The Real Way To De-Age Your Skin

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Don’t think “sun protection”, think “daylight protection”; every day

Remember, it’s not a moisturiser you need as the last step in your morning skincare regime – it’s a sunscreen. It’s the single most important anti-ageing step to your skincare, today and every day, yet it’s amazing how many of us still don’t think of it unless the sun’s out. Now’s the time to make “daylight protection” an everyday, all-year-round regime.

·         Why: Harmful ageing UV damage reaches us all day long, outdoors or indoors (through glass), in the sun or in the shade. After 40+ you’re really going to start seeing the damage sun and environmental exposure has had over the years (as any damage takes up to 20 years to appear), but it’s never too late to start to care and repair. Knowing what suits your skin, when enough is enough, how your skin reacts and changing UV behaviorr before your skin even says “enough” is the key.

“I’m seeing spots”

Reduce hyperpigmentation, aka dark age spots or even melasma. “UV damage is the main cause of hyperpigmentation,” says Frauke Neuser, P&G principal scientist. “UV radiation damages the skin cells responsible for pigment production (melanocytes) so that they ‘get out of control’ and keep producing melanin even when you are not in the sun any more.” Dermatologist Ginny Hubbard says, “There are treatments that can fade pigmentation, but this is never a 100 per cent cure and pigmentation will quickly recur once you go in the sun without adequate protection. I recommend SPF 50 plus UVA protection every day. Apply after moisturiser. Layering products with SPF – from your moisturiser to foundation make-up – gives extra protection too.”

·         Act now: Look for treatments that contain key ingredients such as N-acetyl glucosamine or vitamin C, which slow down and inhibit the hyper-production of melanin, or those that accelerate surface cell turnover to get rid of existing pigmentation spots, such as niacinamide.

·         Cool tip: “For those of us who are often outdoors, it’s worth having a small tube or stick of sunscreen to reapply after an hour or so,” says Ginny.

Description: Layering products with SPF – from your moisturiser to foundation make-up – gives extra protection too

Layering products with SPF – from your moisturiser to foundation make-up – gives extra protection too

“I’m feeling parched”

Boost your skin’s moisture levels. In summer, a dry atmosphere (in-flight or under the sun) draws water from the skin, causing severe dehydration, which in turn may lead to sensitivity. “It’s called ‘osmotic shock’,” says Clinique’s Dr Tom Mammone. “Skin repairs itself, but this damage is known to affect the skin’s DNA.” Skin as a result may look crepey or feel itchy; and this makes it even more susceptible to UV damage.

·         Act now: Opt for super-hydrating moisturisers rich in hyaluronic acid or shea butter and top up moisture levels throughout a flight with a hydrating spritz.

·         Cool tip: “Never apply rich creams to sunburnt skin as this may seal in the heat and exacerbate the condition,” says Sally Penford of The International Dermal Institute. “Keep after sun lotion in the fridge and apply after a tepid shower.”

Description: Opt for super-hydrating moisturisers rich in hyaluronic acid or shea butter

Opt for super-hydrating moisturisers rich in hyaluronic acid or shea butter

“I just won’t hide away from the sun!”

Seek all-round anti-ageing protection with sunscreen and antioxidants. “Before and after being in the sun, load up your skin with antioxidants (especially vitamins C and E), which will mop up free radicals, the main aggressors produced by UV radiation,” says Frauke. “This way, any UV rays that get past the SPF protection can be quenched more effectively (think of it as the second line of defence). Eating lots of antioxidant containing foods (such as lycopene-rich tomatoes) has been shown to protect against sun damage too.

·         Act now: Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before leaving the house for the best protection. If you’re sensitive to sunscreen, opt for physical “blockers” such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. “These are less likely to cause reactions,” says US dermatologist Dr Nicholas Perricone.

·         Cool tip: Out and about, protect hands and cleavage with high-factor sunscreen in the same way as you do your face.

Description: Eating lots of antioxidantcontaining foods has been shown to protect against sun damage

Eating lots of antioxidant containing foods has been shown to protect against sun damage

 
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