Despite what some excitable advertisers might claim, there’s no miracle cream that can turn back the clock. Though that’s not to say you simply have to accept the ever incresing number of lines on your face as the years accumulate. Taking good care of your skin, and using a few of these simple techniques to slow down the effects of ageing will let your natural beauty shine through, whatever your number.

Be sure to stay hydrated. It’s the holy grail of skincare.

The body’s production of natural oils slows with age, which leads to dryer skin that’s more prone to wrinkling. While a good moisturiser will help to reduce the effects, prevention is always better than cure, so make sure that you stay well hydrated at all times.

Drink plenty of water, but don’t forget that fresh fruits and vegetables can play a role in hydration too. Avoid drinking too much coffee or alcohol, and maybe even adopt the European habit of taking a glass of water alongside your coffee or wine to stave off dehydration.

Try where possible, to ease off the make-up. 

A daily application of cosmetics is tiring for your skin, as it traps grease and impurities in your pores, stopping them from ‘breathing’. On top of that, the removal process can easily strip your skin of oils, especially if you use harsher chemical removers. Try to limit the amount of makeup you wear on a daily basis, and stick to products that are designed for sensitive skin. Then use a gentle hypoallergenic make-up remover, and always apply a quality moisturiser or night cream to your face and neck afterward.

Be careful of ultraviolet rays. They are not your friend. 

While that sunkissed look can help you look healthy and vibrant, the ultraviolet light which leads to tanning will have damaging long-term effects if your skin is overexposed. In addition to the known health risks, this can also lead to those brown, leathery age spots forming, and can damage collagen – the substance responsible for skin suppleness and tone.

Get into the habit of wearing a good quality sunscreen even when not in direct sunlight, as UV rays can easily pass through clouds. And don’t ever be tempted to maintain a tan by using tanning bed facilities – even only occasional use of tanning beds can triple your risk of Melanoma and other skin cancers according to The World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Cancer Research.

Try using a few more natural skincare products. 

Many women prefer to avoid chemicals in their skincare products, but this becomes even more important as you age – your skin is less resilient, and allergic reactions to irritants are more common. Wherever possible, stick to natural oils, fragrance-free cosmetics, and products which are specifically formulated to be kinder to your skin.

Get into a regular exfoliating routine.

Drier skin is an unavoidable side effect of the passing years, so it’s essential to maintain an exfoliation routine to remove dead skin cells. Using a natural, fragrance-free exfoliant oil will help keep your skin looking fresh, and will also reduce the chances of spots, rashes, and even fungal infections.

Prepare your face for a good night’s sleep.

It’s easy for your skin to dry out while you sleep, especially in summer months when air conditioning systems are turned high. Adopting a consistent bedtime routine will keep this to a minimum – gently wash your face, either without soap or using an extremely mild formulation, and then apply moisturiser liberally to lock in your natural oils overnight.

Obsess less about your weight (gasp!)

You may think that being thinner will always make you look younger, but this isn’t always the case. Being overweight isn’t ideal for overall health, but if you’re running just a little plump, your skin will tend to look firmer. In contrast, being too thin will emphasize lines. Being healthy and happy is more important than the numbers on the scales.

And most importantly, tend to your overall health.

Your skin can be one of the first parts of your body to show the signs of poor health, and this becomes even more the case as the years pass. Give your skin a healthy foundation by eating well, and cutting down on sugars and additives. If you smoke, do consider quitting, and ensure you get a good night’s sleep when you can.