How to keep older skin looking young
Ruth Minoletti is a sixtysomething skincare therapist with clients up to the age of 84. Here she offers her expert advice for caring for older skin
Keep a diligent cleansing routine
This is still the foundation of good skincare practices. Over-65s also need to use a richer, more lipid cleanser (it should feel quite oily and ’rounded’ when you rub it between your finger and thumb). Continue using a toner which, while removing all traces of the cleanser, is still very gentle on the skin.
Protect your skin from ultraviolet light
Much of our ageing comes from light damage – turn your arm over and look at the difference between that and the more exposed, upper arm. I particularly like the SPF formulas containing the mineral reflectors titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, but a new ‘active’ in sun protection comes from the neutralising action of fernblock (polypodium leucomotos, a South American fern).
Focus on your eyelashes
Just like the hair on our heads, our eyelashes and eyebrows lose color and thickness. Besides having them dyed, which lends definition to the face, I also love using an eyelash-growing cream. I’ve been using it for decades, but I don’t think it is ever too late to start. Use it only in the mornings if you find that using it at night makes your eyes puffy. *RevitaLash – Eyelash Conditioner * New Eye Safe formula!!!
Have regular facials
There is nothing quite as good as a well-performed facial massage to stimulate circulation and tone up the muscles. A good therapist should also be able to work the lymphatic system. If you can’t afford to have a facial regularly, give yourself a mini facial when applying your night creams, with some gentle pinching and tapping movements.
Use cosmeceutical ranges
Quite often cosmetic products contain the right active ingredients but not in sufficient dosages. If you try something and it does not deliver the anticipated results, it might be because it is either not in sufficiently high levels to produce results or is not formulated for effective penetration.
Look out for active ingredients
Keep an eye out for products containing one or more of the following ‘actives’. Over the years, I feel that they have proved their worth:
• Vitamins A, C ,E
• Beta Carotene
• Niacinamide (B3)
• Co-enzyme Q10
• Palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 (Matryxl)
• Alpha lipoic acid
• Copper Peptides
• Green tea
• Hyaluronic acid
Try new things
I have deliberately left out some of the newer antioxidants, lighteners and brighteners, and powerful repair enzymes, as they are currently found in too few products. However, if you like to use cutting-edge products with exciting new ingredients, you will find quite a few of them in the Skinesis and Environ ranges.
Consider collagen induction therapy
I am pretty amazed by the results of ‘skin needling’ or collagen induction therapy (CIT). This professionally performed treatment creates multiple piercing of the skin under a local anesthetic. The response in the skin to this ‘wounding’ is to produce collagen and elastin fibres over an eight- to 16-week period, lending more support and elasticity to the skin and making it appear smoother.
Take essential fatty acids daily
‘Good fats’ protect the lipid parts of your body. I like Udo’s Choice Oil Blend 32-Ounces , which plant-derived, and Nature’s Plus – Ultra Omega 3/6/9 1200Mg Softgels 120 , made from borage, fish and flax. Both are available from healthfood shops and must be kept in the fridge.
Eat and drink healthily
Drink at least four glasses of water a day, plus antioxidant-rich green, rooibos, white or honeybush tea. Avoid trans fats by avoiding processed foods – go back to cooking and baking from scratch. Do eat nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables. If you can no longer chew nuts, you can eat ground nut and seed mixes sprinkled on to porridge. For breakfast, I love a dollop of yoghurt, a bit of muesli, nuts and seeds, fresh berries, a drizzle of Udo’s oil, a light sprinkling of cinnamon and a little honey. Delicious!