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Health, Beauty & Fashion

Don’t end up with reptilian looks!

Get smooth, young looking skin no matter your age
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - October 14, 2010
By: Sheila Lim
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Don’t end up with reptilian looks!

Before the likes of Brad Pitt came along, Robert Redford was among the cohort of actors who held the title of “sexiest man alive”. Sadly, Redford disappeared from the limelight and emerged later on as the founder of the Sundance Film Festival – minus his heart-melting good looks.

His skin, leathery and deeply-lined, had aged prematurely, no doubt thanks to the intensely arid climate of Utah, where he has made his home. I had experienced the damaging effects of such harsh climatic conditions myself, after spending only a couple of days in the Grand Canyon. While washing up at the end of the day, I was greatly dismayed to see deep visible lines etched into my forehead. And I was a nubile, twenty-something then! So while I detest our unbearably muggy tropical weather, I’m grateful that I am less prone to premature ageing because of it!

Though those of us living in tropical regions don’t have to slap on copious amounts of moisturiser like those living in temperate lands, we still have to take steps to prevent the onset of dry skin due to the ravaging effects of the ageing process.

Cleanse skin with lukewarm water
Some of us may not be aware that hot water robs skin of moisture.  It’s best to shower and cleanse your face and hands with lukewarm water. If your skin turns red, the water is far too hot. Also try not to shower too many times a day or soak in the bath or hot spa for more than 10 minutes. The hot temperature of the water, combined with the chemicals in shower and bath products, can be damaging to skin.

Moisturise regularly
Moisturising is the key to keeping skin soft and supple. Apply moisturiser when skin is slightly damp; for the best effect, pat skin instead of rubbing vigorously with your towel to dry yourself after a bath. Oils might work better than lotions for those with dry, itchy skin.

Exfoliate fortnightly/weekly
Moisturiser is much more effective on properly exfoliated skin. Use a scrub in the shower and exfoliate facial skin with a gentle scrub designed for the face. Some beauty experts recommend scrubbing/brushing the skin when it's dry to remove flaky skin, and massaging the scrub into skin for a few minutes for the best results.

Invest in a humidifier
Like the hot, dry air from furnaces and other heating sources, the cold, dry air from air-conditioners will also suck the moisture out of skin.

If you work in an air-conditioned environment, keep a bottle of hand and body moisturising lotion and facial mist on your desk. And if the air-conditioning in your residence is perpetually running, it might be wise to invest in a humidifier.

Protect your skin
Weather conditions like low temperatures, low humidity and strong, harsh winds deplete skin of its natural lipid layer, which keeps the skin from drying out. So if you are travelling in places with such climactic conditions, be sure to wear a hat, shawl or jacket to protect your skin against the elements and slap on slabs of moisturiser!

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