100% natural. Organic. Made in Bath, England 

Top tips for youthful skin

Some people’s skin ages well, others’ not so well. What makes the difference? 

The latest research shows that although lucky genes have a part to play, it is mainly down to our care and actions over the years. 

Does that mean at some point it’s too late to bother?

Of course it helps to start early but at any age your skin can look healthier and fresher with the right care, and in a further 10 years you may be grateful for having slowed down the rate of sagging, wrinkles and age spots.  Although ageing is inevitable, much of what we associate with ‘old’ skin is actually damaged skin and that is why one 50 year old’s skin might look 10 years older and another’s may look 10 years younger; a big difference!

The main causes of damaged skin are:

  • Oxidation - from sunlight, poor skincare ingredients, stress, smoke, pollution, chlorine etc. causes free radicals (molecules with a surplus electron desperately trying
  • Inflammation - poor nutrition or gut health, hormones, stress, poor skincare ingredients
  • Glycation - too much sugar in the diet, which causes breakdown of collagen fibres.

The skin also ages inherently, unfortunately, due to hormonal changes as oestrogen and progesterone levels drop as we get older.  This can affect the skin’s plumpness and suppleness; however, we can do our best to counter-act this. Also as we get older (or if we don’t get enough sleep) our skin repair mechanisms can slow; therefore the key to looking great for your age naturally is to help PROTECT and REPAIR your skin.

We feel it is important to add that Bath Spa Skincare is not ‘anti’ ageing in that we believe all ages have their own benefits and beauty and all ages should be celebrated.  But we do believe healthy skin looks better than prematurely damaged skin at any age and shows care and respect for ourselves.

Our tips below take an holistic approach to having your best skin at any age and include tips on skincare, diet, exercise and relaxation to protect and repair your skin. 

Your perfect skincare regime:

  1. Proper cleansing. Don’t cleanse too harshly and don’t expose your skin for too long to chlorinated water which can increase oxidative damage to your skin. Very hard water can also disrupt your natural protective barrier and can react with the natural fatty palmitic acid in your skin thus lessening your skin’s protect and repair mechanisms (water softeners can help). Spot-prone skin, however, can benefit from using water during cleansing, but for very dry skin a wipe-off cream cleanser and then a gentle pH balanced toner is a better option.  Wiping-off needs to be done very gently; cotton wool is better than tissue, and cotton buddies can be the most gentle for eye make-up removal.
  2. Why tone?  Using a gentle toner (i.e. not with alcohol) after cleansing will remove the last traces of make-up and grime, or remove hard water residues and chlorine and restore correct skin pH after washing with water.  It also helps clear pores and can help in the battle to balance dry, oily and stressed skin.  A toner can also double up as a refreshing morning cleanser & nourishing vitamin 'bath' for your face and neck, assuming you cleansed your face thoroughly the night before! 
  3. Keep your skin gently exfoliated.  In aged or poorly maintained skin the dead layer of cells on the surface of your skin can thicken leading to a dull lack-lustre appearance that also makes it hard for moisturisers and serums to penetrate and do their job. If you wash your face and neck with water we recommend the daily use of a muslin cloth and then once or twice weekly an exfoliating mask.  For those with dry skin who wipe their cleanser off, an exfoliating mask once or twice a week will really help or a very, very soft facial dry skin brush (as opposed to wet skin) may work for you.  Keeping your pores clean and exfoliated will also help keep their size to a minimum - this can be a real problem with ageing skin.
  4. Moisturise, moisturise and moisturise! Lack of water in, or around, skin cells disrupts tissue repair limiting healing and renewal.  Hence dry, dehydrated skin becomes more prone to damage from the sun and harsh chemicals.  A good moisturiser should also contain active ingredients to help protect and repair as well as moisturise.  Moisturisers (and serums) will be a lot more effective if you skin is exfoliated, warm and moist, so preferably apply directly after a toner. Make sure you also hydrate from the inside by drinking lots of water and herbal teas.
  5. Treat your skin with a serum.  The skin is unique among the body’s organs in that it can effectively absorb and use nutrients that are applied directly onto it rather than gaining them all from the blood supply.  Many nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega 3, gamma linolenic fatty acid (GLA) and Docosahexaenoic fatty acid (DHA), can really help boost the skin’s protect and repair functions. See the table for details about why these ingredients are so important to keep you looking younger for longer.
  6. Help protect.  Hats, sunglasses, sunscarves and natural mineral UV protection summer and winter on face, neck, decolletage and hands are a must.  Why is it so important to use UV protection in winter too? In the winter months (November to February) the sun is not strong enough to help manufacture vitamin D or to burn us with UVB, but it is definitely strong enough to age us with UVA rays (the most ageing rays) which are found wherever there is daylight, including behind windows.  So it is important to still protect your face in winter if we want to look good for our age. Vitamin D is very important for our health and the best source in the UK is from sunlight in the months March to October.  The best way to top up vitamin D levels, rather than exposing the delicate skin on your face, neck and hands that ages soonest, is to expose parts of your arms or legs for 5 to 20 minutes daily (depending on skin colour with fair skin needing less time).  We recommend natural mineral UV protection i.e. zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide which reflect the UVA and B rays, rather than chemical sun screens which absorb into the skin and then absorb the UVA and B rays, as some can cause oxidation of the skin, or not be sufficient to protect from UVA.  Our current favourite UVA&B protection mineral powders are from Inika and Bare Minerals and we highly recommend them. 

Anti-ageing skin nutrition:

  1. Eat from a smaller plate and earlier in the evening.  Unfortunately when we eat our metabolic process actually produces more free radicals and oxidation. Also, if we eat late at night, our body is having to cope with the food rather than getting on with its repair work as we sleep.
  2. Boost your antioxidant defence system.  Colourful vegetables, spices (tumeric is excellent) and herbs, white, green, rooibush and honeybush teas and cocao nibs (raw chocolate).
  3. Cut down on sugar and refined carbohydrates (e.g. white bread, pasta, rice and pastries. Choose wholemeal versions whenever used) to limit damage by glycation.  If you do eat them make sure you also eat some protein at the same time such as a handful of almonds.
  4. Increase your intake of skin-plumping, anti-inflammatory foods.  Omega 3 and vitamin E rich foods such as salmon, avocados, almonds, flax, chia and hemp seeds and oats.
  5. Have alkalising foods, drinks and supplements to reduce inflammation.  Leafy green vegetables daily (aim for half your plate), almonds, chorella supplements and warm apple cider vinegar/lemon drinks (a teaspoon of either in large glass of warm water with a straw to protect your teeth, as these drinks are very acidic but have a strong alkalising overall affect on the body.
  6. Increase nutrient intake by improving your gut health and increasing vitamin and mineral intake.  Gut health can be improved with prebiotic foods such as onion and garlic and probiotic foods such as natural organic yoghurt and, importantly, probiotic supplements.  Also increase nutrient intake in your diet, particularly of zinc, magnesium and chromium. Wheatgerm is one of the best and cheapest ways of doing this; it can usually be found at supermarkets and can be added to porridge, soups and smoothies daily.  Pumpkin seeds, avocados, almonds and apples are also great skin beauty snacks.  Supplements could also help - the natural supplement MSM will boost your levels of the ‘beauty mineral’ sulphone which assists collagen production, and glucosamine supplements are purported to help in the reduction of wrinkles.  In her book "Cosmetic Dermatology: Principles and Practice," Dr. Leslie Baumann references a study of 53 women that found a 34 percent reduction in visible wrinkles after five weeks of taking a supplement that contained glucosamine and various antioxidant compounds.  She also says it could be good for hyperpigmentation through inhibiting tyrosinase activation, which suppresses melanin synthesis.

Detox to slow the skin ageing process:

    1. Don’t smoke!
    2. Drink a lot of water and herbal teas in the day time but limit fluid intake at night time as it can cause puffy skin in the mornings.  Puffiness stretches the skin, particularly around the delicate eye area, and can lead to more wrinkles.  See Bath Spa Skincare’s ‘Top tips for the eye area’ to get puffy eyes under control.
    3. Dry skin brush before you bath or shower.  Using a special skin brush use long sweeping motions towards the heart.
    4. Try epsom salts in your bath water as they have a very good detoxifying effect.

    Relaxation and sleep:

    1. Get a good nights’ sleep and try sleeping on your back rather than your side to minimise wrinkle formation.  Lying with your face squashed to the side night after night can really deepen wrinkles; however, if you find it too difficult to sleep on your back at least try moving your upper shoulder backwards to lessen pressure on your face and your decolletage.
    2. The stress hormone cortisol is an extreme ager and can increase inflammation within the skin.  Try to incorporate a relaxation technique into your daily routine, such as deep breathing exercises, yoga or mediation.
    3. Facial massage and yoga.

      The importance of regular exercise:

      1. There is a saying that a woman over a certain age needs to choose between either her face or her derriere.  We believe this is a myth!  Unfortunately fat is an ager; not only does it speed up the ageing process, but people perceive overweight people to be older than they are.  The fitter you are, the younger you will feel, and the younger you will be perceived.  You can help plump your skin with good fats such as omega 3, DHA and GLA.
      2. There is growing evidence to suggest that exercise is one of the the biggest keys to being youthful at any age, which includes youthful skin.  It doesn’t need to be strenuous but it does need to be regular.
      3. It is often thought that sweat is bad for your skin; the reverse is true.
      4. Facial excercises can help tone your face (see Danielle Collins Face Yoga (http://www.faceyogaexpert.com/)

      Take care of your expression lines:

      1. We tend to have a dread of wrinkles in our culture and it can be very distressing to see our once-smooth skin start to wrinkle.  However, some of our wrinkles are our character lines that really we should have more pride in; unless of course they are deep frown lines.  Daily facial yoga exercises can really help us to learn how to relax frown muscles and horizontal forehead scrunching.
      2. On a final note, we tend to notice our own wrinkles far more than anyone else does.  A healthy glow and skin tone and texture are noticed way before our wrinkles, as is our posture and smile.

      How can Bath Spa Skincare help?

      All our facial products are anti-ageing and contain a combination of the best proven anti-ageing ingredients in the optimal concentrations.  They treat the causes of ageing, i.e. oxidation, inflammation, glycation, as well as the symptoms by helping the skin to protect and repair itself.  They have been researched and tested above and beyond legal requirements at the University of West of England’s CATIM laboratory, Knight Scientific and Indigo Science, all leaders in their field.  We do not use unproven, fashionable or gimmick ingredients.

      Please visit www.BathSpaSkincare.com for more information and to order.


      *Disclaimer:  No medical claim is implied or intended in relation to the products or information above. This article is intended as a helpful guide and contains suggestions based on years of personal experience, current knowledge and research. At the moment the law requires that unless a substance or product has a medical license, no claim can be made as to its efficiency for a medical condition.


      Appendix 1:  The best anti-ageing skincare ingredients

      The best anti-ageing ingredient is sun protection.  After that the active ingredients that can make a difference include the vitamins A, B3, C and Eantioxidants such as grape seed, green tea, green coffee (there are other good ones too); anti-inflammatories such as immortelle; and cell-communicators (these theoretically have the ability to tell a skin cell to look, act, and behave better, more like a healthy young skin cell would, or to stop other substances from telling the cell to behave badly or abnormally) such as omega 3, retinoids, lecithin and peptides.  Peptides (chains of amino-acids, the building blocks of proteins) can be natural or synthetic and act as moisture-binders and have the theoretical cell-communicating ability to help skin repair itself. Hydrators, one of the best hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the skin matrix, can also help plump the skin to make it appear more youthful.  Exfoliant ingredients also deserve a mention as they have an important place in helping keep the skin youthful.  They include enzymes and alpha and beta-hydroxy-acids (AHAs such as glycolic and lactic acid and BHAs such as salicylic acid) although sensitive skin may find AHAs and BHA’s too harsh and care must be taken.

      The best skincare routine will include a mixture of these ingredients and they really will help your skin look better and younger for longer if they are included at the optimal concentrations.  The skin is unique amongst the organs in being able to use nutrients applied directly onto it as well as those supplied from our diet; indeed the skin is able to gain several times higher nutrient concentrations from skincare.  However, if you wish to eradicate already damaged aged skin i.e. deep wrinkles and sagging, skin care alone (despite some marketing claims) will not be able to turn the clock far enough back and you would have to consider treatments such as fillers, botox, laser treatment and eventually face lifts.  The role of skincare is to help your skin look healthy, and therefore more youthful, and to slow the rate at which we age.

      Some of the fashionable anti-ageing ingredients, such as stem cells and growth factors are not included here as there is no independent proof that they actually work and growth factors may actually cause more problems than help.  The skin care industry likes to find new ingredients to market, but new ingredient claims often need to be taken with a pinch of salt.



      Common name:

      Label (Inci) name:



      Vitamin A and its derivatives

      Vitamin A/retinol, retinyl palmitate, retinylaldehyde. retinoic acid/tretinoin (the acid form of vitamin A).  Bidens Pilosa is a retinol analogue or a ‘natural retinoid’ i.e. has a retinol-like effect.

      Proven to increase collagen and elastin.  Retinoic acid is prescription only (for acne which it also helps) as it can have seriously irritating side effects.  Synthetically produced retinol is available in ‘over the counter’ skin care but can still cause irritation. Retinyl palmitate is not likely to cause irritation but has less effect.  A natural alternative with a retinol-like effect (i.e. a natural retinoid) is Bidens pilosa, also known as herbe d’aiguille or hairy beggarticks.  In-vitro tests showed that Bidens pilosa increased collagen 1 by 24%, functional elastin by 42% and sirtuin-6 gene expression (linked to cell longevity) by 2.4 fold.  Also has an anti-acne affect by reducing levels of dihydrotestosterone binding to the skin.  Retinol, retinoic acid and retinyl palmitate are produced synthetically for skincare.  Bidens pilosa, the ‘natural retinoid’ is extracted from the plant.  Rosehip oil also contains pro-vitamin A and a small quantities of the highly effective retinoic acid., an acid form of vitamin A.


      Vitamin B3


      Improves skin's elasticity, dramatically enhances barrier function, helps erase discolorations and revives skin's healthy tone and texture.  It has been shown to increase ceramide and free fatty acid levels in skin, prevent skin from losing water content, and stimulate microcirculation in the dermis.  Encourages a more even-looking skin tone by lightening the skin and reducing age spots, pore size and blemishes.


      Vitamin C

      Ascorbic Acid

      Vitamin C, otherwise known as L-ascorbic acid, is a skin super-booster and one of only a few skincare ingredients that has been independently scientifically proven to have a definite anti-aging effect on skin. Topically applied, it has four very beneficial effects:  1. boosts collagen synthesis improving the appearance of photo-aged skin; 2. provides increased photo-protection from ultraviolet A and B; 3. lightens hyper-pigmentation; and   4. helps with of a variety of inflammatory skin disorders.


      Vitamin E

      Tocopherol (mixed tocopherols means alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherol)

      Vitamin E is an antioxidant, that is, it protects against the destruction of the connective tissue and cell damage caused by free radicals, and has healing and skin cell growth regenerating properties.    Can be natural tocopherols from non-GMO soy, wheat and corn; or  synthetically produced.


      There are other good anti-oxidants but these are some of the best:


      Common name:

      Label (Inci) name:



      Grapeseed extract

      Vinis Vitira

      One of the best antioxidants for your skin, it containing proanthocyanidins, polyphenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanins to help reduce the sun’s damaging effects and reduce free-radical damage. Topical application of grape seed extract to a cultured human skin equivalent showed evidence of younger skin, including enhanced synthesis of healthy collagen, elastin, and improvement in other structural components of skin. 


      Green tea extract

      Camellia sinensis

      Our green tea extract is tested to ensure it contains extremely high levels of the antioxidants epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), total catechins and polyphenols.  Research at the University of Georgia on topically applied green tea found that not only can it help eliminate free radicals and safeguard healthy cells while causing cancer cells to die, but that the EGCG in green tea can actually prolong and reactivate skin cells in the epidermis, a ‘fountain of youth’ for skin cells.  This can then lead to better skin repair and healing for conditions such as wrinkling and roseacea.


      Green coffee extract

      Coffea arabica (Green Coffee)

      A powerful antioxidant, up there with grape seed extract.  Research on green coffee's effect on skin is extremely promising with in vitro tests on skin samples and sections of human skin showing that topical application can stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis as well as glycosaminoglycans, which help repair skin and contribute to a healthy barrier function.  It is also anti-inflammatory and helps reduce redness inside your skin.


      Rosemary extract

      Rosmarinus officinalis

      Rosemary extract contains carnosic acid, which is an extremely potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and photoprotective (protects against UVA).  It can also prevent P. acnes bacteria-mediated inflammation (i.e. the inflammation associated with spots).



      There are other good anti-inflammatories but these are a couple of the best:


      Common name:

      Label (Inci) name:



      Immortelle extract from the flower

      Helichrysum italicum

      An anti-inflammatory and anti-stress ingredient, immortelle reduces the negative effects of cortisol on our skin.  Cortisol inhibits cell renewal, collagen production and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) production which then causes skin dehydration.


      Oat Beta Glucan from oats

      (Beta 1-3, 1-4 Glucan)

      Capable of penetrating deep into the skin and delivering significant skin benefits. It has also been shown to work as anti-irritant and to speed up healing of shallow abrasions and partial thickness burns by several mechanisms including the stimulation of collagen.  In one study, 27 subjects were treated with 0.1 % topical beta-glucan or placebo twice daily for eight weeks, assigned randomly, using a half-face design. By the end of the study, beta-glucan treated areas fared significantly better than placebo, with wrinkles and roughness diminishing by about 10-15%. Skin firmness (tensile strength) also increased.



      The oils described below are all high in omega 3, a good cell communicator, but they are also high in other good nutrients.


      Common name:

      Label (Inci) name:




      Cell comm-unicators

      e.g. Lecithin, omega 3 and retinoids

      Cell-communicating ingredients, theoretically, have the ability to tell a skin cell to look, act, and behave better, more like a healthy young skin cell would, or to stop other substances from telling the cell to behave badly or abnormally.  Cell communicating ingredients complement antioxidants to improve skin-cell function. 

      Lecithin from sunflowers, omega 3 from rosehip, hemp, blackcurrant, rasberry etc. oils, retinoids.


      Rosehip oil

      Rosa rubginosa

      Rosehip oil is the only vegetable oil which contains anti-ageing tretinoin (retinoic acid), the acid form of vitamin A . It is also one of the best vegetable oil sources of omega 3 and is also a good source of omega 6, both essential fatty acids collectively known as vitamin F, involved in cellular membrane and tissue regeneration and normalising skin with large pores. 

      Look for organic cold-pressed. Should be golden in colour.


      Raspberry oil

      Rubus idaeus

      An anti-inflammatory dry oil, excellent for sensitive skin and is deeply nourishing, softening, emollient and conditioning. Very high in pro-vitamin A, E and omega 3 and interestingly provides excellent protection against UVA and B.

      Cold-pressed from raspberry seeds.


      Blackcurrant oil

      Ribes nigrum

      One of the only plant oils to contain Omega 6 and Omega 3 Fatty Acids in an optimal physiological ratio and also very high in Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA).  Excellent for all skin types and for maintaining skin elasticity.  Omega 3 and 6 are sometimes referred to as Vitamin F.

      Cold-pressed from blackcurrant seeds.



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