No, we can’t beat “Old Father Time” but some women drive a mighty close bargain with him! We can’t turn back the clock, but we can learn a few tricks to help maintain our looks. Beauty can be ageless; it just depends on knowing what your skin needs! Skin is your body’s largest organ, the only external organ, protecting what is inside and keeping harmful things outside. It effectively retains essential fluids, protects internal organs, resists infections and acts as a physical barrier to damage.
We spend a lot of time and money worrying about the top layer of skin, the epidermis, which we see in the mirror. But skin has 3 layers, the middle one being the dermis, the lower layer the hypodermis. Beauty really is skin deep, what goes on below the surface, in the dermis and hypodermis is what really matters, than the top layer in the long run. These lower layers contain hair follicles, nerve endings, connective tissue, blood vessels, sebaceous glands, sweat glands, and collagen fibres. It’s where the skin process begins – with new cells being constantly formed and renewed. It takes approximately 30 days for these new cells to find their way up to the top layer, and what we see in the mirror when they reach the skin’s surface are by now old cells. These are shed naturally in a continuous process and the older we get the longer this process takes! So what’s new?
The human face is the only part of the body where the muscles are attached directly to the skin instead of the bones. Each time we react to people or situations, we tighten our lips, flicker our eyelids, smile, or frown in response.
The emotions we experience and our reaction to them form expressions on our faces which repeated over many years, give us our unique, individual looks.
Our faces should be bright, full of emotion with an inner beauty shining through, but in fact over the years our lifestyles become etched upon our faces, some good, some not so good, and others just bad!
Our lifestyle gives us our individual look and a positive attitude can help delay the ageing process. If we feel happy and healthy, positive signs get etched onto our faces. A smile uses 7 facial muscles, but it can take 32 muscles to frown! Therefore frowning creates more lines, furrows and wrinkles, so it pays to be cheerful! The rate at which skin ages differs for all of us, 10% of ageing is intrinsic, genetic, so look at your parents. Other ageing factors are extrinsic such as, bad diet, smoking, excessive drinking, stress, weather and sun. Much of this can be avoided, so what really counts is how we live our lives. However, the menopause and associated drop in oestrogen levels results in thinner, drier, flaky skin, with less elasticity. With less collagen and elastin excess fat is able to form into deep furrows and droopy jowls.
A good skincare routine is most important, but doesn’t need to be complicated. At night time cleanse thoroughly to remove all make-up and grime then apply oil based moisturiser to feed skin whilst you sleep. In the morning cleanse to refresh and follow with a toner to remove traces of creamy cleanser. Moisturise again for the day with a water based product to lock in existing oils and to prevent dryness and irritation. Dead skin cells and surplus grime can make your skin look dull and prevent helpful products from penetrating your skin. Once a week exfoliate after cleansing, then rinse off and moisturise immediately. Aim to drink 6-8 glasses of FLUID each day (water, juice, tea, coffee all count) to help flush out toxins and plump up your skin. And…why not try the following simple face exercises?
- French Connection – to relax jaw and prevent mouth lines
Sit up and look straight ahead. Open mouth wide and say “Uhh”. Next say “Eee” (pull lips back wide towards ears) and now open mouth as big as possible and say “Ahh”. Repeat these 3 sounds – uhh, eee, ahh 10 times and feel jaw and mouth relax. (Smokers are more at risk of developing vertical mouth lines).
2. Joker – to prevent lines forming and to lift corners of mouth
Openly your mouth slightly, narrow your lips and pull them tightly over your top and bottom teeth. Keep your lips mean and taut and now pull up the corners of your mouth in a joker like smile. Hold for a count of 5. Repeat 10 times.
3.Bright Eyes Uppers – to lift droopy eyelids
Place fore fingers firmly on bone under your eyebrow. Gently push up skin and muscle and work upper eye muscles against the resistance by opening and closing your eyes rapidly 20 times with a fast fluttering movement.
- The Lion – to energise and invigorate
Place hands on knees and close your eyes. All at the same time simply open your eyes very wide, lift up your hands and spread out fingers – stick tongue out to touch your chin……and roar like a lion! Now -you’re ready to face the world!