During my recent article on makeup (now part of the 10 Steps to Refining Your Style course), it was requested that I also write a little more on skincare.
I consider good skin the most beautiful makeup and I therefore make it a priority. Although I don’t claim to be an expert on skin and skincare I do make an effort to research it and this is what I do know. I will also list the products I currently use.
Why do we age?
The aging process begins when we enter the world and the effects of aging are evident in our bodies throughout our lives.
Beginning in our 20′s, the signs of aging start to become noticeable. Genetically programmed chronologic aging causes changes in collagen and elastin, the connective tissues that supply firmness and elasticity to the skin. The genetic program of individuals is different, so the loss of skin firmness and elasticity occurs at different rates and different times in one individual as compared to another. As skin becomes less elastic, it also becomes drier and underlying fat padding begins to disappear. With the loss of underlying support by fat padding and connective tissues, the skin begins to sag; it appears less supple and wrinkles form.
How to prevent the wrinkles?
Although wrinkles, lines and age spots are formed by the natural effects of getting older, one way to prevent them from appearing early on in life is to avoid direct sunlight and use sunscreens with SPFs 15 or higher. And, although most of us have some form of sun-damaged skin, there are ways to regain healthy, smooth skin.
There are a variety of natural ingredients and vitamin extracts that can help slow down and sometimes even reverse the signs of aging skin.
Vitamin A (Retinol) – Topical Vitamin A has been suggested to help build collagen fibers within the skin in addition to its more superficial exfoliating property. This is the basis for its use in minimizing the appearance of fine wrinkle lines.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C or ascorbic acid acts as an antioxidant and is considered vital in wound healing because it aids in stabilizing collagen. When applied topically, vitamin C can reduce fine lines and wrinkles and may lessen the severity of sunburns.
Vitamin E – Vitamin E is another antioxidant that shows to have anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. When applied topically, vitamin E has been shown to improve moisturization, softness and smoothness and also provides modest photo protection.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) – AHAs are designed to smooth fine lines and surface wrinkles, to improve skin texture and tone, to unblock and cleanse pores, to improve oily skin or acne, and to improve skin condition in general.
Glycolic Acid – Glycolic acid is the most active and beneficial of the Alpha-Hydroxy-Acids (AHAs) in skin care. Once inside the cells, the acid triggers new formations of collagen to plump cells and the ground substances in the skin to reduce wrinkles on the skin’s surface. Glycolic acid is proven to be very effective in the treatment of acne as well as in cosmetic uses.
N-6 furfuryladenine (kinetin) – This natural, anti-aging ingredient has been proven to reduce wrinkles and fine lines and is exclusively found in Kinerase creams and lotions. This is a proven alternative for people with sensitive skin or people who are sensitive to products containing Retinol and Vitamin C.
Copper Peptides are the latest scientific breakthrough in skin rejuvenation. Copper has been found to naturally firm the skin, enhance elasticity, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Pal-KTTKS – Pal-KTTKS is an effective ingredient for reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It’s found to promote a smoother, younger complexion quickly, without expensive and painful chemical peels, surgery or injections. This patented peptide solution is found in StriVectin-SD.
Green Tea Extract – Green tea’s anti-inflammatory and anti-growth qualities are found in many skin care products designed to reduce the appearance of puffiness, wrinkles, fine lines and large pores. Green Tea is found in the Dr. Brandt skin care line, Z. Bigatti and Gly Derm products.
TNS – The biotechnology of the skin’s natural healing process has arrived with the first tissue repairing complex containing growth factors found in normal, healthy skin. Unlike anything else currently on the market, TNS is the next level of skin rejuvenation that delivers dramatic results, for smoother, softer, younger looking skin. TNS is found in SkinMedica’s TNS Recovery Complex.
So what is the best anti-aging cream?
Since every individual’s skin is different, the results of using anti-aging products will be different as well. It is recommended that you consult with a skin care professional prior to use of any new skin care product to determine your skin type, skin condition and possible sensitivities to active ingredients. Your skin care professional may recommend specific products, or you can try a few on your own based on your consultation.
When can you expect to see results from using anti-aging products?
Results will be different for each individual, generally due to the condition of your skin prior to use. However, across the board, it’s best to say not to expect a miracle, as I believe there is no anti-aging product on the market that provides overnight results. Whether you are trying to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles, puffiness or age spots, the process is gradual and takes anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks depending on the severity of your problem areas.
Please note that with the use of any new skin care product, it is highly possible that your skin will react to the ingredients. You may experience irritation, redness, dryness or a mild breakout, which should only last for the first 3-5 days of use. This is especially true for retinol. You may want to discontinue use or consult a professional if that happens.
What I use
As a minimal user of makeup, skincare is very important to me. Therefore, I always have an assortment of creams and potions at hand to keep my skin in the best possible condition.
This is no easy task as I have thin skin that wrinkles easily. In addition, there is not enough fat issue on my face (it tends to accumulate in other areas) which can make my face look hallow and quite severe.
My main priorities with skincare is to protect it from the sun (to avoid discoloration and sun spots) and to keep collagen levels intact.
Here are some products I have been using lately and are worth a mention. Some I bought myself, others were sent to me for editorial consideration. Please note that I find it incredibly difficult to rate skincare products as it is difficult to notice drastic results when you have aging skin. Therefore, my skincare regimen is always a process of trial and error.
I now start most mornings with a Skinceuticals toner and feel that it revitalises the skin. It helps prepare the next layer.
Skinceuticals CE Ferulic
I have been using this serum for a few years now. It is an antioxidant treatment that contains ferulic acid and vitamin C which help to protect the skin from free radicals, damaging UVA/UVB rays and premature signs of aging. It also stimulates collagen production.
After the serum, I apply a day cream. I have used several over the last year, but am currently using Atache Excellence.
Bioskin Ultimate UV shield SPF 29*
A broad spectrum UV protection mist. This cream is ultra-lightweight and perfect for day-to-day wear. Good to spray on after your day cream (if that does not contain SPF or as extra protection). On beach or sport days I use additional sun protectors from the drugstore.
I may replace my day cream with a BB cream like the ones I reviewed here, but recently I favour my Clinique BB cream more. I plan to talk more about that in a future article which talks about makeup
I have already written 2 reviews about the Hadacrie Ion Cleanser that I use. It’s one of my favorite gadgets! I have tried the Clarisonic cleanser as well, but find that too aggressive for my skin. While using the Hadacrie I use
Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0
I have been using the Skinceuticals Retinol cream for a while now. This night cream contains 1% pure retinol, which helps to revitalize the skin and helps to diminish signs of aging. Retinol creams don’t really feel ‘nice’ on the skin but it’s an ingredient that has been proven to help.
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Night Spa*
I tend to use retinol every other night and on off nights I use a night cream like Vichy Aqualia Thermal Night Spa. This cream feels nice on the skin and hydrates it.
Bio oil is a special skincare oil that helps improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone. Even though it’s oil, it’s non-greasy and I had no problem using this on my face. What’s great about this oil is that you can use it for all kinds of purposes including dry cuticles, message oil and even make-up primer. I have been applying this on my chin to reduce scars and smoothe it out.
Well, there you have it. This is more or less what I do with my skin.
I would love to hear how you look after your skin and what works for you!
What is your skincare regimen and which are your favorite products?
Please note that items with * were gifted to me for editorial consideration.