Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5 Issue 92, Tuesday, November 17, 2009



Middle years skin care

Suddenly you wake up one day and you are 40!There are little tell-tale lines around the eyes, skin that was oily is suddenly dry, or is dull; laugh lines don't disappear even after you have stopped smiling; hands seem harder, not to mention crinklier. Grey hair has been spotted.

All hell breaks loose! Age has caught up with us and we embark on a quest to find the magic potion that will stop the passage of time and keep us young forever.

Well ...I'm not offering you the fountain of youth or the magic potion but I can tell you how to care for yourself.

There are many grandmothers who visit La Belle and I'm amazed at how good they look, how graceful and well groomed they are. And do you know what they have in common.....they have ALWAYS taken care of themselves, they have not woken up at 50 and decided to make an annual trip to the salon. They have given their looks some priority and due diligence.

So if you're touching 40 there's still time, apologise to yourself for the neglect and move ahead.

With the passage of time, skin tends to become drier and the need for moisture is greater. Therefore the products that we use need a change. The introduction of serums is imperative to the daily skincare range- simple moisturisers will not be enough at this stage.

It's important to know the role of serums, so that their benefits are appreciated.

Serums boost moisture levels very effectively as well as retain the moisture longer. They also speed up the natural repair process of the skin when used with the night cream.

The appearance of lines and wrinkles will diminish as long as we can keep skin well moisturised.

The other best friend of skin is sunscreen.

Studies show that the majority of the visible signs of premature aging are a result of environmental assaults, not the passage of time. This unavoidable exposure damages the skin cells and tissues. The ultraviolet rays of the sun are the culprits from whom we need protection.

Answer: sunscreen.

This cannot be avoided. It must be used every morning and reapplied in the afternoon, even if you are not going out of the house.

Usage of sunscreen should become a habit like brushing your teeth.

Night creams are of a richer consistency than day creams and lotions. If it does not feel rich enough, a drop or two of olive oil will do the trick. Those with an oily skin can settle for a light lotion mixed with water, since they have a god-gifted store of natural oil. The good news for them is that although they may have suffered pimples and other woes earlier but they can now turn up their noses at others because they're are not getting wrinkles anytime soon.

Cleansing skin is as important as breathing because that is exactly what skin needs to do.... breathe.

Clogged pores, caused by dirt, dust and pollution need to be addressed regularly. Abuse that skin can handle at 20 cannot be put up with at 40. It needs to be treated with a lot more respect now.

Harsh scrubs need to be tossed out of the window. Usage of bleach and harsh chemicals is to be minimal, perhaps once in two months, then too they should be of milder concoction.

Facials are a boon, twice a month if possible. The method should be correct and the products should be of quality. With salons on every street corner, you need to be careful, please visit reputable salons only. Never hesitate to inquire about the qualification of the proprietors.

Diet, needless to say, plays a great role in the general well being of a human being. A healthy balanced diet with a decent amount of exercise will lead to not only good skin and hair, but also good health.

I am very sceptical about these various new fad diets with low carbs and high protein and what not. Drastic diets are out. Losing a lot of weight will make you look haggard, so watch out. If you are on a diet, lose weight gradually and in a healthy manner.

Meanwhile, I am off to spend more time with my 50/60-year-old models of dignity and grace to collect more tips for Lifestyle.

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Model: Alveera Mannaf Rahman Nita, Interior Designer
Make-up: Farzana Shakil Maveover Salon Ltd

Women bosses

Dear Doctor,
I have a question in mind. In the last few years, corporate Bangladesh has seen many women rise up to decision-making roles and from the result of such a change, we see a positive reflection in the output of these organisations. However, the discrimination still remains. From a completely psychological point of view are there any differences in the mindset of a female boss as opposed to a male one? To be clearer, is a male boss necessarily better than a female one?

Contrary to this popular belief that a male boss is better than a female one, many recent studies have shown that women are actually better managers and leaders than men are. Some surveys have suggested that women are holding decision-making positions in close to half of the leading companies in the United States; I think the ratio is catching up fast in the developing world as well.

This paradigm shift took place as an outcome of the women's liberation movement of 1960s and 70s. It started in North America and soon got momentum all over the world. The workplace has since been struggling to cope with this revolutionary change. As part of global women, women of our society are also carrying that torch forward by following the path of pioneer Begum Rokeya and others.

Women's supremacy over men in corporate leadership is supposed to continue in coming years (a U-turn in gender equality!) as is becoming evident from academic performances at schools and colleges. Someone said, a woman has to be twice as good as a man to prove her eligibility for a particular position and luckily women have no problem in doing so (hmmm! food for thought). However I'm not willing to make such a provocative blanket comment of female supremacy depending on limited evidence.

Besides biological difference between men and women, unique personality traits, upbringing, appropriate exposure and opportunity, all play important roles in determining who they are. The radical feminism is the notion that women are people. It doesn't strive to be same as men but be equal by its own right. Unfortunately, gender discrimination and sexual harassment at workplaces are some of the ongoing challenges working women have to face routinely.

It is a shame that even today women (e.g. women labour) are often paid less than their male counterparts for the same work. Unambiguously, working women have consistently shown their capacity and determination to rise to the level of this challenge and break these barriers.

Actually, both male and female styles of leadership at workplaces can be quite effective and they are often found to be complementary to each other.

The biological factors responsible for the differences are as follows-

Average male brains are 10 percent bigger, but women have more neurons in specific brain areas and more neuronal connection (Corpus Callosum) between two halves of the brain. The end result is, women are more flexible and better in multi-tasking whereas men are better in abstract thinking.

Higher left-brain function makes men better at getting jobs done and being task focused; higher right brain function makes women more intuitive in interpersonal skills and innovative in solving problems.

Nature and nurture both play a part in developing leadership and management skills essential to run a business or to lead an organisation. Conceptual skills and human interaction skills are very important in this regard.

To make a difference in the workplace, a competent boss requires moving beyond the micromanagement level to leadership role. Whoever can do that seems to succeed in the long run irrespective of gender.

Psychologists found that men are better in commanding and controlling the management operations and they are more financially driven to make profit. On the other hand, women are better communicators; they delegate power easily and work with consensus and team building approach. This eventually can lead to happy employees and better productivity.

A patriarchal society, which nurtures hierarchical system, works well for males who have a natural tendency to dominate and be competitive. Men's esteem tends to lie solely on what they do. Women on the other hand wear different hats and juggle roles; they try to fit in by their inherent capacity to adjust to the new environment.

A woman knows how to live as Mrs. X and make her husband's work as her own; she knows how to live as a mother with identity borrowed from her children and be selfless. About half of the historical human experience is women's experience and ironically most of it is dark. Fortunately it has made women stronger and resilient. Obviously women are doing better once their drive for self-identity has been unleashed. However, it would be very misleading to over-generalise these qualities according to gender and minimise individual variations in each case.

Leadership without co-operation, emotion without thought, and creativity without actions do not last long and fail to make a meaningful difference. All human beings have qualities and characteristics that can be defined in terms of masculine and feminine. Men and women need all their capacities (both masculine and feminine aspects of self) to come in to play to grow to their maximum potential, feel whole and deliver their best as a worker.



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