by Osadhi skin products Pvt Ltd March 10, 2021
What is ageing?
There are two types of ageing. One is biological and natural, that is ‘internal’. The other is a result of ‘external’ environmental factors and lack of proper skin care.How do we recognize that our skin is ageing?
From the time we are born (with perfect skin) chronical ageing begins. We recognize it only when wrinkles set in and the skin loses its elasticity, plumpness and even tone. While biological ageing cannot be stopped; ageing due to external factors can be delayed for even up to ten years with proper skin care.
Why does the skin lose its elasticity and plumpness as we advance in years?
Let us reflect, that there are two protein elements in the skin called collagen and elastin that give it its ‘tensile strength’, which means its tautness and give it its ‘spring’ which means its ability to stretch and then spring back into place; wherein if you pinch the skin, it settles back comfortably. Collagen gives the skin its tautness because of being arranged in parallel bundles and elastin gives it its elasticity/flexibility.
Ageing sets in when the integrity of the parallel arrangement of the collagen bundles is lost and the elastin loses its spring. That means that our collagen loses its ability to regain its shape after being stretched. That’s when wrinkles begin to form. Finally with time, our elastin and collagen form an in-elastic, crisscross bed of inflexible fibers called elastone. This inelastic bed of collagen and elastin fibers only progresses with age, and losing its elasticity the skin begins to sag.
So, to go back to the question: “Why does the skin lose its elasticity and plumpness as we advance in years”?
Ultra Violet (UV) Rays of the Sun are a major culprit, with this regard. The two main UV rays we are concerned with, with regard to skin care are the UVA and UVB rays. These rays penetrate our skin and break the parallel arrangement of our collagen bundles and damage the elastin fibers which results in premature wrinkles. Unfortunately, with the deteriorating environmental pollution, the beneficial Ozone layer through which these UV rays travel before reaching us is thinning out considerably. That’s why the UV rays are now extremely hazardous and depleting to our skin structure. Excessive sun exposure has a damaging effect on the collagen and elastin fibers.
If we avoid direct exposure to the sun, can we save our skin from becoming hard and inflexible?
It is best to avoid direct sun exposure, a couple of hours before and after the time that the sun is the hottest in your part of the world. The sun is the hottest at mid-day in the tropics, when our shadow is just below our feet.
Will that save my skin from ageing?
Exposure to excessive UV rays is like a bank deposit that accumulates over a period of time. The signs of ageing may not be obvious immediately, but will definitely show up later. One cannot cancel what one has exposed the skin to in the past. But happily one can certainly take care in the future.
Do not forget that not only the sun’s rays from overhead, but reflection from sand on a beach or snow on the mountains can cause UV damage).
What are the things that one can do to curtail damaging our skin from UV rays?
The minimal practical aspect is to use a hat or scarf to cover ones skin when out of doors.
What’s the best thing to do?
Besides wearing a hat and/or scarf one needs to use a broad spectrum Sun Screen. UVA will accelerate a tan and UVB will cause your skin to burn. The Sun Protecting Factor (SPF) of your Sun Screen should cover these two aspects. The SPF should be a minimum of 15. This would mean, for example, that if your personal threshold of staying in the sun without burning is 5 minutes, then SPF 15 multiplied by your personal threshold of 5 minutes would enable you to stay safe for 75 minutes only. Thereafter you will have to re-apply your Sun Screen.
What should be my skin routine to keep ageing at bay?
The simple routine of Cleansing, Toning and Moisturising should be followed every day according to your personal skin type.
Let us begin with Cleansing.
Most people ‘dry out’ their skin with their cleansing products. This not only triggers off dehydration in the skin, inviting ageing; it gives a wrong message to our oil glands to produce excess oil to combat that dryness. This inadvertently leads to acne, black heads, pimples and parched skin. Moreover, this weakened skin condition can ‘turn on’ our time clock in the long run, for premature ageing.
So, what kind of cleansers should one use on a daily basis?
Gentle cleansing with (a) Gel cleansers and (b) natural herbal ingredient cleansers, will not dry out our skin. On the contrary, they would hydrate and nourish the skin while efficiently cleansing it. Look out for Gel cleansers with ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Manjishta, Orange, Vitamin E, Petitgrain and Calendula.
Is that adequate cleansing?
No! One must follow-up immediately, on a wet skin, before the water dries up on the skin, with a ‘Skin Toner’ to complete the cleansing process. Again, the gentler the Toner the happier our skin would be. Non-alcoholic skin fresheners with ingredients like Witch Hazel, Rose, Peppermint, Neem, and Benzoin, with gentle antiseptic and cleansing properties triumph! While removing any residue of the previous cleanser, they help shrink pores temporarily and nourish the skin with their superior natural ingredients. This definitely keeps ageing at bay.
What will Witch Hazel and Peppermint do for my skin?
Witch Hazel, rich in tannins, is a natural astringent that can prevent acne-causing bacteria from infecting your skin. Peppermint too is a natural antibacterial skin cleanser and is known to control the secretion of excess oil, keeping acne outbreaks at bay.
Even the oiliest of skins deserve gentle cleansing to keep their skin from prematurely ageing. It is a fallacy to think that Oily/acne prone skins need harsh ingredients like soap and alcohol to cleanse them. These ingredients would strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving it vulnerable to infection.
Let’s move on to moistening and nourishing our skin, in these present times of excessive environmental pollutants and toxins.
What is moisturizing?
Let us first reflect upon the fact that we need to mimic what nature has given to us, as far as possible. Nature has given us ‘natural oils’ (sebum) that moisturize our skin. This means that our ‘natural oil’ forms a layer on top our skin to keep the moisture inside our skin from evaporating. This protects the skin from dehydration, keeping ageing at bay.
But don’t we need to wash our skin to keep it clean and hygienic?
We certainly do! When we wash our skin, the ‘natural oil’ gets washed off too and the ageing clock begins to tick because we are getting dehydrated. It takes a few minutes, depending upon our skin type, for nature (oil glands) to manufacture the oil and send it back on the surface of the skin. This gap, between washing off our natural oil and waiting for nature to replenish it, is crucial for anti- ageing skin care. This is where our moisturizers come in.
When the skin is imbalanced after washing, it is vulnerable and crying out for HELP! That is the time we apply an appropriate moisturizer to soothe and calm down the skin immediately. If we are serious about antiaging skin care, we have to listen to this cry of our skin.
What kind of a moisturizer would my normal to dry skin require in the day time?
Choose an antioxidant rich formulation that is balanced in oil and moisture. Go in for natural ingredients like Sandalwood, Saffron, and Wheat Germ oil. Soak in the goodness of nature’s own skin delivery systems, with essential oils like Jasmine, Geranium flower and Vetiver root oil.
And why is that?
This is because, for example, Sandalwood, helps do away with fine lines and wrinkles and delay the ageing process. Saffron is moisturizing, nourishing and brightens up the complexion. Packed with antioxidants, Wheat Germ oil slows down ageing.
What about the night?
Take an extremely nourishing cream that would boost your collagen and repair your skin while you sleep. Ingredients like, Shea Butter, Pearl Millet, Hydrolyzed Soya Bean Fiber (Peptides), Tulsi, Ashwagandha, Neroli, Vitamin E, and Wheat germ oil would help.
What about dry and mature skins?
Dry and mature skins can use oil based ‘Face Serums’, for moisturizing. They can manage the quantity of serum that they use, from season to season, from 1drop- 10 drops, according to their personal seasonal requirement. Dry and mature skins are usually both ‘oil dry’ and ‘moisture dry’. So for great results, after applying the serum, follow-up with a deep hydrant. Aloe Vera Gel is a topper with this regard, because it has the youth mineral potassium.
Additionally, at bed time, they can use a collagen boosting nourishing night cream like the one mentioned above.
Since ageing first sets in around the eyes, they must always use an under eye cream every time they wash their skin. Choose a balanced formulation that would smooth ‘crow’s feet’ and clarify dark circles. Look for Rose, Almond Oil, Licorice, Wheat Germ Oil, Ashwagandha and Yeast extract in the formulation.
Can my oily skin use a moisturizer?
Certainly! Choose a non-greasy hydrating product that will calm your skin and keep breakouts at bay. Look for ingredients like Peppermint, Zinc Oxide, Aloe Vera, Rose, Red Algae, Fenugreek, Cucumber, Basil, and Rosehip oil in the formulation.
What should I do if my skin begins to look dull and lifeless, as I grow older?
This happens when there is dead skin build up on the Dermis, which is the outermost layer of your skin. When one is young, this layer of dead skin simply sheds off to make way for new skin cells to emerge. As one advances in age, the cellular turnover becomes sluggish. The dead skin cells just stack up on the dermis and don’t fall off as easily as they did when one was younger. So as one becomes older, one needs to help the skin by use ingredients that exfoliate it and slough off the dead skin cells. This could be done with a simple face pack or a gentle scrub used once a week/fortnight, depending upon your personal requirement. Dead skin wouldn’t build up if one uses mild face cleansing powders (Ubtans) and creamy scrubs on a daily basis.
For a face pack one could go in for ingredients like Fullers Earth (Multani Mitti), Kaolin, Red Clay, Rose Water, Vitamin E and Green Tea. Essential oils of Calendula, Tea Tree and Vetiver would certainly enhance the efficacy of the face pack. It’s quite a joy to lie back, shut one’s eyes and relax with a weekly face pack.
For daily use a herbal plant based synergy with a mix of ingredients like Oatmeal, Neem, Green Gram, Turmeric, Pomegranate Peel, Manjishta and Orange peel could be used. They would gently exfoliate and keep the skin fresh looking and young.
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