Figuring Out Your Skin
The truth is that we’re all worried about wrinkles. However old we are, ageing is a modern-day pre-occupation and a battle no one wants to give up on. So what causes fine lines and wrinkles and how can we get rid of them?
Notations on the face
Corners of eyes: By your mid twenties you’ll notice little creases which slowly develop into those notorious crow’s feet
Under Eyes: As micro-circulation slows and gravity takes hold under bags may develop in your forties. Men will notice a pronounced difference between the unlined oilier skin of their beard and the crinkly thin skin around their eyes.
Between Brows: This number ‘eleven’ isn’t so lucky. Frowners will start to notice two vertical dips between their brows
Forehead: Character lines across the forehead are the least ageing as most of us tend to develop them early on.
Lips: If you’re a smoker you’ll quickly start to see vertical lines. As we age our lips become thinner and less plump. Even more excuse for gloss.
Obviously your genetic make-up will play a part in how you age. If you’re pale, the only downside to inheriting a porcelain complexion is that you have less natural sun protective melanin than someone darker so you’re more susceptible to the damage sun can do. But it’s not all down to the luck of the draw. "Genetics are responsible for an estimated 20% of skin ageing. The remaining 80% is down to external factors that we can do something about," says Miami-based dermatologist Leslie Baumann.
When shall I start my anti-ageing regime?
The sooner the better. "Wrinkles are no longer dictated by age," says Noella Gabriel, Director of Product and Treatment Development at Elemis. "Skin is shaped by the choices we make and our lifestyles challenge young skins with extremes that can lead to premature ageing." The problem is that an ‘extreme’ for the skin is a normal part of everyday life. "Central heating, air-conditioning, pollution, for men even shaving are all daily trials," warns Noella.
Prevention is paramount to protect life-stressed skin from ageing before it’s time so start using anti-oxidants as soon as you hit twenty. The good Samaritans of skin-care, anti-oxidants police and mop up ageing free radicals, unstable cells released by anything from sun to stress which damage and oxidise our healthy cells. Halve an apple and you’ll see these free radicals at work as the surface turns brown and visibly ages in front of you. This is what happens to our skin over time, you just can’t see it.
Try Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules with free-radical fighting Moringa Oi< if you’ve suffered from the effects of a real onslaught you’ll benefit from a booster treatment in the form of Elemis Liquid Radiance Cell Renewal System. Phase 1 counteracts the damage free radicals do, then swap to Phase 2 after fifteen days to brighten for a more youthful complexion. Noella recommends gentle facial massage to really boost micro-circulation and energise the skin.
Is sun really that ageing?
It’s tempting to catch those rays but it’s damaging to both your skin and your health. If mere central heating sends skin into over-drive just think what UVA and UVB rays can do. Basking on a beach isn’t the only beauty sin as the UVA rays can penetrate through clouds and even glass.
However old you are, shielding skin against the sun is essential to fight wrinkles and more importantly to reduce the risk of skin cancer. When you’re younger sun damage isn’t obvious but by your forties, pigmentation marks will give-away time spent tanning in your twenties as does the thicker, more wrinkled skin of sun worshippers’ a sure sign that collagen and elastin, the building blocks keeping skin firm, have been damaged effectively collapsing.
It’s easy to protect skin with a minimum of SPF 15 between April and September if you live in the UK, though the higher the better on holidays and during the mid-summer. The easiest way to do this is by incorporating sun-protection into your morning routine with moisturising day creams and foundations with SPF. It couldn’t be simpler.
How do I get rid of the lines I’ve got
A good regime can only ever keep wrinkles at bay and by thirty most of us have accrued fine lines around the eyes and faint furrows along our foreheads. By day prevention is still a must so stick with anti-oxidants and SPF. But by night you can super charge skin when it naturally repairs and recharges with night creams and serums specifically devised to stimulate collagen and elastin production and boost skin cell renewal, all of which flag as we hit out mid-thirties leading to dullness and lack of bounce.
Retinol based products can help level away fine lines by resurfacing and revving-up collagen production as can at-home glycolic and AHA peels. But beware of being over-zealous. "An ageing skin is thinner," advises Noella. "Over-use of peels can further thin the skin leaving it sensitized and susceptible to more damage and irritation." Follow the instructions to the letter or alternatively try Elemis Tri-enzyme Resurfacing Range which works with the skin, gently nibbling away at dead cells and encouraging the production of new ones without stripping away our natural micro-flora – the protective veil of good bacteria that keeps the skin’s surface balanced and healthy. It also diminishes pigmentation spots which studies show are considered more ageing than lines and creases.
However good your genes and skincare regime, by 50 you’re likely to see some sagging, somewhere. Dryness and super sensitive skin prone to flare-ups and flushing thanks to the menopause are key players in the ageing game. Luckily there’s a whole new slew of products specially formulated to balance skin affected by hormonal changes keeping it protected from free radical damage, calming well as quenching with moisture. Elemis’s SOS Emergency Cream does just that soothing with ingredients like Willow and Lavender.
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