Are Serums the Fountain of Youth?
BY: CLAIRE – DAYS [DAYS SINCE Today] AGO
They say 30 is the new 20 and now 40 is the new 30! And I don’t even think it stops there. Today’s woman is more empowered than ever to own how she feels and how she looks and no longer has to conform to stereotypes of a 1950s housewife ready to do her duty as a wife and grow old whilst embracing the natural ageing process.
These days there are so many options for retaining our youth and owning our personal choices of fashion, makeup and hair that it isn’t even just women who look toward the beauty counters for inspiration on maintaining their youth. The cosmetic industry is absolutely huge and getting bigger through use of surgical procedures as people get nervous about ageing and rely on these methods to keep their youthful glow as soon as they see their first wrinkle!
So, what is it about the skin and hair that suddenly seems to play for the older team when we least expect it? You could be in your early twenties and find that first grey hair or you could be mid thirties and see those laugh lines stop disappearing when you’ve stopped laughing. It can be quite daunting and a sign of lost youth, but it can also have health implications that can be quite minor but easy to manage if you can recognise the signs early enough.
For example, we may see dryness in our skin and assume it is the gods of old age coming to claim us already, when in actual fact, we are just lacking moisture and hydration and may need to improve our skin care routine! So, don’t panic yet, there is an awful lot we can do to fix these temporary blips in our skin, lips, eyebrows and eyelashes and usually the best way to fix damage is to prevent it in the first place.
So, lets see what we can do to slow down this scary ageing process and see if we can beat time at its own game!
Signs of Ageing in the Eyes
Our eyes are not very good liars, they tell a story whether we want them to or not and the skin around them is so delicate and thin that it is the fist place that the signs of age can settle in. As beautiful as eyelashes are, they are there to do a very important job too, so they can also see the negative effects of ageing just by doing their job every day. But we’ll get onto eyelashes later!
Fine lines are the first sign of ageing before wrinkles appear and luckily, they are called fine lines for a reason. So even if they aren’t noticeable to the rest of the world, to you they can be the only thing you see when you go to put your make up on in the morning and then cause immediate lack of confidence.
So, what causes them? Lines and wrinkles are unfortunately something we will all experience at some point or another, through natural ageing or diet and lifestyle choices. The sun is a major factor in the health of skin around the eyes, as it causes the area to dehydrate and as the skin is so thin there, its doesn’t have room to lose moisture quickly like the rest of the face. Sun burn is also something that may seem temporary, but it has lasting effects on the skin around the eyes as it is essentially damaging the skin. The sun is a funny one though as it does have its health benefits and promotes Vitamin D in our skin, but you know what they say about too much of a good thing!
Makeup is of course what we use to enhance our features, cover up blemishes and just give ourselves the confidence to step outside and be who we want to be. But one big no no is sleeping with makeup on. This can completely dry out the skin near our eyes and also with shadows and liners caked on without giving your skin a chance to breathe it reduces the chance of hydration getting in and those natural oils your skin contains from getting out. Eyes and the surrounding skin are easy targets for infection as well so using old make-up or make-up brushes can add to the early signs of ageing. It is best to keep your make-up fresh and brushes clean when using liners, eyeshadows and mascaras as it will be that delicate skin that pays for it in the end.
So, protect and moisturise your skin and especially the skin around your eyes in order to maintain the moisture and hydration it needs to retain its elasticity, therefore always looking tighter and a healthy colour. Hey presto, we’ve started to beat the signs of ageing already, and it required next to no effort!
Signs of Ageing in Eyelashes
So back to the eyelashes then, they have been a sign of beauty for thousands of years. Mascara, even in its earliest forms has been used on eyelashes for centuries, for reasons varying from increasing protection from the sun and dust particles from getting in the eyes, to declare status within society and now to just enhancing our eyes and making them look the best they can to flatter our features. Whatever the reason for making up our eyelashes, I guarantee this has put them under serious amounts of strain over time and where they may have experienced neglect, they may very well start to neglect you in your quest for a youthful appearance.
Mascaras have come so far, lets face it. Gone are the days of relying on your favourite teen magazine to provide you with your latest fix of free tinted or glitter mascara that you knew was causing more damage than good, but still used it anyway!
Nowadays there are so many different types or mascara from waterproof to lengthening to volumising and so on. Brushes come in all different shapes and sizes and the gel comes in different tints and shades to suite your lash colour. But importantly the ingredients are what we should be looking at to make sure that our eyelashes are being protected while we coat them with this black sticky stuff for the day. Afterall, our skin and hair needs to breathe, so if our lashes are being covered in mascara then wouldn’t it be a relief to know that the ingredients in the mascara are helping to soften and moisturise them so when you actually remove the mascara, you are left with a full and smooth set of eyelashes.
Eyelashes fall out often and this is nothing to be worried about as it is all part of the eyelash growth cycle, and our upper lashes contain around 150 individual eyelashes at any one time so you won’t notice when one or two fall out. But if you see that more are falling out that usual or they have patches where they are slow to grow back in, it may be that you have been over-doing it with the mascara or it may be a sign of ageing. Hair naturally tends to get thinner as we age and unfortunately our eyelashes are not exempt from this, so the best thing to do is act now, prevent more damage from happening and to fix the damage that may have been done.
So, this is where a great eyelash serum and a healthy mascara will come in handy. You can take control of the situation, help your eyelashes to grow quicker, say hydrated and make them up to enhance your eyes all at the same time!
Signs of Ageing in Eyebrows
Eyebrow health might not have even crossed your mind before now, but one day you may notice that your brows are a lot thinner or sparse than they once were. The panic sets in again as you realise that the ageing process is starting to take hold, so its time to do something about it.
Eyebrow grooming is not a new process, but I would say more popular now than ever. The thing with eyebrows is that the trends change over time. Thin, thick, unruly, polished, you name it, eyebrows have been there! So, we haven’t helped them much by tweezing them furiously every week or frantically colouring them in, but a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, right?
You don’t need to feel guilty about this kind of grooming at all, you just need to recognise that hair grows back thinner as we get older, so the more we pluck, the more likely it will take longer to grow back in. As it said earlier, the best protection from ageing is prevention, so maybe think twice before reaching for those tweezers!
Serums are now around to help this ageing curse we all have to face, though they aren’t instant miracle workers, they are designed to help speed up the growth process, encourage eyebrows to grow back thicker, enhance colour and keep the skin and follicles healthy and hydrated. It has to be worth it! Remember what we’re fighting here, a little serum could go a long way in our crusade to stay looking youthful!
Signs of Ageing in the Lips
What’s that? Lips experience the effects of ageing? Unfortunately, it is very true. Our lips are like our eyes, we put them through their paces and they have very thin layers of skin that can become easily damaged and therefore start to look older before their time.
When you think of all the hot food and drinks that pass through them, the dryness in the cold air, the burning heat of the sun and if you’re like me the amount of talking they do, it is all enough stress on our lips to cause cracks, loss of brightness and fine lines. As much as I love a 24 hour lip colour, all they are doing is coating your lips with a layer of synthetic ingredients that are designed not to budge, which stops any source of hydration from getting in or out. You may even sometimes notice the days after using one of these stay-on lipsticks that your lips are very dry and wrinkled and need a little bit more TLC than usual.
Lips that lack hydration can be easily put down to the effects of ageing and if not looked after they can start to look droopy and colourless and no amount of lipstick will help cover it up in the long run.
Again, we are lucky that cosmetic science has come so far that we can do something about it with a vast array of serums and balms, but importantly, the ingredients are what you should be looking for when choosing the right one for you. Natural ingredients that promote the collagen in our lips are something to look out for. Collagen is what provides the elasticity and bounce and with products that enhance this, you will find your lips not only look more youthful but fuller too!
Ingredients that promote increased blood flow are essential to give you that perfectly pink pout, you could be twenty, thirty or forty and your lips will never give away your true age if you stick to this plan. So, do yourself a favour and incorporate a healthy balm into your routine to beat that old foe, time!
Natural Oils in the Skin, Eyebrows and Eyelashes
Of course, we may not need to keep looking so far in search of the fountain of youth, our skin produces natural oils that help protect our follicles and pores and keep the production of new cells in growth. Now, this is not to say that cleansing isn’t important, but there should surely be a balance in getting this right so that we can reap the benefits all round.
The correct term for the natural oils the skin produces is sebum. Sebum is our body’s natural defence system that provides natural moisture and a barrier against the natural elements. It starts under the skin and into our follicles which is what make sure hair doesn’t initially grow dry and brittle. Of course, too much sebum can be a problem and can be responsible for blemishes, but the right balance is good for your skin and hair and we should be careful not to keep ridding the skin of these important nutrients with powerful cleansers.
If the skin is too oily, then it can be easily fixed by cleansing gently with oil-free exfoliants and making sure to remove make up before bed time. Dirt and unnatural oil can be harmful to the skin and add to the ageing process.
If the skin is too dry, it is more likely to be a sign of ageing, and even if it isn’t, it will give the appearance of ageing, so its best to avoid it and if it starts to take hold, then treat it easily by following a few simple rules: Only pat your hair and skin dry after a shower and don’t vigorously try to dry it with a towel, this is taking all those healthy oils away and can lead to irritation and redness. Afterward, use a light moisturiser to keep the skin looking healthy and smooth, and as tempting as it may be, don’t reach for a thicker moisturiser especially for the face as it can be the enemy when it comes to your pores! Clogged pores lead to imperfections and we are trying to keep the balance of healthy and youthful skin, remember!
Can we Reverse the Effects of Ageing?
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could turn back the clock and rid ourselves of those pesky wrinkles and that dull, tell-tale hair in a snap? Unfortunately, the methods to do this are usually saved for the rich and famous. Botox, lips fillers, hair transplants, face lifts, they are all procedures that people turn to in the quest to hold onto youthful hair and skin. Nowadays, some of these cosmetic procedures can be done on a lunch break from work by trained cosmetic technicians and you don’t necessarily need to go under the knife to try and obtain perfection.
The thing to take note of is that with every cosmetic procedure comes great responsibility! You can’t just pay for a quick fix and expect it to last if you don’t take care of your new features, whether it be a skin peel, an eyelash lift or dermal lip fillers. Any cosmetic procedure or foreign object can attract infection, as well as removing hydration from specific areas. Eyelash extensions are definitely not as risky, but then when you have paid good money for them, you will want to make sure they last and do the job you intended!
Lip fillers are usually temporary and can be dissolved, but they require you to keep your lips moisturised due to the thin nature of the skin on the lips. Dry and cracked lips at the best of times is not fun but when you have tried to enhance that pout, the last thing you need is for them to look dry and aged instead.
One of the best things for this is a serum called Xlips EGF Intensive Care Lip Balm, it is perfectly designed to keep the lips hydrated and moisturised on a daily basis and works wonderfully on lips that have been enhanced surgically or cosmetically. If you are on the quest for youthful looking lips, a serum that contains natural plant extracts, hydrating nutrients and fatty vitamins is just the ticket!
So, what about the eyebrows then? I mentioned earlier that they can look thinner and lacking in shine, and they way a lot of people are choosing to combat this is with a relatively new procedure called microblading. In a similar way to getting a tattoo is does involve a needle but is less painful and less permanent. Although it is now quite common to get this procedure done, like all procedures, always go with a trained technician and someone with proven work. Once you are happy, it is so important to carry out proper after care, especially immediately afterward. It is usually recommended not to get the area wet or to apply moisturisers or creams for a week after getting this done and most of all, to stay out of direct sun! So if you’re thinking of getting your eyebrows tattooed the day before your summer holiday, think again!
So, the compromise with eyebrows is a tough one. There is either the option of microblading, which will look great, but you can’t apply serums or moisturisers afterward. And I really champion the use of serums when it comes to the skin and hair, although it is not an instant fix to my ageing eyebrows, it certainly feels noticeable after a couple of weeks when they start to feel and look thicker.
Have we Discovered the Fountain of Youth?
It’s a tricky one to confirm, but I definitely think that with what we have available to us in this day and age, we are in a powerful position to breath new life into our skin, our lips, our eyelashes and eyebrows. We can’t reverse the effects of ageing overnight, but we can give it a good go! With a little improvement into our diet, our lifestyle and a few little additions to our make-up bag, we are able to use serums and balms to our advantage. Reducing fine lines and hydrating the skin might seem like tedious work but I can promise you, look after your lips, eyebrows and eyelashes now and they will repay you with youth for years to come!