A strong skincare routine not only helps improve the look and quality of your skin from day to day, but it also boosts the efficacy and longevity of your injectables (as sure a reason as any to remember to do more than scrub your face and chuck on some moisturiser).
But what are the main ingredients we should be looking out for in our skincare and how should we use them? Read on to find out.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and helps your skin fight the onslaught of toxicity from our daily life, as well as helping to boost collagen and elastin production. But most importantly for those who want to improve the quality of their skin, vitamin C helps illuminate the skin, fighting the pigmentation or discolouration that gets more common as we age. As well as tacking fine lines. The result is a brighter, more youthful complexion.
The best way to use Vitamin C is in a serum. There are several serums available, look for one containing L-ascorbic acid, the pure form of Vitamin C. Anything less in an ester of Vitamin C and may not be doing quite what a vitamin C should be doing. Beware of imitations.
AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and BHA (beta hydroxy acid) are powerful exfoliators, which help slough away dull, dead skin cells and other surface impurities revealing fresh new skin underneath and stimulating new skin cells. Gentle enough to use everyday, AHA’s and BHA’s can also help prevent acne, slow down the ageing process and even out skin tone.
AHA’s and BHA’s are commonly found in toners, masks, and scrubs. One of the easiest ways to bring AHA or BHA into your routine is in a good toner or impregnated pads. AHA’s are water soluble and gentler than BHA’s which are oil soluble and can get deeper into the skin. You can alternate the use of both for best results. Different acids target different skin concerns, salicylic acid is good for acne whilst glycolic acid for example is very good for anti-ageing and rejuvenation purposes.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a type of sugar molecule that is naturally occurring in the human body. It provides strong moisturising benefits and makes the skin appear plumper and more youthful by helping it retain more moisture. It is not irritating or harsh on the skin as the acid name may suggest. In fact quite the opposite and will provide often much needed hydration to all skin types.
Hyaluronic acid is often found in serums and in moisturisers, as well as in cleansers and eye creams. You can sandwich your HA serum in between other treatments for best results. This important ingredient can be AM, PM or both and will happily sit alongside any other actives you may already be using. Serum formulas tend to be best for delivering this ingredient.
Retinol is the common name for retinoic acid or vitamin A. It makes its way to the middle layer of skin where it boosts the body’s own production of collagen and elastin, helping to reduce wrinkles by increasing the cell turnover. This
Retinol can be purchased over the counter at different strengths, but the highest strength of retinol requires a prescription. As it is a powerful ingredient, we recommend starting at a lower dose and working up to higher potency levels as your skin acclimatises.
If you’re wary of retinol, look out for retinol palmitate which is one of the least irritating forms of retinol and tolerated well by most people, it is commonly found in OTC products and good for sensitive skin types. There is a retinol out there to suit everyone! Also take note that retinol can make your skin less able to cope with the effect of the sun, so a good SPF is essential to prevent burning and/or premature ageing.
SPF helps protect the skin from the damaging effects of the sun. The sun is what causes most pigmentation and sunspots as we age, as well as wrinkles and fine lines. And while you might think that the dark winter months don’t require SPF, you’d be wrong. The sun is strong enough to damage your skin even through clouds, so it is crucial to include it as part of your skincare routine every single day, no excuses.
SPF is present in many moisturisers as often found in makeup products such as foundations and lipsticks. You can’t protect your skin too much, but you can neglect it, so don’t be afraid to use a separate SPF even if your skincare or makeup includes it. And don’t forget to top up your SPF throughout the day for maximum protection, especially if away on holiday in a warmer climate or skiing for example.
Emma now offers detailed skincare consultations which include a tailored skincare plan, with recommendations for over the counter, medical grade, and prescription skin care. Talk to us today to book your appointment.