Well, you made it through the Texting Twenties and have entered the Flirty Thirties. Your skin is changing and it’s time to pay attention to what it needs. Your hormone levels are beginning to decrease and you’ll notice that after you smile, those smile lines take just a touch longer to disappear. The rate of collagen and elastin production in your skin is lowering and cell replacement has slowed.
This slower cell turnover reduces the skins ability to fight inflammation from sun damage and to fend off episodes of adult acne. Here are some things to keep in mind.
- The bacteria that cause acne are already on your skin and washing your face twice daily will help reduce these bacteria as well as removing surface oil and helping to exfoliate dead skin cells. But, excessive washing and scrubbing can, in fact, make your acne worse by causing irritation, scratches and tiny tears in the skin, all of which open the gates to more inflammation and possible infection.
- Wash your face with lukewarm water over your bathroom sink; don’t cleanse your face in the shower. The water will be too hot and if you wash your hair afterward, you risk clogging your pores with shampoo and conditioner residue.
- Also, in your 20s you often used a makeup-wipe, but makeup-wipes dehydrate your skin and don’t deep clean. Instead, choose a gentle cleansing lotion or gel and follow up by wiping the skin with a soft baby washcloth.
- Information on the best face wash for acne can be found at the website Facing Acne.
- Many laundry detergents contain residues that will cause skin irritation, so look for a non-biological enzyme-free detergent. Research has shown that enzymes can irritate damaged skin and many people have reported an immediate improvement after switching.
- Pick a fragrance-free liquid detergent over a powder, as the powder will be more likely to leave residues in your fabric.
- Don’t let the “organic” or “natural” labels fool you; they all contain oils that should be avoided. Instead, look for a label that reads “clean”, “free”, “clear” or “gentle”.
- Use a longer rinse cycle to make sure that all detergent deposits have been washed away.
- Fabric softeners, both the liquid for the washer and the sheets for the dryer, can irritate your skin; a waxy residue transferred to your clothes is what makes them soft but that residue can also transfer to your skin and clog your pores. An alternative is a pair of anti-static dryer balls that you can purchase online or at your local bargain store or add a ½ cup of vinegar to your rinse cycle.
- Information on what laundry ingredients to avoid can be found on the website Mother Earth Living.
Touching Your Face
- If you often touch your face or rest your chin or cheek on your hand you’re transferring bacteria from whatever your hand was in contact with to your skin.
- Refraining from touching your face is not easy, but instead of resting your face in your hand, try leaning back into your chair.
- Wash your hands with warm soapy water as soon as you get to work, after every toilet break and as soon as you arrive home.
Talking on the Phone
- Your phone accumulates bacteria and whenever you use it, you’re putting your skin in constant contact with those microbes.
- Clean it daily with an anti-bacterial wipe or a microfiber cloth.
- Use headphones if possible, or avoid touching the phone to your skin when you talk.
- Wearing makeup every day can help to protect your skin; choose a foundation with SPF built into the formula because UV (ultra-violet) damage is the number one cause of premature aging and most people don’t actually wear enough sunscreen to get the full benefit of its protection.
- Your neck and décolletage (lower neck to the bust line) are delicate and will show the first signs of aging so it is important to treat those areas by applying a full treatment of moisturizer and sunscreen.
- The use of eye cream is also very important; the eye area has virtually no oil glands and will show lines from squinting and smiling, so protect this area with an eye cream patted gently only onto the bone just at the top of the cheekbone.
So, be flirty in your thirties. Your significant other will want to bask in your skins glow and your mirror will call YOU the fairest in the land!