The anti-ageing game can be a difficult one – particularly if your pain threshold is on the low side. But just because you’re averse to needles and can’t think of anything worse than getting ‘work’ done, it doesn’t mean you can’t slow your skin’s ageing process down – or at least make it look like you have.
We asked the experts for the anti-ageing solutions that give you results, no extreme measures required.
“Recommending skincare is a fine art, and if done right, can really change someone’s skin dramatically and turn back time considerably,” says Dr Chris Koulos, cosmetic physician at Burnside Cosmetic & SA Tattoo Removal. With that in mind, here are the skincare ingredients to seek out:
1/ Hyaluronic acid
One of the most hyped skincare ingredients of 2017, hyaluronic acid has become a buzzword for plump skin – but there’s a catch. “Hyaluronic acid is a large molecule that doesn’t penetrate the skin barrier,” dermatologist Dr Anita Patel of Eastern Suburbs Dermatology explains. “It sits on the surface of the skin and prevents water loss like any moisturiser.”
The type that is worth the hype is fragmented hyaluronic acid. “The fragments can penetrate the skin and have been shown to stimulate our fibroblasts [the major cells responsible for collagen production] to produce more collagen and elastin tissue,” says Dr Patel. Now we’re talking. The Revitalift Laser X3 by L’Oréal Paris is one of the few formulas on the market to contain fragmented hyaluronic acid – combined with the anti-ageing active adenosine, it penetrates the skin to visibly repair and correct the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, plus it’s enriched with Pro-Xylane to stimulate and strengthen the skin to boot. Want more to love? “Hyaluronic acid holds six times its weight in water, making it necessary for ageing skin,” says Dr Koulos. Sign us up.
Only to be used at night (and not at all by pregnant women), tretinoin is clinically proven to boost collagen production and encourage skin renewal. While tretinoin (aka Retin-A) is the most potent form (and only available with prescription), its less powerful cousin retinol can be found in skincare available over the counter. “A Vitamin A product is designed to turn over skin cells, producing younger, healthier skin,” explains Dr Koulos. Just ensure you’re vigilant about sun protection, as retinol products can cause sensitivity to the sun.
3/ Vitamins B and C
If you’re looking to include antioxidants in your skincare routine, vitamins B and C are our favourites. Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) fights fine lines, pigmentation, redness and enlarged pores, while vitamin C is responsible for restoring your glow. “Vitamin C has also been shown to reduce redness and pigment,” adds Dr Patel.
In basic terms, laser involves heating the dermal layer of the skin (without burning it) to prompt a healing response – resulting in new collagen production and elastic tissue. “The technology gets better and better and they do an incredibly good job for anti-ageing and scar treatment,” says Dr Patel.
Dr Koulos agrees. “A series of treatments using laser can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, firm and tighten the skin, treat pigmentation as well as the tone and texture of the skin,” he says. Downtime depends on the type of laser used and its depth of penetration, but Dr Patel says most are perfectly comfortable with topical anesthetic. For a less expensive (and less extreme) option, try the L’Oréal Revitalift Laser X3 by L’Oréal Paris, which offers advanced anti-ageing results without the need for a cosmetic procedure.
A dermatologist-delivered peel can deal with your pigmentation problems and slough off dead skin cells to reveal brighter, smoother, younger-looking skin. “A superficial peel using glycolic acid is generally very safe and gives a nice result,” says Dr Patel.
“The number one biggest anti-ageing product you can use in Australia is a sunscreen,” stresses Dr Patel. You know the drill: slip, slop slap every day, even if you’re just commuting to and from the office. Keep an eye out for the L’Oréal Revitalift Laser SPF 15 moisturiser, and make an effort to keep your skin out of the sun.
How’s this for added motivation to make that gym class: exercise is essential for looking younger for longer. “Regular exercise increases blood flow to the skin, which brings it more oxygen and nutrients,” explains Dr Patel. “People who exercise regularly and aerate their tissues with oxygen and nutrients have a younger biological age than people who don’t.”
A diet rich in fruit and vegetables and low in sugar and fats is one your skin will thank you for. “It’s important to have a well-balanced, healthy diet and to remain well-hydrated, drinking six to eight glasses of water a day if possible,” says Dr Koulos.