SKINCARE 101

A great skincare routine for the ageing woman?

The secrets to getting and maintaining great skin in your 40’s and 50’s!

This blog is written for any woman who wants to look her best for her age through utilising a great skincare regimen.

 

I am 51 years old (I often don’t feel it though and I sometimes don’t act it either!) 

While I am happy with, and in, my 51 yr old skin. If I could turn back time, to my teens and early 20’s, one thing I would absolutely stress to my oblivious teen self, is to wear sunscreen and cover up as much as possible on the daily. NOTHING impairs the skin more, than the sun. It is THE number one cause of pigmentation, brown spots, age spots, fine lines and wrinkling, not to mention skin cancer. I cringe when I think back to the 80’s: We would head to the beach weekly (I grew up on the Goldy), slather ourselves in baby oil or reef oil and sunbake topless to get as brown as humanly possible. Back then, (in the ‘Olden Days’ – as my children like to say), sunscreen was not a ‘THING’ – unfortunately for us x-genners! 

Now not all sunscreens are made equal. I  encourage everyone to educate themselves in ‘what to look for’ when purchasing an effective sunscreen. (But that is for another post. If I have listed it below: I know it contains all the necessary ingredients to fulfil my personal list of stringent requirements.)

I learnt in my 30’s, about great preventative skincare and started a daily regimen. I became so interested in fact, that I would research endlessly and pour over the latest findings in dermatology. I would be constantly searching for new and better products for the skin. I remain fascinated by dermatology to this day.

Now I don’t think by any means that I have the most fabulous, youthful looking skin. I have however, often been complemented on my complexion.

I am also repeatedly asked “What is a great skincare routine to employ to maintain youthful looking skin? And is it too late to employ a good routine?”. The short answer to the second part of the question is NO, it is NEVER too late! Do I believe good skincare can make a difference? Absolutely! It can help prevent and ‘soften’ age spots and further sun damage. There are amazing products out there to help your skin glow, give vibrance, smoothness and reduce pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. And the great news is, the science of skincare is getting better and better everyday. 

Having said all this, please keep in mind that any topical product cannot perform miracles or give you a ‘facelift,’ at least not at the present time. At our age we need to remember it has taken 40 plus years for our beautiful and unique laughter lines, our wrinkles and fine lines to ingrain themselves into our skin. You can’t expect any topical product to reverse 40 plus years in a short amount of time. It can however, soften the effects of ageing considerably. 

Today I am going to share my anti ageing skincare regimen and my top secrets for great looking skin over 40. I won’t be going into lasers, botox, or any surgical intervention, just purely skincare, one of my passions.

***I am a firm believer in 3 basic products:

 1. SUNSCREEN daily both outside and inside (yes, UV rays can travel through glass and there are some minor effects from different types of indoor lighting!) for face, hands, ears if exposed, neck, décolletage, arms and shoulders. 

 2. VITAMIN A or retinaldehyde/retinol/retinoids/RetinA etc… and

 3. EXFOLIATION (both chemical and physical). 

These three products are PROVEN to prevent and soften wrinkles and fine lines by preventing and reducing sun damage, and by chemically removing dead skin cells more frequently to reveal new skin. 

***There are a few other products I incorporate into my skincare regime that assist this process. (Cleansers, antioxidants and peptides, vitamins etc…) They are all listed below and I have included a brief description as to why they are beneficial and hence why I use them.  

 

Anti-Ageing Skincare Routine (AM and PM)

AM

1 Cleanser:  Daily after waking with a soft cloth to physically remove remnants of sleep and dead skin cells. 

2 Chemical Exfoliant: These are your AHA /Lactic Acid/Glycolic Acid/BHA/Salicylic Acids etc… Apply on Mondays,Wednesdays and Fridays ONLY.  Apply on a cotton pad straight after cleansing.

3 Antioxidants, Peptide and Vitamin serums: (These include your (1)Vitamin C,  (2)Hyaluronic Acid OR Buffet) Apply together (place a couple of drops of each into your palm) and pat into the skin and around the eyes. Let dry for a minute or two before applying moisturiser. (NB: If you are using Buffet, it already contains hyaluronic acid so you don’t need to apply a dedicated HA)

4 Moisturiser: Apply 10 cent piece amount and let dry.

5 Sunscreen: Apply 10 cent piece amount to dry skin and allow to dry again before applying any makeup. I apply Colorscience Totaleye also at this time. (Coz, I love the correcting ability it has if I have dark circles – which I always have these days – LOL!)

PM

1 Cleanser: (I personally like to double cleanse. I remove my makeup with micellar water as a first cleanse)

2 Second Cleanse: Use products recommended below (I like to use a brush – and really work it into skin – like the  clarisonic – as it gently (physically) exfoliates and removes all traces of makeup. It is not a necessity though, mine broke a while back and I have gone back to using a washer!)

3 Vitamin A:  Only on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Apply a pea sized amount and work into the skin. Let dry before applying night moisturiser.

4 Antioxidants and Peptides: (These include products like Matrixyl/Niacinamide/Buffet etc…) Use on nights when NOT using Vitamin A. Mix together in palm of hand and pat into the skin. Let dry before applying moisturiser.

5 Night Moisturiser: Nightly, apply approx. 10c piece size and work into skin.

Things to keep in mind:

***Drink at least 1-3 litres of water daily. This will go far in helping prevent skin dehydration and thus making our ageing skin appear luminous, plumper and younger!

***When employing a new skincare routine, if you are looking for INSTANT and long-lasting results – you can mostly forget it! You should expect to see most improvement though, around the 6-12 week mark.

***The first couple of Ingredients you place on your skin have the most beneficial effect. Make them count!

***The only proven topical cream to actually REVERSE skin ageing is Vitamin A. Vitamin A penetrates that layer of the skin where it stimulates collagen production, diminishing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It is also scientifically proven to reduce inflammation, unclogs pores, increases the exfoliation of dead skin cells, thus evening out skin tone and improving pigmentation/age/sun spots. It is THE powerhouse of the skincare world!

Vitamin A is also known as Retinoic Acid/Retinol/Retinyl Palmitate/Retin A/Retinoid/Retinal/Retinaldehyde/Trentinoin/Differin… It comes in varying forms with different names -it is not all the same- but that, again, is for another post. Rest assured, if I have it listed below, I KNOW it works! I firmly believe EVERY woman over 40 should be using this little gem if they can tolerate it. ***(Note: There is a learning curve to using this product. You will see in my skincare regime, that I use a prescription Retin A – overnight – 3-4 times a week. I DO NOT RECOMMEND,  if you haven’t used it before, to start out using it as often as I do. Follow each products recommended guidelines when first introducing it to your regime. I will place (below) at the end of this post my recommendations when starting prescription Retin A/Retinoic Acid)

 ***Expect your skin to flake/turn over/exfoliate more frequently when using Vitamin A and exfoliating products. It means they are working. If your skin doesn’t flake though, don’t think it’s NOT working. Some types of Vitamin A (retinol and retinal palmitate forms) are milder and are NOT meant to be as aggressive on the skin. Remember, everyone’s skin is different and has a different threshold to certain ingredients. Learning your own skins’ tolerances is the key to great skin.

***Matrixyl is a peptide that stimulates collagen production in the skin and repairs damage. This reduces fine lines and wrinkles, leaving the skin firmer, smoother and more youthful looking. It’s effects on the skin are not instant but are long lasting.

***Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant that has the incredible ability to hold 1000x its own weight in water. Thus, it draws water to the skin giving the appearance of plumpness, reducing fine lines and wrinkles – making us look younger!!. It is the only product listed that gives an almost INSTANT effect to the skin. It is not sadly, a  permanent effect.

***Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that slows free radical (environmental) damage thus reducing fine lines and wrinkles, redness and dryness. It is also anti inflammatory and helps improve texture of the skin. It can also help prevent future sun damage.

***Niacinamide is Vitamin B3. It evens the skin tone, helps with pigmentation, fine lines and dullness.

 ***EYECREAM : You REALLY don’t need a dedicated eyecream. Eyecreams are a gimmick. It is 100% OK to use all products around eyes, but NOT IN the eyes. Having said this, if you an eyecream and you enjoy it, go for it! As you can see above, I apply totaleye in the morning, but mostly because I like the cosmetic elegance of it with the added benefit of correcting and providing extra sunscreen at the same time.

***In addition to the daily regimen, once every 10 days or so, I will exfoliate my skin by dermablading. I use a derma blade razor from Daiso $2.80 for a pack of 3. This makes a huge difference to how products lay on the skin. Skin texture is immediately improved, and if you think about it, it allows your ‘actives’ (serums) to penetrate your skin more easily.

***Personally, I like to switch up some of my own products every 6-12 months or so. This seems to keep my skin from ‘getting stale’ and seems to gives it a boost by keeping it ‘on its toes’. However, I will still use products from the same family,  just switch the brands or add a new peptide or antioxidant serum for a bit of a change. Sometimes my skin is not compatible with a new product and I will cease to use it, especially if it causes any type of rash. (My skin’s pretty tough though and I like to give it a good couple of months – 8-12 weeks or so-  to settle and get used to any new regimen).

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS - Click on the name of the product below to go directly to where you can source it and for the current price.

Vitamin A recommended use as per instructions:

Retinoic Acid:    RETRIEVE/DIFFERIN CREAM THE RECOMMENDED REGIMEN to start with
The treatment program is to be started slowly. The usual dosage regimen is as follows:

  • First night – Apply, leave on for 5 minutes, then wash off.
  • Second night – Apply, leave on for 10 minutes, then wash off.
  • Third night – Apply, leave on for 30 minutes, then wash off.
  • Fourth night – Apply, leave on for one hour, then wash off.
  • Fifth night – Apply, leave on for one and a half hours, then wash off.
  • Sixth night – Apply, leave on for two hours, then wash off.
  • If, after a two-hour application, no redness or irritation has developed on the skin the following day, then the application may be left on overnight and washed off next morning.
  • If there is redness or irritation, check with your doctor.
  • Use a maximum of 3-4 times per week