The Ageing Timeline

Age 25–30: Visible ageing begins when the skin cell renewal starts to slow down.

Age 30–35: Expression lines become more prominent as collagen and elastin start to break down.

Age 35–40: Static lines begin to appear. Skin starts to thin. Skin becomes noticeably more dry. Shift of facial fats become noticeable.

Age 40 onwards: The change may suddenly be visible, especially with Indian skin types. If you are petite with a good bone structure and stable body weight, you would have enjoyed a blessed skin up until now, and at 40 it all seems to suddenly give up—skin, face, and body!

Age 50 onwards: Facial muscles sag along with the other structures like fat. Bone framework and teeth support is compromised and skin appears fragile

How To Get A Clean Face

Remove make up first: Intensely pigmented make up—which is usually the eye, eyebrow, and lip make up—needs to be removed first. After you have gotten rid of this, use the make up remover for the rest of your face and neck. Always use separate cotton for each area. Using wrong strokes and harsh product to remove the eye make up may lead to loosening of skin in that area, so do it carefully. This can burst the tiny capillaries and cause blood cells to get accumulated which make the eye and under eye area look dark.

Cleanse it right: Wash your face with slightly warm water, running it over for more than a minute. Keep dabbing warm water because it softens the face and makes it more receptive. Then wipe the water and use a cream cleanser. Gently keep going round and round all over the areas that you want to cleanse. Wipe it off with wet cotton so that your face is absolutely devoid of any dirt and grime you might have collected during the day.

Wash away: Your final step for clean skin is washing with a face wash. It removes the grime and you skin looks fresh. Take a little on your fingertips and lather, then apply all over your face, neck, and décolletage. Wash off with cold or lukewarm water depending on the weather.

Essential Minerals

They are needed by the body to strengthen the skin and hair cells and improve metabolism.

IRON: Iron is especially important; because it helps cells carry oxygen to your skin and hair structure. If there is too little iron (anaemia) women particularly experience hair loss and sallow skin. The body does not absorb the kind of iron generally found in some vegetables and grains as efficiently as it does in case of animal sources of iron. Thus, vegetarians need to increase these allowances by 1.8 times.

Best food sources: Spinach, soy beans, tofu, liver, meat, and eggs
Recommended daily intake: For adults, the dosage is 8mg per day. Recommended daily intake for women will vary and depends on their menopausal or pregnancy status. The maximum intake limit from all sources is 45 mg per day.

ZINC: It is important for normal cell growth. Zinc deficiency weakens the cells, which can result in lesions on the skin. This nutrient also controls the oil production and reduces chances of ageing. Recommended daily intake for adult men is 11mg per day and for adult women it is 8mg per day.

Best food sources: Oysters, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and oats.
Recommended daily intake: 1-2 ounces of oysters can make up for 100% of the daily requirement; vegetarians necessarily may need an oral supplement along with ¼ cup of pumpkin and sesame seeds.

SELENIUM: This nutrient is essential to maintain skin elasticity. One of the most important functions of selenium is as a component of glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme necessary for the antioxidant function of glutathione. Glutathione is one of the major antioxidants in the body that protects against cellular damage from the free radicals that cause inflammation, ageing, and skin cancer. In fact, many scientists support the theory that selenium in the diet protects against skin cancer. Selenium also plays a significant role in acne severity.

Best food sources: Brazil nuts, shellfish, wheat bran.
Recommended daily intake: Just two Brazil nuts a day will give you the 200 micrograms necessary for an adequate intake.

FOLIC ACID: Folic acid plays an important role in repair of damaged hair and in healthy hair growth.

Best food sources: Nuts, soybean, or soymilk.
Recommended daily intake: 400–1000ug/day for adults.

COPPER: Copper is essential for the proper functioning of the body, including healthy hair growth. An inadequate intake of copper can cause hair loss and thinning hair. Copper is also believed to intensify hair colour and delay greying of hair.

Best food sources: Cocoa powder, dark chocolate, cremini mushrooms, black sesame seeds, and lobster.
Recommended daily intake: 2mg per day.

Some of the supplements that you can take on a daily basis to improve your total health and skin and hair are antioxidant pills, a good multivitamin, a fish oil capsule to get your dose of Omega-3, evening primrose oil, vitamin E, and calcium. After a week, if levels are low then add iron and vitamins D3 and B12 as well.

Don’t shy away from supplements because even if you follow a healthy diet, the quantity may not be enough for the necessary amount of essential minerals you may need in a day. A great diet plus some supplements are your secret to good skin and hair.

The Role Genes Play In Your Hair And Skin

Your skin’s genetic tendency to get acne

How your skin will age in terms of wrinkles, sagging, neck ageing

How your hair will change with age in terms of the texture, density and overall health

How and when you’ll bald

When you may start greying

When you may enter menopause

How your skin forms scars

How your skin will pigment

How your skin will react to the sun or other external factors

How fast oxidation will damage your skin

How you will heal from an injury to your skin

How your skin, hair, and nails will respond to any treatments or products applied to them

By putting the two together, you know what to remember in your skincare routine and what to stress on when you seek professional help towards ageing gracefully.

Skin As A Protective Organ

Now you know why you should not scrub off the top dead layer aggressively. Also do not wash your skin too many times or you may one, strip all the natural secretions and two, trigger a feedback from the skin when it is super dry and cause the oil glands to over-secrete. Excessive skin peeling treatments make the skin more vulnerable to damage. Especially avoid those treatments that rip your outer dead skin layer off before you go on a sunny or a beach holiday.

Skin also acts as a barrier against water loss. Trans-epidermal water loss is water that passes from your deeper tissues through the epidermal layer to the surrounding atmosphere via diffusion and evaporation process. The water loss from the skin is affected by the level of humidity, temperature, weather, and your skin’s natural moisture content.

This is a continuous process over which we have little control. It can increase due to disruption to the skin barrier due to wounds, scratches, burns, or exposure to harsh surfactants. This leads to extreme dryness of the skin. Disturbance in any layer of the skin causes a loss of water from the skin.

The stratum corneum has 30% water which is associated with elasticity of the outer layer of the skin. The innermost layer of the stratum corneum has the maximum percentage of water that supports the outer layer. The moisture on the outermost layer of the skin is dependent on the ambient humidity.

Thirdly, the skin is your biggest immune guard that keeps you safe from infections. But when you have chapped skin or cuts, you have to be extra careful. This is especially important during the monsoon months when there is higher humidity and more chances of bacteria to grow. So keep your skin clean and dry, yet hydrated as well.

But there is a flip side to this. Since the skin forms a protective barrier, the lotions that you apply play a major role in the kind of protection offered to your skin. You have to choose products from skincare companies that are research-oriented because they use the right vehicles, right version of the actives (key ingredients or ingredients that give you the desired result), and the appropriate molecular size to deliver the ingredients into the skin through the top layer.

Functions Of The Skin

Protection: It acts as a barrier, protecting our body from environmental impact and microorganisms.

Regulation: It maintains body temperature through sweat and hair—one of the essentials for a healthy body.

Sensation: The network of nerve cells helps us feel through touch, pain, heat, and cold.

Excretion and Secretion: Sweat is not just water. It also contains urea and creatinin which act like toxin excretion. Secretions like sebum keeps the skin oil balanced and keep the natural microorganisms of the skin in a healthy state.

5 Signs Of Healthy Skin

If you have good and healthy skin, you find friends complementing you on your glowing skin and asking you about the secret recipe to it. You feel nice, happy, and energetic, and your skin, hair, and nails glow even brighter with confidence. When you don’t have great skin, either you ignore it or you work at improving it because you know the negative impact it has on you, your confidence, your mood, relationships, and sometimes even your efficiency.

But getting that healthy glow does not come after following just one step. Most patients come to me and ask for the secret to glowing skin as if there’s a bulb in them that I can turn on. Like I said before, your outside, i.e. your skin and how it looks, affects your insides, your mood, and your health. And what you put inside—your nutrition—shows on the outside.

So before we move ahead, let’s first talk about how a healthy, beautiful skin should look and feel.

1) Even skin tone: Your skin should have a consistent color no matter what your complexion is. It does not matter if you are fair, dusky, or dark; the evenness of skin tone is what makes you look attractive. Little shadows are natural to Indian skin tone. But for it to look attractive, the color graduation has to be seamless, blending with the rest of your facial skin color.

2) Well hydrated: You know skin has enough moisture when it feels supple to the touch. Another way of knowing whether your skin is well hydrated is when your skin bounces back as you press and release it. You know then that the lipid barrier is well preserved, causing minimal transepidermal water loss.

3) Smooth texture: Healthy skin looks smooth and feels smooth. If you look closely in the mirror, you will notice a uniform layout of your pores, and tiny peaks around your hair follicles (yes, our face does have a very fine layer of hair, almost invisible to the naked eye). The pores are small, tight, and feel smooth to touch.

4) Reflects light: Your skin is neither too dry or chapped nor too oily. The pores are closed. This makes the light that hits your face travel back in a straight line instead of scattering it, so that a person looking at you sees your skin shine and glow.

5) Normal sensations: When your skin is healthy, you will not feel any irregular sensations like stretching, burning, or itching.