New Year Complexion Boot Camp
WERE you one of the thousands of people soaking up the sun during the holidays? Well, now is the time to take stock of the damage that all the partying and sun exposure has done to your complexion. Here’s how to get your skin back post-party season.
The Rescue Mission: Stop Spots
SUN isn’t all bad for skin. Fifteen minutes per day of sun exposure for people with lighter skin and twenty to thirty minutes per day for people with darker skin is beneficial for acne sufferers, especially those with body acne. You probably saw an improvement in your skin during the holidays, but now, when we have to get back to reality, lazing in the sun every day is just not possible. But you can still do your part to keep your skin in great shape. Find a skincare routine that works with your specific skin type. A mild cleanser is the best option if you are feeling overwhelmed with all the skincare options out there. Whatever cleanser you choose, it should leave your skin clean but not too tight, dry, itchy or red. Many people with oily or blemish-prone skin steer clear of moisturisers. But a good, oil-free moisturiser won’t trigger breakouts, but will help ease dryness and hydrate the skin.
Gentle Cleansing Lotion: R76.28, Cetaphil
The Rescue Mission: Firm Up Sagging Skin
SUN damage to your skin can result in sagging and can make your skin look prematurely aged and visibly damaged. The long-term effects of sun exposure are thickening of the inner layers of the skin and the reduction of its ability to retain moisture. This can lead to the appearance of fi ne lines and wrinkles, which are particularly common around the eyes and mouth. Apply a prescription retinol product at least twice a week, or a less potent one more frequently. Top this off with a moisturiser with antioxidants, like green tea and vitamin C, which will help new collagen to form. But have patience – it takes three to eight weeks for these topical ingredients to have an effect. For instant, albeit temporary, skin tightening, look for ingredients like caffeine, polymers and acrylates.
Retinol Serum: R790, BioMedical Emporium
The Rescue Mission: Fade Pigmentation
IF you’re prone to age spots and pigmentation, these can darken over the summer. A prescription skincare regime that combines tretinoin with hydroquinone cream can be very effective. So consult your GP or dermatologist. But for more persistent pigmentation, there are professional methods that will help. Laser treatments will help breakdown the pigment, while an acid peel can also be useful. But before you embark on a treatment, it’s worth having a dermatologist check that any brown spots are benign and not superficial melanomas. For home treatments, we recommend maintaining the use of sunscreen – look for one that contains at least five percent zinc oxide – and using a glycolic acid product to exfoliate excess pigmentation, while targeting the overactive production of melanin.
Pigment Perfect: R730, Filorga
The Rescue Mission: Tighten Pores
IT’S not your imagination – pores do look larger after having fun in the sun. Heat and sun stimulate the sebaceous glands and this causes skin to produce more oil, which (along with dirt and keratin) fill up pores and stretch them out. Furthermore, UVA rays penetrate the skin and break down and weaken collagen and elastin – the skin’s foundation – and this makes pores even more dilated. De-clog with a product containing salicylic acid. This ingredient is able to penetrate sebum to clean out pores. For combination skin, simply apply salicylic acid to the areas with enlarged pores.
Anti-Shine Pore-Refining Serum: R54.95, Essence
The Rescue Mission: Minimise Fine Lines
HEAPED up dead cells on the surface of the skin create creases that have to be smoothed out by gently exfoliating two or three times a week. Chemical exfoliators like alpha hydroxy or salicylic acids also help to lighten brown spots, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and clean out pores while creating a smooth surface. Incorporate a retinoid into your skincare routine twice a week. Retinoids are the most highly recommended anti-ageing agents, since they’re the only ingredient proven without a doubt to improve the cellular function of aged and photo-damaged skin. They also help improve skin texture, lessen wrinkles, and diminish brown spots. Overall, they give the skin a healthy glow. For an instant skin fix use a primer before make-up, or use products containing silicone to smooth over any lines.
Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF30: R870, Dermalogica
The Rescue Mission: Rehydrate
BOTH sun exposure and sunburn can take their toll on the skin’s protective function. This results in increased evaporation of water from the inner layer. To restore this, look for intensely moisturising products, especially those containing niacinamide, to nourish and smooth skin and restore radiance. The salt in sweat and seawater can dehydrate skin – add to that the chemicals in chlorine and sunscreen and dehydration becomes a huge problem. As the weather changes to dryer and cooler, skin can become even more vulnerable. Wash with a gentle cleanser, and moisturise with ingredients like shea butter, natural oils and ceramides to strengthen the skin. When you improve the lipid barrier and give your complexion a rest from harsh scrubs and masks, it can focus on other duties, like building up collagen.
Visible Difference Gentle Hydration Cleanser: R285, Elizabeth Arden