Don’t accept dry skin and frizzy hair as a natural part of the ageing process when there are so many ways to make the most of the skin you’re in…
Ageing is a privilege, but it doesn’t always feel that way. While the confidence that comes with age is priceless, we could happily live without the wrinkles, dry skin, frizzy hair and gnarly feet that come along for the ride.
“A combination of external and internal factors, including sun exposure and declining oestrogen levels, cause the skin to show signs of ageing,” explains Dr Clare Patterson, consultant dermatologist and PhD (skin cancer). “As a result, most people notice increased dryness, wrinkling and thinning. At the same time, collagen – the scaffolding that holds our skin up – starts to deplete so our skin loses firmness and begins to sag.”
Rather than feeling insecure about these changes, or trying to turn back the clock, show your body a bit of love and reward it for all those years of being fabulous. After all, keeping skin and hair soft, conditioned and comfortable can make a big difference to how you look and feel.
Soft, smooth skin
Short of cosmetic surgery, there’s no miracle cure for wrinkles. That said, a good moisturiser can dramatically improve skin tone and texture, simply by keeping it soft and hydrated. Our moisturisers are packed with natural ingredients like honey, Fair Trade shea butter, evening primrose oil and jojoba oil to soften the skin and guard against dryness, as well as broad spectrum sunscreens to protect your skin from the sun. “These botanical ingredients will nourish the skin and form a protective barrier against external factors — scientific trials indicate that they really can help.” Says Dr Clare Patterson. If you’d like to look a few years younger, the light-reflecting ‘magic orange’ pigment available in some of our products provides an instant soft-focus effect to help blur out those laughter lines.
“The skin on the backs of our hands is fairly thin, much like the skin on our chest,” says Dr Patterson. “Frequent hand washing with harsh soaps can cause dryness and chapping, and few of us bother to moisturise or apply SPF, even though our hands are exposed to the elements all the time.”
If your hands aren’t looking their best, use an oil-based soap that doesn’t contain harsh foaming agents or the ultra-drying anti-bacterial agent triclosan. Putty for Your Hands won’t strip sensitive hands of moisture when cleansing, and if you follow up with an intensive hand cream like Helping Hands whenever you wash your hands, bathe or shower, they’ll soon feel smooth, soft and supple. If you have sore, dry cuticles, a daily dose of Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter will help to break down hard skin. Transform extra-dry hands by applying a thin layer before bed. Slip on a pair of cotton gloves and by morning, your hands will be super soft.
Don’t forget your feet just because they’re hidden away in shoes and socks.
“As we get older the skin on our feet starts to dry out, we lose the fatty pads that cushion the bottom of the feet, and circulation is reduced,” says Mike O’Neil, consultant podiatrist and spokesperson for the College of Podiatry. “As a result, the skin on the soles of our feet and heels becomes dry and leathery and nails become brittle.”
Fortunately, a little bit of regular maintenance is all that’s needed to keep feet soft and comfortable. After softening your skin in a bath or shower, use a pumice scrub, like Stepping Stone, on the hard skin around your heels, big toes and the upper pads of your feet. Then apply a cooling foot lotion like Fair Trade Foot Lotion to moisturise your feet and legs, and soften the nails. After a long day on your feet, apply Volcano foot scrub and lie back for 20 minutes, while it stimulates your circulation and softens hard skin.
Grey hairs making an appearance? Most of us find our first grey hairs by the age of 30, and can expect at least half our hair to have turned grey by the time we turn 50. Although grey hair might look and feel coarser, it’s actually finer. It simply looks coarse because the oil glands in the scalp produce less sebum as we age, resulting in drier hair with a tendency to frizz. Many of us colour our hair or use styling aids to combat these problems, which tends to make dryness even worse.
The solution? Use a weekly hair mask like R & B Hair Moisturiser to make it more manageable and silky to touch. If your hair looks and feels thinner, which many of us notice as we get older, try Big shampoo and Big solid conditioner, to boost volume and increase softness and body in the hair.