Dr. Ranjan Upadhyay, Dermatologist, Desmoderm Skin Clinic, Delhi, writes about the special needs of skin in people over 40
As they say age brings wisdom and bliss. But this wisdom never comes without some unwanted wrinkles, fine lines and signs of ageing. If you have lived over four decades, you have certainly gone through some ravages of time and environment. Once you hit your 40s, you can no longer bank on your youthful beauty. In absolute terms, however, beauty is not a variant of age. You might be a little less radiant and a little less smooth than you were ten years back, but beautiful you can still be.
As we age, so does our skin. After a certain point of time, your skin will not produce enough natural oil to keep your dermis hydrated and supple. It will also experience a decrease in production of collagen and elastin, the two proteins responsible for firmness in younger skin. The reserves of hyaluronic acid, the natural water binding element in the skin also decreases, leading to a more dry and dull looking skin that carries fine lines and wrinkles.
While a number of factors are responsible for causing skin changes over the years including genetic and related to nutrition, sun exposure is one of the most prominent causes. So is loss of moisture from the skin.
During winter the major skin issue we face is that of dryness and loss of moisture. Cracked lips, heals and dry skin is a major problem. Every time you wash your hands or face, you feel extreme dryness. All these characteristics increase as we age. At 25 you might be able to carry on a day without a moisturizer but at 40 you certainly cannot.
Hence while basic skincare requirements in the winter season remain largely the same, revolving most of the time around the need for moisturizing, for people in their 40s they are a little more pronounced and need to be combined with some anti ageing practices and products.
A good routine of moisturizing and hydrating is required. You can also do well by going in for a session with Restylane Vital skinboosters, a hyaluronic acid based gel that when injected into the upper layers of the skin, deeply hydrates and nourishes it.
Let’s have a look at the required skincare practices:
Cleansing, toning, moisturizing and sunblock:
These are certain basic skincare elements that need to be a part of your daily lives no matter what your age is. Cleansing and toning help you protect your skin against the daily ravages of pollution and dust. They help keep your pores clean. In winters especially when you wear thick moisturizers the need for cleansing is all the more. It is very important to keep your skin hydrated. However, if you have oily skin, you better use water based moisturizer rather than cream based. Equally important is wearing a Sunblock with 30 SPF at least. It is a misconception that you do not need to wear a sunblock under a winter sun. Moreover the sunblock has to be reapplied every 3-4 hours as it loses its impact in this time. Sunblock also protects against pigmentation, a phenomenon which is very common in older skin.
Night creams and applications are quite important for people in this age bracket as they help the skin remain firmer and toned.
The needs for the neck, hands and heals?
Normally we all take care of our faces, but seldom do we pay similar attention to the neck and hands. Unsurprisingly, these areas become the biggest giveaways of your age. In winters, the skin in these areas is dry, flaky and scaly. Make sure your daily skincare regime is extended beyond your face to include your neck and hands. This includes cleaning, toning, moisturizing and sunscreen. Every time you wash your hands, make sure you apply a moisturizer. If you are washing clothes, make sure you wear gloves so as not to expose your hands to the ravages of the detergent and water.
Cracked heals are another area that becomes problematic in this age, particularly in winters. Keep a foot cream at hand and use it daily before going to bed. It will help keep the feet smooth and beautiful.
Hydrating masks: Winters is a time when we extensively use central heating systems that can suck up all the indoor moisture and cause sensitive skin to be dry and rashy. To undo the effects of dryness, some hydrating face masks can have valuable results. Honey based face packs, milk cream, banana pulp as well as yoghurt can be applied on the skin as hydrating face masks. Apply these items on the skin in an even spread and leave for 15-20 minutes before you wash them off. These hydrating items have a softening effect that makes skin supple.
Replenishing Hyaluronic Acid cosmetically can enrich the skin during winters
Today, skincare products and procedures are based on scientific knowledge. Through extensive research, experts today know the reasons why skin ages and why its need for hydration increases with age. Hyaluronic acid is an important component of the skin and helps keep the levels of hydration in the dermis as being a hydrophilic substance it binds water. However, with age, our skin’s natural reserves of hyaluronic acid diminish and hence the skin starts appearing dull and dry.
Restylane Vital Skinboosters is a new age therapy that moisturizes the skin from within and replenishes the lost reserves of moisture as it is a hyaluronic acid based product. Using microinjections, stabilized hyaluronic acid gel is implanted into the outer layers of the skin and works naturally to hydrate the skin from within. This not only makes the skin look more youthful by filling up the finer lines on the outer layers of the skin, but also plays a crucial role in hydrating the skin and in a way taking care of its need for moisture that is so needed in winters.
Vitamins are important as we age Vitamins are crucial in fighting oxidative stress that is a normal part of ageing. As winters approach, it would do well to increase your vitamin intake. Make sure citrus fruits are a part of your diet, so are vegetables. Topical application vitamin C as available in serums is also very effective.
Release stress and exercise- If you have to look good, you should look good from inside out. Regular routine of exercise or including yoga in your life helps release stress and helps make your skin beautiful and youthful. It also builds immunity.