We all know the tell-tale signs of age creeping up on us. The fine lines around eyes and mouth; the slight laxness under the jaw; the loss of that fresh-faced quality; the constant fatigue that requires an arsenal of brightening skincare and highlighters to camouflage.
None of this is fresh news. What’s different now, however, is these symptoms are not manifesting in 40-somethings (who are actually looking more and more youthful) but younger women who ought to be in their prime. And while some of them may not look old old, they certainly have a maturity and worldliness to them that’s way beyond their actual years.
Don’t believe us? Try flipping through the pages of any gossip rag. Lindsay Lohan is probably the most obvious car-crash of an example. But there are plenty others who aren’t wasted by drugs, alcohol and botched face jobs yet still look oldish – Lorde (21), Adele (29), Kylie Jenner (20) and Kate Upton (25) among them. When it comes to ageing, it seems 20 is the new 30.
Age and the city
It’s not just hard-partying, fast-living celebrities who are looking old before their time either. Modern lifestyle habits and the stresses of an urban environment mean that regular young women are susceptible to premature ageing too. At the top of the culprit list: excessive sun exposure and UV radiation, particularly if it occurred at a young age and in large doses.
Dr Alvin Wong, medical director of SKN Medi Aesthetics, says, “There is good clinical evidence to show that early sun damage on young skin is more harmful than exposure later in life, leading to premature skin ageing and even cancer.” Dermatologist Dr Tan Kian Teo of Skin Physicians at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre adds, “Many young people like to have the tanned, healthy look and expose themselves more to the sun. With increased affluence and affordability of air travel, more people are also going for beach holidays where there is a lot of sun exposure.”
Another Big Bad is the increasingly polluted environment we’re living in. Not only are there more cars on the roads, we’re also dealing with more intense haze levels. “Environmental pollution affects air quality. I see an increased number of patients complaining of skin rashes and irritation when the haze is more severe,” says Dr Wong. “Skin conditions like eczema are also on the rise, which can lead to rough skin that looks old and wrinkled.”
For smokers, the problem is compounded. Smoking accelerates ageing because it reduces blood flow to the skin, starving it of oxygen and nutrients. It also damages collagen and elastin fibres. Yet more young Singaporeans, including women, are picking up the habit. According to figures in the 2010 National Health Survey, around 16 per cent of young Singaporeans aged 18 to 29 smoke regularly, up from 12 per cent in 2004. In addition, four in five smokers pick up the habit before they turn 21.
But perhaps the biggest change that sets this generation of 20-somethings apart from those a decade or two ago (and starts them on the road to premature ageing) is this – they are well and truly products of the internet age, where everyone lives in the fast lane.
Escaping makeup dependency
- First, throw out the 24 hour stay all day makeup.
- Get on a systematic skin care program that is built upon YOUR skin type and condition – not the big seller at the cosmetic counter.
- Diet plays into the equation, so go lighter on the sugar and heavier on the cold water fish and plain water.
- Exfoliate for clear, fresh-looking skin that looks better “naked”. We happen to think SilkPeel is wonderful at doing that. By removing sluggish, dead skin cells, you open the pathway for serums and treatment products that can actually make a positive difference in how your skin looks.
- Bump up skin cell turnover with retinols. They’ll refine even super-sluggish skin.
- Fade brown spots and discoloration with lightening serums and gentle lasers.
So put that heavy makeup in the trash. If you want a hint of color, go for a tinted moisturizer with a decent SPF level. Once your skin regains its healthy glow and tone and texture, you’ll never miss “makeup” again.
If you’re ready to regain skin that you don’t have to cover up every day, give us a call. You’ll learn what your skin needs, and how to get from skin you don’t like to skin you love in the quickest way possible.