10 wise ways to approach your skincare regimen
by : ELLE Canada- Apr 15th, 2016
Skincare rule: Sunscreen is bae
Daily sun protection is top priority. The Canadian Dermatology Association recommends a minimum of SPF 30 in a broad-spectrum formula to protect skin from both UVB (rays that burn and cause cancer) and UVA (rays that age skin and cause cancer). Sun damage typically shows up a decade after exposure. You have been warned. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Cooling Water-Lotion Sunscreen SPF30 ($46), at drug stores and mass-market retailers. READ MORE: The 8 hottest beauty buys for April
Skincare rule: Exercise will fix your face
Whatever your reason for working out — a strong heart, 10K training or to win that Rihanna look-alike contest — exercise brings an important added benefit: It changes skin’s composition. Research from McMaster University in Ontario has shown that people who take part in endurance exercise have markedly healthier and thicker skin than those who don’t. READ MORE: Makeup you can wear to the gym (seriously)
Skincare rule: Be tech targeted
The secret to smart derm-office treatments is to use them in their “ideal function range,” says Dr. Cory Torgerson, a facial plastic surgeon in Toronto. So, if you are seeking to improve your skin’s texture and clarity, a laser — which resurfaces and helps stimulate collagen — is best. Microdermabrasion, which buffs away the skin’s surface using micro-grains, “has been around forever but is great as a maintenance facial,” he says. Lasers or Thermage (a non-invasive radio-frequency treatment), however, can only target the thickness of the skin. “They can stimulate collagen, help with finer wrinkles and make skin look fresher, but they can’t truly lift,” says Torgerson. “That is surgery’s sweet spot.” READ MORE: 5 easy ways to make your smile look whiter
Skincare rule: Know thy skin family
Don’t discount genetics, advises Torgerson. “Those with thin, fair skin show wrinkles caused by muscle movement the earliest,” he says. “Those with dark skin show wrinkles later, but they can have uneven tone or hyperpigmentation instead.” That’s because skin with lots of melanin reacts to inflammation caused by injury by producing more pigment in an effort to protect itself. READ MORE: 8 hacks that will change your brow game
Skincare rule: Zzz Please
Collagen production accelerates while you sleep. If you don’t get more than a few hours, not enough collagen is produced to replace that which has been broken down by the day’s inflammation. (Inflammation contributes to breakouts and increased skin sensitivity.) READ MORE: You only need 5 beauty products to get Bella Hadid’s red carpet look
Skincare rule: Get lit
Tests have shown that the human eye is drawn to skin discolorations, like sun spots, before wrinkles. Look for products with AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids), which help to give skin a smoother surface that better reflects light, or vitamin C, which lightens discolorations. READ MORE: 14 spray-and-go beauty products
Skincare rule: Accept the timing of events
When you are in your 20s, skin issues may arise due to lifestyle (parties, alcohol…you know the drill); your focus should be on prevention (i.e., regular use of sunscreen). By the time you are in your 40s, major changes are at work. “This is when skin really shows the effects of chronic sun exposure, gravity and facial movement,” says Dr. Jaggi Rao, a derm in Edmonton. “Skin’s elasticity decreases, and collagen isn’t as robust.” Your focus should be on repair. READ MORE: 25 beauty memes we will never get enough of
Skincare rule: Derms love Retinol; you should too
Retinol (a form of vitamin A, available both over the counter and with a prescription) is a long-time derm fave. “It’s safe and effective,” says Rao, who calls it a “go-to” because it reduces surface pigmentation and oil production and builds collagen (thereby reducing fine lines, pore size and scars). READ MORE: 12 beauty products that contain It-ingredient charcoal
Skincare rule: Think inside out
Smart skincare starts from within. “It’s important to stay as healthy as possible,” says Charlotte Tilbury, celebrity makeup artist for stars like Alicia Vikander and Kate Moss. “I drink lemon with hot water first thing in the morning and before bed. It clears toxins and makes my skin glow. I also take lots of homeopathic drops and vitamin C to boost my immune system and keep energy levels high.” READ MORE: We’re making a case for a dramatic lip in spring
Skincare rule: Take it slow
“So many people are looking for a quick fix and lose their judgment in the quest for eternal youth,” says Harold Lancer, an L.A.-based celeb-fave dermatologist who advises “No one but your dermatologist should perform a procedure that penetrates your skin.” If you’re thinking about invasive options like cosmetic fillers or Botox, be sure to go board certified. (Visit your provincial college of physicians and surgeons, and use the doctor-search function to check qualifications.) “If someone is pushing a treatment a bit too much or pushing you out of your comfort zone, maybe that’s a sign,” warns Torgerson. “If it’s way too expensive — or way too cheap! — maybe that’s a sign too. [And once you begin treatments], if you start to feel in any way that you don’t look like yourself, slow down and re-evaluate.” READ MORE: The right way to use multiple active skincare ingredients at a time
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