by Amanda Hamilton

No matter what the season, your skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside your body. As we prepare for summer, consider using some of your motivation to look and feel your best on the beach to sort some skin fundamentals first.

Excessive sugar in the diet, either through food or drink, has an ageing effect on the skin. It links with collagen and elastin, making what’s known as “advanced glycation end products” – this reduces the elasticity of the skin, making you look older than you are.

Suntanning is next in the dock. From season to season we’re told by the fashion pack that the suntan has gone out of style, but most of us feel better if we look at least a little bit sun kissed.

Advice tends to be focused on the “put it on and keep it on” messages of using sunscreen or sunblock to protect against excessive ultraviolet rays. Whilst the skin of a sun worshipper will age faster than someone not taking the sun, a complete retreat is not what’s recommend, due to sunshine’s vital link with vitamin D.

Approximately 15 minutes of sun without protection is what is recommended at a sensible time of the day. Those particularly at risk of vitamin D deficiency include all pregnant and breastfeeding women, children aged under five, older people aged 65 and over, those with low or no exposure to the sun, and people with darker skin.

But protecting the skin in summer has to be about helping from the inside, too. It is the impact of free radicals inside our body from sun damage that attack collagen and elastin and speed the aging process. This means that a good intake of antioxidants is as important as your SPF.

Vitamin C and E both offer protection from free radical damage and are relatively easy to source from Mediterranean favourites such as brightly coloured fresh fruit and vegetables. Selenium found in nuts and seeds are another great skin-friendly antioxidant. Marbella Club’s locally grown almonds served at the bar and The Grill are probably the tastiest way to ensure optimal intake!

Essential fatty acids from oily fish are another natural treatment for inflamed or dry skin so try to consume plentiful servings of fresh salmon or grilled sardines.

Last but not least, dehydration is a common reason for looking a bit more wrinkled in the warmer months.

Most of us are aware that drinking water will improve the skin so sipping from a bottle of water throughout the day, around 2 litres on average, is a good rule to adopt. Drinking lots of water in one go isn’t the answer because your kidneys will generally react by increasing the speed at which you lose it; Put simply, you’ll need to go to the toilet sooner!

Amanda Hamilton is an internationally renowned nutritionist, whose philosophy of wellbeing and nutrition is based on authenticity. Following the Mediterranean lifestyle and diet – the most widely recognized for its health benefits on longevity – Amanda has designed a complete nutritional programme comprised of healthy options for each of the Hotel’s restaurants; a juices and smoothies menu; and a personalized suggested meal plan to accompany each of the Wellness programmes offered by the Thalasso Spa.

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