From the right time to use retinol to which factor sunscreen you should really be wearing, navigating the landscape of anti-ageing skincare can be a minefield.
Lane Crawford talks to Hong Kong-based dermatology specialist, Dr. Nicola Chan, to get simple, scientific answers to skincare’s most frequently asked questions, leaving you equipped to make smart decisions when it comes to prolonging a youthful complexion.
“You should start incorporating anti-ageing products when you start seeing signs of photo-aging, such as sunspots and wrinkles, which is caused from exposure to UV light. Typically this will be in your late twenties or early thirties.”
“In the morning, I would suggest starting with a simple cleanser, and then applying a serum. For daytime, look for ingredients, which contact antioxidants, such as vitamin, E, vitamin C, or green tea extract. Also make sure to use sunscreen, and steer clear of products with retinol (which helps diminish the appearance of lines, wrinkles and age spots) for daytime as it can increase your sensitivity to the sun.”
For the evening, start with a mild cleanser. This is when you can add a product with retinol into your regimen. If you are new to using retinol-based products, start with a low-dosage first. For evening products, look for ingredients with epidermal growth factors, which help increase collagen production and cell turnover.”
“There is a misconception that exfoliation is a must, but the truth is if you have had delicate, sensitive skin it should be avoided. It’s also best to stay away from harsh cleansing products, and stick to a gentle, mild cleaner. Lastly, you won’t see results overnight from anti-ageing cream, be patient - it will take a few months.”
“The sun’s harmful rays can still penetrate the skin, even in cold or cloudy weather, so every day you should wear SPF 30. If you are spending the day outdoors or are on holiday, go with SPF 50.”
“Exposure to the sun without wearing sunscreen is a large factor, as well as smoking. Other factors which cause early ageing of the skin include lack of sleep, too much alcohol, not enough water and heightened stress levels.”
“Fine lines around the lips are caused from muscle movements such as talking, eating, sucking or kissing. Apply the same anti-ageing products you are using on your face around your lips as well. Also pick a lipstick or lip balm with SPF. As balms or lipsticks don’t always stay on, you need to keep applying throughout the day.”
“Chemical peels, microdermabrasion as well as laser, light, ultrasound and radio frequency devices can help with skin anti-ageing if done on a regular basis. It’s best to consult a doctor on which method is best for you, as your skin type will play a factor.”
“I would recommend a Mediterranean style diet, which is high in antioxidants, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains and nuts. You can find supplements that claim to combat wrinkles and fine-lines, however there is no solid scientific data yet on whether these supplements are truly effective.”