updated 11 Aug 2010, 08:20
    Powered by
user id password
Tue, Feb 17, 2009
The New Paper
EmailPrintDecrease text sizeIncrease text size
Timeless truths about ageing well
by Angeline Neo

AN ex-colleague of mine once told me she spends constant hours in front of the mirror daily, counting each furrow and new pigmentation spot.

I've also sat down at many lunches where the talk centres around the latest cosmetic procedures, what's the most effective anti-ageing cream, and who's had what fixed just to shave off the years.

Scintillating as the conversation might be, there are moments when I crave a Botox shot just to paralyse my yawn.

Now, I'm a self-professed vainpot, but when women and men get obsessive about the ageing process, it becomes an ATO - automatic turn-off.

I've joked that in my industry, age is like buffet pricing: 21+++.

Getting someone to confess their age is painful and when you get an answer, you almost feel you need to go for confession on their behalf.

And these are folks who easily look 10 to 15 years younger than their real age.

Why have we become so afraid of growing older?

I remember a time growing up, when one was told to age gracefully, and wrinkles were called character lines.

These days, a wrinkle has to be paralysed even before it forms and an aesthetic doctor has become important enough to be on your phone's speed dial.

Wisdom is eschewed in favour of beauty.

But when you see muttons dressed as lambs, and faces so stretched and injected until they resemble gargoyles, how can that be pretty?

In a week's time, I'll be turning 34.

And I'm not shy to admit it because at the rate we're buying time - the 40s is the new 30s, the 50s becoming the new 40s - hey, I'm really just 24 if you think about it.

While I've been blessed with good genes from my parents, I do know that at my age, night cream is not an option, but a necessity.

I won't deny the benefits of Botox and IPL (essentially firing light energy waves at snoozing skin cells to wake them up to do their job).

And the occasional peel or microdermabrasion to make complexions look younger and smoother surely helps.

But these should be procedures that supplement a holistic approach to ageing. By that I mean:

1. A good skincare routine

Going under the knife is a drastic measure, not a solution. But a comprehensive skincare routine will keep the years at bay, and the glowing results you've gotten from those occasional aesthetic procedures.

The physiology of skin changes over time, and you should be switching your cleansers and moisturisers accordingly, to meet your skin's needs.

Remember, cleansers should remove sebum and grime, not strip skin of its natural oils.

If your face is squeaky clean and tight, you've gone overboard, and over time, you'll see more dehydration lines. Once you've crossed into your 30s, it's best to include a night cream into your regime, especially if you sleep in an air-conditioned room.

And if you haven't started using an eye cream, it's best to start looking for one, since the skin around the eyes are thinner, and where the first signs of ageing do appear.

Most importantly, sunscreen is non-negotiable. This one skincare item will help you stave off pigmentation marks and wrinkles, both of which age you prematurely.

This one easy change to your regime will make a remarkable difference to your looks.

2. Wear less make-up

The more you pile on, the more you emphasise your flaws. Make-up should enhance your beauty, not hide it.

Today's make-up formulas give better wear for a longer time, without the need to overdose, so don't be heavy-handed.

 Liquid or cream foundations instead of two-way cake powders are friendlier to older skin, since they also help them look dewy - a sign of youth.

Ingredients like lipids and ceramides in lipsticks help to give pouts that plumper, fuller look, without resorting to collagen jabs.

Many brands like Elizabeth Arden and Clinique have put them in their lipsticks that offer gorgeous colour as well as hydrating comfort.

3. Sleep well, drink more

Don't discount good habits like getting a proper night's rest and drinking enough water. Actress Gong Li, who is well into her 40s and looks even more fab now, is religious about her catnaps to keep her skin looking youthful and rested, not just the beauty products she endorses.

Filling up on water during the day not only helps to flush out the body's toxins, it also quenches your skin cells' thirst so they'll do their job, whether it's repair or production.

I like to think that one can age beautifully and gracefully still. So if you don't like what you see in the mirror, by all means, change it.

But exercise discretion so you'll still recognise who you see.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

readers' comments
Will you go so far as to have plastic surgery and Botox jobs to look young?
Posted by Forum goddess on Tue, 17 Feb 2009 at 10:48 AM

Copyright © 2010 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.