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Important Health Checks for Every Age

Medical consultation with doctor

After a certain age, many people don’t like to be reminded about how old they’re getting. It’s bad enough that they have to endure birthdays, at least those are supposed to be fun. But it seems to add insult to injury when it’s the need for a new health check that serves as a reminder of your advancing years. Why, it seemed just yesterday that you were getting checked for STD’s and now you’re going in to have your stool sample examined. Unfortunately, unpleasant though they may be, health checks are vital and can lead to early detection and prevention of future complications. Read on to find out the important health checks for women of all ages.

Ages 12-18

As a girl approaches her teenage years, she begins to enter puberty and her body should begin to change accordingly. This includes the development of breasts and the beginning of menstruation. If she is not displaying these signs, there may be a need for medical investigation. A girl this age should also be getting regular vision and dental checks and the usual scheduled immunizations.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women under the age of 35.  Because of this, girls are recommended to get vaccinated against HPV before becoming sexually active.

Ages 18-24

This is the age at which women tend to become sexually active, and that means they should get regular screenings for STI’s (sexually transmitted infections). These tests can usually be done using a self-taken vaginal swab and can be carried out at a health clinic or by your GP.

Ages 25-39

Breast awareness is very important and a woman needs to know how to check for abnormalities. Breast cancer affects one in eight women and is the most common cancer for women under 40. Be breast-aware and see a doctor if you notice anything out of the ordinary.

It is also important to get cervical smears done every three years until the age of forty-nine. Beyond this, every five years should suffice. If you are on contraceptives, have blood pressure and weight checked regularly.

Look out for low energy and fatigue resulting from heavy periods. If this is the case, consider having blood tests done to check iron levels. The condition can be easily corrected with minor adjustments.

If you are considering having children, seek health care for preconception advice and regular check ups, especially if you have medical conditions that might impact fertility.

Ages 40-60

This is the time to have health screenings to make sure your blood sugars, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and bone health are in balance. After 50, the risk of breast cancer goes up and the need for mammograms every three years becomes vital.

Age 60 and Above

Yearly eye tests are essential at this age to check for cataracts, eye pressures,and degeneration. Gut health needs to be monitored, and regular screenings for bowel cancer should be done.

Bone density tends to decrease at this age, and women should be tested regularly for osteoporosis to ensure proper bone health.

What tests are you getting at your age? Let us know if regular testing helps you. We love to hear it!

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Fabulous and Fashionable After Forty

Smiling middle-age blonde woman outside a cafe

It seems just a few years ago, the words “forty-year-old woman” conjured images of demure wardrobes, generic make up, and outdated hairdos. Now the term is more likely to conjure up a supermodel in a bikini surrounded by her young children and handsome husband. More and more frequently, women are realizing that life doesn’t end at 30, rather it starts at 40, and that the word ‘style’ is still very much a part of an older woman’s vocabulary.

Choose the Right Colors

Turning 40 does not consign you to colorless neutrals. Rather, the right colors will enhance your coloring and make you look healthier and younger. This goes for hair as well as clothing. If you’re considering a change in hair color, reevaluate your skin tones to find the colors that suit you best. Then go shopping for some clothes in your new color scheme.

Pay Attention to Fit and Style

You can still dress in the latest styles, but you can’t skimp on quality, even when it comes to your undergarments. Schedule a professional consultation to find out your exact underwear size and which clothing best suits your body shape and proportions. You will find that tailored pieces can emphasize your best features, whereas shapeless clothing will hide your strong points, as well as your unflattering ones. Your primary aim should be maintaining the look of a well-proportioned figure.

Mix and Match

The last decade has shown a huge shift in the propriety of office wear for older women. Separates replace full suits, which offers more freedom to mix things up. Ditch the boxy blazers and padded shoulders in favor of tailored jackets, pencil skirts, trousers, and jeans. Wardrobe essentials include a leather jacket, a crisp, white shirt, a knee-length pencil skirt, a trench coat, and low-heeled pumps.

Jeans

You can rock a great pair of jeans at any age, just avoid the mom jeans. Experiment with different styles and sizes until you find the ones most flattering to your figure.Look for something between a low rise and high rise, and try to avoid embellishments, holes, and colorful embroidery. Stick with cotton denim with 2 to 3% lycra for a comfortable give and a sleeker silhouette. Once you’ve found the perfect pair, you may want to purchase a few to wear with a classic white shirt or blouse.

Hair and Makeup

Hair can hide a multitude of sins. Bangs, angles, layers, highlights and lowlights can be a woman’s best friend in drawing attention from unwanted lines and wrinkles. Also, keep in mind that grey hair does not automatically mean old age and many women are comfortable capitalizing on their silver highlights.

Don’t overdo your makeup. Heavy layers of blush and foundation can weigh down your face and make you look older. Keep makeup soft and subtle. Accentuate the eyes, use a natural blush on your cheeks and a pale lipstick.

Are you fierce and over forty? How do you do it? Let us know.

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Common Middle Age Skin Care Snafus

Pensive middle-age blonde woman

The new millennium is all about blurring lines, casting off labels, and busting out of stereotypes, right? With 40 being the new 25, and 50 being the new 30, it’s getting harder and harder to put a definition on what exactly constitutes “middle age.” The words almost seem to have become a polite euphemism for a youngish grandmother. In fact, by today’s standards,  it seems more appropriate that middle age be renamed “the New 20’s.” So, with that in mind, let’s talk about skincare concerns for women in their “New 20’s.”

Gentle Care

As you age, your skin gets drier and more sensitive. You’re likely to find the strong acne prevention formulas you used in your 20’s now too harsh for your skin.  Switch to a fragrance-free, gentle cleanser formulated for all skin types. Look for something soap free to avoid drying and consider adding an oil-based cleanser to dissolve excess dirt and makeup rather than a separate, additional product to remove makeup. When you wash, use lukewarm water on your face, rather than hot water, and pat your face gently to dry.

Antioxidants

As the skin’s natural oil production diminishes, the need for moisturizer increases. This is where antioxidants come in. Look for a product containing hyaluronic acid, a moisturizing agent which occurs in the body naturally.  Glycerin and shea butter will help to reverse existing free radical damage and prevent further damage from occurring. Antioxidants also support collagen production, helping to defend skin against wrinkles and sagging skin. Other key antioxidants to look out for are green tea, polyphenols, resveratrol, and vitamins C and E.

Sun Safety

The importance of sun safety cannot be underestimated at any age. UVA and UVB rays can wreak havoc on the skin, breaking down collagen and contributing to developing wrinkles and fine lines. Protect your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 every day, without exception. Those with sensitive skin should avoid chemically based sunscreens and may want to look for a product claiming titanium dioxide as its active ingredient.

Use Retinol

Often referred to as the “gold standard” of skin care, retinol is an absolute must for your evening skincare.  Otherwise known as vitamin A, retinol stimulates cell turnover within the skin, which tends to slow down in the 30’s and 40’s, and can also smooth skin texture and lighten hyperpigmentation.  If you’re going to use retinol, however, keep in mind that it is known for its potency and can be irritating to sensitive skin.  Apply moderately to start and reduce application if you notice breakouts or redness.  If wrinkles around the eyes are a concern, you may want to consider adding an eye cream that combines retinol with ingredients like glycerin, niacin amide, and hyaluronic acid, for hydration, specifically for use around the eye area.

All Over Body Care

You know how important it is to keep the skin on our faces resilient, but care for the skin on your body must not be neglected.  Remember that the oil production in our body also gets slower with age, and skin can become dry and itchy.  Ditch your drying soap for fragrance-free shower creams and gels with hydrating ingredients like olive oil, shea butter, and jojoba oil and swap the scalding showers for a lukewarm rinse to keep dryness at bay.  Follow up by applying body cream with AHAs while the skin is still damp to lock in moisture and exfoliate dead skin cells.  Regular exercise can also help skin keep its glow by bringing oxygen and nutrients to the skin.

What do you do to keep your skin in shape in your “New 20’s?”  Let us know!