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Skin care basics every woman in her 30s (and 40s) should know

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It’s a perpetual quest. Every woman wants younger, tighter, plumper skin. Mumbai based cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Jaishree Sharad, Medical Director of Skinfiniti Skin and Laser Clinics says one of the most popular queries from women of all ages is how to get gorgeous skin. “As we age, our skin grows old and changes in both quality and texture. It also becomes susceptible to damage,” says the petite, pretty doctor with the skin of our dreams. These perceptible changes creep up once women hit their 30s. It’s ironical; on the one hand, they still have occasional acne breakouts like they did in their teens, and on the other there are dealing with the first signs of wrinkles. “There’s no way of stopping the aging process,” says Dr. Sharad, but it is possible to postpone it by taking good care of your skin.”
Some basic skin care tips that every woman should imbibe to flaunt her best skin
Feed your skin
Leading a healthy lifestyle is an important element for women in their 30s. As skin ages, it becomes more susceptible to the harmful effects of cigarette smoke, a poor diet and dehydration. Eating sensibly, drinking plenty of water and quitting smoking can all help skin. Get adequate vitamins and antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E via supplements to erase stress induced skin aging and stimulate cell turnover to keep skin looking fresh and rejuvenated. Nykaa suggests MuscleXP Biotin Hair, Skin & Nails Complete MultiVitamin - 60 Tablets, INLIFE Antioxidants, 60 Tablets with Lycopene, Immune Booster Supplement
Cleanse right
Washing your face daily is a must at every age and certainly no different for women in their 30s-40s. “If you have oily or combination skin, stick to a gel-based or foaming cleanser. Meanwhile normal or dry skins benefit from a cream based cleanser.”  Use a water soluble cleanser that doubles up as make up remover if you’re too lazy to use one. If you have to use a toner, opt for an alcohol-free formula, and use scrubs only once a week to prevent skin irritation. Nykaa suggests Olay White Radiance Purifying Foaming Cleanser, Kama Ayurveda Pure Rose Water and L'Oreal Paris Go 360 Clean Deep Exfoliating Scrub
Sun protect come rain or shine
Unprotected sun exposure damages skin, making it dull, hastening the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. “Always use a broad spectrum sunscreen that offers protection against the UVA as well as the UVB rays of the sun,” says Dr. Sharad. She says higher SPF formulas aren’t always necessary. Those with lighter skin typically burn faster than those with darker or olive tones. “If that happens, switch to a higher SPF formula. Apply sunscreen at least 15-20 minutes before you step out and keep reapplying every three hours, no matter what the SPF,” says Dr Sharad. Oily skinned gals are better off using a gel based sunscreen while cream based formulas or ones with additional moisturizing properties work well for dry skin. “Don’t forget to apply sunscreen on your hands. They are the first place to show signs of aging!” says the astute doctor. Nyka recommends Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 50+, Lakme Sun Expert Fairness + UV Lotion SPF 24 PA ++, Sebamed Multiprotect Sunsreen SPF 50+
Moisturize! Cream vs serum
Your skin starts becoming dryer in your 30s-40, and hydrating becomes even more important. “You can use moisturizers in the form of creams or serums,” says Dr Sharad. So what’s the difference between the two? “The molecules in creams are larger than they are in serums. This means a moisturizer can’t penetrate skin as deeply as serums can,” explains Dr. Sharad. So while serums deposit nutrients into skin, creams only hydrate superficial layers. “Serums are advisable if you have a specific skin condition such as dark spots, pigmentation or early signs of aging.” However, she adds that if your skin is happy with your regular moisturizer, there’s no need to rush out to buy a serum. Check out Nykaa’s top picks of skin serums: Lotus Herbals Phyto-Rx Whitening & Brightening Serum, L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Intensive Repairing Essence, Aviance White Intense Radiance Revive Advanced Serum
Preventive anti-aging creams
“Ideally anti-aging skin care products should contain active ingredients such as Retinol, Peptides, Co Q 10, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. These skin friendly nutrients boost collagen and elastin levels and hydrate from within.”  The result: improved skin texture, reduced wrinkles, fine lines, under-eye puffiness and dark circles. Like other skin experts Dr. Sharad concurs that retinol is currently the only ingredient that boosts cellular turnover, exfoliates and effectively reduces wrinkles. “You could also use Vitamin C enriched serum daily to brighten your complexion, improve elasticity, reverse sun damage, hydrate and even out skin tone.”  Nykaa suggests Lakme Youth Infinity Skin Firming Serum, L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Laser Renew Day Cream and Sebamed Q10 Protection Cream.
Lavish attention on your under-eyes
“The early sign of aging in women is marked by fine lines, wrinkles and shadows, that first show up around the eyes,” says Dr. Sharad. She suggests using an eye cream once or twice a day to prevent this. “Carefully dab the eye cream under your eyes, on the lids and around the sides. Doing this every night is ideal because your skin tends to rejuvenate and repair itself while you sleep.” She recommends using eye creams containing Vitamin C, Vitamin K and retinol. Nykaa recommends Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum, Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye, Innisfree Perfect 9 Repair Eye Cream
Do your skin a favor by avoiding these common mistakes
Cosmetic manufacturers, beauticians and fashion magazines continually give women distorted, inaccurate, and unrealistic explanations about skin care and makeup products. Here are some doctor recommended ‘don’ts’ for your skin.
  • You can’t get rid of open pores with facials. You need to consult your dermatologist.
  • Facial massages in salons can’t tighten facial muscles to prevent sagging. Actual tightening of muscles occurs only with radiofrequency.
  • Exfoliating skin doesn’t regenerate skin or build collagen. Exfoliation does help get rid of dull, dead surface skin but it doesn’t create new skin or get rid of wrinkles. In fact, over-zealous exfoliation can actually do more harm than good! It can trigger pimples or an allergic reaction.
  • Dry skin doesn’t wrinkle any more or less than oily skin. Oily skin may look less wrinkled, which means it may look smoother, but wrinkles are caused by sun exposure, genetics and illness, not dryness.
  • Moisturizers can’t make a wrinkle disappear; they can only make dry skin look smoother temporarily.
  • The amount of money you spend on skin care has nothing to do with how your skin looks. Don’t fall for branded products in fancy jars.
  • Don’t fall for cleaver marketing! Many cosmetic companies market their products as day creams and night creams. Sunscreens are labelled day creams while moisturizers are called night creams! Most of them don’t contain any additional anti-aging components as advertised.
  • Many skin problems are caused by the products used to prevent them. Overly emollient moisturizers can clog pores; temporary face-lift products can cause wrinkles because of the irritation they generate on skin; and products designed to control oily skin can make skin oilier. Allergic reactions are often caused by products that are too irritating, too drying, or too thick and creamy, or those that contain plant extracts and oils.
  • Your skin may become inflamed, dry, and blemished if you use too many scrubs, or products containing potentially irritating ingredients such as AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) or BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) products, either at the same time or in combination with one another. For example, an AHA product used with a granular scrub, or an astringent that contains alcohol used with an AHA product can damage your skin. If you use too many irritating products at the same time, you are likely to develop skin irritations, breakouts, dryness, and, possibly, wrinkles. Always consult a dermatologist before using a beauty product.
  • For the most part, the fewer products you use on your skin, the better. The more you use, the greater your chances of an allergic reactions, cosmetic acne, and/or irritation.
  • It’s much wiser to consult your dermatologist than a friend, beautician or the chemist to decide a skin care regime for you.
  • Procedures like chemical peels, Mesotherapy and Dermalift done by a dermatologist will give you far better, safer and longer lasting benefits than elaborate, expensive facials.
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