Time to relook your daily body care routine.
(Photo: Adrianna Calvo / www.pexels.com)
The journey through womanhood isn’t always smooth. In fact, it can be bumpy, scaly and lumpy. Like a painting, your body needs proper care to withstand the ravages of time.
So what really happens as you age? “Changes occur at the molecular level and these affect the skin’s healing rate, texture, elasticity, and suppleness,” says Dr Raymond Kwah, specialist in dermatology and consultant at Raffles Aesthetics and Raffles Skin Centre. The number of immune cells in skin decreases, collagen production slows down, and elastin, the protein that keeps skin ﬂexible, degrades.
Even blood vessels are reduced, so cells get a poorer supply of nutrients needed for repair, says Dr Kwah. But with a little help, the health of your skin can be improved.
Take your hands, for instance. If there is one part of the body that gives away your age, it’s your hands. Prone to dehydration (too much washing!), the skin here is also most exposed to chemicals and UV damage. These can cause premature wrinkling. Add to this dry, scaly legs, and it’s time to relook your daily body care routine.
Why hands and legs become dry and wrinkly
When skin becomes rough, it’s usually a sign of dryness, caused by a lack of lipids. “They are the cement that protects the skin’s barrier from dehydration,” explains Isabelle Fazah, international trainer at the Nuxe Laboratory in France.
“Some people’s bodies naturally do not provide sufficient lipids, but for many others, lifestyle habits, such as taking too many hot showers, can destroy the skin’s natural barrier protection,” she adds. Stripping skin of its lipids causes cells to become less cohesive, giving rise to that snakeskin-like appearance.
How to restore baby smooth skin on your hands and legs
If you’ve stayed away from body creams because of the slick after-feel, a lightweight formula is what you need. And the best time to apply such products is right after your shower.
Instead of rubbing your skin dry, gently pat with the towel. This way, it retains more moisture, says Dr Dennis Kwan, medical director at Dermacare Aesthetic & Laser Clinic. Concentrate on your lower legs, elbows and ﬂanks (sides of the abdomen) – areas that are most prone to dryness. Work the lotion in a circular motion so that it penetrates skin more effectively.
And don’t forget your mitts − moisturise them regularly (especially after washing).