Image via WikipediaA discussion with a friend triggered this thought yesterday. She saw me pick up my regular Ponds Tinted Moisturizer (which is from the Age miracle Line) and made a face. She felt that using anti-aging products at 27 years (which we both are) is overkill. Frankly until now I never thought about it. I get the Ponds Tinted Moisturizer simply because I love it. (I have to thank Cynthia for this recommendation. Read her blog here and my review here)
So I came back and did a bit of reading up. Below are my two cents on the subject
1. Anti – aging is an oxymoron. You cannot anti – age your skin. What we know as aging is actually the physical manifestation of skin cells that are damaged, and when this damage accumulates over time.
2. Aging begins long before we actually see its physical manifestation in the form of sun spots, patchy skin and wrinkles.
3. Indian women have much thicker skin than their western counterparts so they don’t get fine lines and wrinkles well until they hit their 40s & 50s. Signs of skin damage in Indian women are dry, patchy discolored skin and dark circles. They also suffer from sagging of muscle and underlying tissues.
4. The sun, pollution, smoking, excessive drinking are the most damaging to the skin. And this damage accumulates below the skin as free radicals generated by the above damage collagen and elastin fibers weaking the skin structure.
5. So I feel that it’s better to use anti aging creams ‘before’ you start noticing signs of wrinkles. Before you even ‘think’ about wrinkles as a matter of fact. You can start your own skin care regimen while at a younger age keeping the wrinkles from forming for a longer period of time. You should also use SPF 15 on your face because the sun is a major cause of wrinkles.
6. Research has proven that up to 90 percent of the visible changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun, and that about 23% of sun damage has already occurred to the skin by the time we are 18 and a total of 50% by the time we are 40 (read it here.) These are figures for America, now think about the kind of sunny, hot weather we have throughout the year in India and the extremely low usage of sunscreen, the figures can only be worse.
7. In your 20’s is the best time to begin using anti-aging products in order to prevent future wrinkles and damage. You should also incorporate a toner that has Vitamin C (you can make this at home very easily – read about it here) that helps renew the skin and a high quality moisturizer. Use products with SPF protection and choose according to your skin type. You just want to give your skin the proper moisture, especially around the eye area.
8. Also get a good pair of sun glasses. Investing in a good pair will prevent you from squinting in the sun and forming lines around your eyes
9. Beauty experts and dermatologists unanimously recommend liberal usage of moisturizer, sunscreen, and, of course, minimizing sun exposure for people in twenties to prevent skin damage.
10. If you live in a polluted city like me and spend a lot of your time in an air – conditioned environment then you have to take extra precautions and here is why:
a. Air conditioned environments are very low on humidity. As a result they sap moisture out of your skin. Spending a lot of time in air conditioned environments can sap your skin of moisture making it very vulnerable to fine lines. Use a very good quality moisturizer to combat this.
b. Pollutants in our air, water generate free radicals and damage our skin. They block our pores, make skin look duller. In fact it had been scientifically proven in addition to being a target organ and site of cancer and contact allergens, the skin is the site of significant absorption of environmental pollutants (Read study here).
These pollutants damage the skin structure significantly and it is similar to the damage caused by smoking
11. Before you hit the age of 30 you should try to expand your facial care regimen.. You should start using an eye cream right about this age. You should also consider starting using a mask or peel every one or two weeks.
Those were my two cents (or rather 11 cents) on the entire issue of skin damage prevention. After I did this research last night I have become an even more form believer in taking good preventive measures. I am glad I found the Ponds Tinted Moisturizer as it also has an spf of 15. I hate the oily sticky texture of sunscreens and never used them before. However since Ponds became a part of my daily routine I am glad that I have begun to take some kind of protective measure.
It is better to err on the side of caution when you are 27 rather than try in vain reverse the damage when you are 50.
What are your thoughts?