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The skin has a tremendous capacity for self-regeneration if properly cared for and it’s never too late to start.

Proper and regular care keeps the skin youthful for long while a neglected skin develops symptoms of ageing prematurely. So, it is important to understand the individual needs of your skin and to know the dangers and hazards that can hasten the appearance of ageing signs on the skin. You must know the skin’s worst enemies and learn how to protect yourself.  With skin, you have one major advantage…..it will respond to the right kind of care. 

Sun Protection

The sun is the worst enemy of your skin. If you avoid excessive sun exposure, you can actually keep your skin look young for longer. This is because the sun’s UV rays cause oxidation damage making your skin prone to wrinkles, dark spots and pigmentation. Apply a sunscreen 20 minutes before going out in the sun. Damage from the sun’s rays is especially heightened near water bodies and snow - because they are reflective surfaces. So, when you are swimming or holidaying at sea and hill resorts, don’t forget your sunscreen. 

Moisturisation

Moisture is life, as far as the skin is concerned. This holds truer for people with normal to dry skins. Keep your skin well moisturized, especially if you are also exposed to constant air-conditioning or heating. Long term exposure to air-conditioners and heaters can deprive the skin of its moisture leading to dehydration and dryness. As a result, the skin becomes fragile and prone to lines and wrinkles.

Cleansing Products

Did you know most soaps are alkaline by nature? They not only disrupt the normal acid-alkaline balance of the skin but also cause moisture depletion. 

Therefore, it is best to opt for cleansing gels, especially if your skin is very dry. Actually, cleansing gels or lotions help to dissolve dirt and pollutants and remove them from the skin surface.

Make-up cosmetics are also drying and are best removed with a cleanser, rather than soap. For oily skins, a cleansing lotion or face wash can be used, while problem skins need medicated cleansers. Make sure to cleanse your skin twice a day. Nighttime cleansing is of utmost importance to get rid of the pollutants that have settled on the skin during the day.  

Exfoliation & Masks

Our skin is constantly regenerating itself and shedding old and dead cells. The youth of the skin depends on the regeneration of healthy new cells. That is why exfoliation is an integral part of skincare. Scrubs and cleansing grains help to remove dead cells and cellular build-up and improve the process of cell renewal of the skin. 

Masks also help in the removal of dead cells, along with improving blood circulation to the skin surface, tightening the skin and keeping it soft, smooth and youthful. While buying masks make sure to check the label and ingredients list to look for specific age-control benefits. 

Nourishing

Nourishing is a way of supplying emollients to the skin, so that it can hold moisture better. For dry skins, nourishing should be a part of the daily night-care routine. Again, the ingredients of nourishing creams help to increase its benefits. For example, it can contain anti-oxidants, vitamins and enzymes, which help to keep the skin healthy and youthful.  A nourishing cream should be massaged on the skin with outward and slightly upward movements. Then wipe off with moist cotton wool.

Take special care of particular areas

During the routine care of your skin, pay attention to particular areas of the skin, which begin to show ageing signs earlier than other parts of the face or body. These include neck, area around the eyes and hands.

The skin around the eyes is very thin and delicate. It can get easily pulled or stretched. So, very gentle care is needed while removing make-up and creams around this area. Apply a cleansing gel around the eyes and wipe off with moist cotton wool. Then apply an outer-eye cream and leave it on only for ten minutes. Wipe off with moist cotton wool. Masks should not be applied around the eyes. 

Pay special attention to your neck area in your daily skincare. Massage your neck in a downward motion - starting from the chin - using both hands, one after the other. Apply pressure while going down and not while bringing hands back to the chin.

Hands begin to show age earlier than most other parts of the body. Protect them by wearing rubber gloves when you perform your washing chores. Routinely care for your hand by massaging cream into the skin after your bath, or after household chores. 

Diet & Lifestyle

Skin is more than just a covering. It reflects the state of your inner being – both body and mind - and is closely connected to your emotions. Many problems can be triggered off by stress and mental anxiety. So, learning to relax is important. Yoga, pranayama, meditation, not only have stress-relieving benefits but probably also hold the key to youthful good looks.  

Scientific research indicates that age-related degeneration of the body can be retarded by supplying the body with substances that counteract the effects of free radical or oxidation damage. These are the antioxidants. The known antioxidants are Vitamins A, C. and E, some of the B-Complex Vitamins, bioflavonoids, some amino acids and minerals like zinc and selenium. Many of these antioxidants are very delicate and are totally or partially destroyed by cooking. Taking just one or two antioxidants does not help. The essential balance of all the nutrients must be maintained. Therefore, there is a strong case in favour of “natural” foods – i.e. raw foods, like fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, nuts and seeds and yoghurt. Include whole grains in your diet and avoid processed foods. A diet rich in natural foods has a rejuvenating effect. It has been found to be successful not only in delaying ageing but reversing age-related degeneration of the body.

Exercise is one of the most important ways of keeping your body fit and youthful. True physical fitness means a body that is strong and resilient, with greater energy and stamina. Such a body has the ability to perform at its peak without showing fatigue. It also has a mind that can deal with stress. In fact, exercise is one of the best ways of reducing stress. The benefits of exercise are numerous. It helps you stay in shape, provides energy for the day and removes toxins from the body thus improving overall health so your skin shines with an inherent glow. Regular exercise also improves posture and adds grace to the body. It not only makes one look youthful but feel youthful too. 

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