Young at 40

Amrita Prasad
Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Keeping the skin radiant and youthful is not all that easy. 
Dr Shweta Iyengar, who recently released her e-book How to Look Radiant and Firm after 40, shares some core lessons

40s is the new 20s is no longer wishful thinking. With more and more people taking to fitness and healthy diets, the older generation is learning to take care of themselves. But it’s not all that easy. The signs of ageing do show up on the skin. 

While it not possible to go back in time, you can make certain lifestyle changes and begin to take care of your skin to slow down the ageing process. Dr Shweta Iyengar, founder and medical director Skinsense (, Mumbai, who recently released her e-book titled How to Look Radiant and Firm after 40, believes that the right time to start an anti-ageing cream is at 25, before the signs of ageing begin to show. Here, she shares mores details on skincare for both men and women. Excerpts: 

How does our skin change in our 40s?
More than the rest of your body, your skin undergoes massive changes as you age, in particular, as you enter your 40s. Ageing is characterised by emerging evidence of sun damage and ageing in the form of loss of firmness, wrinkles, fine lines, age spots and large pores. Decline in hormones and growth factors causes a reduction in the synthesis of collagen and elastin, and reduces the production of sebum (skin oil). The rate at which skin repairs and renews itself also takes place much slower.

How is women’s skin different from men’s?
Besides having coarse facial hair, there are structural differences between a man’s skin and a woman’s. Androgen (testosterone) stimulation causes an increase in skin thickness. Sebum (oil) production also differs. After puberty, sebum production is greater in males than females. Regardless of age, men also have a higher collagen density, which further slows down the ageing of their skin. It has been said that a woman’s skin is about 15 years older than a man’s of the same age. However, as men are less connected to a healthy skin ritual, mainly sunscreen, UV damage from the sun can add years to a man’s skin and negate the benefit of slowed ageing.

To have a glowing skin in the 40s, what type of skincare routine must one follow?
Always cleanse your face, especially before bedtime — wash the day’s dirt and grime and makeup off your face so that your skincare can do its work. Night-time is the best time for your skin to repair itself, hence starting with a clean palette is important. Always use a cleanser according to skin type. Exfoliation once a week helps the skin to rejuvenate. Also exfoliation with a gentle scrub helps declog pores, removes dead skin and enhances absorption of skincare products. At night, use a retinoid product, which helps reverse the signs of ageing. Look for moisturisers with hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acids reportedly hold their nearly 1,000 times their weight in water so your skin looks plumped and less wrinkled. You can prevent future damage like pigmentation and early wrinkles by always applying a sunscreen. Sun causes both skin patchiness and early ageing so use a sunscreen daily. 

What are the signs of ageing in men and women?
Uneven skin tone, also called hyper pigmentation, are very common in Indian skin type. It could be caused by sun damage, acne or post skin irritation. Sagging skin is another issue in your 40s — ageing as well as the act of gaining and losing weight reduces the firmness of skin. Dryness is more common than before due to extremes of temperature and air-conditioning which cause the skin to lose its radiance. Open pores appear as one ages; most common on nose, parts of cheeks and also seen on arms and back. 

In today’s times when we are leading stressful lives, what are the best ways to deal with health and skin issues?
Healthy and beautiful skin hair and body shape requires investing in good habits over time. Exercising, spending time with nature, loving what you do, training your mind to look at the brighter side of things, meditation, regular vitamin and antioxidant intake are some of the most essential things that can slow down the ageing process and for that you need to lead a disciplined lifestyle. A good sense of humour and play time also help in age reversal. Accepting some changes gracefully also helps.

Should one depend on home remedies and natural therapies or bank on medical procedures for skincare in the 40s?
As home remedies only work on the top layer of the skin (epidermis), they have minimal ability to repair ageing signs. Home remedies can temporarily hydrate, nourish and pep up the skin. For age reversal, advanced proven technology, which helps in activating the lymphatic drainage, is proven to rejuvenate and help in collagen remodelling and prevent ageing. The medical procedures are non invasive and safe, comfortable and affordable.

Dr Iyengar says, “Everyone has a favourite face cream or treatment, but beautiful skin starts with nourishment from within. Older cells are constantly shed and replaced by younger ones and a steady supply of key nutrients is essential to support this rapid growth. Eat the correct balance of foods and you’ll feed your skin the vital nutrients it needs to stay soft, supple and radiant.” Here are some of the superfoods for the skin: 
- Citrus fruits (oranges, amla, tomatoes)
- Other fruits (especially avocados, papaya and kiwi)
- Fish collagen (sardines, salmon)
- Eggs for protein
- Nuts and seeds for essential oils
- Oats prevents breakouts and flareups
- Spinach for its rich iron and zinc content
- Dark chocolate acts as antioxidants
- Yoghurt for protein and probiotics
- Turmeric for its anti-inflammatory, depigmenting properties
- Water for its moisture and detoxifying properties

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