Hong Kong Tatler - - Beauty | Style -

To a cer­tain ex­tent, the way you age is ge­netic. Look at your mother and grand­mother’s skin for a fore­cast of how your own is go­ing to turn out. But the good news is that life­style fac­tors, which you can con­trol, also play a part.

The most ef­fec­tive way to en­sure a smooth, youth­ful dé­col­letage needn’t cost a cent and is in­cred­i­bly sim­ple, says cos­metic der­ma­tol­o­gist Anita Pa­tel, a fel­low of the Aus­tralasian Col­lege of Der­ma­tol­o­gists. “Sun pro­tec­tion, sun pro­tec­tion, sun pro­tec­tion,” she em­pha­sises. “It’s the best way to look af­ter your dé­col­letage—and the rest of your body.”

An ex­pert in treat­ing skin that has been aged and dam­aged by UV rays (known as so­lar age­ing or pho­toage­ing), Pa­tel ex­plains that many of us re­mem­ber to care for our face in hot weather but for­get about our chest—for ex­am­ple, when out for a run. She also ex­plains that Asian skin is less likely to be af­fected by the sun than Cau­casian skin. “Speak­ing gen­er­ally, Chi­nese skin has a higher pig­ment con­tent, which means fewer larger freck­les or scaly le­gions af­ter sun ex­po­sure. Chi­nese women are less likely to de­velop thick and wrin­kled skin or bro­ken cap­il­lar­ies. Added to this ge­netic ad­van­tage, gen­er­ally Chi­nese women pro­tect them­selves bet­ter from the sun.”

How­ever, Pa­tel stresses it is still im­por­tant to pro­tect the dé­col­letage by cov­er­ing up with cloth­ing, re­duc­ing ex­po­sure and wear­ing a cream of SPF50 or more. She says the lat­est gen­er­a­tion of sun cream is wa­ter- and al­co­hol-based, mean­ing creams are lighter and more com­fort­able to wear with less risk of de­vel­op­ing pim­ples.

One of the rea­sons it’s im­por­tant to pro­tect the dé­col­letage is that it doesn’t re­spond as well as other ar­eas of the body to anti-age­ing treat­ments. How­ever, skin may im­prove with at-home rit­u­als and pro­fes­sional ther­apy. Pa­tel ad­vises look­ing for th­ese ac­tive in­gre­di­ents in creams and lo­tions: gly­colic acid, retinol, vi­ta­min C and niaci­namide. Th­ese can help re­verse sun dam­age by im­prov­ing pig­men­ta­tion and mois­tur­is­ing the area. “We of­ten ne­glect the dé­col­letage sim­ply be­cause there aren’t many prod­ucts on the mar­ket,” says Wei Brian. “It’s very im­por­tant to keep this area mois­turised, so prod­ucts that have emol­lient-rich in­gre­di­ents are cru­cial.”

Mois­turise Choose a nour­ish­ing cream such as Clar­ins’ Su­per-restora­tive Dé­col­leté and Neck Con­cen­trate. It uses plant ex­tracts to boost col­la­gen syn­the­sis and im­prove the ap­pear­ance of wrin­kles, dark spots and sag­ging skin.


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