In general, there’s a time lag of about 10 years between when people see changes in their skin and when the actual damage was done. Here are the major skin sins and how to counteract them…
1. sunbaking too much
Eighty percent of damage from the sun is usually done before age 18 and the effects – fine lines and skin discolouration – start appearing in our twenties. Fortunately, the latest skincare technology is geared towards reversing this damage by restoring cells deep down below the surface, where long-term aging occurs.
* to minimise wrinkles: Look for products with ingredients that speed cell turnover – like retinoids and alpha, beta and polyhydroxy acids. New wrinkle warriors such as copper, kinetin and vitamin C may help to jump-start collagen production and improve skin tone and reduce fine lines.
* to fade spots: Look for products which contain AHA’s, bearberry, L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), licorice or retinol. Products with multiple skin lightening ingredients usually work best. However, it might take a month or two before you see results.
2. popping pimples
Squeezing a pimple makes a mountain out of a molehill. It can force debris deeper into the pore instead of out of the top and lead to inflammation and scarring.
* to smooth skin: Daily exfoliation with a lotion containing hydroxy acids or retinol will help improve texture years after breakouts.
Every day, your skin faces significant attackers – some controllable, some not. Luckily today there’s a whole range of treatments to make our skin look amazing almost immediately. Here are the few common obstacles to overcome:
Smoking constricts blood vessels depriving skin of nutrients it needs for healthy colour and texture. It may also break down collagen and elastin, causing sagging and wrinkles.
* get your glow back: Quit smoking and add a vitamin C-packed product to your skincare routine. This powerful anti-oxidant helps return cells to a healthier state.
2. overloading on skin care
The more products you apply, the greater the risk of breakouts and allergic reactions – and the harder it is to identify the culprit.
* to simplify your routine: Cut back to the basics – a gentle cleanser; a moisturiser to suit your skin type; and a sunscreen that guards against UVA and UVB rays. Then introduce new products slowly to see how your skin reacts.
3. your environment
Environmental factors can wreak havoc on your skin. Humidity creates ideal conditions for breakouts. Dry climates may cause microscopic tears in the skin, giving irritants easy access. And pollutants like soot and smog can clog the skin.
* to protect your face: Apply an antioxidant SPF30+ shield to guard against the effects of free radicals and pollution.
Tension can make you break out, lose moisture, look sallow and even age faster. Stress can cause blood vessels to constrict and impair the skin’s ability to retain moisture and deflect environmental evildoers. Research shows that the hormone CRH, which is released in response to stress, stimulates sebaceous glands, which can lead to acne.
* to relax your complexion: Apply a moisturiser with nutrients like algae and aloe. In the event of a stress-induced breakout, look for products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide and take time out to relax. The better you manage stress, the better your skin will look and feel.
You can’t stop the clock but you can take the right precautions to slow it down significantly. Skin savers we recommend include:
* start wearing broad spectrum sunscreen
Taking care of your skin won’t mean a thing if you don’t use a sunscreen. Choose a broad spectrum to reduce the UVA rays that penetrate deeply and age the skin.
* regularly exfoliate and always moisturise
Gentle exfoliating removes dead skin cells that dull the skin. And keep moisturising as perpetually dry skin accelerates wrinkles.
Feed your skin’s future
According to Dr Jana Vicanova, Scientific Consultant at Ferrosan in Denmark, treating your skin from within can enhance the skin’s quality and slow the ageing process. Her top five tips are:
1. Supplement your skincare
Clinical evidence has shown that the combination of active ingredients in Imedeen Classic assists in maintaining the skin’s firmness and elasticity, and competes with the destruction of the skin’s structure which happens through the process of ageing.
2. Boost your Vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential for the formation of collagen, which is a vital component for firm skin. During ageing, the amount of skin collagen decreases which results in the skin losing its firmness leading to the appearance of wrinkles.
3. Increase good fatty acids
Among other foods, the intake of ‘bad’ or ‘good’ fats influences the health and appearance of the skin. An increase of the intake of fats containing omega 3 fatty acids (sea fish oil and some seed oil such as linseed) will benefit to maintain well-hydrated and smooth skin.
4. Defend with antioxidants
Every day our skin is progressively ageing due to damage caused by oxidative stress. Antioxidants are a defence mechanism against oxidative stress and fresh food such as fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of natural antioxidants. Other antioxidant-rich sources are green tea and red wine.
5. Hydrate with H20
Water is essential for the skin, with a lack of water usually resulting in a dull and dry complexion. Drink at least two to three litres of water per day.