By Rippan Sandhu
It’s that time of the year again! After a very strange 2020, it’s going to be a relief to get out and enjoy the natural gifts of Aotearoa:
sun, sea, and sky. While summer in New Zealand can be paradise, hot weather, saltwater, and lots of UV can be as harmful to mature skin as
winter dryness — and it’s important that you take the steps to prevent damage to your skin and protect yourself for the warm months to
When people talk about menopausal skin, they often discuss signs of ageing primarily: wrinkling, crow’s feet, laugh lines… at Ayurda, we don’t believe that laugh lines are anything to remedy, and certainly not through skincare. Dryness is a little-discussed factor of menopausal skin that affects many women heading into their 40s and 50s — even women who have had lifelong oily skin. This is due to a drop in sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, which results in a decrease in sebum and sweat production, as well as drastic changes in the skin’s pH level. All of these changes lead to a compromised skin barrier: the top few dermal layers that minimise the loss of moisture through evaporation, and protect you from pollutants. That’s why for mature women with drying skin, it is much much more important now than ever to maintain and repair your skin barrier. If you’re a keen exfoliator due to oiliness in your youth — ease up! Experts say that the oiliest of skins benefit from exfoliation — either physical or chemical — up to 4 times a week, whilst dry skins should only exfoliate up to twice a week,
tops. If you’re noticing changes in your skin as you age, be sure to adjust your skincare routine to the skin you have now rather than the skin you had before. Play it by ear and remember that exfoliation should never leave your face feeling tight — that’s a sign that you’ve stretched your skin beyond its hydration limit.
We know, we know… though tanning is still popular, the skincare craze has really overtaken our desire to be sunkissed in the last ten years, so it’s likely that you’ve heard this from everyone and their mother. If you’re going through menopause or are entering menopause, your skin barrier is reaching a compromised state where it’s less capable of protecting you from UV, pollutants, and inflammatories. Our world is more polluted now than it ever has been, which means that while your mother or grandmother might have been able to skate by without SPF, you do not have the same luxury. However, it’s as important to wear the right SPF in the right way as it is to wear SPF at all. A compromised skin barrier and dry skin benefits from broad spectrum UVB, preferably at a SPF50+ range — that guarantees you protection from 98% of UV rays as opposed to SPF15+’s 93%. Dry skins should seek out SPF embedded day moisturisers on top of their usual SPF — not only will this keep you moisturised, but most of us only use a third of the sunscreen that dermatologists recommend. Bolstering up the amount will guarantee you that you’re getting the benefits of SPF through sheer quantity. In addition, look for helpful additives in your sunscreen that are specifically formulated for mature skin: collagen, zinc, titanium, which smooth out skin and soothes inflammation.
Everyone knows that the decline in skin elasticity is due to a collagen loss during your 40s — but that’s not quite the entire case. The truth is, collagen decline is only one of the reasons why your skin can begin to sag — muscle loss and bone degradation make up the others. Now, those sound like scary words, but the fact is that there is actually more you can do to counter the decline in muscle and bone density than often times you can do for collagen. Bone density, simply put, is the amount of minerals in your bones, which contribute to their overall strength or brittleness. It’s the reason why some people are more prone to breaking bones than others. While sunscreen might be great for the surface level of your skin, it can also prohibit you from taking in Vitamin D from the sun — which is essential for bone health. To counteract this mineral deficiency, make sure you are consuming foods high in calcium and also taking up weighted exercise. Adding weights to your routine — and they don’t have to be heavy! — encourages your body to increase bone density because you’re placing stress on your bones directly, hence encouraging them to get stronger. It’s the same idea behind muscle building. By increasing bone density and muscle, the benefits will be visible all over your body — leading to less sag in your skin and face over time.
Sounds odd? Not so! Just how you’d stretch before a run or a yoga session, studies have shown that a light neck and shoulder stretch before we apply our skincare at night or in the morning can actually increase the efficacy of the products. As we get older, our lymph nodes in our face and neck have a tendency to swell more easily, especially after a night of sleep. By stretching and rolling our necks, we are increasing blood flow to the region, which helps to flush out excess fluids and help you look more toned in the face. Warmth and circulation under the skin also helps your skincare sink into your pores more easily, thus increasing their ability to do what the label promised. To try, simply roll your shoulders back a few times. Follow by tilting your head from side to side, noting which side carries the most strain. To finish, shake out your arms. This warms up your body, and helps drain excess fluid from your face and neck — giving you that ‘lifted’ toned look, a perfect accessory for a day at the beach.