Over time, our faces are subject to a cocktail of damaging effects, including:
• The loss of collagen and elastin
• The increasing dryness caused by the fact that glycosaminoglycans in the skin become less efficient at absorbing water,
• The impact of UV damage and the effect of cold winds and central heating.
Is it then any wonder that by the time we have gone through the menopause our faces show a fair amount of wear and tear.
Wrinkles, open pores, age spots, uneven skin tone and excessive dryness are all likely to send us into a state of despair. But there is so much that you can do to counter these problems. Here are my top tips for beautiful looking skin.
Eating a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids will have an immediate impact on your face.
The easiest way to do this is to eat a veritable rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day and weekly include oily fish, olive oil, nuts and seeds.
Eat the rainbow – how colourful foods boost your health
Eating just four Brazil nuts a day provides enough selenium to slow down the formation of age spots. These small dark patches — known technically as hyper pigmentation — are caused by over-production of melanin, the brown pigment within the skin, brought about by long-term exposure to ultraviolet light.
10 reasons to eat more nuts
Wrinkles and open pores can all be improved dramatically with a first class skin care and daily regime of cleansing, exfoliation and feeding.
Having struggled with acne all my life and now with acne rosacea, I know that scrupulous cleansing morning and night is essential. Regular exfoliation gets rid of dead skin cells and increases blood flow to the face.
I also believe that applying a serum and high SPF moisturiser every day softens wrinkles and guards against the damaging effects of exposure to UV and pollution.
Does your moisturiser work?
Even mild dehydration will cause your skin to look dry, tired and grey. All our food and drink will contribute to hydration but you do need to top up with frequent drinks of water. This has many benefits for our bodies, but is essential for your face.
And finally, you don't need me to tell you that excessive intake of alcohol and smoking are the quickest way to both dehydrate and age the skin (sorry to be a spoil sport).
How much water do you really need to drink?
Every day when I have cleansed and nourished my skin I look in the mirror and my heart sinks. If I am having a bad day, my acne rosacea will have flared up over night and I am faced with red patches on my cheeks and painful spots.
One of the frustrations I had when I launched Look Fabulous Forever was the difficulty of finding foundations which would cover the blemishes caused by acne rosacea.
I tried expensive ones (Chanel, Georgio Armani, Clarins) and less expensive ones (Boots No 7) and none worked well to unify my patchy skin. Now I have two Look Fabulous Forever products which instantly make me look better – Fabulous Base and Fabulous Conceal.
8 beauty fixes for older women
Many older women tell me that they either don't use foundation or avoid it in favour of a tinted moisturiser. To which I always feel like saying "you don't know what you are missing!"
My key requirement for the Look Fabulous Forever Base was a foundation which would unify skin tone and mostly cover any red patches and spotty areas without looking as though I was wearing a mask. I am happy to say we created that miracle. Our Fabulous Base contains coconut oil, which helps to soften wrinkles and prevent sagging. and vitamin E with anti-oxidant properties to prevent environmental damage. I absolutely love wearing it.
Face facts – top tips from a make-up artist
This is an essential makeup bag item if you have any patches of hyper-pigmentation (age spots) or you suffer from dark under-eye discolouration.
Look Fabulous Forever's Fabulous Conceal is designed to match the Base but in a creamy more densely pigmented formulation to camouflage age spots and discolouration without looking dry and flaky.
If you are over 50 you are very unlikely to have skin as smooth as a baby's bottom ever again. However you can have beautiful fresh looking, radiant skin if you treat it well both from within and without and have a few tricks up your sleeve for those inevitable days when you feel the only solution is to wear a bag over your head.
Are you having a bad age day? Find out how to improve it