Gemma McCaw on how to get better skin

Ageless wisdom to clear up acne, dullness, defy age and make you shine from within.
Gemma McCaw

Gemma McCaw

Former Black Sticks captain Gemma McCaw has made a career out of being fit and healthy, so she knows a thing or two about wellness. Each week Gemma shares her tips on how to live healthier, from getting started on your fitness to how to increase your water intake. This week she gives her advice on how to improve your skin.

A wise person once said to me, “The grass isn’t greener on the other side – the grass is green where you water it.”

The same goes for our lives and it could also be said for our skin.

Skin requires quality sleep, hydration, exercise and protection, and we should be proactive with how we approach our skincare regimes.

We must take care of this crucial organ as it takes care of us. So get into a daily routine that works for you and show your skin the love it deserves.

Get enough sleep

For clean, healthy skin, dermatologists suggest changing your bed linen at least once a week. For those who struggle with acne, you may want to wash your bedding more often or flip your pillow over during the week. Bacteria, oils, dirt and residue from skin and hair can end up on your pillowcase, and can contribute to irritation and acne.

Vitamin C intake

Vitamin C increases collagen production, which helps give skin a smooth and supple appearance. Up your intake of citrus, strawberries and kiwifruit to enhance production of collagen.

Raise your heart rate

Breaking a sweat makes your skin glow, while exercise improves circulation, thus enhancing your complexion.

Slip, slop slap and wrap

The number-one way to fight visible ageing is to wear sunscreen – all day, every day, no matter what

the weather. Find a good moisturiser with an SPF of at least 30. Regular, daily application can ward off wrinkles, reduce the risk of developing skin cancer, and keep skin plump and smooth.

No make-up selfie

Try having make-up-free days during the week. This will give your skin a chance to breath and ensure your other skincare steps, i.e. cleansing and toning, are effective. Plus, it’s great for your bank balance! On your “natural days”, try using a light, oil-free moisturiser. If you can’t go without, opt for a natural BB cream or tinted moisturiser. Also, never go to bed with make-up on – the unremoved product can clog your pores and result in breakouts.

Eat your greens

Anything green keeps the liver clean. Add leafy green vegetables to your meals and try sipping on herbal teas such as peppermint or dandelion throughout the day. If you overload your liver and kidneys, they can’t detoxify properly. This puts pressure on the skin to remove toxins, causing breakouts and blemishes.

Take care of your mental health

Beautiful skin begins within. How we choose to think and feel has a huge bearing on our happiness. People who radiate a positive energy often have a glowing complexion, while more frowning means

more wrinkles on your face, especially your forehead. Repetition of these facial movements will enhance the wrinkles, which become deeper and more fixed.

Cut down on sugar

It’s worth cutting back on sugar if you want to protect collagen. One of your complexion’s worst enemies, sugar bonds with skin in a process known as glycation, weakening the collagen and leaving skin susceptible to premature ageing. Research has found that the higher your blood-sugar levels, the more likely it is you’ll look older than you actually are.

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