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Skin care tips for women

Published: 
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Keep your skin clean. Dirt and grime clog pores and make your complexion dull.

All your beauty sins may start to creep up on you when you reach your 40s, as sun exposure and poor skin care start to take their toll. “This is when many women start seeing the past catch up with them,” says Erin Welch, MD, a dermatologist at Dermatology Consultants in Denver, Colorado. As we reach our forties, our skin is growing more slowly and is more prone to dryness and fine wrinkles.” Fortunately, there’s still an opportunity to slow aging and maybe even reverse the effects of some earlier bad behavior.

Here’s how to get your skin glowing after 40:

• Shun the sun. Sun exposure is the biggest factor leading to premature aging, wrinkles, and dry skin  and one of the easiest problems to prevent. Grab a high-SPF, full-spectrum sunscreen that covers both UVA and UVB rays, and apply it religiously, rain or shine.

• Don’t be rough on your skin.
“The worst thing you can do to your skin is to be too aggressive. You should baby your skin,” says Jessica Wu, MD, a dermatologist in Los Angeles. “Irritation can lead to inflammation and premature aging, and it can also aggravate adult acne and rosacea.” Dr Wu recommends starting slowly when you introduce a new product into your regimen, and advises checking the labels of products carefully. “You should avoid using two potentially irritating ingredients at the same time, like vitamin C and retinol, use one in the morning and the other at night,” she says.

• Rely on retinol. Dr Wu considers this vitamin A derivative the best thing for the 40-something face. 
“Retinoid creams have been shown to build collagen in your skin, fade sun spots, and improve overall skin texture and skin tone,” she says. You can find it in over-the-counter creams or get prescription-strength versions like Retin-A or Renova to help improve your skin. For most 40-somethings, an over-the-counter product will provide significant improvement.

• Keep it clean. Dirt and grime clog pores and make your complexion dull, but aggressive scrubbing can make skin irritated and red. Use a gentle cleanser twice a day, and limit exfoliant use, once a week is usually enough for your skin.

• Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. Skin gets drier as you get older, and even if you’ve gotten away without using a moisturiser daily in the past, you’ll need it now. Apply a richer moisturiser in the evening, and a lighter one (perhaps with a sunscreen included) during the day.

• Splurge on a good eye cream. “The delicate eye area has very few oil glands, and the skin is thin, so it’s often the first place to show wrinkles. The right eye cream can really soften those lines,” Dr Wu says. For dry skin, look for a rich, emollient cream; gels and serums work better for oilier complexions. And to reduce those under-eye bags, Dr Wu has a quick tip: “Keep your eye cream in the fridge, so when you use it in the morning, the cold helps to depuff.”

• Refresh your face. Maintaining youthful skin no longer requires going under the knife. Chemical peels and microdermabrasion both smooth the outer layers of skin, the first treatment by peeling off the rougher outer layers with a mild acid, the second by blowing fine crystals against the face to wear away dead skin. The only downside is that you’ll have to repeat the treatments regularly to maintain the look.

• Fill in the lines. With a few needle pricks, your doctor can smooth out hollowed areas and wrinkles and help keep new wrinkles from forming. Fillers help plump up wrinkles and smooth the skin. Doctors use a variety of different materials as fillers, everything from your own body fat and collagen (a building block of young skin) to artificial fillers like silicone and hyaluronic acids.

• Live a healthier lifestyle. Your overall health has a huge impact on your skin’s health, so it pays to follow doctor’s orders in every aspect of your life.Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables, get plenty of sleep and exercise, and stay well hydrated, you’ll reap the dividends with gorgeous, glowing skin.

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