I naively thought I was going to look young even when I got old. I have no idea why I thought this. Perhaps it is part of the arrogance of youth, where we are indestructible and thoroughly special. As the decades have passed me by, I have realised that I am very destructible, thoroughly ordinary and I certainly look every second of my age. So, If I had a time machine, and I could go back and talk to that brash 20 year old me, what advice would I give him? Predictable: Look after your body. You will reap the rewards as you careen into your 50s.
The thing about hair is that it is mostly made of protein. So if you can keep this up in your diet, your hair is less likely to fall out, less likely to go grey prematurely, and less likely to become brittle and weak. Keep up the poultry, fish, eggs and dairy, that mane of yours will continue to shine well into later life. Maybe she’s born with it? Maybe it’s protein. You can also pump up your hair health by getting the right vitamins and minerals into your diet. Omega 3 (yoghurt, cottage cheese, cereal), and Zinc (vegetables, leafy greens and fruit) are two super helpful options here. I often point my customers towards something like Swisse hair skin nails because it can be quite tricky to get the required nutrients in your diet.
Healthy skin is a funny thing. We spend so much of our youth longing for the perfect tan which will make us look sunkissed and healthy. Then at a certain point, we flip, and sunburn becomes a terrible outcome. Or maybe you’re one of those people who never moves passed the obsession with a tan and you end up looking like an old leather purse in your latter years. Power to you! But for those of us who would like to look youthful in middle age, you can do the following things.
- Stay out of the sun: I mean this very literally. If you can avoid being in direct sunlight, do it. If you can’t avoid it, get some sunscreen, a long sleeve shirt and a big hat. This is especially true between 10 and 4pm when the sun is at its most furious.
- Cut smoking: It damages the collagen and estalin in your skin (the fibres that make your skin elastic and smooth. It also narrows your blood vessels so you look a bit more pale and washed out.
- Be nice to your skin: Super long hot baths are not your friend. They dry out your skin which leads to wrinkles. I would always recommend getting a good moisturiser to lock some of that moisture back in your skin after a shower dries it all out
- Eat well: The same healthy diet I mentioned that preserves your hair will also look after your skin. And if not, Swisse hair skin nails will help you get over the line.
I’m going to be honest here, I spend about the same amount of time caring for my nails as I do wondering what the Kardashians are up to, or whether or not I should get into TikTok. It’s about three and a half seconds per annum. But I think I might be alone in this, and maybe all my customers are shocked and appalled when they see my very neglected nails. I certainly end up consulting many customers about how best to look after theirs, so here goes nothing.
- Keep them dry and clean: If they’re moist and dirty, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Cut them properly: Again, I pick them, so do as I say, not as I do. Cut them straight across and then use the clippers to round off the sides. Biting and picking may be good fun, but they don’t do you much good in the long run.
- Moisturise: I bet you didn’t know you could moisturise your nails, but when you can use the excess from your face across your nails and cuticles too. This prevents them from drying out and developing those vertical cracks.
- Supplement: Something like biotin can work against brittleness and weakness in fingernails. Again, Swisse hair skin nails is a strong bet
One of the most important factors in maintaining your eyesight is your diet. We are really trying to keep a safe distance from age related illnesses like macular degeneration or cataracts. So, you are after a diet that is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamins C and E. This means you are looking lady greens, oily fish, nuts, eggs, citrus fruits, oysters and pork. Sounds like a pretty delicious assortment to be fair! A good diet will also stave away other health concerns like obesity and type 2 diabetes which is the leading cause of blindness in adults.
Smoking is also a pretty significant risk factor here, as it damages the optic nerve and brings about macular degeneration. At risk of repeating myself (every week) quitting is an excellent life decision. Finally, if you’re spending a long time looking at a screen, you need to take regular breaks. I am a big fan of the 20/20/20 principle: Every 20 minutes, you need to look 20 metres into the near distance for about 20 seconds. This takes a lot of strain off your eyes and could be the difference between glasses at 40 or glasses at 60.
I like to imagine that I did get that time machine. I step back into 2022, find a mirror and momentarily lose myself. I’m dazzling! I’m irresistible, with my strong hair, healthy wrinkle free skin and so long to those glasses I used to rely on so much!
As you can see, I wouldn’t wear that beauty well. Even in the hypothetical, it has all done to my head somewhat. Maybe that is why I have not been blessed with looks…
Floyd - Senior Pharmacist