Why are we conditioned to believe that we won’t fall victim to these before the age of 30? I don’t think the majority of us have a clear answer to that!
Our skin is the largest organ of our bodies. What we ingest influences it’s vitality from within. But, if we think of it as a giant sponge, we realise that what we apply on it from the outside is important too. If we don’t like the look/feel of our skin, we’re obviously not giving enough thought to what we’re allowing this sponge to ‘soak up,’ externally, or internally! Our skin begins to reflect this lack of love, looking older than it actually might be.
Consider the plethora of skin ageing factors surrounding us at every stage of our life:
- Dietary/lifestyle preferences;
- Occupational/domestic stresses;
- Environmental pollution;
- Diseases, which adversely affect skin resilience and elasticity. In my case, it’s Rosacea.
My advice? Combat skin ageing before 30, by focussing on texture.
Tackling Rosacea with anti-ageing techniques.
At 20, I was diagnosed with Rosacea, a skin condition characterised by inflamed and stinging redness. Broken facial blood vessels cause this, and my reasons for getting it were both genetic and lifestyle related. Rosacea speeds up skin ageing, because these blood vessels adversely affect skin texture. Pores are enlarged, and skin is persistently red and blotchy, swollen, and dry.
- For almost 2 years, I was on Isotretinoin tablets, under medical supervision; which helped eliminate the redness to a large extent. However, I wasn’t comfortable taking it for extended periods of time. I switched to a retinol-based ointment, called Retino-A (0.05%). Skin peeling, though inconvenient, is a sign that the retinol’s working; because it’s a Vitamin A derivative that encourages skin cell production and renewal. The peeling’s easily taken care of by moisturisers. Retinol’s improved my skin texture and radiance exponentially. The peeling took off layers of pitted and scarred skin. I only use it twice a week now, at night. Even so, application of sunscreen afterwards is critical. Try Vichy’s Capital Soleil SPF 50+
- The face wash or moisturiser you use should take into consideration any additional skin afflictions – acne, erythema, pigmentation, etc. Sometimes I forget to use a face wash because my honey mask works so well! I’ve tried Acnelak, and Cetaphil. Clinique provides a Redness Solutions range that’s worth trying, as is Thalgo’s Foaming Marine Cleanser.
- I’ve recently considered laser therapy, which is, in theory and practice, a most effective anti-ageing tool. With Rosacea, it works by ‘closing’ up the ‘webs’ of broken capillaries, resulting in an even, ‘pore-less,’and smooth surface appearance.
Switching to natural remedies.
- These mostly take ages to show results. They’re worth it though, because the effects are more permanent. I swear by raw honey, and use it as a face mask. It’s an anti-inflammatory agent, and a fabulous moisturiser. With disciplined use, honey makes for a lightened, luminous, and dewy complexion.
- Before honey, it was shots of bitter-gourd and aloe vera juice. They’re both excellent for inflammation and itchiness, but I only take aloe vera now. It’s more palatable, and a complimentary companion to the honey.
- Another champion in my anti-ageing arsenal is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): raw, unfiltered. Don’t bother with any bottle that doesn’t say, “with the ‘Mother.’” The ‘Mother’ is the cloudy sediment at the bottom of the bottle, the source of the antioxidants that helps maintain youthful skin. I take a tablespoon of ACV in a glass of warm water every morning on an empty stomach, followed by the aloe vera.
- Damaged capillaries make themselves obvious because they interrupt healthy collagen production, and make the skin thin. Less collagen equals less amino acids, which are building blocks for proteins, necessary for beautiful and healthy skin. Revolutionary research into the unique amino-acid structures of deep-sea fish collagen and sea kelp/algae, reveals their positive impact on Rosacea, antioxidant production, and on strengthened immunity against environmental aggravators. Consult a doctor to identify a trusted brand of marine collagen pills/products, and use them under supervision. I take Holland & Barrett’s Marine Collagen pills, thrice a day, with meals. If you prefer grooming/beauty products, explore Thalgo’s collagen face and eye creams, or serums.
When people play the age-guessing game with me, they, almost without exception, think I’m 4 years younger than I actually am. How useful will that be after 30!
Sumiran Kashyap Sahni is a fashion, beauty, wellness and creative arts
blogger. Her blog is Thinking Totty (https://sumirankashyapsahni.