Missing the fresh, glowing skin of your youth? Here’s how you can get it back.
Fine lines and wrinkles may often be thought of as the primary signs of aging, but heed this: Skin discoloration and dullness are also considered telltale symptoms. These strip skin of its radiance, making you look unhealthy and what we Filipinos call losyang—even if you’re just in your 20s or 30s! “Sun or UV exposure, hormones, stress, inflammation, and even exposure to heat are all considered culprits,” says Kaycee Reyes M.D., dermatologist at Luminisce Holistic Skin Innovations in Bonifacio Global City. Genetics also play a role, she adds, especially when it comes to skin problems like melasma (a condition characterized by gray-brown patches on the face).
The good news? While you can’t undo all the damage, there are things you can do to restore your skin’s glow and minimize the visible imperfections. Check out our cheat sheet for achieving a brighter, more even complexion, whatever your skin dilemma is. EXFOLIATION IS KEY. When dead skin cells and other debris pile up, your skin’s natural renewal process is inhibited, resulting in a perceptible unevenness on your face. Not pretty! But don’t be too quick to use just any scrub or cleansing brush; some can be too rough or abrasive on skin, and may only cause further damage. For safe and effective exfoliation, Dr. Reyes recommends using products with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAS) like glycolic acid and mandelic acid, as well as beta hydroxy acids (BHAS), like salicylic acid. These gentle chemical exfoliants help even out the skin tone by boosting skin regeneration, and are also helpful in minimizing the appearance of melasma.
LOAD up ON ANTIOXIDANTS. Apart from protecting your cells from damage from free radicals, “antioxidants help lessen the inflammatory enzymes that trigger melanin formation,” explains Dr. Reyes. The most popular—especially if your desired effect is brightening— is Vitamin C. A concentration of 10 to 15% Vitamin C is the most ideal, says Dr. Reyes; the potency decreases when mixed with other ingredients.
MIND YOUR SPF. The downside of using AHAS and BHAS (or most brightening products, for that matter)?
The road to perfect skin starts with basic cleansing and regular exfoliation.