The new fresh face skin rules
Be your young and glowy self for longer with these discoveries.
Up your cholesterol
It may not be the sexiest of anti-aging ingredients, but dermatologists are realising that cholesterol – a component of the material holding our skin cells together – is one of the most important ingredients to look for in a moisturiser (especially by age 40, when levels can plummet as much as 40% ). It’s most effective when combined with fatty acids and ceramides, which also help hold skin cells firmly in place so your skin looks smoother and more radiant. Find the trio in Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum (R825). But no one is suggesting you need to start eating butter by the stick: there’s no evidence that ingesting more cholesterol will do anything for the skin, says dermatologist Dr Jordana Herschthal.
Scale back on exfoliating
“We’re learning that we have to respect the ph of the skin and its healthy bacteria,” says dermatologist Dr Whitney Bowe. “Physical exfoliators, like loofahs and gritty scrubs, remove good bacteria from the skin and throw off its ph. That can trigger rosacea or eczema flare-ups and boost enzymes that destroy collagen, and cause wrinkles and sagging over time.”
Yikes. The good news: mild chemical peels can have the opposite effect. “Most peels are acidic and can benefit the skin by encouraging growth of healthy bacteria,” says Dr Bowe, who likes those with salicylic, glycolic or lactic acid and suggests weekly or twiceweekly use. “Try the peel on a small area, like the jaw. If it only has a mild tingling, it’s gentle enough.” We like Placecol Gentle Exfoliating Treatment (R350).
Pick up the pace
If you want to keep your skin smooth and fresh-looking, you need to get your heart rate up. In one study, people ages 20-86 who exercised at a high intensity (running, cycling, whatever you’re into) for four or more hours a week, their skin appeared and acted younger. And it’s never too late to reverse course. Even previously sedentary 65-86-yearolds who began moderate aerobic exercise for 45 minutes twice a week had a change in their skin – signs of ageing began to reverse on a molecular level after just three months of being active.
Take your supplements
Crash course in peptides: they’re amino acid chains that build collagen in the skin. And an eye product with peptides is an effective way to smooth lines and soften crow’s feet. Try one of our favourites Environ C-quence Eye Gel (R395).
But now it turns out that you can – and probably should – be eating peptides, too. They’re one of the few ingredients that work both topically and internally. In a study in the Skin Pharmacology and Physiology journal, women who popped a 2 500mg Verisol collagen peptide supplement (you can buy them at health food stores) daily for eight weeks had a 20% reduction in eye-wrinkle volume, a 65% increase of procollagen type 1, and an 18% increase in elastin. And all that is a fancy way of saying: noticeably smootherlooking skin around the eyes.
Mix it up
There’s no rule that says you have to use one product on your entire face. In fact, the new thinking is that you shouldn’t. “I have patients who use retinoids only on their cheeks and forehead and prescription creams on their chin, where they’re prone to rosacea,” says dermatologist Dr Dendy Engelman. She recommends: “Thick creams around the eye area and lips, and salicylic or glycolic acid on the T-zone to minimise breakouts.” TRY Skinceuticals Blemish + Age Solution (R1 325). Then add anti-redness products across the nose, cheeks and chin to soothe flushing. We like Avène Eau Thermale RednessRelief Moisturising Protecting Cream (R199.95).
Slather on SPF
It may not be a new thing but it’s an even better anti-ager than we thought. A study found that when people applied a moisturiser with SPF30 daily for a year without any other anti-aging products (in other words: zero, nada, nothing else), they ended up with clinically measured improvement in mottled skin tone (by 52%), texture (by 40%) and clarity (by 41%). It proves that sunscreen doesn’t just prevent aging; it may actually reverse it!