Ageing, and its effects on your skin, hair, and body: Here’s what to expect after you’ve turned 25
Just a number
My birthday this year was marked by two things: a return to Phase 2, as well as an official admittance to the second half of my twenties. Welcome to 26! Apparently, I am now closer to being 30 than I am a young adolescent — a fact of which I was reminded of by numerous friends. Thanks, guys. In all fairness, turning a year older can be a cause for celebration. You're older, wiser, and infinitely more capable of dealing with the hurdles thrown upon you. Then there's the downside: the mutiny your body raises in response to the passage of time. It's not just bodily aches and pains, mind. Rather, there proves a plethora of effects that can wreak havoc upon your being, with the possible repercussions ranging from minor to monumental. And so, I've provided a helpful rundown of what awaits — and what you can do to stave off some of the less-than-pleasant outcomes of ageing. Get those bifocals on (jk) and get to reading, stat.
What to expect: First things first? Relax. It's not going to be wrinkles and fine lines galore. You will, however, experienced more sustained results when it comes to bad skin practices. Pimples erupted on my cheeks when I slept with my makeup on; lax application of sunscreen led to the formation of pronounced freckles; while my dark eye circles refused to budge for three days straight after pulling an all-nighter. Translation: your skin's regenerative capabilities are not where it used to be, and it shows.
Acne isn't something you've left in the dust either. Studies show that the regulation of our menstrual cycle — which occurs throughout our 20s — triggers a fluctuation in hormones, which could lead to explosive breakouts.
What to do: It's all about self-care. From sticking to your skincare regimen to maintaining a healthy diet, such practices play a huge part in ensuring your complexion stays in tip-top shape. The inclusion of vitamin C serums and/or retinol helps, too.
What to expect: Growth rates are abysmal on my end. Granted, I used heat styling tools on a daily basis, which led to major breakage that my mane never seem to have quite recovered from. Increased shedding is likely, too, seeing how mutable hormones can slow down your hair growth cycle. I found that all the extra time indoors didn't help either, with constant air-conditioning drying out the scalp. This, in turn, brings about itchiness and irritation that can result in hair fall.
What to do: I incorporated more protein, iron, vitamins, and fatty acids in my diet and started using a hair strengthening supplement religiously. My pick: The Ordinary's Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density. Painful as it was, I also cut off all the dry, damaged ends to facilitate the regenerative process. This meant bidding adieu to my long locks in favour of a healthier, stronger head of hair. In short: I recommend exercising patience and a cut-throat attitude re: hair length to really witness results.
What to expect: Weight gain, baby. All the metabolic changes you're undergoing means you'll experience an increased fat distribution in a multitude of areas — it doesn't help, of course, that we achieve our highest metabolic rate in our early 20s, which means it will peak and fall after that.
What to do: You know what they say about enjoying things in moderation. I have a gym membership now, if you can believe it. I plan my schedule around the classes I want to take, and go on hikes for "entertainment." Yeah, being 26 changes you. The one silver lining is that stuffing your face with popcorn and candy also loses its appeal, after a while, seeing how crunchy foods can be hard on your delicate teeth. So, are you really losing out? I think not.