Growing older gracefully


No matter your age, that eternal quest for beauty never stops. Here are a few natural ways to preserve your beauty.

THROUGHOUT the various stages of life our skin will reflect the major changes, be they puberty, pregnancy or menopause, and slowly and inevitably age will take its toll.

Circulation and cell renewal process becomes slower, sebaceous glands provide less oil to lubricate and soften the skin, the connective tissue in the dermis begins to lose some of its elasticity and skin becomes thinner and no longer firm to the touch.

Though genetics, our lifestyle diet and climate all contribute to ageing, some people become more attractive with ageing. Though we can't prevent ageing, we can at least prevent premature ageing by caring for our looks, living a healthy lifestyle and by not giving in to lethargy about our appearance.

These beauty regimen culled from Janet Impey's Style Made Simple will go a long way in helping to fight premature ageing:

20 to 30: The skin should be at its best, with teenage spots shed along with the puppy fat. However, think ahead and find time for a regular beauty regime. Thorough cleansing and moisturising is a must and will pay dividends in later years. The skin should be smooth and supple and, since this is a very socially active time of life, be aware that you can help to keep it this way by avoiding excessive amounts of rich foods and alcohol;

40 to 50: By the mid-40s, expression lines will begin to deepen around the mouth, eyes and forehead. The skin shows signs of loss of elasticity, especially around the eyes and shadows become more pronounced. Facials to help deep cleanse the skin and keep it well moisturised, are essential now, plus facial exercises to stave off any hint of a double chin;

50 to 60: By the mid-50s, the skin becomes looser and the folds and sagging tissues around the eyes will be more pronounced due to loss of muscle tone. The cheeks and jaw become flabby and the nose and chin usually appear to be more prominent. Exercises to help firm the face and increase circulation will help, plus specially developed moisture creams, which help the skin renewal process;

60 plus: As we age, the skull may remain the same or start to shrink while the skin continues to grow, causing more pronounced sagging of skin and underlying muscles. Around the cheeks, delicate criss-cross wrinkles appear and also lines around the mouth deepen. The skin tone may lighten due to diminishing blood supply and loss of blood vessels, so a hint of added colour with a cream blusher may be required, plus a tinted moisturiser.
Here are further tips on how to age gracefully:

begin using sunscreen with SPF daily to prevent sun damage and skin peeling. Use formulated sun-block for your face that allows you to apply makeup over the lotion;

moisturise your skin daily. The benefits of moisturisers help to hydrate the skin, replenish the skin cells, reduce wrinkles, and produce softer skin. There are quality moisturisers on the market that work effectively without the high cost associated with a lot of moisturisers;

consume a balance low fat low calorie diet filled with nutrients and antioxidants to help your body keep the youthful skin and buoyancy. Consume foods that contain acai and dark green leafy vegetables that aid the body's natural ability to age gracefully while they help to build your immunity;

add walking to your exercise program. Walk for 30 minutes four times a week. Purchase walking shoes for proper support of your feet and back, to lessen the risks of damages and possible injuries;

limit your consumption of fats and sugars with your foods and beverages. Drink water to keep your body hydrated. Eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is the medical recommendation for optimal water intake. Reduce your consumption of coffee with added creams and sugar, sodas, teas with the sugars, and other drinks high in sugar contents;

visit your doctor for a regular checkup. Have your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugars checked. You physician will have blood work done to monitor the level of your health and to help prevent any possible medical conditions. Talk over with your doctor any health issues you might be experiencing so they could be treated.