If your face is giving away your real age, check out these easy tricks from our experts - then you really will look as young as you feel.
Easy does it
"Avoid facial scrubs, abrasive exfoliation, and chemical peels," says paramedical aesthetician Sia Hendry. "These jeopardise the skin's surface, which is our first line against ultraviolet (UV) rays, and in time will age you faster. By keeping the epidermal barrier intact you protect your skin from inflammation and retain its natural moisture barrier. Correct the skin from the inside out, and not the outside in. Use cosmeceutical skincare that contains a high percentage of active ingredients. Wearing a physical sunblock daily is a must: UV is one of the quickest things to age us, as it causes free radical damage to skin cells."
Pick the right products
"Follow a daily routine with proven products that work for you - sunscreen, vitamins, moisturising creams; the right routine will speed the skin's natural regeneration process and leave it more hydrated, firmer, and even-toned," says Kate Morris, CEO of Adore Beauty. "Don't be scared to ask an expert. Using the wrong products could inadvertently worsen your current skin concerns. For example, chemical sunscreen may look great under make-up but can adversely affect skin - stick with physical sunscreen. And, while it may sound corny, part of ageing well is believing you're youthful and vital, and getting out there with exuberance. Be bold, be confident, be beautiful!"
"It's been proven we can change our genes and retain natural youthfulness through lifestyle choices," says Theme Rains, founder of Synthesis Organics. "Telomeres - the part of our chromosomes responsible for longevity and cellular ageing - break down when we are exposed to stress, toxins, and negativity. Research shows that we can not only stop this degradation but actually reverse it through these five key factors: good nutrition, pure hydration, detoxification (avoidance of toxins), stress management, and regular positive social interaction."
Don't like it hot
"Hot water and high water pressure damage your skin barrier and epidermis, and break down the proteins which protect your skin, making it more challenging for your skin to retain moisture as the natural oils are stripped away,” says Geraldine Phua. “When your skin barrier weakens it becomes more sensitive and prone to allergies and infections, because harmful microorganisms and irritants can more easily penetrate it. Wash your face using lukewarm water and a soft face cloth; then finish with a cold compress."
Use your hands
"Never underestimate the healing energy that is in your own hands when you apply products to your face and body," says Susie Sierra founder of her Sierra Gold Luxury Skincare. “I practise qi gong, a Chinese yoga which is renowned for reversing the ageing process – it actually turns the clock back. Just rub your hands together for a few moments then gently and mindfully massage your face using your daily moisturiser, and your skin will grow younger by the day. I'm in my late 50s now and people are always surprised by my age."
Eat good fats
"Skin gets thinner and less resilient with age," says integrative health pharmacist Tania Tan. "Since skin is made up of around 15 percent fatty acids, it follows that eating fatty fish, olive oil, flaxseed, and walnuts, which are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids, will strengthen the skin's protective barrier and reduce its susceptibility to temperature changes and pollution. Skin nourishment from within is important, but so is selecting antioxidant ingredients that work effectively on the skin's surface to soak up free radicals and minimise signs of ageing."
"Reduce or avoid altogether added sugars in your diet," advises naturopath Claire Murray. "Sugar triggers inflammation in the body, which damages skin cells and reduces our antioxidant stores; it also breaks down collagen and elastin within the skin matrix, which are the proteins that keep skin soft, supple and youthful looking. To ensure your skin reflects your inner beauty as you age, consume natural sugars via fruits, and cut your intake of confectionery, soft drinks, baked goods, pre-packaged foods, ice-cream, and chocolate."
"Nutrients are one of the most important keys in beauty, and often forgotten about," says nutritional educator and coach Jema Lee. "Our skin is our largest organ, one that grows and flourishes from the inside out, not the outside in. Nutrients such as vitamins C and E, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants can dramatically improve skin health, blemishes, tone, and vibrancy."
Add a serum
"Serums are a fabulous beauty item, due to their highly concentrated active ingredients, like antioxidants," says Emma Reid, director of Musq Cosmetics. "Your serum is your best friend in the beauty cabinet, healing damaged skin and minimising sun damage. Add a drop of serum to your moisturiser morning and night; or, apply a serum prior to applying moisturiser. Don't forget to use serum on your décolletage, an often-neglected part of the body that needs TLC just as much as your face."
Change your lippy
"The dark lipstick shades you wear in your 20s and 30s can look chic and sophisticated," says Lana King, founder and director of Create Your Cosmetics. "However, after age 50, they tend to make lips appear thinner. The right lipstick shade can take years off your face, and a custom-made lipstick is guaranteed to work perfectly with your hair and skin tone, drawing attention away from facial flaws and making you look younger and sexier."
A is for apricot
"Apricot oil is one of the best oils for the skin," says Mituri Pradip Sharma. "It treats itchiness, dryness and irritable skin, and soothes eczema and dermatitis. Rich in vitamins A and E, apricot oil easily penetrates skin, leaving it feeling soft and silky."
Sip, sip, sip
"Drink green tea," says h Sarah Leung , a holistic nutritionist, accredited practising dietitian, and founder of Healthy Energy. "High in antioxidants to protect us against cancer and visible signs of ageing, you can drink it iced with mint as the perfect summer thirst-quencher, or sipped hot, with honey and lemon, in winter.”
"The Antipodes Manuka Honey Skin Brightening products are my current favourite anti-ageing products, as they even out skin tone, creating a brighter complexion which is important as your skin starts to age," says Elizabeth Barbalich. "I also recommend plenty of sleep, drinking raw juices daily, and drinking plenty of water."
"Effective anti-ageing starts with what we put in our bodies," says Sylvie Hutghings. "This means colourful fruit and veggies, and foods rich in omega-3 and -6 fats. I’ve also recently started using a sonic cleansing brush with our new Superfood Multifruit wash-off cleanser. My skin feels super clean and it means my serums and products penetrate more deeply. To even out skin tone and brighten a dull complexion, use products with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and peptides."
The best-kept secret
"The best-kept secret for ageing well is eating fat," says nutritionist Christine Cronau. "Particularly the saturated fats in butter, coconut oil, and other natural fats. That’s right, one of the world’s most demonised substances keeps us young! We need fat: it is essential for just about every bodily function, and is especially important for a youthful appearance. Our skin cell membranes are made mostly of fat. If we don’t eat quality fat, or if we eat damaged fats like vegetable oil or margarine, it becomes impossible to keep cell membranes strong and healthy. And if we don’t have strong cell membranes, we can’t keep our cells hydrated; our cells start to shrivel, and we start to wrinkle. I should know. I have been eating full fat for 15 years, and I feel better in my mid-forties than I ever did in my twenties."
"Stress and worry are known as a common cause of an ageing appearance, so for a youthful and radiant glow try kundalini yoga," says Rachel Holm. "Kundalini yoga is a science of angles and triangles and a class will consist of mantra, breath work, postures known as asanas, relaxation and meditation. Not only will it help you push through the boundaries of worry, stress and limitations, you’ll also stretch and build muscles, strengthen the immune, endocrine and nervous systems, stimulate circulation and purify the blood. When you feed and nourish the inner self, the outer self will glow. You are only as old as you feel and kundalini yoga will leave you feeling lightness of spirit, clear, uplifted, and bright."
Feed your face
"Giving your body clean, nutrient-rich food is of great importance for skin health," says Tanya Felli, founder of ivadore skin care. "Plus, what you put on your body can have as much benefit as what you put in it - by giving skin the nutrients and hydration it needs topically, you equip it to fight premature ageing. One of the best ways to do this is with a serum that contains three essential elements: high antioxidant levels, which protect against free radical damage; optimal hydration to keep skin plump and supple; and a rich dose of vitamins that will revitalise it."
"A good night's sleep is imperative to looking youthful and restful," says naturopath Lisa Guy. "Sip soothing , time-honoured herbal teas, like chamomile, valerian, lavender, passionflower, and lemon balm. These are all beautiful botanicals that calm the nervous system, allowing your body and mind to relax so you get a better night’s sleep."
Use dragon's blood
"While it might sound like the stuff of fantasy, dragon’s blood is the rare serum of the Amazonian Croton Lechleri tree, and is so-named because the sap oozes red when the bark is cut,” says Alex Sisiolas. “Treasured for centuries by native Amazonians for its healing and rejuvenating properties, dragon's blood combats signs of ageing and soothes sensitive, stressed-out skin by hydrating down to the deepest dermal layers. Without using any injections, lasers, or surgery, it’s a product that delivers results that are as memorable as its name!”
"Use toxin-free lipsticks," says Karen Murrell. “My lipsticks not only make you look good, they keep you well on the inside because they are toxin-free.”
Love the shade
"Go easy on sun exposure," says Eve Michaels, founder of Eve Organics. "Sunshine is an important source of vitamin D and shouldn't be avoided completely - but be sensible. Always wear a natural sunscreen and stay out of the sun between the hours of 11a.m. and 3p.m. My number one anti-ageing tip is to shield your face and decolletage from direct sunlight whenever possible - UVA and B exposure is the leading cause of the damage that appears on these areas later in life, so think ahead and your skin will thank you!"
Meet our experts
Sia Hendry is a paramedical aesthetician and founder of You By Sia. www.you-bysia.com.au
Kate Morris is the CEO of Adore Beauty. www.adorebeauty.com.au
Theme Rains is the founder of Synthesis Organics. www.synthesisorganics.com
Geraldine Phua is the owner of Geraldine Pierre Skin Care. www.geraldinepierreskincare.com
Susie Sierra is the founder of Sierra Gold Luxury Skincare. www.susiesierra.com
Integrative health pharmacist Tania Tan is founder of Replederm Cosmeceutical Skin Care. www.decodelifegroup.com
Naturopath Claire Murray specialises in skin and digestive health. www.naturopathclairemurray.com
Nutritional educator Jema Lee is the creator of 'Eat Yourself Clean'. www.wellsome.com
Emma Reid is the director of Musq Cosmetics. www.musq.com.au
Lana King is the founder of Create Your Cosmetics. www.createyourcosmetics.com.au
Mituri Pradip Sharma is a spokesperson for Nim-Véda Australia. www.nimveda.com
Sarah Leung is a holistic nutritionist, accredited practising dietitian, and founder of Healthy Energy.
Elizabeth Barbalich is the CEO and founder of Antipodes.
Sylvie Hutghings is the CEO and founder of Scout Cosmetics.
Christine Cronau, nutritionist and author of 'Bring Back the Fat'.
Rachel Holm is the founder of Hanako Therapies. www.hanakotherapies.com
Tanya Felli is the founder of ivadore. www.ivadore.com.au
Naturopath Lisa Guy is the creator of Bodhi Organic tea range. www.bodhiorganictea.com
Alex Sisiolas is the founder of Skin Physics.
Karen Murrell is the creative director of Karen Murrell Cosmetics. www.karenmurrell.com
Eve Michaels is the owner and founder of Eve Organics. www.eveorganics.com.au