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Rule number one: be gentle with your skin. Give it time to ease itself into these higher UV days. Going to the park or beach and roasting yourself into a bright pink beetroot on the first hot weekend is an obvious no no. If you're a back yard bikini sun baker keep it down to no more than 15 minutes a day in direct sunlight. That way you'll build up a tan slowly and get your dose of Vitamin D. Sun worshipping is ok in moderate amounts. The sun is the greatest source of Vitamin D and it's vital we get enough of it as it regulates calcium metabolism and bone health, but it also regulates cell growth. That means it's good at preventing cancer. So it's a case of balance really. Just enough sunshine a day will keep the skin doctor away!

Rule number two: wear a good natural sunscreen. What you need is a good UV blocker to prevent the sun's rays penetrating the inner skin layers, damaging collagen and elastin fibers. Beware of the sunscreens laden with chemicals as these have been found to actually absorb UV rays, neutralizing them into the skin tissue. Natural sun creams block UV rays, are less irritating and are not toxic for the body. Some good natural sunscreens are: SPF8 Moisturising Sun Cream by Essential Care, Day Solution SPF 15 by Green People and SPF30 Baby and Child Sun Spray by Lavera.

Rule number three: nourish, nourish, nourish. Avoid premature aging by using a quality natural after sun lotion, rich body butter and intense night creams. If you feed your skin with moisturisers that are packed with nutrients and minerals it will reward you with a softness and suppleness sun bakers everywhere will be jealous of. Some of the best anti-aging organic creams are: Energy Sensation Moisturiser from Laveré, Jasmine Enriching Cream by Neal's Yard Remedies and Regenerative Night Cream by Madara.

Rule number four: if you can't make it, fake it. If your 15 minute quota of Vitamin D boosting, anti-cell damaging sunshine is not enough to give you the desired tanned glow you desire, fake it. There are some excellent fake tanning creams made with natural ingredients out there. The vegan Self Tan Lotion by Green People is great. As is the Self Tanning Lotion by Lavera. Follow with Silk Shimmer Lotion by Lavera for a beautiful sheen on top of your freshly tanned skin.

Care Tips for Mature Skin

30 Sep 2008 14:38:07

The condition of skin varies with age from person to person but generally speaking the natural response to aging is similar. At forty, collagen in the skin starts to break down. The skin looses some of its elasticity and vibrancy. Fine lines start to become more prominent around the eyes and mouth. As menopause passes oestrogen levels drop and with it so does the skin. By sixty wrinkles are deeper and discolouring more evident. In essence as time goes by the epidermis, or outer layer of the skin, becomes more fragile and we need to take better care of it.

To counteract the maturing process, it's helpful to use skin lifting and firming moisturisers. Facial oils are great for aging skin as they replenish the dryer areas and often include rose hips which contain antioxidants and essential fatty acids - well known for their anti-aging, line reducing properties.

Vitamin A has been proven to decrease the effects of sun damaged skin. As it naturally decreases in our bodies with age, using products high in this vitamin A, in addition to using SPF for UV protection, will at least slow damage caused by the sun.

Exfoliate with a brush or scrub regularly to remove dead cells and improve skin texture. Take care to make broad strokes towards the heart to help remove toxins from the upper layers of the skin by increasing circulation in your lymphatic system. The same goes when applying cellulite and moisturising crèmes.

And a final tip many women forget to apply moisturiser to the neck and décolletage. This area, along with the hands, is often one of the first areas to show the clocks ticking so try not to forget these areas in your daily routine.

Three of our favourite products for mature skin are:

Energy Sensation Moisturiser by Lavere

Pure Organic Rose Hip Oil by Trilogy

Rosa Fina Radiance Anti-Ageing Day Cream by Barefoot Botanicals

Changing Skin

10 Aug 2008 13:40:59

Did you know our skin is always changing?

We are constantly producing new skin cells. Studies have found that we produce more skin cells in the middle of the night and fewer at midday. If you want your age defying and moisture-boosting products to have maximum impact apply between late afternoon and early morning, as this is when your skin is most likely to absorb what is put on to it.

A number of contributing factors determine the speed to which this skin transformation takes place including stress, sleep, application of beauty products and, if you're a woman, the stages in your menstrual cycle.

The week leading up to your period increased water retention leads to puffier and less elastic skin. Pimples and skin disorders are more likely to pop up as the oil secreted from pores takes a rollercoaster incline and then dramatic decline. Whilst menstruating less blood circulates in the outer layers of the skin and it retains less moisture resulting in a paler appearance and increased skin sensitivity. During ovulation the skin is at its optimum colour due to improved skin micro-circulation. This makes perfect biological sense as this is when our bodies want to attract the opposite sex to make babies.

Exercise, a healthy diet, plentiful sleep and regular exfoliation to remove dead skin cells will improve the look and feel of your skin. Ultimately however there are some influences that we must accept will forever be changing the way we look.