the skin’s del­i­cate pH bal­ance, mak­ing it more al­ka­line. Our skin is nat­u­rally slightly acidic and if we make its sur­face al­ka­line we lose the right bal­ance for our ben­e­fi­cial bac­te­ria (that keep skin spots and blem­ishes at bay) to thrive. If our skin be­comes too al­ka­line, epi­der­mal cells de­tach more eas­ily, leav­ing our com­plex­ion drier and more at risk of sun dam­age and wrin­kles. The best way to help pre­vent this is with an oil-based or creamy cleanser, gen­tly wiped away with a warm, damp cot­ton cloth or flan­nel. This has the added ad­van­tage of gen­tly ex­fo­li­at­ing the skin by lift­ing away the dead cells that make our skin look dull and drab, while pre­serv­ing the fresher skin cells be­neath.

First line of de­fence

Pro­tect­ing the skin is key to pre­vent­ing pre­ma­ture skin age­ing. I al­ways use a min­eral-based sun­screen, as the syn­thetic chem­i­cal kind can trig­ger sen­si­tiv­i­ties, es­pe­cially dur­ing times of hor­monal changes such as preg­nancy and menopause. The face, neck and backs of the hands are the most im­por­tant ar­eas to pro­tect in terms of pre­vent­ing skin slack­en­ing and cre­pi­ness. In­ter­est­ingly, makeup also pro­vides a use­ful pro­tec­tive layer for the skin, both from the sun’s dam­ag­ing rays and ur­ban city pol­lu­tion. Dur­ing the sum­mer months, and when I’m work­ing in town, I al­ways use a light foun­da­tion topped with an ex­tra layer of fine face pow­der, more for a pro­tec­tive shield than cos­metic ar­ti­fice. Other use­ful sk­in­care ad­di­tions here are a pair of wide-rimmed sun­glasses (the more Jackie O the bet­ter) and a fold­able sun­hat – and I al­ways keep a light­weight scarf in my bag to cover my neck and up­per chest for when the sun de­cides to shine.

Age­ing well

Now in my 50s, I’ve come to rely more on two ex­tra ad­di­tions to my daily sk­in­care – a daily face serum to bol­ster my mois­turiser and help ‘lift’ my more ma­ture skin, and an overnight fa­cial oil. The ben­e­fits of the oil are two-fold, not only to re­plen­ish mois­ture and feed the skin ex­ter­nally with a po­tent, nat­u­ral form of vi­ta­min E, but also the act of mas­sage last thing at night helps boost blood sup­plies to the skin, which in turn de­liv­ers skin-bright­en­ing nutri­ents to the skin’s sur­face. I bol­ster this with a daily vi­ta­min E sup­ple­ment of around 400iU, es­pe­cially dur­ing the sum­mer months as this has been shown to help re­duce sun-in­duced skin dam­age. Last but not least, I make a weekly face mask us­ing ‘live’ in­gre­di­ents to re­store a gen­uinely ra­di­ant glow.

A weekly face mask made with a base of plain, live yo­ghurt can help boost our skin’s ben­e­fi­cial bac­te­ria and leave us with a healthy glow. My favourite combo is half a ripe avo­cado mixed with 2 tbsp plain live yo­ghurt or ke­fir with 1 tsp un­pro­cessed (raw) runny honey. Smooth onto clean skin and leave for 10 min­utes be­fore rins­ing away. Al­ter­na­tively, a spoon­ful of honey makes a good cleanser in it­self and won’t dis­rupt the skin’s mi­cro­biome, while adding a tea­spoon of live ke­fir to your reg­u­lar creamy cleanser will give it a pro­bi­otic boost. The Good Gut Guide: De­li­cious Recipes & a Sim­ple 6-Week Plan for In­ner Health & Outer Beauty by Liz Earle (Orion Spring), $55.95.

Now in my 50s, I’ve also come to rely on a daily face

serum and an overnight fa­cial oil

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