Is your skin having a mid-20s crisis?
Dermatologist Dr. Shefali Trasi Nerurkar.
Sure, you’re too young to be worried about anti-aging and too old to let teenage breakouts give you sleepless nights. Yet the face staring back at you looks dull and lifeless. Your 20s are supposed to be your best years, glossy hair, toned bod and glowing skin, then why are enlarged pores, dullness and blotchiness dogging your days? It’s no coincidence that these unwelcome skin problems are coming at the same time as major life changes; a new job, moving out from the family home, late nights, new job, maybe even a new boyfriend. Presenting eight common complexion wreckers and their tried and tested solutions!
PROBLEM: DEHYDRATED, SALLOW SKIN
You’ve tasted independence. It’s a heady time and eating healthy and drinking enough (water) is the last thing you’re thinking of. Dehydration is the number one cause of skin dryness, brittle hair and nails, and early wrinkles. To replenish lost moisture use a skin serum with Hyaluronic Acid that draws moisture from the air into your skin. I always advise young women to drink lots of fresh fruit or vegetable juices, water and clear soups. Eat your fill of green leafy vegetables, salads and pulses, and give junk food, alcohol, fried snacks and sweets a miss as far possible.
PROBLEM: BLOODSHOT, TIRED EYES
It’s hard to give your bestie’s birthday party a miss. Long work days and hard partying can take a toll on your looks. Try and get at least six to eight hours of zzzs every night, and use chilled cucumber slices or cold rose water packs to soothe tired eyes. When all else fails, use a tinted moisturizer under eyes to cover up last night’s excess.
PROBLEM: STRESS ACNE
There’s enough research to suggest that stress affects the immune system. A bad day at work or fight with a bestie can direct blood flow and oxygen to areas vital for fighting stress and withdraw it from other areas, including the skin. This starves skin of blood and oxygen, making it dull and prone to clogged pores and breakouts. Use a fast-acting spot treatment the moment you feel a pimple forming. Look for products with Salicylic Acid, time-released Benzoyl Peroxide, or topical probiotics to rapidly reduce redness, inflammation and kill bacteria. NEVER EVER pick on pimples; unless you want scars and pigmentation to be lifelong companions.
PROBLEM: LIFELESS SKIN THANKS TO CRASH DIETING
A friend’s wedding or fitting into that bandage dress might have been the reason you embarked on a crash diet but such fads play havoc with the metabolism, give you bad breath, lanky, lustreless hair and droopy skin. Besides the weight will creep back in no time. A healthier alternative is a safe, nutritionally adequate diet and exercise program that lets you lose one to two pounds per week and keeps your skin in good shape.
PROBLEM: SKIN DAMAGE THANKS TO EXPERIMENTING WITH BRANDS
It’s good to be adventurous but too much experimentation can actually cause contact dermatitis, a red, rash-like allergic reaction. Always introduce one new product at a time to be sure you’re not allergic to any of its ingredients. If a specific brand suits your skin type, just stick with it.
PROBLEM: SLEEPING WITH YOUR MAKEUP ON
You’re inviting bacteria, dirt and oil to have a field day on your face. Not only will this clog pores and cause acne, it also dehydrates skin, highlighting fine lines and wrinkles that wouldn’t be visible if your skin was hydrated. ALWAYS take your makeup off with a good remover and moisturize before hitting the sack.
PROBLEM: SKIPPING SUNSCREEN
Many 20 somethings believe that using a daily SPF will make them break out. The trick is to use an oil-free sunscreen and do so religiously. You may not see the ill effects right away but tanning, pigmentation and brown spots will start forming under the skin surface. Plus sun exposure is the number one cause of skin aging.
PROBLEM: YOU’RE ALWAYS FEELING STRESSED
Whatever the reason, stress can play havoc with your skin, not just causing breakouts but bringing permanent furrows and lines to your face. Take a break whenever you start feeling wound up. Go for a walk, watch a movie, do something fun with friends. Other great relaxers are facials, massages or just a whiff of aromatic essential oils.