In my career as a skin therapist, the emphasis on combating ageing has been constant. However, with time, I’ve found a shift in my perspective; I want to highlight the true nature of our skin—resilient, protective, and vital for overall health and how nurturing skin health with skincare is the solution to better skin, with slower skin ageing as a bonus.
Approaching anti-ageing with a new perspective.
So, if we are to change our perspective from anti-ageing because, let’s face it, we’re all ageing, how do we change our approach to care for our skin as it ages?
It’s letting go of anti-ageing, just a little, and embracing skin health. But, it’s not pro-ageing; it’s active ageing, which assumes a positive attitude that involves a holistic approach, with our health, lifestyle choices, mindset, and skincare all in the skin health matrix, providing a nurtured environment for improved skin health.
Amidst the many factors influencing skin health and improving the quality of your skin, skincare ingredients are the central players in any effective routine.
The interplay between skin health and skin care.
Skincare ingredients are at the centre of any good skincare routine, and despite the many new, interesting, and novel elements, the mainstays have remained the same.
Retinol, Vitamin C and Niaciamide. Three key nutrients found in skincare products your skin requires for skin health and proper functioning.
Let’s look closer. What they do, why they do it, and what you can expect from them when you’re putting together an effective skincare routine.
Retinol: What’s all the fuss about?
Retinol, a vitamin A derivative, is a potent ingredient known for its skin-renewing properties. It is a form of retinoid that stimulates collagen production and influences cell turnover for better skin function.
When you apply retinol to your skin, it goes through a process where it eventually transforms and converts into the active form called retinoic acid.
More collagen, please!
Once inside the cells of your skin, the newly converted retinoic acid acts like a messenger, activating your skin’s instruction manual (genes) that contains information for making essential proteins, including collagen, the protein responsible for keeping your skin firm and elastic.
Improved skin health.
As collagen production increases, the skin becomes firmer and more resilient, providing a robust skin structure. When we activate new collagen this way, we maintain the skin’s integrity and potentially reduce the appearance of fine lines, minimise pigment, and reverse an uneven skin texture.
The key to cell renewal.
Retinol plays a pivotal role in the intricate process of cell renewal. It fosters the growth of new, healthy skin cells, an essential aspect of creating the skin’s protective lipid barrier.
This dual action of collagen stimulation and cell turnover is the key to achieving and maintaining the overall health and vitality of the skin.
Retinol tips for use:
- Easy does it: It’s always best to introduce retinol gradually to allow your skin to become tolerant and reduce the risk of irritation.
- Nighttime application: Retinol is light-sensitive, meaning it will degrade when exposed to sunlight. To get the full potential of retinol, apply at night when your body is renewing and rejuvenating itself.
- Use Sunscreen: You should always apply sunscreen, but as retinol increases cellular turnover, pay closer attention to daily application to protect your skin.
Vitamin C: A dynamic powerhouse.
L-ascorbic acid, commonly known as vitamin C, acts as a skincare powerhouse, contributing to skin health through various transformative mechanisms.
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps neutralise free radicals, the unstable molecules generated by exposure to UV radiation, pollution, and other environmental stressors.
Imagine free radicals like a rusty car when exposed to the environment, and the paint job oxidises. In your skin, free radicals disrupt the equilibrium and accelerate the decline in normal skin functions.
L-ascorbic acid’s antioxidant properties help protect the skin from oxidative stress, reducing the risk of premature ageing and promoting overall skin health.
New collagen, anyone?
L-ascorbic acid is essential for forming new collagen, the structural protein that provides strength and elasticity to the skin.
By aiding in the conversion of procollagen to collagen and promoting the stability of collagen fibres, vitamin C contributes to the maintenance of a firm and resilient skin structure.
Environmental UV protection.
While not a substitute for sunscreen, vitamin C enhances the effectiveness of sun protection. It provides an additional layer of defence against UV damage by neutralising free radicals generated by sun exposure.
Vitamin C inhibits the enzymes that produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin its colour. By regulating melanin production, dark spots and hyperpigmentation can be reduced.
Wound healing and repair.
Vitamin C supports the synthesis of collagen, which is crucial for wound healing and tissue repair. L-ascorbic acid’s contribution to collagen formation helps accelerate the healing process and reduces the risk of scarring.
L-ascorbic acid helps maintain the skin’s hydration by promoting hyaluronic acid synthesis. It achieves this by providing essential nutrition to fibroblast cells that produce hyaluronic acid, providing a cushion for collagen in the dermis and supporting overall skin health.
Vitamin C tips for use:
- Stability matters: Look for stabilised low-water formulas to ensure the potency and effectiveness of Vitamin C.
- Daytime application: Apply Vitamin C in the morning before sunscreen to maximise its protective benefits and minimise free radicals from overwhelming the skin.
- Layering: Vitamin C can be used alongside other skincare ingredients or on its own, followed by your favourite moisturiser and sunscreen.
Incorporating vitamin C into a skincare routine can contribute to a more resilient, radiant, youthful complexion.
Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, is a versatile skincare ingredient that offers various benefits to improve skin health.
Moisturisation and barrier function.
Niacinamide nourishes the skin’s natural lipid barrier function to improve and enhance the skin’s ability to lock in moisture for more hydrated skin.
Reduction of inflammation.
Niacinamide possesses anti-inflammatory properties, effectively calming redness and inflammation in the skin, which is particularly beneficial for individuals with sensitive or reactive skin.
Niacinamide helps balance oil production in the skin. It is suitable for individuals with oily or acne-prone skin, as it regulates sebum production without overly drying the skin.
Improvement of uneven skin tone.
Niacinamide can help even skin tone by reducing the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. It does this by inhibiting the transfer of melanin to skin cells, leading to a more uniform complexion.
Niacinamide supports collagen synthesis, contributing to the maintenance of skin elasticity. Improved collagen production can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, promoting a more youthful look.
Enhanced skin immunity.
Niacinamide supports the skin’s immune function, helping it resist environmental stressors. It contributes to the skin’s overall resilience, allowing it to withstand external aggressors better.
Niacinamide tips for use:
- Compatible with other ingredients: Yes, niacinamide is generally well-tolerated in combination with other skincare ingredients.
- Day and night use: It’s perfect for morning or evening use but does its best work during the daytime.
Niacinamide is a multi-tasker addressing various aspects of skin health, from moisturisation and inflammation reduction to oil regulation and collagen support.
Niacinamide is a valuable addition to skincare routines, offering a comprehensive approach to promoting healthier and more radiant skin.
A final thought.
In pursuing radiant and resilient skin, understanding the power of crucial skincare ingredients—Retinol, Vitamin C, and Niacinamide— opens the door to better skin health and, dare I say it, active ways to minimise the visible signs of ageing.
As you embrace these ingredients in your routine, remember that optimal skin health is within your reach.
If you are still unsure of which ingredients are right for your unique skin needs, you can always look towards a professional skincare analysis to help guide you in the right direction.
It’s also important to note that skincare, albeit an integral part of keeping our skin at its best – is the first place to start; there’s more you can do to improve skin health.
I’m a long-time fan of professional treatments with LED light therapy machines and micro-needling pens. These professional treatments work well alongside your at-home skincare routine and are fantastic for boosting the overall health of your skin while boosting your skin’s collagen.
Of course, there will be lines, wrinkles and other imperfections, but with the help of the right skincare, you can nurture the health of your skin, and you’ll be one step closer to the ultimate in healthy, radiant skin.
If you have a question for me, you can get in touch here.
See you next time,
This article was produced in partnership with The Global Beauty Group. To learn more about any of the treatments or skincare mentioned in this article, contact salon suppliers, The Global Beauty Group, on 1300 006 607 to find a treatment specialist in your area.