Skin that glows from within is considered healthy. But with age and time, your skin is likely to lose its radiance. Wrinkles, fine lines, pigmentation and dark spots seem to take over your skin and hold camp. If you’re finding it difficult to deal with your ageing skin, let us help you with some expert-recommended tips to restore your skin’s glow.
Health Shots got in touch with Dr Sejal Saheta, dermatologist and venereologist, InUrSkn, who rolled out several reasons why your skin has been losing its lustre and glow.
Dr Saheta says, “As a practicing dermatologist, I am often asked by my patients for my opinion on the latest skin care product in the market. While I do keep a track of the ever-evolving skin care products industry, I sincerely believe that getting a healthy glowing skin is not really a function of the product you use but has more to do with your skin care habits. Skin care products from most reputable pharmaceutical companies are generally safe and have acceptable efficacy levels but it is the habits of individuals that actually determine success or failure when chasing a healthy blemish-free skin.”
Here are some skincare basics you need to know:
Skin care is based on five pillars which are a constant irrespective of the current trend.
2. Nutrition and Hydration
Each of the above deserve adequate attention from you on an ongoing basis.
Skin hygiene is a lot more than taking a shower two times a day. Here’s how it can help treat your ageing skin:
- People with oily skin and acne-prone skin need to keep their face clear of excess oil production with the aid of mild cleansers and gentle face wipes throughout the day. This ensures that your face stays clear of any bacterial growth.
- A cardinal rule of skin care is that one should never ever fidget with pimples or boils on their skin. This can lead to the spread of bacteria to other parts and also can cause serious scarring of the skin.
- Rubbing of skin with your hands, towels or due to tight clothes can lead to serious skin problems with pigmentation and texture of your skin.
- Clothes that do not breathe or retain sweat can lead to skin infections. Always make sure that your clothes and your skin are free of sweat and extra moisture (think damp clothes).
- “Always pay special attention to the areas in the folds of your body. (behind your ears, your underarms, your groin, between your fingers and toes) These are the areas that are generally easily affected by infections.” advises Dr Saheta.
As a part of hygiene rules, one should remember to always clear their skin of makeup before they sleep, as makeup tends to block the pores of the skin and can cause complications.
You are, what you eat and drink… but not in the way you imagine
The single line advice about nutrition and its relation to the health of your ageing skin is to always opt for a balanced diet that does not favour a particular food group. Fad diets which favour a particular macro nutrient tend to have disastrous results on the health of your skin. Your skin, like the rest of your body, needs carbohydrates, proteins and fats to maintain its health.
“As for micro nutrients, I do recommend that one should opt for foods which are rich in vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and antioxidants. The health of the skin in terms of its barrier function, its elasticity and its oxidative stress levels depends on consumption of these micro nutrients,” Dr Saheta told Health Shots.
“Regarding water intake, the general guidelines that one should try following are consuming about 2.5 litres of water per day for women and 3.5 litres of water per day for men. Water consumption plays a major role in hydration levels of the skin and its biomechanical functioning,” she adds.
Make moisturiser and sunscreen your ageing skin’s guardians
“The role that a moisturizer and sunscreen play in the health of your skin is much more important than any serum or lotion that you will ever come across,” affirms Dr Saheta.
Moisturizers in general help maintain the moisture level in the upper layers of the skin and hence help maintain a smooth skin free of any inflammation or itching. More importantly, a moisturizer slows down the process of wrinkle and line formation.
Meanwhile a good sunscreen goes a long way in reducing damage to your skin from exposure to UV rays. Such exposure leads to pigmentation issues and premature ageing of the skin.
Dr Saheta says, “While I would recommend speaking to your dermatologist to help you select a good moisturizer and sunscreen, as a thumb rule I would request you to never buy a moisturizer based on the packaging and how it is marketed. I always recommend that my patients buy a moisturizer which is from a major trusted pharmaceutical brand which has been adequately tested for performance and safety.”
One should remember that a moisturizer should be applied every day immediately after showers and then as per need. Every time you step out you should apply a layer of sunscreen on all exposed parts of the body. Also remember that no matter what the season both sunscreens and moisturizers need to be applied.
Exfoliate, but gently!
Rubbing and scrubbing are probably the worst thing that one can do to their skin. Exfoliation of skin needs to be gentle in nature else it can lead to issues like hyperpigmentation or degrading the texture of your skin. I recommend that one should use gentle face washes, toners and cleansers with very mild levels of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs).
In case stronger exfoliation is needed for your skin, it should be done in your dermatologist’s clinic. The dermatologist may recommend chemical peels or microdermabrasion if such a need arises.
Here are some rules to restore your ageing skin
Dr Saheta advises, “Ageing and environmental exposure takes its toll on the health of our skin. However, now there are an adequate number of skin care products with ingredients that can help stave off the signs of ageing and skin damage for a long time. I commonly recommend serums with the below ingredients to patients above the age of 25.”
- Vitamin C: This reduces the oxidative stress on your skin and also increases collagen synthesis. These features help control the melanin formation in your skin and also help decrease formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Retinoids: “These are derivatives of vitamin A which encourage cellular turnover and stimulate collagen production. This is often hailed as an elixir for anti-ageing,” says Dr Saheta.
- Hyaluronic acid: This holds large quantities of moisture and helps it penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. Hence, it effectively makes the skin more hydrated and supple.
There are a large number of other targeted skin care products that help resolve issues ranging from acne, eczema, and dark circles. But we sincerely recommend that such products should only be used under the guidance of a dermatologist.
It is a misconception that skin care routines are for the middle aged who already have an ageing skin. In fact, the earlier one starts with a proper skin care routine the more one can stave off any external interventions in later life. Good skin care is all about habits and the right time to start on a good skin care regimen is now. Well, if looking like you’re in your 20s feels like an overstatement, you will still be ageing like fine wine!