The No-Fuss Guide to Anti-Ageing
Cut through the promises that lotions and potions offer, to look and feel your age.
A LADY ONCE WALKED into my clinic, complaining that she felt older than her 42 years. Her face was dull, her skin mildly patchy, and she was a bit overweight. A couple of questions later, I realized what she needed first was an anti-ageing lifestyle: eating right, exercising every day and staying stress-free and happy. Once we took care of the basics, we were able to help her with targeted treatments. Beauty treatments and products have made great strides over the years, but there's only so much they can do.
As a dermatologist, I see signs of ageing in women in their 20s and 30s. It is not just hormones that play havoc with the skin, a combination of other factors, both internal and external (pollution, for instance), can damage it. Try this basic, easy-to-follow skincare regime for a healthy complexion.
Follow the CTM (cleaning, toning moisturizing) regime religiously. Cleansing, sun-protection and use of a moisturizer with anti-ageing ingredients, are the most important steps. Your skin needs to be cleansed at least twice a day. An alcohol-free toner helps close pores. Use a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated through the day.
Carry along a sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (with UVA and UVB blockers) that has a minimum of SPF 30. A sunscreen from a reputed brand may cost between Rs 500 to Rs 2,500. Buy a small pack and carry it with you to reapply it as often as you can.
Pick moisturizers and day creams with 'active ingredients'. Look for antioxidants, both vitamins and botanicals, on the label. Amongst the vitamins, A, C, E, niacinamide, co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and idebenone (a synthetic derivative of CoQ10) are the ones to pick. Look for lycopene, green tea, grape seed, pomegranate and soya bean extracts if you prefer botanical products; they help rejuvenate your skin. Choose a hydrating moisturizer that is appropriate for your skin type, whether dry, combination or oily.
Say yes to serums and night creams. If you are in your 20s or 30s look for antioxidants; if you are in your late 30s and 40s look for retinol, peptides, plus vitamin C. As you reach your 50s, use a concentrated serum/night cream which is hydrating. Remember, the older you are, the drier your skin gets.
Don't fear technology. Your skin doc may recommend certain treatments. There are new safe, no-risk procedures available, but know that they must be performed by a dermatologist, not a helper at a beauty parlour. These include specialized facials, LEDphotomodulation, IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), skin polishes, skin peels, neuromodulators, fillers, lasers and a wide range of skin-tightening methods. Combined with a healthy lifestyle, they will help your skin stay youthful and glowing.
Dr Rekha Sheth is a cosmetic dermatologist in Mumbai and is founder-president, Cosmetology Society of India.
ADAPTED FROM PREVENTION INDIA. Copyright 2015 LIVING MEDIA INDIA LIMITED.