Our skin isn’t getting any younger! It’s time to step back and take note of what you can do to help reverse the signs of ageing as well as restore your skins youthful texture and glow. We talk to the experts to see what magic ingredients you need to fix your skincare woes…
The burning question on every woman’s mind – what is the secret to great skin? While high-priced products and wait-list wonders promise the earth, they alone, are not the answer. When choosing skincare, it’s important to know what ingredients to look out for and to choose ones that will best suit your personal needs.
Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and the one most exposed to free radicals such as UV light, chemicals, pollution and toxins. ‘It’s also last organ in our body to receive nutrition via our bloodstream from the food that we eat,’ says Dr. Catherine Stone from The Face Place Auckland. ‘So in today’s modern world, it is constantly stretched, over-worked and tired.’ Much like the rest of us!
The good news? We grow nearly 1,000 new layers of skin throughout our lifetime, so don’t fret, you’ve got plenty of chances to bring dull skin back to life.
Whether you’re battling breakouts, firmness, sun damage, dryness, dullness, or all of the above, the best way to restore healthy, beautiful skin is simply with the right ingredients. Finding the best products to treat your skin is easy and doesn’t need to break the bank: just follow our six-step plan…
STEP 1: BOOST
A tired complexion can be caused by fatigue, stress, ageing and the environment, but there is a quick fix. Although there are many nutrients necessary, vitamin A makes the most profound change,’ says Dr. Catherine. ‘It’s been used in skin care for over 25 years, helping to normalise damaged DNA when used in the correct dosages and form,’ she says. Retin-A (Retinol) is a commonly prescribed form of this super vitamin that helps boost collagen production and cell turnover, but potent formulas can cause irritation, redness and itching at first. Alas, there is an alternative! ‘Less irritating forms allow your skin to accept vitamin A, then you can gradually increase the dose on the skin when applied at night.’
Medik8 Retinol 3TR Advanced Night Serum, $79.95, Environ ionzyme C-Quence 4, $269.50, Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser, $62, Yellow Diamonds (120 Capsules), $65.
STEP 2: HYDRATE
Dry skin doesn’t just appear when winter hits, it’s something that most women battle year round. In a nutshell, our outer layer of skin contains a collection of water-soluble compounds known as natural moisturizing factor (NMF). These mimic our skins’ structure to create a healthy barrier to protect us from loss of moisture, sun damage and pollution. If the NMF is reduced, it can lead to roughness, flaking, fine lines, and a tight, uncomfortable feeling. Combat this quickly with moisturising products containing urea, glycerin and hyaluronic acid that plump, heal and hydrate. The molecules in hyaluronic acid alone have the ability to attract and retain more than 1,000 times their weight in water to relieve irritated, dry skin fast. Problem solved!
Aspect SMC (Super Moisturiser Complex), $89.70, Societe Clincial Skincare Marine Hydrating Mask, $124.42, Evolu Rehydration Rescue Masque, $54.99, Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Moisturizing Eye Cream, $73.
STEP 3: REPAIR
The main source of skin damage is the sun. ‘UV rays trigger cellular damage, pigmentation, inflammation and visible ageing,’ says Environ Trainer, Karen Wilson. ‘It also destroys essential vitamins, particularly vitamin A which is important for our skin’s health,’ she says. Try introducing antioxidants into your skincare regime like vitamins A, C, E, green tea and rosemary extract to neutralise free radicals and repair damage. ‘In conjunction, use products containing peptides like Matrixyl 3000 and Dermaxyl that stimulate more collagen production resulting in smoother, and younger looking skin,’ says Karen.
TOP TIP: ‘Preparing the skin for moisturisers is key,’ says Karen. ‘The best way to apply a serum or cream is to warm it up in your hands, spread it evenly over the skin and press it in.’
La Mav Antioxidant Rich Nightly Repair Nectar, $49.95, Avon ANEW Clinical E-Defence Deep Recovery Cream, $45, Antipodes Worship Superfruit Antioxidant Serum, $54.50, Thalgo Bio-Repair Serum, $138.20.
STEP 4: EXFOLIATE
For facial peels dermatologists use lactic, salicylic and glycolic acid, but these are also available at a lower dosage in serums and creams. ‘It’s important to build the health of the skin first through vitamin A and antioxidants before incorporating exfoliants,’ Dr. Catherine advises. When using at home, these are best applied overnight to remove dead skin cells, unblock pores and reduce pigmentation. ‘If you have problem skin, seek advice from your dermatologist as incorrect potency could exacerbate a problem such as acne or skin sensitivity,’ she says.
TOP TIP: By removing dead skin cells from the surface, moisturisers and serums can penetrate even deeper into the skin.
STEP 5: PLUMP
Whether you’re after a quick fix or long-term results, plump, glowing skin always looks more youthful.
‘In general, ingredients like peptides and hyaluronic acid are good, non-inflammatory products that can firm and plump the skin,’ says Dr. Catherine. ‘However, the results are temporary and only effective as long as you’re using them.’ For more tailored skin plumpers, AHAs are great for binding moisture and collagen production and work best on normal-to-dry skin. Whereas BHAs have the same benefits, but are more suited to oily or acne prone skin.
Resultime Regenerating Collagen Gel, $99.95, Khiel’s Multi-Corrective Cream, $89, Kate Somerville Nourish Hydra Gel Mask, $106, theCream Anti-Aging Facial Recharge Serum, $79.
STEP 6: PROTECT
Just because it’s winter, don’t assume you can slack off on your sun protection! ‘One of the best anti-ageing things we can do for our skin is apply an SPF15 every day, all year round,’ say Karen. Oil free formulas work best for everyday-wear, ‘once you’ve applied your sunscreen evenly, you can immediately apply your make-up,’ she says. For a quick touch-up, mineral make-up works well for additional sun protection throughout the day.
Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster SPF50, $90, Oasis Beauty Power Punch Super Hydrating SPF 25 Daily Moisturiser, $39.95, CLINIQUE City Block Sheer Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF 25, $50, Bobbi Brown’s Skin Foundation Mineral Makeup SPF 15, $75.
WORDS: Elise Wilson
MODEL SHOT: Mac Cosmetics, NZFW15
ARTICLE: As seen in M2 Woman Magazine – Jul/Aug issue.
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