Looking & feeling good
Over time, our skin changes and wrinkles and fine lines appear. It is nothing to fret as this is all a natural part of ageing. However, there are things you can do to maintain the skin you have.
BY: Eileen Lee
There comes a time when you look in your mirror and you see a different you. A face that looks like your mother, and good heavens, you notice a wrinkle or two! Instead of denying the image is you, you should come to terms with this change, as this is all part and parcel of growing older.
Changes as we age
With the passage of time, our body’s largest organ – the skin – becomes thinner, more fragile and dryer, graced with wrinkles and fine lines, and with a softer and less firm tone unlike when we were younger. The areas of our body most affected are the eye area, neck, décolleté and back of the hands.
If you are going through menopause, there will be some additional changes. You may notice an increased facial hair, an uncomfortable state of aches and pains, forgetfulness and fuzzy thinking, night sweats and hot flushes, and last but not least, insomnia. Menopause occurs when women reach their early to mid-50s and during this time, there will be changes in hormone production, most notably a decline in progesterone and estrogen levels, and a breakdown of collagen. They will notice an increased dryness and wrinkling, and thinner skin which is susceptible to bruises and allergic reactions.
Besides menopause, other factors can play a part to the changes in your skin and they include sun exposure, genes, as well as lifestyle, meaning diet and smoking. Many women find that their skin becomes more sensitive to sunburn, windy and dry conditions, and allergens. This is why some women in their 50s notice they have developed acne and are dismayed to find something they haven’t faced since adolescence.
Pause the clock?
So what can we do to keep our skin looking young:
• Block the sun – When going out, remember to put on sunscreen. UV exposure is the number one skin ageing factor and excessive exposure overtime can make a person look older than they actually are. This premature wrinkling and skin damage is called photoageing and it usually affects the face, neck and décolleté. The best advice is to avoid the sun between 10am to 2pm as this is when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Also, wear protective clothing, apply generous amounts of sunscreen and don’t forget to re-apply every two hours. You should use sunscreen of at least SPF 15 or more.
• Good gentle skincare regimen – Be sure to include a skincare regimen of gentle cleansing, toning, exfoliation and moisturise often. We cannot stop the ageing skin process, but by maintaining a healthy level of natural skin components, skin will not lose its firmness, hydrated glow, elasticity, smoothness and softness. Retinoid and alpha-hydroxy are all key ingredients that can help reduce the signs of ageing so watch for those in the products you buy.
• Try non-invasive treatments – Besides people using fillers and Botox, you can also consider the non-invasive treatments like microdermabrasion, IPL (intense pulse light) treatments, radio-frequency and infusions of amino acids, MAP (magnesium-ascorbic-phosphate) or Living Cells (the structural and functional units of living organisms).
• Healthy lifestyle – Make sure you do regular exercise, drink lots of water, stop smoking and get enough sleep to keep your body running in tip-top shape. Smoking makes your skin look older, and it damages collagen and elastin, which are fibres that give your skin its elasticity and strength. The best way to protect your skin is to quit smoking. Also, eat a diet with vegetables and wholegrains, lean proteins and fruits.
• Take proper wellness supplements – Vitamins like A, B, C, D and E are essential vitamins for healthy skin cell structure. They play an important part in improving the complexion of your skin. For instance, vitamin E is a good anti-ageing supplement. It aids in removing wrinkles and improves your skin texture. Be sure to visit your pharmacist and check on what you might need. Don’t overtake or take vitamins you may not need.
• Manage your stress – Stress can cause a slew of skin problems including acne breakouts. Make sure you schedule time for the things you enjoy. Feeling good inside can do wonders to looking good outside!
• Be positive – Be more positive and optimistic. Avoid negative influences and thoughts, and surround yourself with positive people. Staying positive is vital as this gives you an inner boost to both your emotion and physical aspects. Go ahead and make optimistic goals for yourself. Be it better skin and/or greater health, stay focused on your goals and you will be on your way to achieve your desired objectives.
Though the process of ageing can’t be stopped completely, there are certainly things in our reach that we can do to slow it down for a bit so we can look and feel good.
Eileen Lee is the founder and director of TOUCHE. She is a veteran in the beauty industry, with close to 20 years’ beauty experience. CIDESCO-trained, she has shared her expertise as a chief beauty trainer in renowned beauty companies previously. She is currently taking a correspondence diploma course on nutritional science from the UK.
(PHOTO CREDIT: TOUCHE)