We’re navigating through rough terrain.
If you’ve ever walked through a department store, ventured into the cosmetic department or visited a cosmetic website, then you know how confusing and intimidating choosing the right products with the best skincare ingredients for your skin can be.
You may start to wonder if it’s ever possible to achieve great skin or at least better skin? Getting honest advice or even finding someone interested in your skin concerns can be daunting. In the new world of skincare, the amount of brands is mindboggling, as is the marketing hype that goes along with it all.
Of course, you can jump on the internet and listen to a so-called beauty influencer and depending on their qualifications will be a measure of the advice you get. Sure, first-hand experiences with a product are helpful, and I’m just as hooked as you are. They may be well versed in skincare ingredients, but, here’s the thing. They don’t know you. They don’t know your skin. What’s good for them may be terrible for you. And lastly, if they’re not qualified to diagnose the skin? Well, it just becomes their opinion. Just a thought.
A medical doctor told me once; they didn’t mind when their patients go to Dr Google for answers, it can be helpful to them, as long as the final word is with the doctor or whoever they refer you too. Dr Google should never replace the advice of a medical professional. It’s all too easy to diagnose ourselves, sure, it might help with identifying symptoms that you can discuss with your GP, however, reading something on Google doesn’t mean you have the expertise to decipher the information. Shock horror, you could misinterpret all this information and scare yourself witless with some mysterious and rare disease. Don’t do that.
Self-diagnosing your skin or taking the advice from someone on Youtube can be the same. Sure, you’ll find lots of information, some good, some not so, but after that, go and find someone who’s studied the skin and get their professional opinion.
In the skin care industry finding honest, professional advice can be a powerful advocate amongst all the noise, confusion and marketing hype…
Despite all the hype and confusion, it is possible to get advice on skin care ingredients and what’s best for you, and it’s possible to have great or better skin.
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, 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 skincare solutions in your forties, fifties and beyond shouldn’t be so hard. So, to help, I have chosen the six essential things you can do if you want to keep your skin looking healthy, and youthful, whatever your age.
For me, honest, professional advice can be a powerful advocate amongst all the noise, confusion and hype.
It can come down to six essentials for great skin and yes, at any age. And, it’s not just what you put on your face, although that helps.
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 how you cleanse it now.
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 know, here I go again. 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 well into your 50’s, then find an excellent liquid serum or cream exfoliant with Alpha or Beta Hydroxy Acids and use it regularly.
The most common alpha-hydroxy acids to look for are Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid and Mandelic Acid. For oily, congested or acne skin conditions, you’ll need the help of a beta hydroxy acid, there’s only one and it is known as Salicylic acid
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 skin care 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 if you 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.
Niacinamide 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 5% Niacinamide, anything less is a nice thought, but not nearly enough to get the job done. If you’re not sure, just check where the niacinamide is listed on the ingredient list, it should be close to the top of the list.
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 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’s exposure 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 genuinely 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 skin care 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 an excellent moisturiser.
Easier said than done. Reaching your 40s and ’50s can mark the beginning of noticeable changes in your skin, however, seeking out the creamiest, 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.
Applying phospholipids via your skincare will provide with natural lips to protect the skin’s protective lipid barrier, helping to restore natural moisture without turning your face into a spongy grease pit.
Other skincare ingredients to look for with excellent moisturising properties are Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerine and Amino Acids.
If you need help finding the perfect moisturiser you might like this article: In search of the perfect moisturiser.
Always look for quality and meaningful quantities of active skin care 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 skin care ingredients and a brand that’s right for your skin can be overwhelming with too much to choose from and so much information but never enough advice.
Knowing what to do and when to do it can be confusing. Remember, you’re an individual, and so is your skin regardless of your age. In the end, it’s all about balance, quality, and getting sound advice.
And now you?
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, 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 sound advice. @thebeautyissue
See you next time,