Water: Perhaps the best anti-ageing product there is .

| June 16, 2013 | 0 Comments

Dehydration can be brought about by stress

The drier and more dehydrated the skin is, the more it emphasises existing lines, so things can look much worse than they are,

Skincare expert Noella Gaiel

Not long ago, I read that the stress of buying a house can age you by two years. These words came back to haunt me when I looked in the mirror the other day. Peering at my reflection, I managed to convince myself that my forehead was decidedly crepier and the back of my hands looked a decade older than they had months ago – and instantly attributed the problem to the fact that I’m in the process of property wrangles.A chat with skincare expert Noella Gaiel, who is in charge of treatments and product development at Elemis, was wonderfully reassuring, however. Apparently the issue wasn’t a sudden spurt in the ageing process, but merely dehydration. The problem can be ought on by the changing seasons, a weekend by the sea and, it turns out, stress, which has a negative effect on the barrier function of the skin, resulting in water loss.Luckily, with the right beauty arsenal, Noella assured me, it’s eminently fixable and definitely doesn’t call for anything involving needles.”The drier and more dehydrated the skin is, the more it emphasises existing lines, so things can look much worse than they are,” says Noella. “That’s why a great moisturiser is instrumental to a more youthful appearance.”The first step is to work out whether you have dry skin or dehydrated skin, as many of us lack natural oils. This could be because we’ve inherited dry skin or because it has developed as part of the ageing process.

Exfoliating once or twice a week will banish old skin cells that can exacerbate dryness

“Skin that lacks oils will generally always be dehydrated, too, as reduced barrier lipids increase the likelihood of water loss, reinforcing the problem,” says Sally Penford, Education Manager at The International Dermal Institute. “If dryness is an issue, introduce a hydrating gel mask or a rich, vitamin-based mask at least twice a week to give skin a good feed and don’t forget to layer on a generous dollop of daily moisturiser to protect from the elements.”Where you spend your days can also have an effect. If you go into an environment that is less than 60 per cent relative humidity, your skin will lose moisture. Bearing in mind that the average office operates at around 40 per cent humidity, and planes are between 10 and 20 per cent (to give an idea of how low this is, the Sahara Desert registers as a positively squelchy 25 per cent), we’re certainly facing an uphill struggle.Exfoliating once or twice a week will banish old skin cells that can exacerbate dryness. “Lifestyle choices are very important and affect the speed of the ageing process,” adds Noella. “Certain activities, for example smoking, will accelerate the visible effects and, over time, dehydrate and dull the complexion.”Creams and serums are key for keeping your skin healthy, helping it hold and retain moisture and improving the condition of dry complexions. Think of it as giving your skin a big drink, packed full of replenishing antioxidants.”Start with the basics by avoiding alkaline soaps, choosing a cleanser that is designed to hydrate, and apply an extra-hydrating but non-greasy moisturiser every day, preferably one that includes ingredients to target dehydration quickly.”Evening primrose oil – a source of gamma linoleic acid – silicones and shea butter work to protect and repair the skin’s barrier function, which can be damaged by changes in temperature, leaving skin red and sensitised,” adds Sally. “One of the best ingredients to help with this is hyaluronic acid, which holds up to 1,000 times its own weight in moisture. Skin will feel instantly quenched.”So the next time you’re feeling stressed, take some time out for a little pampering. Not only will it help you relax, but your complexion will also thank you for it.

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Category: Articles, Beauty & Fashion