Good Housekeeping (Philippines) - - Your Look -

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.

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