Slow down the ageing clock

Ageing is inevitable. Technically, we start to age the moment we are born. But that's the good part. We love growing up into a beautiful youthful adult. But what after that? We all want the clock to stop there and the time to freeze! This is not possible. But yes, we can delay the ageing process by following a good daily routine. So, here are ways to reduce premature skin ageing..

Protect your skin from the sun every day -UV rays, infrared rays and even visible rays are the most important factor causing skin ageing by changing the structure of skin at both gross and cellular level. Thorough protection of skin from sun rays is extremely essential step towards reducing premature skin ageing. Sun protection should be done using a broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 or more, every day on all the exposed areas not protected by clothing. Additionally before stepping out in the sun, cover your face with umbrella, scarf or broad brimmed hat. Try and Atay under shade whenever possible.

Cleanse your skin gently -Avoid scrubbing the skin as this may irritate the skin which in turn accelerates ageing.

Wash your face twice a day and after sweating heavily -Sweat contains lots of salts and toxins which irritate the skin. So wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating heavily.

Apply a moisturiser on face every day -Moisturiser helps in trading the water in our skin thus maintaining good skin hydration. A well hydrated skin gives one a more youthful appearance.

Stop using skin care products that sting or burn -If any skin care product is causing burning sensation, it means it is irritating your skin and damaging it. Such product should be stopped immediately.

Eat a healthy, well balanced diet -A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables provides essential vitamins and minerals which are important part of anti-oxidative pathway of our body. These anti- oxidants counteract the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species on cells, thus preventing cellular damage and delaying ageing process. On the other hand, a diet rich in sugars and carbohydrates promotes formation of AGE (advanced glycosylation end products) which are associated with accelerated ageing. hence, a healthy and well-balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is necessary to maintain skin in youthful state.

Eat a healthy, well balanced diet -A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables provides essential vitamins and minerals which are important part of anti-oxidative pathway of our body. These anti- oxidants counteract the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species on cells, thus preventing cellular damage and delaying ageing process. On the other hand, a diet rich in sugars and carbohydrates promotes formation of AGE (advanced glycosylation end products) which are associated with accelerated ageing. hence, a healthy and well-balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is necessary to maintain skin in youthful state.

Make sure to exercise most days of the week -Regular exercise improves blood circulation and boosts immunity of the body, both of which help the skin as well to stay young and healthy.

Avoid repetitive facial expressions -Facial expressions occur because of contraction of facial muscles present below the skin, and attached to the skin. In the early stages, these lines are temporary occurring only on expressions, hence called expression lines or dynamic wrinkles. But repetitive contraction of these muscles lead to development of permanent lines.

Cut down on alcohol consumption -Alcohol cause dehydration of the body and skin, making our skin look older.

Stop smoking -Smoking accelerates skin ageing, making it dull and damaged. So quit smoking to keep your skin young and glowing.



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Sensitive skin

Sensitive skin is also known as reactive skin, hyperactive skin, intolerant skin, and irritable skin. It is a very common condition. About 40% people in the world have a sensitive skin, with female preponderance.

It is characterised by cutaneous hypersensitivity. Affected individuals complain of itching, burning and stinging sensations with exposure to many skincare products and/ or environmental factors. The skin feels dry, red and irritated. Application of a simple moisturiser or even the best quality cosmetic product leads to severe stinging and burning sensation. It feels as if “no product suits our skin”.

It has a considerable impact on health-related quality of life. People are embarrassed and socially isolated as their skin keeps burning and itching. s

A person develops a sensitive skin majorly because of four reasons

  1. Defective skin barrier
  2. Hypersensitivity of peripheral nerve endings in the skin
  3. Exaggerated cutaneous vascular response
  4. Allergic predisposition

The triggering factors may be exogenous and endogenous factors. The important exogenous triggering factors include cosmetics and soaps, environmental climate like temperature changes, cold, heat, dampness, sun exposure, stress or emotions, wind, and friction from clothes.
Some of the endogenous factors predisposing to a sensitive skin are having a dry or greasy skin, a history of childhood atopic dermatitis, being female, and having a fair skin type.

I am sure that by now more than half of the people reading this, would have identified themselves as having a sensitive skin!

So how do we treat it and take care of it?

If you already have any rashes on your skin, it is highly recommended to visit a qualified dermatologist for a thorough examination of your condition and accordingly take the treatment.

For those you do not have any physical signs like redness or rash, here are the preventive and daily care tips. Routine skin care basically involves three steps – cleansing, moisturising, and sun protection.

Cleansing - skin cleansers should preferably be nonfoaming, with a pH around 5-5.5, and contain no exfoliates. Look for a product labelled ‘intended for sensitive skin’. Synthetic detergent cleansers (syndets) should be preferred because they provide an optimum skin cleansing while minimising barrier damage. Lipid free cleansers cleansing without water (non-rinsing cleaning lotions) and leaving a thin moisturising film on the skin might also be a really good solution.
Cleansing masks, peelings, or implements such as a sponge, cotton wool, or brushing machines should be avoided as they are mostly too rough for sensitive skin.
Finally, cleaned facial skin should be thoroughly dried by gently patting with a paper tissue.

Moisturisers - this is the most important step in your daily routine skincare as using a correct moisturiser in cases of sensitive skin will not only help in rehydrating the skin but also will help in restoring the skin barrier. Our skin barrier function is majorly because of the lipids present in the uppermost layer of the skin called as stratum corneum. The main lipids of our skin include ceramides, cholesterol, and free fatty acids (linoleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid). So you should chose a moisturiser which has all these three ingredients. Also make sure that the product you chose if free of any irritant and potential allergens. Look for something labelled as ‘hypoallergenic’. Hypoallergenic implies that the product is based on a special formulation, is gentle and safe for the skin, and causes less allergic reaction.

Sun protection - for people with a sensitive skin, a physical sunscreen is always preferrred, as it does not react chemically with the skin and also provides a broad spectrum protection. So always pick a sun block containing zinc oxide and/ or titanium dioxide. Additionally you should use physical barrier methods as well like an umbrella or scarf or hat while stepping out.

How to chose and use cosmetics if you have a sensitive skin?

Use the smallest possible number of cosmetics

Use cosmetics designed for sensitive, intolerant, or hypoallergenic skin

Use preservative and fragrance free, non comedogenic cosmetics

Use powder cosmetics instead of cream-based products

Hypoallergenic makeup should moisturise the skin, act as a corrective, and must be easy to apply

Mix the corrective foundation with a suitable moisturiser and apply it gently by tapping with fingers

Liquid foundations should base on silicone derivatives (like cyclomethicone, dimethicone)

Eyeliner and mascara should be black

Avoid water proof cosmetics

Avoid nail polishes

Clean rushes after each use

Spraying thermal water all over the face after applying makeup will make it last longer while softening, moisturising, and protecting the skin

Store cosmetics in cool, dry place, and do not leave them uncovered

Avoid cosmetics beyond its expiration date

DON’Ts

Avoid soaps, preservatives, alcohol-based, perfumed, or mentholated products

Avoid over cleansing the skin

Avoid products known to irritate the skin like low pH alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid

Avoid procedures known to irritate the skin like massage, peeling, dermabrasion, sponges, brushing, and suction

Avoid hot steam and heating masks

Avoid extremely cold compresses and eye cooling pads

Avoid hot or long bathing as well as taking hot and/ or cold showers

Avoid essential oils and aroma therapy

Avoid epilation and depilation (waxing)

Avoid all sources of skin friction (massage, tight clothes, jewellery)

Avoid extreme temperature changes