The Writerri small bird

Health and Beauty Articles

Preventing premature ageing

Ageing skin has got to be one of the most talked about subjects in the beauty industry. While the celebs talk Botox, chemical peels and face lifts in La-La Land we talk skincare and lifestyle factors in the real world. And let’s face it; we all want to stay looking as young as possible. Complaining about lines and wrinkles doesn’t make you vain – aged skin can be detrimental to a person’s confidence, especially if you get to the point where you barely recognise the person looking back at you in the mirror!

Some researchers believe that there are two types of skin ageing: intrinsic (internal) ageing , and extrinsic (external) ageing. The first is ageing that is unstoppable - the natural ageing process which begins in our 20s. The other is external factors which act together in tow with the normal ageing process to prematurely age our skin; namely the sun, poor skin care routines, repetitive facial expressions, smoking, diet, sleeping, pollution etc.

Lifestyle choices

The sun

Yes, it’s not a myth; the sun is one of the most damaging causes of premature ageing! I know what you’re thinking; we live in the OUTER HEBRIDES! We have NO sun you crazy optimist! Well, although our summer tends to come and go quicker than you can say the word (I think our summer was on a Saturday this year?) we still have exposure to the sun, more so if you’re one of the many who stumbles into the Co-operative travel on a blustery cold alleged summer’s day saying “I want sun and I want it now!”  Just a few minutes of exposure to the sun a few days a year can cause noticeable changes to the skin. Freckles, age spots, spider veins, rough/leathery skin, fine lines, loose skin, blotchy skin, actinic keratoses (thick wart-like, red patches of skin) and last but not least skin cancer – all of these conditions have been linked to sun exposure. To prevent this always apply an SPF when the sun is out and avoid sitting in the sun between 1 and 4 if rays are strong – especially if you’re abroad!

Smoking

As well as the cost, the damage to your health and the ghastly smell - smoking really knackers your skin. Cigarette smoke causes biochemical changes in our bodies that accelerate aging. Statistically a person who smokes 10 or more cigarettes for a minimum of 10 years is more likely to develop wrinkled, yellow, leathery skin than a non smoker – this can be shown in people as young as 20! These conditions can be significantly diminished by stopping smoking, with fine lines and wrinkles being visibly less noticeable.

Skin care routine

Skin care is one of the deciding factors in whether you have good or bad skin. Ideally skin care routines should be started from the first signs of changes in the skin when you’re a teenager to give your skin the vitamins and nourishment it needs to grow. Teenage products tend to be anti-bacterial based but something gentler should be used in your twenties to avoid stripping the skin of essential moisture.

Once you’re in your thirties you should be thinking about adapting your skincare routine to incorporate some anti-ageing products. Michael McIntyre’s wife had the right idea when she told her comedian husband ‘I need this expensive cream so I won’t get wrinkles for the next ten years’ to which Michael delicately replied ‘But darling you have no wrinkles!’ This is a common misconception. Maintaining the right skincare routine will help the onset of wrinkles and fine lines, where as if you just start once they’ve appeared unfortunately some of the damage has been done and can’t be reversed!

The science in the anti-ageing products greatly revolves around the word ‘collagen.’ This is a fibrous protein that’s plentiful in humans as well as animals. It basically connects and supports bodily tissues such as our skin, bones, muscles, tendons and cartilage. Combined with elastin and keratin the body’s tissues are firm and strong. Unfortunately as we age collagen degradation occurs, leading to wrinkles. The anti-ageing products are (or are supposed to be!) designed to stimulate the collagen fibres in the skin to regenerate the skin.

The products you should ideally have proudly displayed on your bathroom shelf are: A hydrating cleansing cream to be used A.M and P.M; a hydrating day cream with appropriate anti-ageing active ingredients; a night cream; a thick eye cream; a light scrub and a weekly mask. In addition to this serums are a great booster product which have become increasingly popular; I love the Estee Lauder repair serum. I provide Babor’s regenerating products which are fantastic for firming and keeping the skin looking nice and healthy; another great professional brand for anti-ageing is Elemis, and for high street brands I would recommend Olay or the Body Shop products. For the boys a facial wash, day cream, night cream and a light eye cream is sufficient – as men’s skins age much slower it’s not necessary to be as thorough as with women’s skin – men have it so easy in so many ways!  

Stimulating facials can provide an instant boost to the skin; a treatment should typically provide a booster fluid to plump up collagen fibres, and an extensive hydrating or collagen mask, ideally with the super hydrating ingredient hyaluronic acid, would be applied to the face for about 20 minutes. These intensive facials would only be advised on skins that are 40+ as you can damage your skin if you ply it with stimulating products when it’s not necessary, and unfortunately due to the high standard of ingredients the products are very pricey so they’re not the cheapest facial option!

Sleep

Poor sleep patterns and exhaustion can age you quicker as well. Little sleep can give you a sallow and grey appearance which isn’t in tow with youthful skin! Try and get at least 7 hours sleep a night and drink plenty water to help flush out toxins that can accumulate. Sleeping in the same position for years can give you ‘sleep lines.’ Women who sleep on their back avoid getting these wrinkles. Try and alternate the way you’re sleeping to make sure your imprint of your pillow doesn’t end up on your face permanently!

In general maintaining a healthy lifestyle and being kind to your skin will help slow down the aging process significantly, give it a go and see the results for yourself!

Terri 

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