Anti-ageing skincare, two of the most ‘googled’ words ever, along with health, weight loss, acne and a whole host of other ‘conditions’ that we are obsessed with as a nation.  The market for skincare products that claim to be anti-ageing continues to see huge growth and no sooner has a revered celeb mentioned that she uses such and such face cream than it flies off the shelf.  But is it possible to turn back the years so that it shows on our face?

Sadly as women (and men) of a certain age we will see our skin become drier as we age, yes there are lines (not all of them laughter based), broken blood vessels, uneven skin pigmentation, enlarged pores, liver spots, dark eye circles (guilty your honour) and even bizarrely – when we thought it was only for teenagers – acne.  Some of it we can control, how our diet affects our skin for example, whether or not we smoke and our exposure to sunshine, especially UV light, but some of it sadly we can’t.

A new book by Dr Anjali Mahto i a consultant dermatologist who has worked in both the NHS and private clinics aims to debunk some of the myths.  The blurb tells us ‘The Skincare Bible’ is like having a consultation with dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto’  and indeed it does reveal the kinds of questions she is regularly asked and her recommendations for ingredients and products.  (despite being connected to Loreal she does recommend other brands I’m pleased to say)   What’s good about her is that she has been there, and got the T shirt; she suffered from acne herself as a teenager and became a dermatologist because that’s what helped her.

Let’s not forget the skin is our largest organ, and I don’t know whether the Doctor agrees with me but I am convinced that what we put on our skin goes within, I am also convinced that good skin starts from the gut.(more on that later) so do I agree with her recommendations?

She explains in the book why our skin ‘thins’ as we age, and that there is a decline in sebum which is why our skin looks drier, and of course we know that collagen and elastin reduces. Hyaluronic acid isn’t in such great supply either to keep our skin looking plump and we heal more slowly.  Anjali warns that there aren’t really any ‘miracle creams’ per se but we can use antioxidants, retinoids, botanicals and suncream to help combat the fine lines, wrinkles et al.

She suggests we look for antioxidants in our skincare products such as vitamin C, E, reservatrol and she recommends certain peptides. All great advice but here’s my two-penneth, In most cases those beneficial  ingredients sit alongside a whole host of synthetic chemicals that could slowly undermine their effectiveness.  Why? Because the fillers and foaming agents that are added will potentially cause irritation and in time will reduce the sebum even more.   I stick to my belief that you shouldn’t ‘put anything on your skin you couldn’t eat, and while I’m NOT about to tuck into a plate of my moisturiser and makeup, it wouldn’t kill me if I  did!

So my take on these findings is follow her skincare regime suggestions, which include exfoliating regularly, applying antioxidant serum and exercising to improve blood flow to the skin.  Use her scientific approach to choose products by all means, and look for the ingredients she suggests, she has done years of research.  However find them in completely natural brands that don’t also contain Parabens, Preservatives, artificial fragrance and Sodium laurel sulphates. .

Oh and in the words of the great Baz Lurhmann…Don’t forget the sunscreen

Anjali also recommends wearing sunscreen every day, a moisturizer with SPF during the winter and a sun cream with an SPF of 15-30 in the summer. I’d say if you intend to do that, even more important that you find a good natural one.  Many conventional sun creams use nano particles and a cocktail of chemicals which have been proven to be hormone disrupting and exacerbate allergies and can even contain ingredients which can speed up the growth of cancer cells.

There are a whole host of great brands who pride themselves on including excellent anti-ageing ingredients but do not include any of the nasties.  Nothing completely falls off a tree for suncream but check out the brands that shout about their natural ingredients and ethical credentials.  If you want a real gem of an all purpose product Incognito have the award winning 3 in 1 Insect repellant moisturising suncream 

SeparatePacksCheck out my recommendations on this site, if you are new to it all, check out organic brands whose products are made with love such as Conscious Skincare  and for cosmetics NATorigin to name just a couple.

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Good Skin Comes from Within 

Oh and I do believe if your gut health is compromised you can use every cream going and your skin will continue to breakout and worse.  Good skin comes from within so treat your gut health first!   Check out The Good Skin Solution by Shann Nix Jones from Chuckling Goat.  (Hay House) the good skin solution

The Good Skin Solution: Natural Healing for Eczema, Psoriasis, Rosacea and Acne

the skincare bible

The Skincare Bible by Dr Anjali Mahto is published by Penguin Life.

The Skincare Bible: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Great Skin

For a whole host of recommendations for natural products delve into the depths of