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The Art of Aging & Wrinkles

Image above: Emma Thompson (incredible woman, Director, Actress & Aging advocate). Image credit: Dave Benett/WireImage

I'm 35 years old, I spent my entire childhood in the strong Aotearoa sun and during a time where sunblock was second to a 'protective' tan. My skin has been regenerating for quite a while and since the age of 25, it began to thin and lose its elasticity. I've noticed the change; the fine lines when I smile, my confused face dimple between my eyebrows and the change from oily to combination skin.

I don't fear my skin ageing because I'm grateful to be alive but that doesn't mean I don't want to make sure my skin as healthy as possible. Other than your genes, your environment and your overall health, there are a few things that you have actual control over. So if you're here for some realistic, age-positive love, my advice is below. #beautyatallages 

 

Twenties

What to expect:

Your skin will begin showing early signs of 'motor wrinkles' which are caused by using your face to express yourself. This is pretty beautiful really as your face is the window to how you feel inside - happy, sad, confused, calm, your skin works hard to accommodate it all. You'll probably notice these first on your forehead and next to your eyes.

Plus you'll get more hair, it becomes more noticeable on your upper lip and your eyebrows - welcome to womanhood and being a mature mammal! 😂 

Best Self-Care Tip: 

You'll no doubt have heard this one from us before but SUNSCREEN! Whenever you are outside, no matter which season - what you do in your twenties will reflect how you look and feel in your 40's+. It will help protect your skin from sun spots, skin cancer, premature wrinkles and make sure it's able to keep hydrated as you get older. A light-weight moisturiser is also a good preemptive move. 

 

Thirties

What to expect:

You will start to notice wrinkles around your eyes and if you have any sun damage you will begin to see small, brown sunspots. You may also begin to see dilated blood vessels, particularly around the sides of your nose or on the tops of your cheeks (particularly if/when you drink alcohol!). Those lines between your eyebrows will deepen and you may see some shadows forming between your nose and the corners of your mouth. I like to think of all the funny faces I've done over and over again to make these lines - Afterall my smile lines just mean I've smiled a lot! 😊

Best Self-Care Tip:

This is when you need to bring serious hydration into the picture, choose a richer formulation of moisturiser and keep using that sunscreen.

If you're keen then this is a good time to introduce a retinol product into the mix. You'll only want to use it three or so times a week, make sure you begin with something low-dose and experiment slowly with what works for you.

 

Fourties

What to expect:

You will begin to see lines appear around your upper lip and if you smoke they'll be far more intense (yet another good reason to get support to quit!). But this area is also prone to sun damage so if you haven't used sunscreen in earlier years you will have deeper lines in this area. This is also the time where you might begin realising that no-one notices what you do when you're peering into that magnified mirror. Just ask your best friend what they see when they look at you - they see you for who you are, not your laughter lines.  

Best Self-Care Tip: 

Moisturise that beautiful skin! Begin using a night cream for even more hydration whilst you sleep - you'll need much more than you did in earlier years. When you're asleep your skin soaks up products, it's the perfect time to layer up your favourites and treat yo' self to a hydrating mask.

 

Fifties, Sixties, Seventies and more

What to expect:

If you've taken precautions in the sun, eaten well, drank lots of water and moisturised you should expect to have fabulous skin. Either way, you'll be seeing a double-down on any sun damage, deepening of lines and much less collagen and elastin fibres that help hold the skin taut. You'll probably notice this first on the backs of your hands and the front of your neck and your skin will look more translucent. 

If you're a female you will likely go through Menopause in your fifties which creates a sudden drop in the hormone, estrogen. Estrogen does lots of things but with this drop, your skin will become noticeably drier. On a brighter note, you'll never have to go into a bathroom and realise you've forgotten your period product again! Treat yourself to a lovely glass of wine or that expensive chocolate 😘✌🏼 

Best Self-Care Tip:

Make sure your daily cleanser is a very gentle, non-drying one and your moisturisers are super thick and luxurious. Rich moisturisers are your best friends, as is a good quality retinol about five to six times a week. 

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Lastly...

All in all, your skin is going to age as you get older. There are certain treatments/surgeries you can get to reduce the appearance of issues that may bother you. I have no judgement on what you choose to do or not do, (#youdoyou) but nothing will prevent your body from doing what it does naturally. How you choose to frame the side-effects of becoming older is completely up to you.

As someone who has gotten to 35 having lost too many friends and family members prematurely, I will forever feel grateful and fortunate for the gift of ageing. I choose to look after and care for my skin, but for me how it looks just isn't as important as all the things it allows me to do. My skin is helping keep me alive, healthy, able to hug the people I love and that's worth so much more. 

 

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