face yoga lifestyle skincare wellness Mar 26, 2024
I'm 42 and here's how I look after my skin

Whether you are a longtime follower or have only stumbled across me recently, I think it won’t come as much of a surprise that I’m passionate about taking care of my skin in natural, healthy, and holistic ways.

I’ve just turned 42 and I’ve never had Botox, fillers, injectables, or cosmetic surgery. And it isn’t because I’m against those things – I’m a real believer in making the choices that are right for you – I’m simply drawn to natural alternatives to keep my skin looking vibrant and glowing.

My goal also isn’t to look younger than I am or try to fight the changes that come with age. Instead, I always try to look and feel the best I can for the age I am right now. So, in this post, I want to share some of the ways I do that.

I’ve narrowed this down to six things that I do regularly to help my skin look naturally healthy and happy. Honestly, I could have made the list much longer, but I had to be a bit selective, or we’d be here for hours!

Hopefully there’s something here to inspire you too.

1. Face Yoga

Of course this was always going to be at the number one spot! After almost 19 years of practicing and teaching face yoga, I’m still hugely passionate about this holistic, nourishing approach to caring for my face and skin.

If you are new to face yoga, it is a multifaceted, natural method of lifting, toning, and smoothing the face that includes five key strands: facial exercises, facial massage, facial relaxation, acupressure, and wellbeing.

There are so many benefits to face yoga, from strengthening and toning muscles to boosting circulation and lymphatic drainage to encouraging collagen and elastin production. And because it is all done through the power of your own hands, it can be a really empowering, self-loving approach.

Most of all, face yoga is a holistic method for caring for your skin. It isn’t just about how you look on the outside but how you feel on the inside. Through that fifth strand, wellbeing, we look at things like reducing stress, sleep, hydration, nutrition, mindset work – all the things that can make such a difference to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

For me, face yoga really is a wellness non-negotiable – something I do every day, no matter what, to support my health and wellbeing. 

Exactly what that looks like will vary from day to day and it might be that I only have a few minutes to do a short face yoga routine. But that is part of the beauty of face yoga. You can do just a couple of minutes or set aside a full two hours to give yourself a proper wellness break. It is very flexible and there are tons of techniques you can use to meet your skin’s unique needs.

The one thing I do emphasise is that face yoga works best when it is a part of your regular routine. If you are just getting started, or have been struggling to be consistent, I recommend my seven-day course, which includes seven 12-minute classes to help you learn some key techniques and build a daily habit.

I also have tons of videos on my YouTube channel. Or, if you prefer a physical reference guide, my two books are also great starting points.

2. Protein

Another way I look after my skin is making sure I get enough protein in my diet. Protein is a really important building block for our bodies, and it is also vital for our skin, especially our collagen levels.

As we get older, our collagen stores naturally deplete – at a rate of about 1% every year after the age of 18. And, as a result, we find that our skin gets progressively less firm and plump as we age.

There are lots of ways to improve your collagen levels and diet is one of the key ones. Getting enough good-quality protein in every meal is a great way to look after your skin. Doesn’t matter if you eat meat or are vegetarian or vegan – whatever dietary approach you prefer, just make sure you are including plenty of good protein sources in your meals.

3. Antioxidants

Sticking with the nutrition theme, another thing I’m always conscious of is making sure that I get plenty of antioxidants through my diet.

One of the reasons that our skin ages is that we are exposed to free radicals – this can be through sun damage, pollution, the foods we eat, the products we use in our homes, etc. So, we want to have plenty of antioxidants to neutralise these toxins and reduce the damage to our skin.

Foods that are high in antioxidants include dark, leafy greens, berries, citrus fruits – and just fruits and vegetables more generally too, as well as foods like dark chocolate and green tea. I always include plenty of these foods in my diet.

I also use products that contain ingredients with a high antioxidant content on my skin. My go-to for moisturising is the Pro Lift Facial Moisturising Serum – it was designed for my Fusion by Danielle Collins range by an expert in skincare and is packed full of botanical ingredients such as green tea extract, carrot oil, rose hip oil, etc.

4. Reducing Inflammation

Inflammation can contribute to all sorts of skin issues, including things like rosacea, eczema, acne, and lines and wrinkles. It isn’t the sole cause of any of these issues, but it can definitely make them worse.

Two major causes for inflammation in the skin are sun damage and stress, but a third is diet. So, I try to avoid or reduce certain types of food that can trigger inflammation. 

One big culprit here is sugar – I’m not totally sugar-free but I am very mindful of how much sugar I have in my diet. Too much can cause something called glycation, which damages collagen and elastin, leading to signs of skin aging.

I also don’t drink alcohol or caffeine. And I’m gluten-free too, although this is mainly for other reasons and was advised by my doctor.

5. Sun Protection

I already mentioned that sun damage can contribute to inflammation. In fact, sun damage is one of the biggest contributors to skin aging – it’s estimated that 80-90% of skin damage is caused by sun exposure.

Of course, the sun is also an important source of vitamin D, which many of us don’t get enough of. I generally will expose the skin on my arms and legs to the sun during the summer months for around 10-15 minutes a day, and I take a vitamin D supplement too.

But I keep my face protected by wearing a daily SPF – I like the Green People one because it’s organic and made from ingredients that aren’t toxic for your skin or the environment. This isn’t a sponsored recommendation, just something I’ve found works well for my skin.

You can also use physical barriers like a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and avoid being outside in the summer when the sun is at its strongest. 

However, it is important to know that UVA rays can still damage your skin even when you are inside, or it is cloudy. These aren’t like the UVB rays that cause sunburn, so you won’t necessarily notice that you are exposed to them, but they can still contribute to skin aging, so using an SPF is the best option to block those UVA rays.

6. Mindset

My final tip is probably the most important of all. I mentioned at the start when I was talking about face yoga that how we feel on the inside is a huge part of taking a holistic approach to skincare.

When we feel happy, positive, and content on the inside, it shows on the outside too. Even if you are doing everything else on this list, your skin will still not look healthy and glowing if you are using a lot of negative self-talk or feel low and lacking in self-esteem.

This is a big topic and there are so many things I teach to help people work on their mindset and promote self-love. But one option that is really simple and accessible is to use affirmations.

Affirmations are positive words and phrases you repeat to yourself regularly. They help you visualise yourself as your best, happiest, most glowing self. 

The more you do this, the more your mindset shifts, and you start to realise that you already are that wonderful, radiant person who is so valuable and so worthy of love and care.

Believe me, when that shift happens, it really will shine through your face too.