Once you have taken care of your body and skin with hydration, diet, supplements and exercise, it is time to consider exterior skin care. As we age, our skin loses its youthful texture, its elasticity and its radiant glow. When you are over the age of 40, or pre- or post-menopausal, many skin changes begin to take place. Marketing tactics used to peruse your interest often lead towards irrational choices, egregious overspending and, of course, adverse side effects.
The Problem: Wrinkles, Stressed Skin
Wrinkles develop, eyes get dark circles and puffiness, age spots may begin to appear, and acne or rosacea may occur. Skin becomes thinner and drier than ever before. It can be “papery”, which literally means, very fragile and easily damaged. Any and all of these skin issues require special attention to the skin.
If you want to counter the effects of aging skin, a determined and effective skin care regimen is necessary. There are solutions, like skin tightening, that can do wonders for your skin; taking certain precautions before choosing your distressed skin solution is almost vital where your skin is involved.
Finally, there's acne. Acne, believe it or not, is not just a young person’s affliction. Acne is a common problem for women when they enter pre-menopause stages and men throughout their entire lives, even if they have never had a pimple of any kind in their youth. It can continue for as long as you live without proper treatment.
The Solution: Skin Care Regimen
Here are some tips for a proper skin care regimen that will help you achieve fresh clean skin that is ready for your make-up or just to go bare that will also help you when stressed:
Exfoliate – Aging skin is drier and more delicate than younger skin, therefore to avoid redness and irritation you should use a mild exfoliator or a gentle dry brushing technique. Exfoliating will remove all of the dry and flaky skin that can clog pores. Exfoliate your entire body up to 3 times a week. It is always best to exfoliate dry skin, no matter the method you use.
Cleansing – Use a gentle facial cleanser and a soft cloth. Never scrub your face or body. Rinse with warm water, never use hot as it can cause additional dryness. After cleansing or bathing always splash your face with cold water after the warm rinse. This makes the pores close back up and helps prevent dirt and make-up from entering the pores so easily. Moisturize after every cleansing; this is to make sure your moisturizer is high in antioxidant content. When you have aging skin, moisturizers should be applied all over.
Sunscreen – Following your morning cleansing regimen, applies a 30 SPF sunscreen over the top of your moisturizer, and before you apply make-up. The sun’s UV rays are one of the most damaging things to your skin, and are a major cause of wrinkles on the face and neck. Make sure to use a broad spectrum cream that protects from both UVA and UVB rays.
Winter can be just as damaging to skin as summer. The cold causes dryness, redness and irritation of the skin. The dry heat indoors can have the same effect, doubling the problem if you are going in and out regularly. Indoors you should run a humidifier in winter or keep a pot of water simmering on the stove to add moisture to the air.
Fighting Age Spots
Age spots are caused by changes in the skin’s pigmentation as we age, primarily due to changes in the production of melatonin in the skin. Oxidative stress of skin cells due to exposure to the sun can be another reason for age spots to develop. These age spots can be lightened and even eliminated with the proper treatment, leaving you with younger looking skin. Treatment involves bleaching the color out of the spots.
Hydroquinone is the main ingredient in most bleaching creams for age spots. Creams that contain hydroquinone can be purchased over the counter or if a stronger solution is needed your physician or dermatologist can provide a prescription.
Remember, your skin is what outwardly defines you - take care of it during your middle age years, and watch in the mirror as you age gracefully - but most of all, don't allow society's greedy pharmaceutical companies to market their way into your heart. Trust, but verify.