The 3 D’s that nobody likes

Fine lines and wrinkles start to appear as we approach our 30s.  As if that is not enough, the 3 D’s also start to appear:  dehydration, dullness and discolouration.  There are many products on the market today, promising to not only soften the look of wrinkles, but also feed your skin.  In today’s blog post I am going to touch on why this happens and what to do.

Dehydration

Fine lines and wrinkles are unavoidable.  Yes, you can go for Botox, but at some point in time wrinkles and fine lines will stick!  The best thing to do is to keep your skin hydrated as much as possible.  Make sure to drink plenty of water (fluids) as there is no miracle cream that will erase wrinkles all-together.  The more hydrated you are on the inside, the more it will show on the outside; and help your skin to cope with dry air, aircon, cold weather, being in the sun a lot, and so on.  When your skin is dry and dehydrated, wrinkles and fine lines are more visible.  When your skin and body are hydrated, skin cells appear plumper and more youthful. 

If you do suffer from a dry skin in general, make sure to use a moisturizer that is specifically made for dry skins.  Oily skins can also be dehydrated; remember, the skin lacks water, not oil!  Best to be on the lookout for products that contain water-rich ingredients, for example hyaluronic acid.  Products that contain marine plant algae is another good option for dehydrated skins.  Other good products to look, are those with added avocado oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, honey, almond oil, and so on, added.  These are not just good for your face, but also your body.

Dullness

A youthful skin has a seemingly glow from the inside.  Unfortunately, as we age, a slow-down of cell turnover means the skin loses its radiance.  The only way to regain this is to speed up the cell turnover and to remove dead skin cells by exfoliation regularly.  A granular facial and body scrub is a good product to use.  When you are using a buff, do take care not to use the part that is very coarse on your face.  The skin on your face is not as thick as the rest of the body; be gently even when you exfoliate using a buff.  When looking for products that can help with dullness, look out for products containing enzymes like Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) or fruit acids.  This will help to dissolve the stubborn protein bonds deep down inside the skin, that hold the dead skin cells together.

Discolouration

An uneven skin tone and/or blotchiness, is a common problem among all women of all ages.  This happens because of an overload of melanin (the pigment in the skin that gets aggravated by sun exposure, stress, hormonal changes, pregnancy, menopause and the contraceptive pill).  Treating pigmentation and reducing uneven skin tone is not easy; best to try to prevent it as much as you can.  So, what can you do?  Start by using a day cream with an SPF of at least 15 in every morning.  When you are outdoors, wear a hat.  Don’t lie in the sun between 11:00 and 14:00, stay clear of sunbeds (not only do this damage your body cells deep underneath your skin, but it is also one of the big causes of skin cancers).  Try to either use a product that contains zinc, or make sure to add a multi-vitamin to your diet that contains zinc.  Zinc protects the skin from everyday pollutants like smoke, smog and the sun.

Another good product to look out for, is one that contains antioxidants.  This will help to treat already discoloured skin, as the vitamins A, C and E, plus fruit acids, are wonderful in fending off environmental nasties like pollution and the harmful UVA and UVB rays.  Just a note – being outdoors in the sun is not all bad – we need vitamin D – it is the time of day that you must watch out for; and of course, the hours you do spend lying in the sun!

Whichever products you choose to use, do make sure that it contains the right ingredients for your skin type.  Sensitive skins must take of products containing parabens and dyes, as well as perfumes and/or other chemicals.

Just remember ladies…and gents…you can put on as much cream as you want, but your skin can only absorb so much!  Drinking water and making sure you get enough fluids in (especially water or black tea without sugar and milk), are very important.  If you are thirsty, it means you are already dehydrating.  Those people living and/or working in aircon, central heating or working outside in the sun, heat and dust, do make sure to drink enough!

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