Our largest organ, the skin, is the first thing that external aggressors meet when they approach. Caring for our skin will not only give us luxurious smooth skin but will also benefit our health.
With the haze, the sudden rain and scorching sun in Malaysia, it is not surprising if we have rubbery, tanned skin. Coupled with unhealthy food which we admittedly do eat, our skin takes a daily bashing. Yet, we find people with beautiful skin and a ravishing complexion. What are their secrets?
Here’s what we found out:
1. Protection from the sun
Don’t stinge on sunscreen for your face, neck, chest, arms and hands. Get a good, expensive brand. As for the rest of your body, you can use the normal off-the-counter stuff. If you’re going for tanning under the sun, be sure to scrub your face and body with mineral salts first. Have a good bath. Then wait 10 minutes before you apply your sunblock or suntan lotion.
Always remember your sunblock as this can help prevent skin cancer. Sunblocks with an SPF of 30 or higher and which contain zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or avobenzone are recommended. You should use sunblock whatever your age. Even if you’re in your 20s.
2. Pamper your skin
Treat your skin by indulging in an expensive spa that gives your skin all the luxurious attention it needs. This will recharge you physically as well as mentally.
Or, you can give yourself a good pampering at home on a regular basis or at least once a month. First, put some mineral salts in a warm bath and soak for 5-10 minutes. Scrub your body with salt or other types of body scrub. Remember to scrub your back with a long-handled brush but use a gentle scrub for your face. Then, dry off and moisturise your body luxuriously.
3. Keep rehydrating
That’s right. Give your skin water. It needs to be rehydrated often as it can lose moisture through physically activities, the hot climate and your body’s natural processes. Remember, it is water and no other beverages or alcohol. Drink water or use it directly on your skin. If you do not have moisturiser with you and your skin is dry, just wet it a bit to keep it hydrated.
4. Vitamins are champions
Your anti-aging cream may contain vitamin C or E. Let these skin-healthy vitamins work from inside out to help you. Foods rich in Vit C, E and antioxidants include whole grains, fish, fruits and vegetables. Such foods as well as those rich in minerals can help protect your skin from sun damage and may even help prevent or reverse wrinkles and skin discolouration. Good fatty foods such as those filled with Omega-3 fatty acids help your skin look healthy and fuller.
5. Exercise exercise exercise!
Guess you can’t run away from this. Exercise we have to. It’s common knowledge that exercise improves blood circulation. This will in turn help to nourish skin. Exercising means more oxygen and nutrients are being circulated. This is said to help your skin produce collagen, an anti-wrinkle component. Remember to wash your face after a workout though, especially if you have a tight headband as this can trap sweat and cause skin irritation or problems.
6. Be selective with detergents and softeners
Laundry detergents and softeners may irritate your skin if it’s sensitive to these chemicals. So be diligent in choosing the correct stuff. Trial and error may be needed to arrive at the correct type for your skin.
7. Going up in smoke!
Smoking is bad for your lungs. Everyone knows this. But do you know that smoking also reduces blood flow to the skin and this will affect collagen? Less collagen means unhealthy skin and more wrinkles!
8. Eliminate stretchmarks
Pregnant women get stretchmarks. Some will fade away after delivery but some stubborn stretchmarks will remain. You can try getting rid of them or improve the skin’s appearance by regularly applying moisturisers, such as prescription vitamin A. You may also consult your doctor for a good prescription cream.
9. Skin care in the air
You’ll have dry and tight skin when travelling on a plane. This is due to the low humidity in recirculated air. Caring for your skin on a flight means drinking water (not other beverages or alcohol) and moisturising your skin before, during and after your flight. If it’s not necessary to wear make-up then leave your face bare.
10. Feed your face
You have often heard that eating certain healthy foods will give you beautiful and healthy skin. But do you know that you can also put food on your face to attain soft, youthful and shiny skin?
Surprised? Yes. You can put coffee on your face although it’s dehydrating. A study has found that when applied to the skin, caffeine can help reverse sun damage and lower the risk of certain types of skin cancer. It’s still in the experimental stage on human skin though. But, are you game to try?
- Banana and Yoghurt
Banana instead of Botox? Yes! Bananas are an all-natural face mask that moisturise the skin with a softening result. Mash it into a smooth paste and apply on your face and neck. Like any mask, leave for 10-20 minutes before rinsing off. You can alternate with yoghurt, which has lactic acid that leaves your skin fresh and exfoliated.
If you have normal skin, you can use the entire egg. Just beat it and apply on your face for 30 minutes. Then rinse. For oily skin, it’s more advisable to use just the egg white as it’ll firm skin and tighten pores.
You can either put the lemon juice directly on your face, and wash off after 5 minutes or you can add it to your egg-white mask. Lemon juice is known to tighten pores and clear oil from the surface of skin.
Yummy to eat but also good for combating oil on your skin. Good for antioxidants too. Just mash them up and apply on your face as a mask or simply rub over your skin.
Apply on your face and leave it as long as you want but remember to rinse off. It moisturises and helps control breakouts.
- Olive Oil
Olive oil has been used as a beauty product for centuries because it moisturises, leaving skin silky and youthful looking. It’s high in antioxidants too. Add some salt and you can even use it as a scrub.
Vinegar has also been used as a beauty product for centuries but mainly as a skin toner. You can mix ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar with ¼ cup of water and gently apply on your face, leaving it to dry.
This is very simple. Works as any rinse-off mask. Just spread the mayonnaise on your face and leave as a mask for about 20 minutes. Then wipe off and rinse face with cool water, leaving your face squeaky smooth.
With these simple and effective steps, you can have ‘reborn’ skin. And good health, of course! Just remember it’s not a one off remedy. It’s a continuous daily routine of beauty and health for your skin.
Stop aging skin!
Here’s what you should do if you want to have glowing skin as you age.
Remember to cleanse
For your face: To avoid dry and wrinkled skin, give your skin extra moisture. Use a hydrating creamy formula instead of foam or gel cleansers as these remove moisture and leave your skin dry. Age spots can be decreased by shedding the dead skin cells with exfoliating products or skin-lightening products. Toners can help even out your skin colour.
For your body: Don’t take long, hot showers. After your bath, you should moisturise your skin while it’s still damp, with a heavy cream moisturiser.
As you age, the back of your hands can lose moisture, collagen and fat. When this happens, your veins will be more obvious and the skin will be more wrinkled, resulting in a ‘see-through’ bony hand. Moisturise your hands regularly, protect them from the sun and wear gloves when doing work in the house or garden.
Collagen can replenish your youthful plumpness and tighten your skin. Antioxidants may also make your skin stronger from inside out. Soy, which is rich in isoflavones and acts like estrogen in your body may help improve age-related changes such as thinning skin.
Remember your feet
Get that pedicure! No stingeing, remember? Use a foot scrub to get rid of dry skin or cracked heels. It won’t serve the purpose if you have glowing skin on your face and body but your feet look old and wrinkled.