With the barrage of advertisements on TV, it can often seem like how your skin looks is the only important thing.
It can be especially hard for those of us over 40, as the advertising companies seek to tell you there’s something wrong that needs to be fixed.
We know, of course, that this isn’t true – skin changes, and that’s fine. You should be able to enjoy and embrace this graceful change that comes with maturity! And whilst beauty isn’t skin deep, it can have a profound effect on your self-esteem.
The beauty industry has always sought to innovate and come up with a revolutionary products. The result of this, is new rafts of jargon every year; laser skin care moisturiser here, detoxifying charcoal there. For those not up to date with the absolute latest language, how can you know exactly what it is you should be doing, and how do you cut through the chaff of treatments available to you today?
What treatments and practices can you take on to help accentuate your natural beauty, regardless of age, and feel a million dollars?
The real best practice
The first thing to remember about any course you take is that what you do should be for your own comfort. You should always be happy with the skin you’re in. That being said, there are basic rules for your daily care that can influence how your skin looks – and feels.
These range from ensuring you use the best foundation for your skin type; where oil-based foundations benefit those with drier skins and dry powders benefit oilier skin types. You should always cleanse and moisturise, and many women over the age of 80 attribute their good skin health to moisturisation.
Key among all essentials, however, is to use sunscreen. Even in the often rubbish British climate, the sun is there, no matter how small, casting UV which is the main cause of skin damage and skin cancer.
Demystifying treatments – Peels
Skin peels have been around for yonks but they’ve been picking up speed recently with the deregulation of various skin chemicals from a clinical level to everyday use in salons. What does this entail, exactly? Skin peels mix glycolic and salicylic acids – usually found in fruits and chemical compounds – to help reduce fine lines on the face and tackle sebaceous glands on the face.
Stronger peels use phenol, again a constituent of fruit, to drive into the deepest layers of your skin. This leaves your face slightly whitened and with massively reduced wrinkles. However, they can have serious side effects and are not lightly taken.
The sage advice with peels is to use accredited salons for professional application. At home, scale your usage up carefully and in small amounts.
Microdermabrasion is a term that brings up the thoughts of power tools. Taking some sort of tiny sander to your skin. The truth isn’t far off – think of it as micro (small), derma (skin) and brasion (abrasion) – small crystals or other particles will go to work on your face to remove dead skin, lumps and bumps. Like peels, these can be unsuitable for sensitive skin types or leave you feeling raw.
Finally, the crazy sounding and looking vampire facials. Lauded by the world’s top socialites, this involves literally smattering your own blood – well, platelets – onto your face. As this requires a centrifuge to separate out the constituent parts of your blood, as well as a blood-drawing exercise, this is definitely something required trained medical professionals.