Navigating through rough terrain.
If you’ve ever walked through a department store and ventured into the cosmetic department or visited a cosmetic website or even your beauty therapist, then you know how confusing and intimidating choosing the right products for your skin can be. You may start to wonder if it really is possible to achieve great skin or at least better skin?
I know how you feel, it’s overwhelming and intimidating. But, once upon a time, my view was from the other side of the counter where I gave people just like you, advice. Of course, I was selling products, yet I never sold a product I didn’t believe in.
But what really drove me, believe it or not, was being truthful and honest with my clients. If it wasn’t right I’d be the first to tell them.
Honesty can be a powerful advocate amongst so much noise, confusion and hype..
So now, after more than 20 years as a beauty therapist and skincare expert, I am determined to share my stories, my experiences and my knowledge with women on the ‘getting-of -great-skin’. Great or better skin is possible.
A little bit of knowledge will go a long way in helping you choose the right product and at the right price. Sure, you can spend a bazillion on your skincare or you can find good quality and affordable skincare. But really, in the end, it should always be about quality and efficacy. In other words, does it work and is it of a quality worthy of your skin?
Finding the best skin care solutions in your forties, fifties and beyond shouldn’t be so hard. So, to help, I have chosen the six essential things to do if you want to keep your skin looking healthy, and youthful, whatever your age.
1. Throw out the foaming cleanser, no good can come of it.
I’ve written extensively about the importance of the right cleanser here. By the time you reach your 40’s and regardless of how your skin once was, it’s time to review your cleanser.
A cleanser should remove surface oil, dirt, pollutants and makeup; most will do that. But to be the right cleanser for you, it should cleanse without removing the natural lipids of the skin. A cleanser that emulsifies with water to refresh the skin, while leaving valuable moisturising properties on the skin’s surface is the answer to skin health and longevity.
So, choose water-soluble cleansers that do not lather up. This one simple change will improve your skin condition and, with this perfect balance, your skin will be beautifully hydrated and your reliance on heavy moisturisers will diminish. Trouble finding the right cleanser? You may want to start here.
2. Stop scrubbing your skin.
Swap the exfoliating scrub for a liquid serum exfoliator with Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids.
I’m always on my soapbox about this. Scrubbing your skin will cause dryness, dullness and irritation. If you want a glowing, hydrated and luminous skin. Great skin, well into your 50’s, then find a good liquid serum or cream exfoliant with Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids and use it regularly.
Many skincare brands currently add a sprinkling of these ingredients, which is never enough. Look for a percentage ratio of 10% Alpha with 1.5% Beta Hydroxy Acid. Serum formulations are best.
You will see an improvement in the texture of your skin almost immediately. Don’t worry if your skin tingles a little initially, it’s just the ingredients working their magic.
3. Going beyond just sunscreen.
Once upon a time just wearing a good sunscreen was considered the ‘piece de resistance’ on the war against wrinkles.
This fact continues to be true, but if you really want to up the ante, then consider including a serum containing Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) in your daily regimen. While your sunscreen continues to protect your skin from harmful UV exposure, vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) when used with a good sunscreen, protects your skin by boosting its immunity.
Vitamin B3 will also reinforce your skin’s natural barrier function to optimise your skin’s performance.
Like all beneficial active ingredients look for serum formulations with a least 10% vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), anything less is a nice thought, but not nearly enough to get the job done.
4. Your skin needs Vitamin C.
Your skin, like every other organ of the body, depends on getting enough vitamin C. If your skin is to age well, this essential nutrient is paramount. Topically applied Vitamin C is the key to the production of collagen; responsible for skin’s strength.
Vitamin C is also one of the most powerful and potent antioxidants found naturally in your skin. Gained through the foods you eat. Fruits and vegetables being the primary sources.
Any shortfalls in your diet and your skin will feel the loss. Collagen will decrease in your skin and free radicals will wreak havoc leading to an increase in lines, wrinkles and, if your skin has been exposed to the sun, (and whose hasn’t) pigmentation and a loss of elasticity will occur. (Sorry)
Daily application of a well-formulated vitamin C serum or cream to your face and neck, will provide your skin with enough antioxidants to prevent free radical disaster as well as improve and increase the creation of collagen. Good news for your skin.
What to look for? Stable low water formulations with a pH no higher than 3.5. Vitamin C is water-soluble so the less water in the product the better and once opened, commit to daily use as your vitamin C will have lost its punch within 3 – 4 months.
5. A daily dose of Vitamin A!!
A mainstay for Dermatologists. Retinoic acid, when applied to the skin regularly improves the texture and tone and overall appearance of the skin. The evidence is out there in the bucket loads. The trick is finding one that suits your skin.
You have a couple of alternatives. You could head on over to your Dermatologist and ask for a prescription of retinoic acid; although the downside will be redness, irritation and sometimes peeling. Or, you can find a cosmetic preparation that uses a less irritating form of Vitamin A known as retinol or retinaldehyde. The results will be slower, but your skin will feel more comfortable as it adjusts.
For truly great skin find a high performing serum or moisturiser containing enough Vitamin A to make a difference to your skin.
Look for cosmetic preparations that are known as cosmeceuticals. For the formulation to be effective, it should be comparable to 0.25% Retinoic Acid prescription cream. Any skincare professional worth their salt will understand this and will be able to recommend the right Retinol product for you.
Topically applied vitamins can do so much for your skin and the research is stacking up in favour of not just including these essentials in your diet, but including them in your skin care regimen.
6. Find yourself a great moisturiser.
Easier said than done. Reaching your 40’s and 50’s can mark the beginning of noticeable changes in your skin, however, seeking out the richest, thickest cream you can find is not necessarily the answer.
Regardless of your age, your skin can lose its ability to hold moisture, leading to dryness, dehydration and of course a loss of elasticity. These symptoms indicated a skin lacking in essential fatty acids.
Your body needs Essential Fatty Acids for optimal health and so does your skin. The body synthesises them from the foods you eat. So, include fish, flaxseed oil and eggs to name a few, as well as finding a moisturiser rich in Essential Fatty Acid’s, especially Linoleic and Linolenic acids. When topically applied every day, these EFA’s mimic the skin’s natural lipid ceramide barrier helping to restore natural moisture without turning your face into a spongy grease pit.
Other ingredients to look for with abundant moisturising properties are Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerine and Amino Acids.
Always look for quality and meaningful quantities of active ingredients and beauty advice that make sense. If your beauty advisor cannot explain how an ingredient works, then maybe it’s not going to. Just Sayin’
Finding what’s right for your skin can be an overwhelming nightmare with too many choices and even more broken promises. Knowing what to do and when to do it can be confusing. You’re an individual and so is your skin regardless of your age. In the end, it’s all about balance, quality, and good advice.
How about you? Has this helped or have you found a tried and true formula for radiant skin? Or maybe this all sounds good, but you want to know more? Great, leave me a comment below or if you have a question you can reach me by email over here.
You’re an individual and so are the needs of your skin. In the end, it’s all about balance, quality, and good advice. @thebeautyissue
See you next time,