Healthy Habits for Healthy Skin

By Angela Junker


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Photos by: Angela Junker

Even in the unforgiving light of mid-day, her skin looks soft, wrinkle and blemish-free. What it doesn’t reveal is that she is 55 years old. To that, Judy Borsato attributes a bit of genetics, a strict cleaning regimen and good old-fashioned water.

“I drink a lot of water to keep my skin hydrated,” she says. “About six cups per day. Plus a lot of green tea, it’s good for antioxidants.” Intermittently sipping from a large bottle filled with lemon water, it sits on her work desk during the week, and is replenished again at home in the evening.

To maintain that youthful glow, Judy is adamant about applying a moisturizer every morning containing an SPF 30. And not just for spring/summer – she does it year-round to maintain ultimate sun protection. She is equally fastidious when it comes to her before-bed cleaning ritual. The minimal amount of makeup she wears is removed, a scrub is applied to rid her face of oils and dead skin cells, and her regimen is completed with a light overnight moisturizer with few ingredients.

It doesn’t end there. Judy is a firm believer in a healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables are essential for healthy skin, so she incorporates as much as she can into her daily menu – that and a multi-vitamin, as well.

She’s not the only one.

An extraordinarily fit Virginia Posadas works by day and is an exercise instructor by night. Like Judy, she believes strongly in exercise, a healthy diet, and plenty of water to keep her skin looking soft and youthful. Also like Judy, she is an adamant believer in the benefits of vitamins on the skin and takes a daily array to keep the wrinkles at bay. It’s working. Her skin is beautiful, making it difficult for anyone to accurately guess her age. She says part of it is due to her Filipino heritage, and how she grew up.

“As kids, we drank a lot of coconut water,” says Virginia. “It’s just what we did. We never thought about the health benefits, it was there and we drank it. In hindsight, I think it was setting me up for future healthy skin. I still drink it, I fill my water bottle with it and drink it in exercise class.”

Growing up in a tropical country, Virginia learned early on to avoid direct sun on her face and has retained that same aversion to this day. She says it is a bit of a joke among friends on the golf course that she carries a little umbrella with her to ward off the harmful rays on her skin. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Unlike many of her contemporaries who are dealing with years of sun damage to their skin, hers is still smooth and blemish free.

Like Judy, she is careful to wash her face clean every night, and uses nothing more than a simple fragrance-free serum on her skin before bed. Her morning ritual includes a light moisturizer before applying makeup.
“I also make sure to get a micro-derm abrasion after every golf season,” she says.

According to Tanya Morawski, both Judy and Virginia are doing everything correctly to maintain beautiful and healthy skin well into their senior years.

Tanya, who works for a popular cosmetics and spa chain, has had nearly 20 years’ experience in the industry and says the bottom line when it comes to maintaining good skin is staying out of the sun. It’s the No. 1 issue seniors have when they come to her looking for a solution to problem skin.

“They come in complaining of fine lines, wrinkles and brown spots all from the culmination of years of sun exposure and damage to the skin,” she explains. In many cases, they are looking for a quick fix to a problem that has been years in the making.

“The skin is a living organ and it needs to be taken care of,” she says. “Stay out of the sun or use sunscreen. Drink lots of water and less coffee as it is very dehydrating.”

Both Judy and Virginia are strong believers in the power of vitamins for skin health and Tanya concurs. She says Vitamin A is important as it contains retinol, which helps to even out skin tone and fine lines. Vitamin C is important for brightening the skin. Vitamin D is important to take as well, especially if one is a frequent user of sunscreen.

If someone is looking for advice on how to deal with problem or damaged skin, Tanya says there are a number of solutions to help mitigate the common complaints.

Lanolins and mineral oils are good for hydration, and are key to helping seniors who are losing hyaluronic acid and experiencing a thinning in the connective tissues. Of particular concern is the eye area. She said proper eye creams with retinol are important to use as the skin is so much thinner in that area than anywhere else and will lose elasticity faster, if it is not properly hydrated.

New on the market is an anti-wrinkle cream containing an ingredient called argireline, which is a peptide compound that works to plump and firm skin and reduce expression lines.

Tanya says to see the benefits it has to be used for about four weeks, which is how long it takes for the skin to “turn over.”

“Some would like instant gratification but these products need to be used continually and over time to see the benefits,” she says.

Chemical exfoliation can also aid tremendously in mitigating sun damage.
The bottom line, she says, is being pro-active in skin care and damage prevention. That is the best anti-wrinkle solution.

“Stay out of the sun and moisturize.”

Advice not lost on Judy or Virginia.

This article does not attempt to offer medical advice. Before using a new skin care product, speak with your health care provider to discuss your specific needs.

 

INSPIRED SENIOR LIVING - JULY 2016

 

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