women

Want to know what’s happening on the inside? Take a look in the mirror and read the signs.

Anyone ever told you that your face was like an open book? Well, they were right. A healthy glow begins on the inside, so when your vitality starts to take a turn for the worse it often becomes evident in your appearance.

Scrutinizing your facial features can reveal vital clues about your health, from hormone imbalances to your risk of heart disease, so it’s time to get up close and personal with your reflection. Read on to decode your body’s warning signs.

Spotty skin

It’s saying: Your hormones need help

Your skin tells a detailed story of your inner vitality. If it’s dull, your cells may be dehydrated. Spots on your chin? Hormone fluctuations are the likely culprit. As we age, estrogen levels drop which can encourage breakouts. Elevated levels of testosterone are also often to blame for acne flare-ups, particularly around the chin and jaw. As a rule, the appearance of spots can vary from day to day, getting worse before menstruation or during ovulation.

If it’s dull, your cells may be dehydrated.

If it’s dull, your cells may be dehydrated.

Reverse the damage: Drink at least two liters of water a day to stay hydrated, adding a squeeze of lemon to kick-start your liver, which is the body’s main channel of detoxification. Sip on herbal teas such Pukka Detox ($3.4, pukkaherbs.com) and reduce caffeine, alcohol and sugar. Finally, eat beta-carotene-rich apricots, carrots and butternut squash and try calming the affected area with soothing lavender oil diluted in warm water.

Finally, eat beta-carotene-rich apricots, carrots and butternut squash and try calming the affected area with soothing lavender oil diluted in warm water.

Finally, eat beta-carotene-rich apricots, carrots and butternut squash and try calming the affected area with soothing lavender oil diluted in warm water.

Earlobe creases

It’s saying: Take care of your ticker

Heart disease is the single biggest killer of women in the UK, according to the British Heart Foundation, and now there’s new evidence backing the theory that your predisposition to heart disease is written in your appearance. In 2012, Danish researchers found that creased earlobes, which are thought to occur as a result of collapsed blood vessels, are a possible predictor of cardiovascular problems. The scientists found that when earlobe creases were combined with yellow fatty deposits around the eyes and a receding hairline, the risk for heart disease was increased by 39 per cent in men and women.

Reverse the damage: The most crucial step for slashing your odds of heart disease is eating a healthy diet. Pile your plate with oily fish rich in omega-3, such as sardines and salmon - this will help keep triglyceride levels in check. Fiber-packed oats and antioxidant-heavy fruit and veg - think apples, berries and spinach - are also essential. Take a supplement such as NHP Omega 3 Plus ($41.7, naturalhealthpractice.com) to boost your intake of essential fatty acids, too.

Thinning hair

It’s saying: Stress might be taking its toll

It’s normal to shed around 100 strands a day, as hair goes through different growth and resting periods, but if your tresses are falling out at a faster rate than usual it’s time to take action. An estimated 8 million women in the UK suffer hair loss, and although it’s more likely to happen after the menopause when your estrogen levels drop off, hair loss can occur any time from puberty onwards. In particular, female pattern baldness, where hair thins on the top and crown of the scalp, affects many women and can simply be down to genetics. However, it can also be a result of hormone imbalances and stress.

It can also be a result of hormone imbalances and stress.

It can also be a result of hormone imbalances and stress.

Reverse the damage: Cleaning up your diet can have a positive effect on sparse strands. Start by increasing your protein intake through fish, meat and veggie sources like lentils and beans to supercharge your hair growth. Boost your levels of hormone-balancing zinc with plenty of nuts and shellfish, and lather your hair in Aveda lnvati Scalp Revitalizer ($64.5, aveda.co.uk), which contains a blend of circulation boosting herbs. Turn to page 102 for more healthy hair tips.

Twitching eyes

It’s saying: You may lack minerals

Twitching eye driving you crazy? Although harmless, uncontrollable eyelid twitches (also known as myokymia) can speak volumes about your body’s nutrient status. It’s thought that twitches are caused by mineral deficiencies, causing eyelid muscles to spontaneously contract. Increasing your intake of magnesium could help. This essential mineral acts as a relaxant, gently calming overstimulated muscles.

Try to cut back on your time in front of the computer, as it could be contributing to eye strain.

Try to cut back on your time in front of the computer, as it could be contributing to eye strain.

Reverse the damage: Magnesium-rich foods are a major player in combating twitches so nibble on kale, Swiss chard, nuts and whole grains and take a magnesium supplement such as BloCare’s Magnesium Tau rate ($21.22, biocare.co.uk). Try to cut back on your time in front of the computer, as it could be contributing to eye strain.

Thin eyebrows

It’s saying: Your thyroid could be sluggish

Take a close look at your arches. While not all of us are naturally blessed with lush brows like Brooke Shields, noticeably thin eyebrows (particularly on the outer edges) could point to an under-functioning thyroid gland. The thyroid gland releases hormones that control your metabolism. Along with thin eyebrows, other signs of an underactive thyroid can include weight gain, fatigue, sensitivity to coldness and aching muscles. If you suffer from multiple symptoms, talk to your GP and ask to have your thyroid tested.

It’s saying: Your thyroid could be sluggish

It’s saying: Your thyroid could be sluggish

Reverse the damage: Along with specific thyroid medication, diet can help to stimulate a sluggish thyroid. As a general guideline it’s important to make sure you have enough iodine, found in fish and sea vegetables, on your plate. Selenium is another important mineral which manufactures thyroid hormones, so munch on Brazil nuts daily to reach your quota. When eaten raw, some veg can interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis - cruciferous veg in particular, so watch out for broccoli and cauliflower. If you’ve been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, talk to a nutritionist for dietary advice.

Cracked lips

It’s saying: You need to drink up!

Dry, cracked lips? The skin on your lips is thinner than other parts of your body, making it more vulnerable to breaking. Cracked, inflamed lips (a condition known as angular cheilitis) is a common complaint when cold weather hits, and often a result of dehydration thanks to overheating. Take a close look at your lips: if they’re cracking at the sides you could be low in vitamin B or iron.

Reverse the damage: Keep your pout soft and supple with Dr.

Organics Rose Otto Lip Serum ($6.1, Holland & Barrett) and make sure you chow down on plenty of iron-rich kale, spinach, beef and chicken, as well as vitamin B-packed whole grains, nuts and eggs.

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