Dr. Preethi Nagaraj
Happy Flying magazine Jan 2017 - Skin resolutions
It is that time of the year again when you are ready to put back the past and look forward to a brighter and new beginning. A time when you are recharged with new hope and determination to make all things fabulous in the coming months. A time when newer resolutions are made, but alas, in most of the cases, broken sooner or later.
With a lot of emphasis given to how you look, it is not surprising that many resolutions revolve around following a proper skin care regime. But just like those on fitness and diet, skin care resolutions can be hard to stick with, given our hectic lifestyles and time schedules.
If there is just a single, yet effective ingredient and a single procedure which could benefit you, won’t it make your promise to your skin easy to keep?
The greasy teenage skin may no longer pose a problem, but the skin starts losing its water content in early twenties. A decrease in water content is the first step in the ageing process of the skin leading to dry, patchy skin and loss of suppleness. Hydration should therefore be the focus of your skin care regime in the twenties.
Don’t skip – Hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid is a sugar- like molecule in the dermis component of the skin, which has the capacity to attract and retain enormous amounts of water and which provides a backbone for the structural collagen fibres. Skin with adequate hydration translates to supple and youthful skin, keeping wrinkles and fine lines at bay. Select a gel based moisturizer for oily/ combination skin and a cream based one for dry skin, but make sure it has hyaluronic acid in it.
Don’t miss – Microdermabrasion
Microdermabrasion is a mild, superficial exfoliating procedure which helps to remove dead and flaky skin and aids in skin renewal. The procedure involves using a diamond tip or aluminium oxide crystals and gently abrading the skin to reveal softer, smoother skin with an enviable glow. A procedure with minimal downtime, it is recommended on a monthly basis.
Thirties can be quite a stressful period with pressures from both domestic and professional front which often results in a lack of time for good skin care. This is the age when collagen, a major protein present in the deeper layers of the skin starts breaking down. Collagen is what keeps the skin firm, supple and voluminous and its break down means unwanted lines and sagging skin. Dead skin too starts building up as the rate of skin shedding slows down. Add to this sun exposure and external stressors and the end result is tired- looking and pigmented skin.
Don’t skip – Peptides
Peptides are small chains of specific amino acids that signal the skin to produce more collagen and hyaluronic acid. The small molecules, when incorporated into creams get into the deeper layers and help in healing and regeneration of the lost collagen, thus reducing wrinkles and increasing suppleness and firmness of the skin. Select a peptide containing cream or a serum, use it once a day and you are good to go.
Don’t miss – Chemical peel
Chemical peels contain alpha and beta hydroxy acids which are derived from apples, bitter almonds, sugarcane, etc. These acids like glycolic, lactic and mandelic acid help in exfoliation of the skin, reducing the melanin (pigment present in the skin) and also stimulate collagen production. Some peels also have anti-oxidants which reduce the free-radicals induced damage. What you can expect is reduction in pigmentation, improvement in texture and firmer skin. Depending on the depth of the peel chosen, it is recommended once in 2- 8 weeks.
Enter forties and all the processes which lead to skin ageing change gears and get accelerated. The fine lines now deepen, laugh lines and crow’s feet become more prominent, age spots increase in number and the cheeks appear hollowed. The skin needs something more potent and effective to tackle the collagen breakdown and to hasten the cell turnover.
Don’t skip – Retinol
Retinol, the holy grail of many prescription-based anti-ageing products is now increasingly being incorporated into cosmeceuticals though at a much lesser concentration. Retinol not only stimulates collagen production, but also sloughs off the top layers of the skin and reduces melanin production. Thus, it virtually reverses all the processes associated with ageing skin, thus diminishing wrinkles, lightening age spots and pigmentation.
Select a cosmeceutical or go a prescription based retinol, but make sure this is in your skin care routine once you hit the forties.
Don’t miss – Laser assisted skin rejuvenation
Lasers are light based devices that generate heat in the deeper layers of the skin, stimulate collagen production and tighten the skin. Non ablative (those which do not cause visible skin changes) are now the lasers of choice to tighten and add volume to the skin. It has to be repeated once in 6 – 8 weeks.
Your skin care regime may be elaborate or brief, but stick to this single ingredient/ procedure and you will definitely glow till the next New Year!