Taking care of the skin you’re in

What is actually happening to the skin as we age?

ADVICE FOR LIFE: Dr Howard Murad believes whole-body wellness,  weight management and freedom from stress are the keys to living and ageing well.

ADVICE FOR LIFE: Dr Howard Murad believes whole-body wellness, weight management and freedom from stress are the keys to living and ageing well.

The skin acts as a barometer of the overall health and wellness of the entire body and as the body progresses through the aging process, changes inevitably occur.

The sudden reduction of hormones seen in women in their 60s who are experiencing menopause will cause their skin to look and feel quite different, due in some part to poor circulation and blood flow to the complexion which in turn, causes a dull, lackluster appearance.

These changes show themselves on the skin in the form of fine lines and wrinkles and drier-than-normal skin that is often married with a sallow and dull appearance. 

The skin has also likely become thinner and pigmentation disorders may have also begun to form, resulting in slightly yellowed or brown areas of the skin that are often known as age spots or sun spots.

These symptoms may also be coupled with the formation of jowls around the face or larger nasal labia lines around the mouth area.

These changes also vary heavily on the treatment of the skin over the span of a person’s lifetime.

If they have exposed their skin to the damaging effects of the sun or haven’t been diligent about moisturising heavily, their skin will likely show other signs of aging.

However, if they have taken proper measures to ensure their complexion is hydrated by eating a proper diet full of water-rich foods or have applied their SPF as they should have, their skin may actually appear youthful and radiant as they have aged.

It is all relative to the care a person has taken over their lifetime.

Can you advise on treatment of the skin for women in their sixties and beyond, including the types of products they should be using?

Women who are experiencing hormonal changes in the later stages of their lives should be using a regimen that is targeted to address their menopausal symptoms.

I strongly believe in targeted skincare solutions, as everyone’s skin is different; one woman may have a need to absolve hyperpigmentation where another woman is concerned about the lacking brightness of her skin’s tone.

As I had mentioned before, it will all vary depending on which concerns are most prominent.

Generally, however, women in this age range need treatment for their hormonally aging skin.

In this case, I recommend a night cream that works while they sleep and while their pores and skin are relaxed in order to fully absorb high-performance ingredients.

If age spots, sun spots or sun-damaged skin is the main concern, I recommend vitamin C-focused products to fade spots and neutralize free radicals responsible for rough, dull texture.

Can clients prevent further damage to the skin at this stage ready for the next?

Yes, absolutely. I believe that youth building is the key to reversing the aging process; there are ways to turn back the hands of time and while topical products can certainly do a lot, they just can’t do everything.

They can make you look better, but in order to actually feel and act younger you have to take a comprehensive approach.

My philosophy of inclusive health says that in order for skin to be truly beautiful, it must be healthy.

As I had mentioned before, the skin acts as a transparent window into the health of the body.

Inclusive health is made up of three facets of wellness: 

  • Looking Better through the use of high-performance, topical ingredients;
  • Living Better through a diet full of water-rich foods, omegas, antioxidants and amino acids to fuel the body for peak performance and appearance; and
  • Feeling Better through proper stress management, emotional care and a focus of the self.

These three building blocks to overall wellness will improve your appearance, and more importantly, improve the way you feel.

  • SOURCE: This interview first appeared in South West Victoria Seniors magazine