HOW OLD IS YOUR SKIN? TAKE THE 5-SECOND TEST TO FIND OUT
It’s easy to spend a fortune on creams that promise to turn back the clock, but there’s simply no getting away from the fact that as we age, our skin starts to sag.
Earlier this year, Dr Alexis Abramson decided to write an article about it. She’d already turned 45, the age your skin is supposed to take something of a nosedive, and thought it was time she took a skin elasticity test to see how she was faring.
What’s the test?
The skin elasticity test doesn’t require an appointment or pots of cash, and takes just seconds to do. “Just pinch the skin on the back of your hand with your thumb and forefinger and hold it for five seconds,” Dr Alexis explains. “Let go and time how long it takes for the skin to flatten back out.” The less time the skin takes to flatten, “the younger the ‘functional age’ of the skin”, she says.
What do the results show?
– If your skin takes one to two seconds to flatten, the functional age of your skin is under 30 years
– If your skin takes three to four seconds to flatten, the functional age of your skin is 30-44 years
– If your skin takes five to nine seconds to flatten, the functional age of your skin is 45-50 years
– If your skin takes 10 to 15 seconds to flatten, the functional age of your skin is 60 years
– If your skin takes 35 to 55 seconds to flatten, the functional age of your skin is 70 years
-If your skin takes 56 or more seconds to flatten, the functional age of your skin is over 70
What if I don’t like what I see?
If you do the test and realize your skin’s ageing at a faster rate than your actual years, it’s possible to make simple changes to your life that will improve not only how you look, but how you feel.
Here are Dr Alexis’ suggestions:
1) Reduce your sugar intake: “Try to keep your sweets to a minimum at definitely no more than 10 per cent of your total calories.”
2) Slather on the sun screen: “Especially on your face, neck, arms and upper chest.”
3) Break bad habits: “Avoid harmful and damaging lifestyle choices like smoking, drugs, and excessive alcohol consumption. If you’re feeling super-stressed, try some relaxation techniques to lessen these feelings.”
4) Get some shut-eye: “I can tell you a good night’s sleep takes a decade off when it comes to your appearance (OK, at least a year or so!)”
5) Eat well: “It’s no secret that eating healthy foods can help ward off disease, keep you feeling good on a daily basis and provide a healthy-looking appearance.” She recommends incorporating cranberries, walnuts, red peppers and red grapes, “which can help save skin elasticity and maintain suppleness and youth”.