By now it is established that we cannot stop time or go against biology. However, we can address some of the most common ageing skin concerns, which are often influenced by lifestyle choices and the environment we live in.
- Rough and dry skin
As we age the outer layer of our skin tends to thin, losing moisture and elasticity faster than before. The skin also tends to dry faster as the oil glands no longer produce as much oil as they did when we were young. Factors like ageing, menopause, habits and lifestyle choices often play a key role leading to rough and dry skin. While we cannot stop menopause or control time, we can influence all the other factors by;
- Avoid smoking. Smoking is considered a leading cause of wrinkles, and a dull and sallow complexion. This is because cigarettes interfere with the blood vessels, and the amount of blood flowing to your skin, inhibiting oxygen and nutrient delivery. With poor circulation, there’s poor cell regeneration and thus early signs of ageing. Alcohol on the other hand dehydrates and damages the skin.
- Moisturise your skin often to promote a youthful appearance.
- Avoid products that cause irritation. Contrary to popular belief using products that sting, burn or irritate the skin may mean less that they’re working and more that they’re damaging the skin. If it helps transition to green or synthetic skincare products that are gentle on the skin.
- Apply sunscreen regardless of your skin colour or texture. This is to protect your skin from heat damage which often causes premature ageing, and dryness, and eventually leads to skin cancer. Skincare: 5 Ways You Are Making Your Sunscreen Less Effective Without Even Realizing It
2. Premature ageing
From the age of 25, the skin starts showing signs of ageing. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that your skin should dramatically exhibit ageing signs that may be seen on more mature skin. Thus premature ageing is defined as the emergence of wrinkles and fine lines due to skin thinning, and loss of elasticity.
A case of premature ageing often happens when we use repetitive facial expressions like smiling, when we fail to keep the skin hydrated or when the skin experiences sun damage/photoaging.
To address such;
- Use a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 and above. For effectiveness, constantly reapply it after 3 hours especially when you’re outdoors and it’s sunny. Does this imply that it is also right to apply sunscreen when you’re indoors and when it is rainy/cloudy? The simple answer is as long as it’s day, sunscreen is bae.
- Stop tanning using the sun for reasons in line with sun damage. You may look for self-tanning products if you must but you must be careful to get the right ones, because some may also cause skin damage.
- Try to incorporate facial massages into your routine. This will promote blood circulation, and cell synthesis as well as exercise the muscles on your face for resilience.
- Invest in a good eye cream to keep the area around your skin hydrated. Alongside a good eye cream is an effective range of skincare products that will keep your skin moisturised, soft and supple. The Korean Skincare routine may be a starting point or you can borrow the techniques to promote skin hydration.
- Curb oxidative stress by investing in products that have ingredients like 1,2 hexanediol, hyaluronic acid, hydrogenated castor oil or hydrogenated rapeseed oil. Such ingredients will plump the skin as well as balance the free radicals that lead to oxidative stress.
Some other ways to address ageing concerns include;
- Drinking plenty of water to flush toxins and keep the skin hydrated.
- Eating a balanced diet especially fruits rich in Vitamin C and zinc.
- Using delicate movements on the skin particularly when cleansing, exfoliating or applying products. Subjecting your skin to pulling, tagging and rubbing will lead to further thinning and sagging. Beauty: 7 Anti-Ageing Facial Exercises That Can Take Years Off Your Face
- Exercising to maintain a healthy immune system.
3. Discolouration and hyperpigmentation
Skin discolouration and an uneven tone tend to become a concern as we age. Thus it is important to cleanse, exfoliate and use topical treatments on a regular to maintain an even complexion. Brightening products such as The Face Shop rice water foaming cleanser are a good way to start.
Sunscreen is also effective in preventing sunburns, hyperpigmentation and age spots which appear due to sun exposure.
A few pointers to take home
- In your 20s, eat healthily, exercise and invest in moisturisers and sunscreen, to prepare your skin for the next decade.
- In your 30s, do the above but also add topical treatments with retinol, and peptides to your skincare. Consider treatments such as micro-needling and injectables.
- In your 40s, pay a visit to the dermatologist if you haven’t before. This will give you insight into a curated skincare routine that’s most suitable. Retaining moisture is very important at this stage.
- In your 50,60s and 70s be diligent with anti-ageing treatments and be sure to eat anti-ageing foods.
After all intrinsic treatment is often the best way to supplement extrinsic methods.
That said check out anti-ageing foods to incorporate into your diet.