Grey hair and fine lines are an inevitable part of ageing, so why do we
still fight them? This year, it’s all about enhancing what you have,naturally
“WE’RE SEEING A MORE POSITIVE ATTITUDE TOWARDS OLDER WOMEN IN BEAUTY”
with age comes confidence, right? In reality, the relationship we have with our self-esteem is a complex one. Some days we wake up feeling great, and on others we’re our own worst enemy. While popular opinion suggests that poor body image is most acutely felt by teenagers and millennials, influenced in part by the well documented effects of social media’s picture perfect world, this isn’t always the full story. Women over 40 face myriad factors which influence the way they feel about themselves.
While lines and grey hairs are an inevitable part of getting older, the theory that age brings self-assurance and a sense of comfort in our own skin seems an outdated one. The term ‘anti-ageing’ just adds to the complexity, highlighting that this passing of time is something we should be fighting. Happily, we’re beginning to reject this way of thinking. Sales in anti-ageing skincare have dipped, and instead a trend for ‘non-age’ products has emerged.
Many of us are reaching for lotions, serums and toners with ingredients such as vitamins A, C, and E, olive fruit extract and acai berries to enhance what we have, rather than rid us of what we don’t like. Try Dr Organic Pomegranate Skin Lotion, Freshious 5-a-Day Radiance Day Cream , and Andalou Turmeric + C Enlighten Serum . We’re also seeing a more positive attitude towards older women in the beauty and fashion worlds, with iconic model Lauren Hutton returning to the Bottega Veneta runway last year aged 73, and a new crop of beauty bloggers in their 60s and 70s sharing advice.
Once we reach our 40s, the key is to try to maintain an even skin tone and firm, elastic and hydrated skin,’ says Dr Justine Hextall, consultant dermatologist at Tarrant St Clinic, London, and fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. ‘Studies have shown it isn’t necessarily wrinkles that make our skin look older, rather an uneven skin tone – try topical products that suppress dyspigmentation.
Vitamin C is excellent at reducing unwanted pigmentation and is a powerful antioxidant to protect skin against UV and pollution among other things.’ When it comes to fine lines, hydration is key, says Dr Hextall: ‘Lines are more pronounced when skin is dehydrated. I’d recommend products that attract water to the skin, so-called humectants. Look for hyaluronic acid and glycerine.’
As we get older, we lose fats in our skin, such as the ceramides that protect the skin barrier and reduce water loss. ‘Choose ceramide-rich creams and shea butter, as it contains natural fats similar to those in skin,’ says Dr Hextall. ‘Try applying four drops of a hyaluronic acid serum; it’s not too heavy, but very hydrating, giving skin a glow.
Follow with a moisturising lotion (one with ceramides, preferably) to lock in moisture.’ An effective sun cream that protects against UVB and UVA, and worn year-round, is an essential part of our beauty arsenal, too. ‘To restore elasticity, it’s vital that skin is protected from UV that will cause free-radical damage and upregulate enzymes that break down collagen and elastin,’ adds Dr Hextall. ‘A topical retinol is effective in stimulating cell turnover, and studies have shown that use over time will thicken the skin and increase collagen. A word of caution here, however, as retinols can irritate skin – I often recommend they’re not used daily and that care is taken to use with gentle cleansers and effective moisturisers to reduce dryness and irritation. Studies show antioxidants such as resveratrol applied topically encourage a healthy dermis. Other powerful antioxidants include ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamin E and green tea.’ All products available at amazon.com & pshstyle.com