That radiant glow (and why it’s not as elusive as you might think!)

That radiant glow

It’s not ground breaking news to say the world celebrates beauty and youth. It always has. Let’s face it, Cleopatra didn’t bathe in sour donkey milk just for the heck of it, she did it to keep her skin baby soft and looking youthful.

That’s not to say the way we define beauty hasn’t changed over the years. While over-taut face lifts and over-sized pouts have had their day, many women – including Hollywood A-Listers – are now eschewing cosmetic and surgical procedures, and are choosing to enhance their features in a more natural way. How? By using skincare that works in harmony with the body’s natural regeneration process.

Celebrities pioneering this movement include Hollywood Naomi Watts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julianne Moore, Salma Hayek, Cameron Diaz, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Aniston and Kate Winslet. Sure, many of them have admitted to having fillers and anti-wrinkle injections in the past, but they swear that going au naturale is best.

“It [anti-wrinkle injections] changed my face in such a weird way that I was like, ‘No, I don’t want to be like that’. I’d rather see my face ageing than a face that doesn’t belong to me at all.” – Cameron Diaz on Entertainment Tonight

“I’ll try anything. Except I won’t do Botox again, because I looked crazy. I looked like Joan Rivers.” – Gwyneth Paltrow in Harper’s Bazaar

“I am playing characters that should match my age and the women and the material that I am interested in are usually going through something. I have to be able to live in my face and tell the story of the character I’ve taken on.” – Naomi Watts in New Beauty magazine

“I don’t do Botox or any injectables. I think we make women feel terrible with the idea of, ‘Oh, she’s ageing!’ Well, of course she is. So is that guy, that child, that dog. We know we’re going to move through time in a certain way – we shouldn’t make people feel responsible for it.” – Julianne Moore in Red magazine

“I have done things I regret, and luckily they’re things that dissolve and go away.” 
- Courtney Cox in The Sun on why she regrets having too much Botox and work done.

Why the turn-around? Because all these high-profile celebs have realised that it’s possible to look amazing without resorting to drastic measures. Research supports this – studies have shown that your confidence levels affect how others see you, too. Think about it: good things happen when you feel you’re having a good hair or skin day. Why? Because you have a spring in your step, a positive attitude and a smile on your face.

Your attitude and skin health

To a large extent, we live our lives in our head. The way you see yourself affects your mental, emotional and social wellbeing (kind of a catch-22 because your outlook on life can also affect the state of your skin).

Case in point: when you give off an exuberant, bright energy, people actually think you’re younger than you are. Positivity doesn’t just add a new dimension to your personality, it takes beauty to a whole new level. Women with high self-esteem are not only more likely to invest in themselves, but they also experience lower stress levels, which is important for skin health.

Our bodies release cortisol and adrenaline when we are stressed and these two hormones can cause detrimental physiological and functional consequences for skin. Skin barrier function can become compromised and wound healing is impaired. Worse still, inflammatory events are activated, along with a loss of collagen and hyaluronic acid production. Blood flow to the skin is also decreased, meaning less nutrients are being delivered and fewer toxins removed.

In short: if you want your skin to look its best, it starts with a positive attitude!

The recipe for beauty success

Your skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside your body, not just mentally but physically. Eating lots of greens and healthy Omega-rich fats (think deep-sea fish, avocado, raw nuts and seeds) will help minimise wrinkles, acne, inflammation and other skin-related conditions. Exercise will improve circulation and lymphatic flow, which also has a positive effect on skin – just 20-30 minutes of puff-inducing power walking will do the trick.

Oh, and beauty sleep is real

Research has shown that missing out on sleep makes you less attractive to others – the theory is that, if you look bright and full of energy, others see you as being healthy and thus also more youthful. But you have to put in the time (8-9 hours seems to be the magic number according to most studies).

So why do we need creams and potions

Well, even with a positive attitude, great diet and decent exercise and sleep balance, there’s still the problem of environmental pollution. Every waking minute of the day your skin is exposed to a barrage of UV, air pollution, heating and cooling, all of which have a negative impact on skin health.

To keep your complexion at its healthy best you need to help keep the skin’s natural protection barrier intact, and that’s best done with quality skincare: a scientifically-backed product that can replace moisture, fight free radical damage, and feed the skin with nourishing, nutrient rich ingredients so that your complexion can repair and rejuvenate.

Basically, high-quality skincare is the crucial extra that will help you look like a healthy, radiant version of yourself. Products like Claire Hill’s anti-ageing moisturiser and serum are specifically formulated for mature and sensitive skin types, so they’re full of effective, quality ingredients in exactly the concentrations you need for optimal results.

Best of all, there’s no risk of a ‘wind tunnel’ effect; no frozen face; no drastic plastic gone wrong. Just a vibrant glow that gives you the confidence you need to take on the world.

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