( Your Age Doesn't have to Show)

The effects of age show on the skin in 7 ways: 1) wrinkles and lines 2) age spots 3) hyper pigmentation 4) dryness and dullness 5) acne scars and ingrown hairs 6) slack skin 7) uneven surfaces.

As much as 90% of wrinkles, brown spots, sagging skin and dryness is caused by exposure to the sun, according to the American Skin Association. The sun's UV rays damage cells and blood vessels in the outer layer of skin, causing redness and painful inflammation. Melanin, the protective pigment found in the epidermis, defends the skin against sun damage by absorbing the sun’s rays and dissipating the energy as heat, The more the exposure to the sun, the more melanin the skin produces, resulting in suntan - which is the first indication of damage, not health!

UV rays that escape absorbtion by melanin cause further damage to the skin as they trigger the formation of free radicals, the destructive compounds that scavenge skin cells and damage their genetic material to cause breakdowns and mutations.

More damage is caused by Urocranic acid, a chemical found in the epidermis, which reacts with ultraviolet light, creating more free radicals. The free radicals then break down the collagen and elastin in the skin, causing wrinkles and loss of elasticity.

The environment, level of pollution, genetic and lifestyle factors are the other players in determining how old your skin looks and behaves.

As time passes your skin loses collagen. This gradual loss of collagen that is a part of chronological aging can develop into sags, furrows and frown lines by the time you hit the wrong side of 40. But ways exist to combat and slow the process.

Antioxidants are the first step in the fight against free radicals that breakdown skin structure. Cellular degeneration can be slowed down with antioxidants, found in vitamins C and E. A diet of foods rich in antioxidants is a good start, and this can be augmented by nutritional supplements from natural sources. Additionally, vitamin-A, used topically, is a potent free-radical fighter.

Application of specially formulated skin care products, containing vitamins C and E, on the skin, is also helpful as the skin appears and feels soft and smooth. Some estheticians suggest that vitamin C can actually boost the synthesis of collagen, in addition to preventing cell degeneration, and promoting skin elasticity.

However, your skin cells are constantly renewing. It's a fact, even though it may not seem so, when in your 40s, and 50s, you find a new puckered area each time you look in the mirror! So it is possible to undo some of the damage if you take corrective action.

Take this test to find out how old your skin is, and what you can do about it.

Some tips and advice are constant to all beauty and skin-care experts for maintaining radiant and healthy good looks at every age. They all recommend that women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond supplement a good everyday skin-care routine with healthy doses of prevention. We ourselves favour the use of cosmetics deloped from natural extracts.

A careful blend of science and nature is the safest, most effective skin care system.

There is no way that you can short circuit the skin care process. An effective everyday regimen must include cleansing, toning, exfoliation and moisturizing (add nourishing after age 40).

First determine your skin type, before customising a regimen to suit it. But be very picky about what you apply on your precious skin. We recommend Garden Botanika, which is careful to select the purest of ingredients for our natural cosmetic line without compromising the effectiveness. They have made a conscious decision to only use talc-free, mineral oil free, lanolin free, petrolatum free and fragrance free cosmetic ingredients, which would otherwise harm or irritate the delicate facial skin. Instead they use natural ingredients such as Shea Butter, Lavender Flower Wax, Avocado Oil, and Vitamin E which help promote healthier skin.

Additionally, for the prevention routine, a sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection, and an under-eye cream, are essential. An under- eye cream will plump up fine lines below and around the eyes, whereas a sunscreen will protect from the damaging effects, mentioned earlier, of the sun's UV rays. Some doctors also recommend using products with vitamin-A derivatives.

Exfoliation is the magic bullet to make your skin look instantly more radiant and fresh. The regular removal of dead cells from the epidermis uncovers the smoother, fresher-looking skin beneath. It encourages growth of new cells. Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which are derived from natural ingredients such as sugarcane and fruits can serve as natural exfoliators, although they can be a tad messy to apply.

In fact fruit pectins are a much prized ammunition to fight modern day pollutants. Pomegranate, for example, is increasingly being used in combating the effects of pollutants, as it's known to be one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants. The benefits another of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, red wine (Optivegetol extract), are well researched. Another potent ingredient is Moringa Seed, which is said to contain two naturally occurring peptides proven to protect and purify the skin against particle pollution. Red Wine Extract – clinically known as Optivegetol P-150, contains powerful biophenols that have been laboratory-tested to scavenge and reduce free radicals.

Cosmetic compounds containing Cranberry Seed Oil (rich in essential fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids) and Cranberry Seed Extract (featuring antioxidant properties of bioflavanoids such as catechins and quercetin) are also beneficial.

NEVER overlook the 'Cleansing' step. Why is this so important? Your skin's surface becomes clogged with debris, sweat, pollutants, present in the air, excess oil and bacteria. No application is going to be able to reach your skin surface unless you get all the muck off! Really! Choose something gentle. You want to remove excess sebum, but not the fat that waterproofs your skin and protects it. Also use cool water to rinse; too hot or too cold can cause your skin to dry out and increase broken capillaries.

Care after 40: After 40 the gradual, and inevitable, loss of collagen that is a part of natural aging, becomes more apparent. If you need to repair the ravages of time on a war footing, you can consider a surgical face lift or a Botox injection. However, these procedures are painful and expensive! The good news is that today's futuristic scientific knowledge has devised natural formulae to avoid such extreme treatments. The latest formulae are created with collagen and cell renewing ingredients that work as a natural face-lift, without the need for Botox and other painful surgical procedures.

There are a few other things you can do that can prevent the appearance of lines and the loss of elasticity that comes from natural aging.

Skincare Routine: Use the more intensive daily care regimen formulated for older skins. Add a nourishing cream in addition to hydration. You may need to use a special formula if your lips have started to droop.

Diet: Drink 8 glasses of water every day, starting with a glass first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. Stick to a balanced diet with adequate quantities of cereal, leafy green and brightly colored vegetables, protein. Olive oil is the cooking medium we favour.

Sleep: It is while you sleep that your skin cells get their nourishment. Your cells can regenerate only while you sleep. Some hormonal secretions can take place only when you are in the deep delta 3 and 4 of NREM sleep. So get to bed earlier; at least 1 or 2 hours early than you did. Our page on 'sleep' has more information on this subject. Sleeping problems? Look for more information here:

Nutritionals: Medical experts agree that it is not possible to obtain the necessary balanced nutrition from our everyday diet, unless we are willing to buy expensive organic products. Crops today grow in soil depleted of their natural nutrients and loaded with artificial fertilizers. So one has to depend on vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure good health and a strong immune system. Flax seed oil, Folic acid, Omega 3 oils, vitamins B, C, D, E, Saw Palmetto, L-Carnitine, Garlic and CoQ10 are some of the ingredients that we ourselves take as supplements to our normal diet. Only remember that while thousands of brands are available, some are superior to others.

Exercise: Exercise is the panacea to most ailments, and an amazing number of age-related maladies can be kept at bay, and even cured, by exercise alone. Your skin too ill show the effects of re-energised blood circulation that is an immediate result of exercise. For a low intensity but balanced regimen that can have an astounding effect on your appearance use the Tibetan Rejuvenation Technique. It is an exercise regimen developed to activate hormonal secretions of the body, and can be tailored to challenge different levels of physical fitness, from the most sedentary to the most athletic. We use it ourselves. For more information on the Tibetan Rejuvenation Technique, click here.

Sex: A satisfying sex life (with a steady partner) has a very beneficial effect on your skin, part from extending life expectancy by at least two years. As you age, hormonal changes may affect sexual appetite and desire, while changes in metabolism may translate to physical inability. Practice of The Tibetan technique will ensure that you maintain your vitality and stamina. If you find yourself without a loving partner, remember that there may be other singles out there, perhaps looking for you.

Lastly, never overlook the obvious - professional and proven advice from a doctor in the field of skin-care. We recently came across an extremely informative site set up by a medical doctor and recommend that you visit it for wrinkle-free skin.

All said and done, your skin is also a true barometer of your life style. For more on life style factors that can affect your health and the condition of your skin, click here.

We at YoungAgainForever are committed to natural and holistic systems of creating good health and well-being. For information on other factors that help to promote lifetime fitness, good health and wellness, visit the links below:

Recommended Resources and Links

Eye Therapy for excellent vision naturally

Restore hair growth naturally

Natural Face Lift

Tooth Soap for Perfect Teeth

Just who are Roshmi & Jay?

Subscribe to 'To Your Health, Letter', our Free bi-monthly newsletter filled with the newest tips and strategies to maintain physical and mental health and well-being.
Click HERE