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Health, Beauty & Fashion

Common beauty woes

Flabby thighs and cellulite are a few of women’s worst nightmares. Tackle these and other common beauty problems with our tips
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - April 22, 2010
By: Sheila Lim
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Common beauty woes

Not even the most gorgeous people in the world can look good forever. No one, perhaps with the exception of Cher (who’s got plenty of help from her plastic surgeons), can defy the destruction that the natural processes of ageing will wreak.

Here are some common imperfections that cause us woe, and some tips on how to solve them.

Flabby thighs, upper arms and abdomen
As we age, our metabolism rates slow down and our energy levels drop. As a result, muscle tissues and skin elasticity start to slacken, and fat and flab begin to accumulate in various parts of our bodies.

The most sensible way to get your body into better shape is to avoid excessive intake of carbohydrates and fats, and keep yourself fit and trim through regular muscle-toning and strengthening exercises.

Cellulite
Cellulite consists of fatty deposits that accumulate beneath the skin. They appear as bumps and lumps, and are commonly found on the upper arms, thighs and buttocks.

While scientists are still studying the reason why women are more prone to getting cellulite than men, many cosmetic companies and beauty centres already provide products and services to alleviate this problem.

Age and liver spots (lentigines)
As people age, their cumulative exposure to the sun results in the appearance of brown spots on the cheeks, arms, hands, chest and other parts of the body that are usually exposed to the sun. Skin pigmentation problems can also occur in younger people in the form of freckles.

Avoiding sun exposure and using sunscreen are key ways of preventing age spots and freckles from multiplying. While skin lightening products will help diminish some age spots, only more permanent treatments, such as lasers or chemical peels, can remove them completely.

Skin inflammation Is your skin itching, breaking out or covered in strange spots? Skin inflammation, spots and changes in texture or colour may be the result of infection, a chronic skin condition, or contact with an allergen or irritant.

Psoriasis, eczema and rosacea are some common adult skin problems that result due to the reduction in the rate of cell regeneration and rehydration as we age. While these are usually minor problems, they may be symptoms of something more serious, so always consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Brittle fingernails
Not all fats are bad for you. The body not only requires vitamins, minerals and proteins to stay in top form, but also a certain amount of “good fats” as well.

If your fingernails keep breaking or peeling, your skin looks dry and pasty, and your hair is dull and lifeless, you’ll probably need to include some good fats such as omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, in your diet.

Omega-3 is needed to burn carbohydrates and thus also help combat the weight-gaining effects of rising cortisol levels associated with ageing. Good sources of fatty acids can be found in avocados, ground flax seeds (or flax seed oil), nuts, dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, and fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel.

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