Anti-ageing masterclass : how to firm skin
As the years pass, it isn't just wrinkles that are a nuisance, but a loss of definition, thanks to our facial contours sagging. Here are some quick anti-ageing fixes to help lift your face again :
Why it happens
Below the epidermis (our skin's barrier against aggressions), lies the dermis. This layer of the skin is four times thicker than the epidermis and forms a resistant layer made up of elastin, collagen and proteins, which gives the skin its tone and elasticity. With age and the menopause-related reduction in oestrogen, collagen production slows down and facial contours begin to change. The skin becomes more fragile, sags and loses its firmness, while fine lines and wrinkles deepen.
Hyaluronic acid, your new best friend
Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in human tissue. At the epidermal level, it ensures proper hydration, boosts circulation and encourages cell renewal. In the dermis, it inflates the extracellular matrix, acting as a binding agent between elastin and collagen fibres. It also helps the body to synthesise these two molecules, giving the skin a smooth, firm appearance. As we age, the synthesis of hyaluronic acid is greatly diminished and is of poorer quality. To make up for the ensuing loss of firmness, make sure your anti-ageing skincare is packed with this key ingredient. Look out for it in serums, moisturisers and face masks.
Facial fitness routine
The face has over 50 muscles, which will all lose their tone with age. A facial workout will boost circulation of both blood and water and help to encourage the natural synthesis of hyaluronic acid, as well as toning the muscles. Try moving the mouth and face to make particular sounds; look at the ceiling while saying “ahhh”, pucker your lips together and blow a long kiss, stretch your grin by saying “eee”, stare hard and say “oh” and, finally, put on your best frown and exaggeratedly say ‘you'. Do these five times in front of a mirror, holding each position for five seconds.
Facial massaging tools, such as roller balls, have long been a tradition in the Far East for restoring youth and firmness to the skin. Regular use can help to lift and tone sagging skin, reduce fine lines and bring definition back to the face. Not only that, they're also incredibly relaxing, and can be great for relieving tension headaches. If you prefer not to use a tool, your own hands can do just as good a job at helping to tone up the skin. When applying your moisturiser or oil, really massage it in, gently kneading your jawline and mid-section of your face with your fists to boost circulation and encourage blood flow.