28 June 2021
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Aging is a natural process that all human beings go through - not just internally but externally as well. With our skin being the largest organ in our body and also the most exposed to external elements, it is no surprise that signs of aging often show up on our skin first. Wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and sagging skin are just some of the few things that might happen to our skin. Reducing such indications are often the target of most anti-aging treatments but there is so much more to anti-aging than that. As our knowledge of the aging process increases, our treatments and skincare products improve as well.
Even though we may not be able to control the natural aging process, that does mean that there is nothing we can do. If you are interested in creating an anti-aging skincare routine but have no idea where to start, this guide is just for you!
1. Understand the role of oxidative stress in our skin
Oxidative stress takes place in your body when there is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants. Free radicals are unstable oxygen-containing molecules that interact with other molecules in the body and cause a chain reaction. That’s where antioxidants can help - they typically give one electron to free radicals so that it can be less reactive. While our body produces free radicals naturally as part of its daily functions, having too many of them leads to oxidative stress and this is also the main culprit for skin aging.
It is impossible to avoid oxidative stress but certain external factors can accelerate it - such as spending too much time in the sun. The strong ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun interact with the skin cells and create free radicals that break down the collagen in our skin and stimulate melanin production. Collagen is responsible for maintaining the structural integrity of our skin and its loss leads to sagging skin and wrinkles. Melanin is a pigment that protects our skin from UV rays but overproduction can lead to an uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation spots.
As a result, many skin specialists strongly recommend wearing sunscreen daily to protect against sun damage and accelerating oxidative stress on the skin. In fact, it is often said to be the most crucial anti-aging skincare product as it helps reduce the effects of oxidative stress on the skin. As Singapore experiences strong UV rays all throughout the year due to its location near the equator, it is doubly important for us to commit to including sunscreen in our skincare routine.
2. Look for antioxidants in anti-aging treatments and products
Since antioxidants are the key to reducing the reactivity of free radicals, it makes sense that anti-aging treatments include them. Popular antioxidants that are often found in skincare are Vitamins A, C, and E. Vitamin A and its derivatives (retinol, tretinoin, and tazarotene) is a well-researched molecule that has been shown to accelerate the skin renewal process and stimulate collagen production, thus reducing wrinkles and restoring that ‘bounce’. Vitamin C derivatives (L-ascorbic acid and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate) are best known for fading hyperpigmentation and increasing collagen production. As for Vitamin E, it aids cell renewal and accelerates the healing process, which is why it is often found in moisturisers.
While there are other antioxidants that help in reversing the effects of oxidative stress, these vitamins have been shown to have the most effectiveness. As such, if you are looking for skincare products and facials with anti-aging benefits, these are the products to look out for.
3. Always hydrate your skin
Moisture is a crucial compound in ensuring that our skin forms a barrier against external elements. This is typically the role of sebum - a lipid produced by our skin’s sebaceous glands that hydrate our skin and is an important component that holds together our stratum corneum - the topmost layer of skin. As we age, our skin produces less sebum, thus resulting in dry and flaky skin. Dry skin means that skin cells have shrunk, causing gaps in the stratum corneum and making it less able to prevent harmful substances from penetrating into the deeper layers of the skin. Not only does skin become more sensitive, but it also results in fine lines and wrinkles.
Subsequently, using a moisturiser daily should also be an important part of your anti-aging skincare routine. In addition, going for regular facials can provide an extra boost of hydration that your skin will be thankful for.
It is a common misconception that we should pay attention to anti-aging skincare only when we have reached a certain age. However, it is often more difficult to undo the effects of aging than to prevent it. That’s why the phrase, ‘prevention is better than cure,’ is very appropriate when it comes to aging. In fact, if you are wearing sunscreen on a regular basis, you have already started an anti-aging skincare routine! With the above tips, we hope that you have a better understanding of the aging process and how you can best reduce its effects. Don’t be afraid to consult an experienced skin specialist if you would like to know more about anti-aging!
Our facial spa is staffed with highly trained skincare professionals who can customise facial treatment according to your skin needs and goals! Contact us today to find out more.