With 2010 already in full swing, a lot of our “of a certain age” clients are wondering how to improve their skin this year. So here are ten tips to help your body’s largest organ look and act more youthful:
1. Follow a skincare regime that is appropriate for your “stage” in life. Today’s professional skincare products are filled with active ingredients that, applied regularly, actually produce a beneficial effect, helping the ski’s cells to behave in a more youthful fashion. Talk to Afterglow staff about Afterglow’s own line of professional products to find a regimen that is tailored to you.
2. Need we say it again? Use your sunscreen every day and —just as importantly—make sure it is marked “broad spectrum.” The SPF rating applies only to UVB rays, however, UVA light is far more damaging to the skin in the long run. This is because it is all around us, even on a dull day, and can pass through a glass window pane. Broad spectrum sunscreens contain blocks against UVA light, protecting your skin from cumulative damage.
3. Get enough sleep. Although skin repair is an ongoing process, lack of sleep causes an increase in the stress hormone cortisol and this can slow the production of collagen. Between 7 and 8 hours a night is the appropriate amount of shut-eye for that youthful bloom.
4. Get enough exercise. By increasing blood flow, physical activity will bring blood and nutrients to the surface of your skin, encouraging a healthy glow.
5. Don’t smoke. Smoking damages the skin. Period. Not only will you develop dynamic wrinkles from all that puffing and squinting, but the blood vessels in the surface of your skin will constrict, resulting in a dull pallor.
6. Eat more fruits and veggies. Their antioxidants are good for your whole body. Fruits and veggies are also hydrating.
7. If you are past menopause, the reduced estrogen in your body will gradually cause breakdown of collagen and elastin, resulting in a thin, sagging appearance. Consider Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). Dr. Ebrahim will be able to advise you on BHRT so you may wish to set up an appointment with her.
8. Treatment with the Pro-Fractional laser has been shown to improve the tone and texture of aging skin. You may also wish to discuss this with the staff of Afterglow.
9. Don’t forget to exfoliate. Exfoliating the outer layer of skin (epidermis) encourages cell renewal in the deeper layers of the skin. Afterglow offers a microdermabrasion treatment that will polish and refine your skin in a mere 20 minutes. It’s a great way to refresh your look for the coming year!
10. Last, but not least, hydrate! Drink lots of pure water or—if you can afford the sugar content—juices. Foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts, flax oil, flax seed, salmon, mackerel, sardines), also help keep water in the skin. At night, when skin loses moisture, use a humidifier in your bedroom and wake up to a plumper, more youthful-looking skin.
Of course, you know you must wear a sunhat and broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater to protect your skin… But did you know that, when out in the bright summer sunshine, you need to reapply your sunscreen every 80 minutes? This is because the UVA protection breaks down quickly when in sunlight. Sunscreens containing Mexoryl™ or Helioplex® last longer, and are the protection of choice for bright summer days.
Better still is the protection provided by ColoreScience’s Sunforgettable mineral sunscreens, now available from Afterglow.
Sunforgettable is a weightless powder that is safe for all ages, odour free, clear on the skin and will not burn the eyes if you perspire.
Sunforgettable SPF 30 mineral powder comes in an easy to use retractable brush so all you need do is brush it on, pat it in and forget about it. The formula consists of titanium dioxide and zinc dioxide and may be safely used if you have rosacea, eczema or other skin problems. It is especially helpful following skin peels, laser treatments and most surgical procedures, and will not rub off on your clothes.
Sunscreen will protect your skin from the outside, but you can also protect yourself from the inside! Researchers have recently looked into the role certain foods play in protecting the skin from UV rays. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants that protect plants from UV rays. When we eat plants containing carotenoids, this protection is passed on to us. Foods rich in carotenoids include carrots, tomatoes, melons, yams, pomegranates, yams, kale and broccoli.
Broccoli and other vegetables of the brassica family (Brussels sprouts, kale and dark leafy cabbage), also contain substances known as sulforaphanes. These reduce the inflammation resulting from over-exposure to the sun.
Flavonoids are other plant-based antioxidants that have been shown to provide a degree of protection against UV light. Cocoa with high flavonoid content (usually marked on the package) and dark chocolate with over 80% cocoa content have been shown to exert protective effects on the skin after a few weeks’ daily use.
However delicious that chocolate may be, please remember that you will still need a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher and a sunhat to fully protect your skin from the ravages of the sun.