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No other organ of the body manifests the signs of ageing the way the skin does. Some skins age prematurely, while others preserve their youthful properties for a longer time. Generally speaking, with age, tell-tale signs, like lines, wrinkles and sagging skin become visible. A great deal of research has been done to determine if anti-ageing treatments actually help delay ageing signs. Whether they regenerate new cells, stimulate the immune system, or involve surgical intervention, they all promise to remove age-related changes. For the past years, for instance, treatments like Botox, 'plumper'" and 'fillers' have been in demand. However, there is a certain amount of risk in invasive treatments.
First of all, stop to think if the anti-ageing creams and treatments are effective, or not. Or, are we wasting our money in search of the fountain of youth? Research shows that most ingredients in anti-ageing products seem safe. But, more research is required. Various ingredients are used. For example, protein is used in the form of peptides, in order to strengthen collagen and elastin, the supportive tissues of the skin.
Some treatments contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), which occur naturally in milk and fruits, like lactic acid, glycolic acid and citric acid. Peels with AHAs in anti-ageing treatments, make the skin smoother and minimise age-spots. But it can also make the skin photosensitive and react on sun-exposure. Retinol is another ingredient that may be present in anti-ageing products. Although it is a natural form of Vitamin A, it is contra-indicated in some instances, like in pregnancy. Therefore, it is imperative to know the ingredients in the products and the reputation of the company.
We have been following Ayurvedic beauty care, which makes use of plant ingredients and natural substances, known for their powerful rejuvenation properties. While chemicals have been known to gradually lead to toxic build-up in the body, Ayurvedic ingredients are not only safe, but have a long-term effect.
One of the greatest breakthroughs in natural beauty care is Plant Stem Cells, which are said to influence the skin at the cellular level and also boost both repair of damaged cells and the regeneration of healthy new cells. Lines and wrinkles reduce gradually and thus, ageing signs are reversed. The skin looks tighter, firmer and younger. Plant stem cells are able to perform the same functions as skin cells. In fact, they are better at repairing and replacing dead and damaged skin cells. If our skin cells are damaged or dead and the skin shows signs of ageing, the plant stem cells can form new cells, repair damaged cells and thus reduce ageing signs. The ageing skin begins to look younger and smoother. There is no doubt that plant stem cells point to a new horizon in cosmetic care.
I am also of the opinion that the person who is physically fit and has followed a healthy lifestyle is better able to keep age related changes at bay. Regular exercise helps to delay ageing changes and has a beneficial effect on both body and mind. Along with exercise, adopt a healthy eating pattern, with an emphasis on fresh fruits, unrefined cereals, salads, sprouts, lightly cooked vegetables, yogurt and skimmed milk, clear soups, fresh fruit juices. The diet should be low in fats, sugar and starch, but high in vitamins and minerals. This kind of diet will raise your level of fitness and also help the skin to look youthful and radiant.
The ancient sages of India advocated Yoga for preserving the youthful qualities of the body. Indeed, exercise and a healthy lifestyle take years off and make you look and feel more youthful.
(This article is contributed by Shahnaz Husain, a Padma Shri Award recipient and pioneer of the Ayurvedic beauty movement and the head of a global network of franchise ventures and 375 formulations)
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