Skin care through the years

Did you guys see Demi Moore at the recent Oscars?

Boy! She blew me away. Here is a lady in her 40s (or is it 50s?) and she looks lovely and radiant as ever. All this is thanks to really good skin care and of course maybe a little help from other sources (*wink, wink*)

But even despite that you too can take good care of your skin to look nice always.

As they say, "There are no ugly women, only lazy ones."

Below is a quick guide to skin care through the ages, please note it is cumulative. That is, when you get to the next stage, you still keep doing what you did earlier. You only need to further add the next step.

From 0 to 18: Sun Protection

Young skin by it self is just so youthful and pretty that there is little that you need other than sunscreen and physical sun rays blockers to prevent damage. UV radiation causes 80% of the physical signs of skin aging.

Use sunscreen as well as physical protection like scarves & sun glasses.

Be sure your sunscreen has both UVA and UVB protection. SPF is a measure of UVB protection only. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer makes a good sunblock with spf 50 that offers both UVA & UVB Protection.

When buying sunscreen look out for
  • SPF of at least 15, preferably 30 or above if you are going to be spending more than 30 minutes in the hot day sun.
  • Active ingredients such as 
    • Zinc oxide and micronized zinc oxide
    • Parsol 1789 (avobenzone)
    • Cinnamates such as octyl methocinnamate and cinoxate
    • Salicylates such as octyl, homomenthyl, or triethanolamine salicylate
    • Mexoryl
    • Helioplex (Neutrogena)
If you have acne - especially resistant acne, do visit a dermatologist. Neglecting acne can damage the skin structure in the long run, besides you will have all those blemishes to deal with.

Use a moisturizer if you feel that your skin needs it. Also please note that you don't need anti wrinkle creams or microdermabrasion in your 20's.

From 18 to 25: Extra Moisture.

So now in addition to using the sun protection, you need to add a little bit extra moisturiser to your regime. Moisturizing is not just a temporary plumping up of cells. It supports the skin’s water matrix and allows the skin’s natural moisturizing system to work more efficiently and even repair itself to some extent.

You do not need to use thick creams if you don't like them. There are a lot of good light moisturizers available in the market today. You can go herbal with Biotique & Blossom Kochhar or high-tech with Neutrogena. Pick a brand, any brand. But be absolutely sure that your moisturizer has SPF 15 or 20, and that it gives you both UVA and UVB protection. Apply it all over your face and on your neck and chest

To make it simple, simply use a moisturizer with SPF and get a pair of good sunglasses.

Be sure your moisturizer has both emollients and NMFs.

Emollients: substances that soften and soothe the skin. They are used to correct dryness and scaling of the skin. Look out for

  • Silicone
  • Lanolin and other animal oils
  • Mineral and plant oils such as shea butter, cocoa butter and petrolatum
  • Cholesterol
  • Stearates, myristates, palmitates and triglycerides
NMFs: ingredients that mimic the structure and function of healthy skin

  • Collagen
  • Elastin
  • Hyaluronic acid (a.k.a. sodium hyalurate, sodium hyaluronate and other glycosaminoglycans)
  • Urea
  • Niacinimide
  • Glycerin
  • Glycogen
  • Glucose, fructose, or sucrose
  • Polysaccharides
  • Amino acids
  • Cholesterol
  • Lipids
  • Ceramides
  • Lecithin
DIY Tip: You can use a hydrating mist 3-4 times a day to keep your skin moist. Rose water is a good option. You can even try more exotic Lavender and Orange water if you like.

From 25 to 30: Antioxidants

So you have already incorporated sun protection and moisture. Now we need to add antioxidants to the mixture to help the skin repair free radical damage and maintain flexibility. Anti-oxidants such as Vitamin A & C repair the damage to skin proteins: collagen and elastin,  and also prevent further damage.

At 25 oil production also slows down in some women (it did in my case), so you might also have to go in for a thicker creams.

Examples of Anti-oxidants:

  • Alpha-lipoic acid
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • Green tea extract
  • Lycopene (found in tomatoes)
  • Superoxidase dismutase (this is an enzyme)
  • Flavonoids
  • Glutathione
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Grape seed polyphenols
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Olive leaf extract
This is also a good time to consider adding an eye cream and a body and hand lotion to your regime.

  • For dark circles, use one with hydroquinone, vitamin C, or botanicals that brighten, like kojic acid, soy, or licorice; 
  • for puffiness, look for one containing caffeine; 
  • for extra moisturization, use one with hyaluronic acid

DIY Tip: Most natural fruits are very rich in anti-oxidants. Cotton pads steeped in green/black tea can be used daily for a supply of anti-oxidants. Even regular honey is full of anti-oxidants. So is papaya, pomegranate, tomatoes, amla (full of vitamin C). Experiment in the kitchen and rustle up your own anti-oxidant potent face mask. But remember, you will need to do this at least 3 times a week to obtain benefits.

From 30 to 40: Exfoliation

As we age, the cell renewal rate decreases. This is why skin begins to look dull and loses its luminosity. Exfoliation using gentle chemical ingredients and not rough abrasive ingredients will ensure that the skin on the surface is constantly renewed and healthy and pink. Use a gentle exfoliant on a daily basis nightly to reveal younger cells by morning.

Once you're in your 30's, a retinoid or retinol isn't optional anymore.

Examples of chemical exfoliants: 

  • Vitamin A derivatives called retinoids and including retinol and retinyl palmitate
  • AHAs like glycolic, lactic, tartaric, malic, alpha-hydroxyethanoic or alpha-hydroxycaprylic acid and sugar cane
  • BHAs such as salicylic acid (less irritating than AHAs and also used to treat acne)

DIY Tip: Milk and curd are natural sources of lactic acids, sugarcane juice is rich in glycolic acids, even citrus fruits have citric acid that help exfoliate skin.

You can even start using a home microdermabrasion kit once a week.

From 40s onwards:  Peptides

You may lose more collagen and elasticity, and your skin retains less moisture. Because it doesn't reflect light evenly, your complexion is losing some of its glow.Use a creamy (rather than gel) cleanser morning and night, unless you can tolerate one with a mild AHA or salicylic acid once a day. Peptides have been shown to strengthen collagen. Unfortunately I could not locate one with peptides being sold on retail - I think this is because this is the latest technology and therefore either is expensive or may not be sold in retail.

Continue using antioxidants on a daily basis and exfoliants such as retenoids. Sun Protection as always is a must.

I hope this guide helps you plan out your skin care regime. This has been made just out of what I have seen and learnt over the last few years. Of course it goes without saying, that a good diet, regular exercise and avoiding stress go a long way as well.

Please do refer to a dermatologist for a more informed medical opinion and skin care plan that is suited to your unique skin conditions.

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  1. Great post T. N yeah that Demi always looks young...young skin...young man...she's got it all. We have to look like her when we reach that age k :D

  2. @Thks CZ! :D

    I don't know wht that Demi does but she looks so good and even age-appropriate with Ashton.. not like his mom or anything.

    & Yea, I agree.. we all have to look as good as her if not better when we get thr :D

  3. Woow Tanveer...awesome post!!!!! & yeah Demi looks so good with Ashton ;)


  4. Wow!!

    A well written post Tanvi. The break up of each age group's need and concern were well addressed by you.

    And Cynth..Agree with u totally. We definitley need to look like her at that age :-D

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. U researched it so well ....I seriously believe that any one can look good just that they have to believe in it and work hard for it...Most of the solution are in out kitchen..Curd,lemon,orange,gram flour ,milk cream these are secret recipes which we have just ignored.

  7. @HD: Thks HD! I hope it helps :)

    @Poornima: Thks so much for the appreciation. Really makes all the effort worthwhile to be able to help :D

  8. @Anamika: Thks a lot :D

    Even I agree.. Simple home made remedies are what our grannies & moms use and still boast lovely skin and glossy black hair. Looking good is not a matter of spending a lot of money on self, it is just taking the time out to take care.

    Solutions exist to suit every pocket. You just need the initiative :)

  9. Hey great post T, I just happened to come across all the amazing stuff you have posted.kudos and keep up the good work..

  10. Thanks for such a detailed post. you really got the patience. hats off.

  11. @Hey G, So glad to see u here :D.. I hope u will give me some more honest feedback on wht u like & wht cld be better - as u know I value yr opinion a lot :D

  12. @Ani: Thks :)

    This was actually a request from one of the readers - it was either Shweta or Swati.. (Sorry I forgot :( )

    & how cld i not take the time out to write these posts when u invest so much of yr time reading & commenting on my blog.. it's the least tht i can do :D

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. oops i had to delete my previous comment.

    i don't want to offend any demi moore fans, but she seriously scares me. those eyes, that skin.. unappealing.

  15. @Rati: Thks for the comment & all the info on the ingredients :D

    @Rima: :D :D... No offense Rima :)..

    We all differ in what appeals to us :D.

    Or else all of us wld love the same brand and also fall for the same guy. :P

  16. I am gonna keep a copy of this with me so that I know what I shud be doing as I age


  17. Hey Tanveer,

    Thanks for the post..It was my request..actually have been wanting to thank you since yeaterday but there was some problem couldnt view your comment box.

    Have taken prints of your article and given it to my Mom , nd few friends..Because of you and Rati suddenly I have well groomed (Full Make up and all) good looking people around me...:)

    Really look forward to your and also Rati's Blog everyday...

  18. @HD: Glad to be of help. :D

    @Shweta: Sorry, I forgot. You had asked for this post :D

    I am sorry bout the trouble with the comment box.

    I am glad to be able to make yr world a lil more pretty and to have made a positive difference.

    I am sure Rati also appreciates yr comment & is glad about yr patronage :D

  19. wow! Great post as usual. I love how you have covered different age groups.

    The things I love most about your blog are the DIY serums and homemade remedies..since they suit me best:D.

    But guess I do need to start with retinoids. Any idea where Renova is available?? In medical shops??

    Also I never used blush much before but since I am reading your blog I am using blush( actually right now I am applying lipsticks as blush as well) but do want to buy one very soon...wuld love to try NYX if I can find it here in B'lore..:)

  20. Very nice & useful post!!!
    A must read 4 lazy women like me!!!
    The age wise bracket is very useful- otherwise u hav the general CTM routine everywhere!!

  21. @Anon: Thks a lot :D

    I am glad to be of help. Yes, u can get Renova in any medical shop. You might want to refer to a dermatologist before use just to rule any complications. On the other hand - you can even try the Ponds Age Miracle line - this too has reteniods but has been formulated to be mild enough to minimize side effects :D

    Ok, so I have got u addicted to blush too! LOL.. I am glad tht u have begun to experiment with make-up. I find tht it is a gr8 stress buster and makes u look good too :D

    I am not sure if NYX is available in bangalore - but u can try colorbar or maybelline if u r ok using powder blushes. Their quality is very good & they have nice shades.

  22. @Simran: Thks a lot :D... I am glad u liked it :)

  23. Celebrities like Demi Moore can surely afford trips to dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons for injections, surgeries, etc. and follow up with expensive skin care range later. And then there's professional makeup, of course.

    P.S.: It's never too early to invest in a good eye cream. BHAs should only be used in case of oily skin and may be used at any age as long as the skin is oily. Hydroquinone eye creams should be avoided and most of all, are only available with rare medical prescriptions. Loved your mention of Helioplex and HA!

  24. I just wanted to add to my last comment that under medical supervision for acne, BHAs can be used on normal skin and even risked on dry skin. People with rosacea should avoid it unless it's absolutely necessary in which case very low concentrations should be used. AHAs and BHAs are generally a big no for people with extra sensitive skin.


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