|Looking younger is easier than you think.|
Normally anyone running a marathon is due considerable praise, glory and widespread admiration.
What made me particularly proud of him in this instance was that just a few months ago he broke his shoulder blade in a cycling accident.
No hair-line fracture for him. No, sir.
He snapped that guy straight across the blade.
Now, normal people would use this as the perfect excuse to put their little feet up and order the cheerful and doting teenagers of the house to bring salty snacks and beer, summoned by a feeble snapping of the fingers several times a day.
That's what I would have done.
But the heartsink of his injury was that it came right at the beginning of his training season for running.
In spite of him being a stubborn loon, the medical powers that be encouraged him to take on whatever physical exercise he could manage, taking guidance from his pain.
In his mind, that means start those 10-mile runs post-haste.
Which he did.
Anyway, you are probably thinking, "Why are you talking about foolish people training for marathons when you promised a Miracle Anti-Aging Technique? Where are you going with this?"
Okay, I'm getting to that.
To make a long and uninteresting story very short, he ran the event, I was very pleased and lifted him up on my shoulders and we ran around whooping with victory. Then we went home to celebrate in traditional style: with a very long, very hot bath (for him) and some warm English beer and copious salty snacks (which I generously shared with him).
Long, Hot & Daily
I have written in the past about the effect prolonged contact with hot water has on hair, and my husband's hot soak reminded me of a column written a few years ago by the funny and philosophical Johann Wiechers, PhD, a well-known and well-liked cosmetic scientist.
He writes of his protracted (and probably hopeless) battle with his own gaggle of teenagers' insistence on daily, multiple showers, each "thinking (s)he was the next Idol… After having been cruelly awoken with the firm realisation that they are not even a mere 5% of Susan Boyle, I grudgingly come out of bed to tell them that it is too often, too hot, and too long."
Wiechers reflects on a 2009 study of recreational swimmers and the impact on skin hydration which found that the skin's natural moisturiser, sebum, was reduced and the pH elevated for a period of a few hours following the swim.
However, the skin had returned to normal after 24 hours.
Translating this with regards to showering, combining hot water with shampoo and/or soap (or soap substitute - the effect is still the same) you create conditions to increase sebum loss, as oil will run more readily at levels above core body temperature and soap is of course designed to "roll" oil up and away from surfaces.
Following such a shower, you will indeed feel the need for a commercial moisturiser as you've just done your very best to remove your existing inherent moisturiser.
The cruel irony is that as soon as your skin has recovered, you jump in the shower again to ensure you smell of flowers.
It is well known that youthful looking skin has higher moisture levels than "aged" or damaged skin, and this is one of the primary actions of "anti-aging" creams.
As a society we like to smell as if we had a wash that morning, but if the process leaves our skin dry and uncomfortable, as well as dependent on commercial moisturisers, what is the alternative?
If I were writing for a glossy women's magazine, I'd say smear the contents of your fridge over you, sit comfortably watching X-Factor while your family steers clear, spritz perfume on your hair and drink a lot of water.
But I don't write for any glossy women's magazines.
Funny that. I wonder where I went wrong?
The Miracle Anti-Aging Technique
One thing to experiment with, particularly as you get older and your skin naturally becomes drier, is to lower the temperature and shorten the length of your shower, saving your luxurious hot soaks for celebrating the completion of marathons.
The second thing to try is to only use soap or shower gels in smaller amounts, with a flannel, and only where you are actually dirty.
I know this isn't as much fun, but you can wallow in the satisfaction of being right. And it is fun to be smug, let's face it.
The bottom line is not only will limiting your exposure to hot water and soap give your skin a bit of a break, it will save a few pennies off your heating and shopping bill, which is no bad thing.
Having fun? Don't stop now. Here are more posts you might like …
Struggling With Slippery Hair? (video styling tutorial)
A Plea From Melissa's Husband To Women At Christmas Time
Are You A Hair Claw Addict? This Video Is For You (video styling tutorial)
Why There's Sodium Chloride (Yes, Salt) In Your Shampoo
All done reading?
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