The graceful agers aren’t ageing better, they’re just ageing smarter. The secret isn’t necessarily in what they’re doing. It’s in what they aren’t doing.
If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, it may be time to evaluate some of your daily routines. The foods you eat and even the way you sleep can add years to your face and may shorten your lifespan. Here are 7 tips age-accelerating habits and ways to reverse the process.
Care and protection for ageing skin
To some extent there’s no avoiding the lines and wrinkles that accompany ageing. The first wrinkles begin to appear at the tender age of 25!
The traditional three-step regimen of cleanse, tone and moisturise may not be the best choice for ageing skin. Focus instead on cleanser, treatment and moisturiser targeted for mature skin. With advances in skin care, radiance can be regained by using the right skin-care products.
Ageing skin tends to be drier skin than in our younger years. A good choice is a gentle cleanser that does not strip the skin. Opt for cream or lotion formulas that can be rinsed or tissued off. As a result hleave the natural lipid (oil) layer of the skin in tact. Double-duty cleansers that exfoliate with jojoba beads or mild alpha-hydroxy acids are a good bet for occasional use. These are best used at night.
Fine lines, hyperpigmentation (dark spots), loss of elasticity and dullness are all characteristics of ageing skin. To effectively address these skin-care concerns, a more potent skin-care product than a moisturiser is needed. Enter serums. Concentrated treatment formulas work to target individual skin issues. Incorporating a serum into your daily regimen for day and night allows for individualised attention to the skin issues that affect you most.
For fine lines, look for a retinoid (vitamin A), which works to resurface the skin. Best used at night, retinoids also increase cellular activity in the dermis (lower levels of the skin) thereby helping with loss of elasticity. Hyperpigmentation responds well to the chemical hydroquinone. Also look for natural ingredients like licorice extract, kojic acid (from fungus) and vitamin C. To improve sagging skin, vitamin C is a good option. This also helps with collagen production. Alpha-hydroxy acids, better known as AHAs exfoliate, resurface and unclog pores, leading to radiant skin and relieving dullness.
Perhaps the most important step in your anti ageing skin-care regimen is moisturising. Moisturiser replenishes the lipids (natural oils) on the surface of the skin which typically are diminished as we age. Today, moisturisers multi-task with added treatment benefits. Best moisturisers for day include vitamins like C and E as well as other antioxidants like green tea, exfoliants like alpha-hydroxy acids, humectants like hyaluronic acid and SPF. At night look for lotions with retinoids (vitamin A) and alpha-hydroxy acids for their ability to exfoliate and improve skin tone.
Last, but certainly not least, wear an SPF anytime you are outside during daylight hours. If you’re getting too many rays without protection, you may be severely damaging your skin. Your best choice is a broad-spectrum sunscreen which protects skin from UVA (aging rays) and UVB (rays that burn). If you don’t have an SPF included in your moisturiser, use a minimum of SPF 20-30 on a daily basis.
Wearing Too Much Makeup
As you age, you might be tempted to overdo the makeup to emulate a more youthful appearance. But there’s nothing attractive about cakey foundation or spidery lashes. Hence, less is more! Makeup should only enhance your natural beauty not mask it.
Look for micronised mineral makeup for healthy, radiant skin. These provide four important functions in one: foundation, concealer, sunscreen and active skin care benefits.
A critical factor in combating ageing is exercise. The health benefits of exercise are plentiful. It improves heart health, boosts brain power, controls body fat and enhances our mood. You don’t need to take extreme, sweaty measure to gain benefit either.
Choose an activity that you love to do. This might be walking with a friend or partner, doing a yoga or tai chi class, dancing in the kitchen or spending an afternoon in the garden. Just get your body moving! Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. The National Heart Foundation recommends 2.5 – 5 hours of moderate exercise per week, and do muscle strengthening exercises on at least 2 days per week.
Get Your Beauty Sleep
Rem sleep, also referred to as Rapid Eye Movement sleep, is a critical part of natural anti aging.