While some factors of getting older are welcomed with open arms such as age-acquired wisdom and amazing memories, others like the changing appearance of our skin can sometimes make us feel a bit self-conscious. The most obvious changes we usually start seeing are in our faces as small fine lines start to appear and our frowns sometimes appear permanent. Our faces really are a clear reflection of what we have been through – they show the highs and lows of life not to mention the stress, tiredness, inevitable sun damage and a host of others.
While many would say that these life experiences add character, some of these changes may be due to a loss of facial tone and elasticity that is visible prematurely. The result can be that the jaw and neckline lose definition and can appear to sag. As we age, our skin becomes less resilient to gravity in general and wrinkles that occur with smiling and frowning increase.
The good news is there are many things we can do to slow down the natural ageing clock and Oxygen Australia has gathered together some of the available options so you can decide which ones may or may not suit your personal circumstances.
- Facial exercises
Did you know that just like your body, your face contains a bunch of muscles? 57 to be exact - and most of these we never use. You target your glutes, triceps, shoulders and more as you exercise, however by ignoring the muscles in your face, you’re not doing yourself any favours!
Creator of Facial Fitness Eva Fraser has devised a method of exercising the facial muscles as she believes the way to reduce the signs of aging is through constant exercise.
“Ageing is not merely a skin problem. The skin is attached to the facial muscles, so when the muscles droop and sag, the skin attached comes down with them,” says Eva.
“The only answer is to work these muscles in a structured way. When you work on these muscles, the cheeks become plumper again, the nose to mouth lines lessen, or even disappear.”
The facial muscles are a complex series and while most of us barely know they are there, these are potentially as strong as the muscles in our legs and arms. Though results are not instant, within a few months of frequent practice, facial workouts can show some serious results Eva says.
- Facial masks
Facial masks can be a great way to feel lifted, refreshed and young. While there are thousands upon thousands of face masks you can buy in-store, natural skin-care expert Susanna Miles says there are more benefits to be reaped from DIY recipes
"Most face care products are pretty generic," she says. "When you DIY, it's just a lot more personalised and fitted to your special skin needs."
DIY recipes use everyday ingredients which you probably already have in your kitchen such as author of Natural Beauty Alchemy, licensed pharmacist and expert healthcare professional Fifi M Maacaron’s Youth-Boosting, Glow-Restoring Face Mask. Containing whole organic milk, dry active yeast, honey, vanilla extract and rice flour, she says the ingredients draw moisture to the skin and lock it in, stimulate wound healing and provide a glow to brighten a dull dermis.
Egg white, honey, banana or avocado are also popular ingredients and while they may seem to be better for eating than covering your face, skin experts say they can help to rejuvenate your skin, making it feel tighter, brighter and more youthful.
- Frequent exercise
In a 2014 study, researchers at McMaster University in Ontario found that even with people they studied who started working out later in life, younger looking skin could be achieved. The study looked at people who exercised regularly for a while as well as people who began exercising again as part of the study and all of them showed visibly younger looking skin.
Exercise truly is an important part of your lifestyle; it has so many benefits for your overall health and wellbeing. Plus, now you know it can give you a natural facelift, yet another reason to make regular physical activity a priority!
- Maintain a healthy diet
Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet will not only keep your body healthy but it will also help your face to look great too. From wrinkle-fighting antioxidants in fruits and vegetables to hydrating healthy fats in fish, a good diet will result in good skin and as you can probably guess, a bad diet will most often result in bad skin.
Drinking plenty of water, decreasing alcohol consumption, avoiding processed food and ensuring you eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies along with proteins, good sources of carbs and fats are the basics to healthy, happy skin!
- Avoid too much sunshine
It’s no secret that Australians love the sun and while basking in the sun can seem like great thing to do at a young age, our skin will suffer for it as we get older.
The Cancer Council says that for most people, adequate vitamin D levels are reached through regular daily activity and incidental exposure to the sun. During summer, we can maintain adequate vitamin D levels from a few minutes of exposure to sunlight a day and in winter two to three hours spread over a week is sufficient.
This is just a guide as the amounts of vitamin D needed vary from person to person. It’s also very important to use sun protection if the UV Index is 3 or above.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Wellness, excessive sun causes many problems including the deterioration of the skin, including premature ageing and loss of elasticity.
While you can’t take back the time you have already spent in the sun, you can make smarter choices about your sunlight exposure.
- Reduce stress
Life can get stressful from time to time as we try to juggle all of the areas of our life. However, if you’re stressing too much and worrying the weeks away, there’s a good chance your face is showing it. Stress can leave your skin dull and troubled, lined and wrinkled and these often cause you to feel old and worn out.
To reduce stresses ensure you make your wellbeing a priority; exercise frequently, nourish your body, prioritise and put yourself first. It’s important to do a self-check every so often on how you are feeling so you know what attributes to your stress levels and how you can avoid it.
By stressing less your skin will appear brighter and more youthful.
- Get enough sleep
A lack of sleep or disrupted sleep often affects your skin’s regeneration functions. This results in dullness, fatigue, under-eye circles and bags and bloodshot eyes. Over the long-term, your skin will suffer and you will perhaps feel older than your age.
To get your adequate beauty sleep, put good sleep practices in place. Ensure you are relaxed, calm and have nothing running through your mind. Some meditation or light stretches before bed may be a good idea too.
It’s also recommended that you remove all devices such as smartphones or tablets and avoid having a TV in your room. These will stimulate your brain and make sleeping soundly even harder.
- Cosmetic procedures
While all of the above methods for a younger looking face are highly important, if you’ve exhausted every avenue and you’re still not happy, then you may benefit from other types of more specific treatments. The first thing you need to do, is to organise a consultation in order to ensure you are receiving the very best advice possible for the treatment you are about to consider. Speaking with a professional can not only help you to make an educated decision but save you the disappointment of receiving a treatment that did not give you the desired results.
Below are a few options that you may like to consider:-
If you feel like you have excessive sagging and wrinkled facial skin, loose cheek folds, drooping around the mouth, sagging jowls, poorly defined cheeks or jawline and loose neck skin, this may be an option for you. Specialists have recommended that ideal candidates are men or women, usually in their 40's to 60's, whose face or neck has sagged to a visible degree, but whose skin still retains some elasticity.
To correct this, an experienced cosmetic surgeon can comprehensively lift and smooth the undesirable ageing changes in the problem areas of the face and neck. Specialists qualified in this area will advise that a facelift is designed to powerfully rejuvenate while completely avoiding the operated or pulled look. Their procedures aim to provide a more youthful and refreshed face, and surgical scarring is kept to a minimum. Experts also say that often the benefits are almost never recognisable by others as being the result of surgery and while improvements in appearance are visible to the eye, many describe their improved confidence and sense of well-being as being just as powerful. Before you embark on any type of procedure, be sure to understand exactly what you’re in for and ask any questions you need to in order to decide whether a facelift is an option for you.
If you feel like you have excessive fatty folds under the neck, a double chin, an increased sagging of the neck and no definition of the jaw line, this may be an option for you. Specialists have recommended that ideal candidates are men and women who want to improve the appearance of their neck and make their neck look tighter and more youthful.
A cosmetic surgeon may recommend liposculpture of the neck and jaw to be performed at the same time as they say it results in a more defined and younger looking jaw line. Specialists also say that patients who undergo this type of procedure often remark on a renewed sense of confidence with their appearance. The neck and jaw line area is one of the first things people notice and with sagging skin or wrinkles, one of the strongest indicators of overall age.
However specialists say that neck liposculpture isn’t for everyone. Only young skin with a good deal of elasticity can recover fully from being effectively emptied of its fat. Mature skin that has been stretched with excess fat may hang loose after neck liposculpture is performed. In these cases, additional surgery is required to pull the skin taut.
A good, experienced cosmetic surgeon is able to discern during the initial interview and examination process if a simple neck liposculpture procedure will be appropriate to a particular patient’s needs. Specialists say that with any cosmetic surgery, results should be noticeable, but subtle, the results should give a refreshed look to the patient, not a radically different one.
If you are looking to undergo one of the above procedures look for a cosmetic surgeon who has experience in multiple facial cosmetic procedures as well as a highly-developed aesthetic eye. It is of upmost importance that you choose a certified cosmetic surgeon.
A final word
Our faces are a clear reflection of choices we make in life. Our sun exposure, diet, exercise regime, stress levels and sleep patterns all play a crucial part in how youthful our face looks. There are many natural things we can do to prevent the appearance of aged skin however, if all other avenues have been exhausted, more specific treatments hay be an option. Everyone should feel great and live life to the fullest every day. If you feel held back by your appearance, or want to prevent those feelings from arising as you get older, it’s important to look at your individual situation and figure out what will be best for you.
For more information visit www.drlanzer.com.au