We can’t stop aging, and I’m a big believer of aging gracefully without the need to try and stop it. But there is such thing as premature aging. The main causes of premature aging are sun damage, nutrient -poor diet, lack of sleep and stress.
We do have control over slowing aging that is happening faster than it should be. I experienced this first-hand when I looked in the mirror in my early 30s and noticed just how quickly my skin was changing. As a new mum, I wasn’t having treatments, it wasn’t a priority and I’d be grabbing cheap skincare whilst grocery shopping.
I noticed dehydration, deeper lines around the eyes, pigmentation and a dull complexion. These are the types of skin conditions that can be improved with the correct homecare and treatments, and that’s exactly what I did.
Besides making sure you have a physical block sunscreen, the first area I would look at when managing your skin and getting it back on track is the dehydration.
A dehydrated skin can be rough, flaky, and prone to sensitivity and breakouts. We need to get the right balance of water and oil to have a well-functioning acid mantle, which is the protective film on the outer layer of the skin.
Firstly, look at what you currently use in your skincare routine. Does anything feel stripping on the skin or make your skin feel tight? Your cleanser and exfoliant should leave your skin feeling clean and comfortable, but not squeaky clean and dry. If your skin is dehydrated, stay away from hydroxy acids and over-exfoliating. Strip it back and keep it simple: a gentle cleanser, an enzyme exfoliant if needed, moisturizer and a physical sunblock.
The next step is to introduce an Omega 3 supplement, preferably a combined EPA & DHA. Your skin therapist will be able to advise the right one. When taking a supplement, essential fatty acids are delivered to the stem cells by the capillaries, so they can produce healthy, plump skin cells.
Once the dehydration has improved and the acid mantle is restored, it’s time to welcome in more active ingredients.
To make sure you get the right active ingredients for your skin and concerns, have a consultation with a skin therapist. They’ll look at your skin in detail and work out what actives you need and in what order, what form and what strength. Using ingredients that the skin is not prepared for can result in sensitivity and inflammation.
Let’s look at some of the main active ingredients used for managing premature aging.
Vitamin A is a key ingredient to combat premature aging. Known as retinyl palmitate, retinol and retinoic ester, vitamin A comes in many forms. Your skin therapist will know what type and strength is right for you. Vitamin A increases cell turn over, repairs the DNA in damaged cells and stimulates collagen and elastin production. Retinol should be introduced slowly, only be used at night and not be used in pregnancy.
Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) reduces the amount of pigment that will reach the skin cells, making it an important ingredient in evening out skin tone and preventing pigmentation. It’s also known to boost collagen production, reduce inflammation and regulate sebum production.
Vitamin C, in the correct form, can be utilized by the skin to slow down melanin production (perfect if you are managing sunspots and pigmentation), stimulate collagen production and strengthen capillaries.
Lactic acid is a mild alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin and helps manage pigmentation and improves a dull and uneven complexion.
Peptides are like a buzz word in the beauty industry, but I can see why. They come in many forms with different purposes, but essentially, they can slow or speed up certain processes that happen in the skin to make it function better.
Perfect to treat dehydration or maintain a hydrated skin. Hyaluronic acid binds water within the skin, giving it more volume and density.
Would you like a complimentary online or in-person skin consultation?
I work as a skin therapist at Pretty in the City – a boutique salon in St Lucia. I work with O Cosmedics and EmerginC to deliver results and focus on my clients’ concerns. Based on a thorough questionnaire and looking at your skin online or in-person, I will guide you in the right direction and educate you on how best to take care of your skin.