You may not want to act gracefully as you get older - after all, where’s the fun in that?! - but you do want your skin to age gracefully. For youthful looking, fresh-faced skin without going under the knife or subjecting your face to a barrage of needles, follow a few basic rules. The important thing to remember is that the aim is to look more Helen Mirren and less Donatella Versace - you want to look youthful and healthy but still yourself. Laughter lines are a sign of a life well lived!
Use SPF every day of the year
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that in winter and when it’s cloudy the sun’s rays don’t penetrate. If it’s light enough to see in front of you, ultraviolet rays are getting through. UVA rays, which cause premature ageing of the skin and skin cancer, and UVB rays, which causes your skin to burn, penetrate every day of the year so it is vital to protect your skin with a daily SPF moisturiser throughout the seasons.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Other than protecting your skin from the sun, there is no skincare rule that is more important than daily moisturising. Estrogen helps to keep the skin supple but as our levels of estrogen decline with age, so too does the skin’s ability to moisturise itself. Hot showers and harsh detergents are best avoided as they strip the skin’s humectant layer which both draws moisture into the skin and acts as a barrier to prevent it from escaping. After washing, you should immediately re-hydrate with a rich cream, preferably whilst the skin is still damp. Look for moisturisers containing hyaluronic acid, which can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water.
The skin cell renewal process gets more and more sluggish as we age, leading to dull, tired looking skin. Exfoliating twice a week with a scrub containing gentle spherical beads or natural fruit enzymes will rid the skin of dead cells, create a healthy glow and give the skin’s renewal process a boost, all of which leads to a brighter, smoother complexion.
Don’t forget your décolletage
When it comes to skincare, many women stop at the breastbone but your décolletage is often on show and is therefore subjected to all the external aggressors that your face is, including UV rays, the wind, the cold, and pollution. There’s no point having a youthful looking face if your décolletage shows your real age, unless of course you are happy to hide beneath turtlenecks and scarves. As the skin on the décolletage is so fine, it is susceptible becoming thin and crepey, as well as forming hyper-pigmentation and wrinkles, all of which are largely sun damage-related. Ensure that you protect the area with an SPF moisturiser before you go out and treat it with a moisture-rich cream at night.
As a beauty writer, Emily Buckley has written a number of health and beauty articles, most recently for Laser Sight, Australasia’s leading Lasik laser eye surgery specialists.