The Skin Nerd Jennifer Rock reveals her 10 easy steps for achieving flawless skin

The award-winning dermal facialist and aesthetician, right, has become world-famous for her unrivalled knowledge. She lives by the mantra: “Feed our skin, shield it and give it all the care and attention it needs and deserves.” But where do we start? Here Jennifer, 32, guides Jenny Francis on the right path.

1) Thou shalt aim for seven hours of restful sleep: While you sleep, your skin is no longer busy trying to ­constantly protect you from everyday life. This means it has proper time to heal and regenerate at night. Immunity, metabolism and hydration levels have time to adapt and to regulate.

Not getting enough sleep can lead to fluid pooling under your skin, which is the puffiness many people find under their eyes when they have under-slept. When you sleep, blood flow increases so your skin refreshes itself, cells are given nutrients and your body relaxes into REM, which enables it to re-energise and recuperate from the day. PS. Napping does not count.

2) Thou shalt drink eight glasses of water daily: Water hydrates the whole body, including the skin. You do, however, need to ensure you are also consuming enough essential fatty acids to keep the water in. Hydration is the key to skin volume. Up to 60 per cent of the adult body is comprised of water, as is the skin.

The more water the skin has, the plumper it appears and the more support it has. If your skin is dehydrated it will feel taut and may have a coarse texture to it.

3) Thou shalt avoid processed foods: These affect the body and the skin’s immunity. They are full of empty calories and are ­lacking in skin value, so try to reduce your intake. Processed foods affect your ­lymphatic system as they take more effort to drain, which causes inflammation, redness, ageing, spots, psoriasis and eczema.

4) Thou shalt keep sugar intake low: The sweet stuff causes inflammation, which is the body’s way of fighting something it ­perceives as a threat. This is usually associated with redness, swelling, heat or pain. When my clients reduce their sugar intake, their skin congestion — spots, blackheads and clogged pores — is often halved, with ­redness considerably reduced within months.

5) Thou shalt eat veg: Antioxidants in vegetables are the unsung heroes of skin health. They armour it against the ­environment. An anti- oxidant is essentially a cell’s defence force that fights against nasties such as stress, excess UV exposure, excess ­alcohol consumption and smoking.

6) Thou shalt consume ­protein: Protein is not just for gym gains — it also helps to boost ­collagen in the body. This is a protein found in the lower layer of the skin and is responsible for its structure and the “bounce” associated with a youthful appearance.

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t is also responsible for the skin’s ability to heal from things such as stretch marks. We should start to introduce more protein into our diets from around the age 25. The recommended daily amount is 0.8 grams per ­kilogram of body weight.

7) Thou shalt gobble up good fats: Good fats, such as those found in avocados, are the key ingredient for locking in skin hydration, reducing irritation and reactive skin conditions.  They basically lock in goodness. Fat — more specifically essential fatty acids — act as an anti-inflammatory agent and an ­internal moisturiser. Eat nuts, seeds and fish to get the best of these fats.

8) Thou shalt reduce your caffeine intake: Caffeine increases your stress levels. Heightened stress makes chronic skin conditions worse and causes the skin to ­ dehydrate. For optimal skin health, try to reduce your consumption over time to just a single cup per day.

9) Thou shalt not smoke: The ­cigarettes you puff on decrease the flow of oxygen to your skin and rob the body of Vitamin C, an essential ­nutrient to synthesise (the nerdy word for “create more”) collagen. And, no, smoking is not ­something you can just reduce. You need to kick it in the proverbials right now. Non-negotiable.

10) Thou shalt exercise: Weight-training tones the muscle that lies under the skin and so allows it to appear firmer and more taut. Exercise also stimulates blood flow to give your skin that highly coveted glow. Be careful to cleanse thoroughly after exercise to make sure the sudoriferous glands (a nerdy name for sweat glands) do not get clogged.

  • Extracts from The Skin Nerd, by Jennifer Rock (£17.99, Headline), out now.

Skin sins

1. DON’T ever use facial wipes. They cause irritation and ­sensitivity over prolonged periods of use.

2. DON’T over-expose yourself to UV rays. Whether it is sunbed use or not wearing ­sunscreen, this is a cardinal sin. Apply SPF all year round.

3. DON’T ignore the importance of diet.

4. DON’T buy products based on scents. Smells do not change cells and some perfumed products can irritate.

5. DON’T believe the big ad ­campaigns. An expensive product is not necessarily ­better than a cheaper one.

6. DON’T buy a product just because a celebrity adores it. It may not suit your skin – and it is not going to make you look like Jennifer Aniston.

7. DON’T self- diagnose. A good consultation with an expert, not Google, is key.

8. DON’T view skin treatments as a rare treat. You also need a good skin regime at home.

9. DON’T obsess over your skin. This gets nobody anywhere, except further into despair.

10. DON’T forget the skin is an organ, our biggest one at that.

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