Women and men age differently, and at different times - but one way or another every person is affected by wrinkles and grey hair. Do not despair, there's help that comes in a more natural form than surgery and Botox.
Every time you eat sugar, you gain a wrinkle
Ageing is an inevitable process and most of us accept we will grow old (dis)gracefully - but there are measures you can take to hold back the years naturally.
Seven Seas supplement Perfect7 have taken a look at the effects diet and lifestyle habits have on our visual ageing. Researchers showed photographs of 100 men and women to a panel of 190 members and asked them to rank their age.
The results showed that some of the subjects looked up to 15 years younger than their real age, whilst some lucky people looked up to 10 years older.
The study then examined each person's meat and fish intake, 5-a-day fruit & vegetables, fresh foods, packaged foods, alcohol, caffeine, sugar and water - to see which makes the biggest impact to visual ageing.
Dietician Helen Bond, and Facialist Nuz Shugga, have spoken to Express.co.uk how certain foods can contribute to the ageing process in different ways.
Subjects visually five years younger than their actual age had the lowest intake of sweet, sugary treats.
A theory that is gaining in popularity is the idea that sugar contributes negatively to the skin and overall ageing process. It is believed that, sugar (or glucose) creates ‘Advanced Glycation End (AGE)’ products in every cell and molecule in the body, creating inflammation.
Dietitian Helen Bond comments: "Leading health organisations are recommending that we should all be reducing our intake of added sugars throughout our life-course to benefit our health, but for many people telling them sugar may be contributing to their wrinkles and they will be far more likely to put down the doughnut."
Facialist Nuz Shuga added: "Sugar degrades collagen – it’s that simple."
The study found younger-looking people had the lowest intake of caffeine. Dietitian Helen explained: "It is an old chestnut, but making sure that you are adequately hydrated is vital for healthy skin.
"Drinking plenty of fluid gives skin the necessary moisture to help maintain its’ elasticity. Plus, it helps to clear the body of toxins and carry vital nutrients to cells."
But there is good news for our other favourite diuretic: alcohol. Frequency of alcohol seemed to have no effect on visual ageing.
However, volume of alcohol did, so if you want to keep wrinkles at bay, it’s ok to have that post-work glass of wine, but drink only in moderation.
If you're in the market for a caffeine-free tea, try Dragonfly Tea's Wild Honeybush brew. This rare South African tea is made from Cyclopia bush, native only in botanically rich south-western Cape.
Unlike conventional teas which are made from the Camellia family, Honeybush is naturally caffeine free, and - like rooibos tea - was pioneered by settlers who built their homesteads in this remote and rugged region, making tea using the local indigenous plants.
Across all participants there were no observations for better skin amongst vegans or vegetarians.
The visually youngest participants were more likely to consume the recommended one portion of oily fish a week.
Helen said: "Omega-3 is found in abundance in oily fish, such as herring, mackerel, sardines, fresh tuna and salmon, and has a plethora of skin and other health benefits.
"I always recommend it to clients prone to dry/itchy skin with redness and they see an improvement in just a few weeks."
If you are not a regular fish eater, perhaps because you don’t like oily fish, there are plenty of omega-3 rich supplements that provide skin-loving, anti-ageing benefits on the market (such as Seven Seas Perfect7 Woman).
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