Aging Skin:- Accepting your age with dignity makes you feel better and look better to the world. This article of the aging skin guide will explain techniques that used to make older skin look healthy and handsome. However, gracefully accepting that your days of being cute are over is no reason to let yourself go. They’ll even make your skin look younger. But do remember that true beauty in age rests on a foundation of physical health, mental equilibrium, and intelligent skincare. It isn’t helped by vain attempts to pretend that you’re younger than you are.
Aging Skin Characteristics
An aged appearance of the skin depends on conditions that vary for each of us. Your number of years on the earth plays a significant part. But do heredity, amount of sun exposure you’ve endured through your life, and the condition of your hormones.
If you undertake to improve the appearance of your face, don’t forget your hands and neck. To attend to one without taking care of the others is at least unaesthetic. Spotted, wrinkled hands hardly flatter a newly smoothed and moisturized face.
As the year pass, the skin becomes increasingly wrinkled, primarily from deterioration of elastic tissue and from dehydration. Although there are many things that you can do to make wrinkles look much better, there’s nothing that stops them from appearing. Nor can you prevent the lines and creases that gradually and permanently engrave your mental disposition onto the features of your face.
Other typical phenomena appear on the skin as the years advance. Small broken capillaries (senile angiomas), brown liver spots (senile lentigos), reddish crusted lesions (actinic keratoses), persistent blackheads (senile comedones), and an irreversible drooping of the flesh can all make for an unsightly appearance.
Now here’s the good news: Not only is every one of these conditions quite normal but each-with the exception of drooping skin-can wonderfully improved with the following suggestions.
Skin that shows symptoms of aging has already gotten its lifetime allotment of sun exposure. It isn’t to say that you can never walk hatless again, but it does mean that you are ill-advised to sunbathe, hike, play tennis, or do other things outdoors without wearing sunscreen.
As I’ve mentioned, my favorite sunscreen products contain PABA. Which, as you’ll recall, is the miracle ingredient in sunscreens like PabaGel, Prasun, and Eclipse. It quite amazingly screens out the rays that cause skin cancer and dehydration.
While younger people can better tolerate sun exposure, older people with wrinkles and spots should always protect their skin from the sun with PABA.
What the Dermatologist Can Do for You
Working with a good dermatologist, you can eliminate many symptoms of ageing skin. One of the best methods at the doctor’s disposal is electronic desiccation. This is an extremely safe and almost painless procedure that employs a small electric needle.
It can remove unsightly surface capillaries (senile angiomas) and liver spots (senile lentigos). The doctor touches needle to the skin for a second or two, the current kills the cells in the affected area, and within a week or two the body sheds the dead cells, and the angiomas and lentigos are gone.
So safe is this electronic procedure that you can come back every six months or however often is necessary. But while you’re attending to your face, don’t overlook your hands, throat, or neck.
There’s a do-it-yourself approach to liver spots, which employs Eldoquin, a bleaching cream. It is an OTC preparation that you can get at any well-stocked drugstore. It contains hydroquinone, a skin-bleaching agent that will bleach the brown colour out of the lentigos, usually over a four-to-six-month period, without affecting the pigmentation of standard skin areas.
About the only possible drawback to Eldoquin is the allergic reaction some people have to it. Rub a small amount onto your forearm and give yourself a sensitivity test. If nothing happens within twenty-four hours, then you probably won’t have any allergic reaction. Rub it on several times daily, and the spots will gradually fade. If you’re going be in the sun, be sure to use a PABA sunscreen in addition to the Eldoquin.
Aging Skin – What to Do About the Effects
Perhaps the worst-looking of the aged skin lesions are the crusty reddish sores called actinic keratoses. When these lesions biopsied, they show cellular disorganization, a precancerous condition. Many of them can be removed quite merely either by spot-freezing or by using a scalpel-like tool called a curette. With this latter method, the dermatologist scrapes the lesions off, and they rarely come back. It’s as easy as that.
But sometimes curetting isn’t a rigorous enough treatment. Then your dermatologist can prescribe Efudex, a nearly miraculous prescription drug that contains 5-fluorouracil. (This ingredient can destroy selectively only disorganized skin cells, leaving healthy cells undisturbed. What’s more, it can even perceive and
act upon disorganized cells undetected by the naked eye.) The Efudex is applied once daily for a period of two to four weeks, during which time nothing seems to happen. Then a redness begins to appear on the affected areas. The medication stopped, but the redness continues to get worse and worse. At this point, many patients start to hate their doctors or become convinced that the doctor has made the problem worse. The red affected areas begin to ooze, and further red blemishes appear on the face and hands where there had been no overt symptoms previously.
During this period, I recommend the application of soothing compresses dipped in a solution of one-quart fresh water mixed with two tablespoons of salt and a cup of skim milk (or two tablespoons of powdered milk). Some doctors prescribe fluorinated steroid creams to soothe the irritation, but steroids tend to thin the skin, and I think aging skin is already thin enough. Eventually, the redness, oozing, and discomfort will decrease and then stop, fresh, healthy skin will replace the crusty keratoses, and your appearance will be significantly improved.
If you have an essential occasion coming up and you want to look your very best, you might consult with your dermatologist about a mini-peeling. This process will temporarily plump up wrinkles to give the illusion of smoother, more youthful skin. It achieved by irritating the skin just enough to cause minor swelling and oedema. Edema is the medical name for the fluid that irritated tissue will tend to collect temporarily. In my practice, I use trichloroacetic acid, the same chemical used for acne peelings. I use less. The whole process is neither terribly irritating nor particularly expensive. It would help if you did it the day before the big event to give the skin time to get over the initial redness but not a time for the minor swelling or oedema to go down.
The female hormone estrogen makes skin smooth and soft; it gives it a radiant glow and helps maintain turgor. Many women take it orally after menopause when the body’s natural production declines. The results are often quite dramatic, and if that were all there were to it, then everybody would be taking estrogen pills.
But everything in life seems to be a trade-off. Estrogen therapy is the subject of heated medical debate because many doctors think it either promotes or precipitates cancer. About every three months, medical opinion swings one way or the other. I believe that some women benefit enormously from estrogen therapy. Still, I never prescribe it without detailing the risks and sending the woman to a gynaecologist for Pap smears and a second opinion. If you’re a forty-five-year-old woman with deteriorating skin, estrogen will make you look better.
But even without the estrogen, you’re a possible candidate for cancer. What should you do? Get several medical opinions, assess the risk as best you can, and make a decision.
It is a do-it-yourself technique that’s ideal for wrinkles and senile comedones. I confess that I never use the word “senile” to describe aging skin phenomena when I’m talking to patients. Senile only means old, but unfortunately it’s weighted down with unflattering connotations. Old comedones, if you will, are just blackheads. They frequently affect the area between the eyes and the temples and result from discoloured oil plugs that are clogging up the openings of your pores.
Epiabrasion won’t make wrinkles go away, but it will make them look much better. And it will also help open up and clean out those old blackheads. You can either buy a labrador (I think the Buf-Puf, available at good drugstores, is an excellent product) or use your washcloth. You need only scrub the entire face (don’t forget your hands and neck) vigorously every day. Give your skin time to adjust to daily scrubbing. Start by doing it for less than a minute, then work up gradually until you can comfortably for between two and four minutes. Don’t be too vigorous, and if you overdo it, skip a day or two as needed.
Keeps the skin clean and stimulated, and promotes new cellular growth. It also provides mild irritation that keeps wrinkles attractively plumped and cushioned with a minimal and entirely safe level of oedema. It’s good for everybody, young or old, dry or oily, acne-prone or clear-skinned. You’ll be amazed at how many people will compliment your healthy, vigorous complexion when you regularly.
Remember, all these are temporary measures. They won’t make wrinkles go away, but they will make them look much less noticeable. Since aging skin usually tends to be dry. I suggest that you combine your daily ritual with a very oily soap. Oilatum, Alpha Keri, Tone, Basis, even Dove, Caress, or any of the cold-cream soaps do quite well. You might soften the soap by keeping a bit of water in your soap dish. They you will be able to spread the softened soap onto your face like cold cream. Epiabrade for one to four minutes, wash with warm water, apply a thin layer of cold cream, and rub it in until it vanishes.
Epiabrade every day. If you do it in the morning, then follow the cold cream with your regular makeup or with an oil-based moisturizer. If you wait until evening, naturally you’ll still need the moisturizer. Since the healthy rosy glow tends to fade after a few hours, you’ll look best if you in the morning.
Most women already use a moisturizer to combat natural dryness that comes with the passing years. The idea is to hydrate the face by washing with hot water and patting dry, then to lock in the moisture, which temporarily plumps up the wrinkles. To maximize the effect of your moisturizer, I recommend that you combine it half and half with one of the non-oily urea-based creams. Urea is an aquaphobic chemical, which means that it naturally attracts and holds moisture. The beauty of a urea moisturizer is that it tends to hold moisture without sealing the pores shut the way traditional oil-based moisturizers do.
Even though older women can tolerate pore-clogging moisturizers much better than their younger sisters, they can still benefit from the aquaphobic properties of urea. If you combine your favourite moisturizer with a urea cream like Aquacare, Aquacare/HP, or Carmol, you’ll be getting the best of both worlds. If your skin is mainly dry, make your mixture heavier on the oil-based side.
Here are instructions for two intensive mini-moisturizing regimens—the first made from heavy cream and Vaseline, combined in equal portions in a bowl. Since you don’t have the emulsifiers to guarantee smooth combination, don’t expect your mixture to be flat. Combine as best you can, coat your face (and hands and neck) and leave the mixture on for half an hour. Wipe off with a moist warm towel, wash the face with a superfatted nondrying soap, pat dry, and apply your favourite moisturizer.
The second intensive mini-moisturizing regimen is essentially the same as the first, except that you first combine a handful of strawberries with the cream in a blender. Then mix the blended strawberries and cream with the Vaseline as above, and apply the same way. The berries are a natural surfactant or mild stimulant. The treatment will not only give you an intensive moisturization but will also promote a mild irritation to plump up wrinkles further.
Finally, here’s a regimen for maxi-moisturization that you can use twice a week at bedtime. Apply Vaseline all over the face, hands, and neck (or legs or anywhere else needed), and leave it on overnight. Don’t cake it on, and rub it in well. In the morning, wipe it off with no drying Cetaphil Lotion, and proceed with your usual makeup and moisturizing ritual. A night’s worth of Vaseline is tremendously moisturizing; you’ll wake up looking fantastic.
The Total Regimen The following is a recapitulation of the suggestions in this chapter, plus a few final hints.
- Sun protection with PABA
- Regular visits to the dermatologist
- Estrogen hormone therapy (maybe)
- Epiabrasion once a day
- Moisturizing once a day (at least)
- Maxi-moisturization twice weekly
- Facial massage (at skin or cosmetic salons)
- Use oil-based (as opposed to water-based) makeup
- Eat more vitamins of the multiple one-a-day varieties (aging skin particularly needs the help of Vitamin C in healing and Vitamin A to assure orderly cell maturation).