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Spot and Prevent the Signs of Ageing

By: Hsin-Yi Cohen BSc, MA, MSt - Updated: 29 May 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
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Although you cannot prevent ageing itself, you can certainly spot and prevent the visible signs of ageing. While there are many products on the market which promote themselves as anti ageing miracle treatments, preventing the signs of ageing often just requires simple changes of diet and lifestyle.

Visible Signs of Ageing

Ageing is a natural process and a variety of changes occur as we get older:

  • Skin starts to sag and loose its youthful elasticity, due to decreasing levels of collagen, elastin and underlying support. This causes signs like eyelids drooping and our faces losing volume, with folds developing. Things like nasolabial lines and jowls start to appear.
  • Your skeleton shrinks due to years of gravitational pressure and shoulders start to appear hunched, meanwhile the discs which cushion your spine also flatten and shrink, causing you to lose height.
  • Skin starts to lose moisture, becoming dry and dull and losing the youthful “plumpness”
  • Skin texture changes and pigmentation increases - hence wrinkles, laugh lines, frown lines, crows feet and age spots start to appear. Pores also start to enlarge, leading to a “coarser” appearance to skin – in extreme cases, skin appears rough and leathery. Many also suffer from broken capillaries and spider veins as they age.
  • Joints start to stiffen up, making you less mobile and flexible.
  • Lips start to lose collagen and lose their fullness and plumpness as they thin. Fine lines also start forming around the mouth.

Preventing the Signs of Ageing

By following a few simple lifestyle rules, you can go a long way towards preventing the signs of ageing. Start adopting good habits young and you will reap the benefits as you age. The first anti ageing habit to cultivate is a regular exercise routine. Exercise is fantastic for keeping your body in good working condition, boosting circulation, preventing a whole host of diseases and fighting the negative effects of stress.

Aim to get your heart rate up at least 3 times a week. In addition, include some weight lifting and interval training sessions. Keeping fit and active will help to fight many of the visible signs of ageing, from body shape and mobility to skin and general demeanour.

The second habit is to adopt a low fat, healthy diet high in fish, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. Your metabolism slows as you age and weight gain becomes almost inevitable, unless you keep a strict control of your diet and maintain regular exercise. Eating foods high in antioxidants will also help to fight ageing at a cellular level and further prevent the visible signs of ageing.

Your skin is one of the biggest areas that show signs of ageing so adopting a good skincare regime from a young age is a must. Starting in your childhood and teens, make sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) a daily requirement, rain or shine, winter or summer. Forget about all the miracle anti ageing creams on the market – applying sunscreen in your youth is your best defence against wrinkles and age.

Keep your skin moisturized, even if you have oily skin – look for oil-control formulations. As you enter your 20’s, start applying an eye cream and making sure you wear sunglasses to prevent squinting, which can cause crows feet.

In your 30’s, the first signs of ageing usually start to appear, such as wrinkles on the forehead, pigmentation and a noticeable loss of firmness to the skin. Now may be the time to invest in a moisturiser with anti ageing benefits. As you continue ageing, you will see more and more visible signs of ageing. Continue to apply a good moisturiser, eye cream and sunscreen – these are essentials – in addition to any appropriate anti ageing products you may find on the market or recommended by your dermatologist.

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