One of my earliest memories as a child is of me sitting in my mothers’ room, just gazing at her large collection of skincare items on her dressing table. I’d sit there for ages simply enjoying the spectacle. That early fascination obviously sparked something within me as I’ve pursued a career in dermatology and today I’m extremely passionate about enlightening people about the importance of a good skincare regimen.
As we get older, our skin becomes a lot less forgiving and we need to put that extra bit of effort in to keep it looking nice and supple. Everyone’s skin is unique, but if you want to have good skin, here are my tips and rules for essentials that you should incorporate into your regimen:
Everyday our face gets exposed to numerous pollutants from the environment. Hence it is important to get rid of all that dirt on a daily basis. When choosing a cleanser, it’s important to choose one that is gentle and won’t clog your pores. Creamy cleansers are generally recommended if you have dry skin, whilst foam or gel cleansers are best if your skin is combination to oily.
The main function of toners is to return the skin’s pH back to normal as most cleansers tend to be alkaline (i.e have a pH of > 7). Some people feel that this step isn’t necessary especially if they have used a pH-balanced cleanser first. However, I find that despite cleansing some dirt still remains which toning helps to get rid of.
This is where it gets pretty exciting as there are several serums targeting different skin concerns which you can mix and match as you please. When picking serums however, it’s important to select those with anti-oxidant properties. This is because when we are exposed to the sun, the sun’s rays cause the release of pacman-like ‘free radicals’ which cause damage to our skin. Although our skin houses its natural supply of antioxidants, as we get older they deplete in number hence the importance of incorporating them into our regimen. Some examples of juicy police fighting anti-oxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, green tea, rosemary and pomegranate.
No one likes to look ashy so putting on a good moisturiser is always a good idea. With so many available on the market, it’s important to look for moisturisers that contain ingredients that mimic our skin’s natural ‘humectants’ which help to draw in moisture. These include lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA and urea to mention a few. Some popular artificial humectants to look out for include glycerin, sorbitol, propylene glycol and other glycols.
Because the skin around our eyes is very thin, it is often advised to use a separate eye cream as the creams we use on the rest of our faces may be too heavy. Furthermore, most eye creams are created to target specific concerns. For fine lines and wrinkles, ingredients such as retinol, ceramides and hyaluronic acid are useful. For puffiness, check out caffeine, chamomile and vitamin K whilst for dark circles, niacinamide and vitamin C are great for brightening.
Finally, every skincare regimen should have a healthy dose of sunscreen. This is important to protect us from harmful UV rays from the sun, which can cause premature aging and skin cancer. A Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or above is generally recommended and can be purchased either singly or in combination with your moisturiser or foundation.