Ageing 101Acne 101Dry Skin 101Sensitive Skin 101Hyperpigmentation 101Oily Skin 101Essential Skincare 101
90% of environmental ageing is caused by solar radiation – i.e. sun damage. This is followed closely by pollution, smoking, and highly processed foods, which all cause free radical damage. These malicious molecules reduce collagen production whilst damaging fresh cells. There is a range of skincare solutions that can mitigate free radical damage so that your skin is protected from enviro-ageing.
Collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid are key components that form the basis of youthful, thriving skin. Collagen production can be increased by fibroblasts through active ingredients such as niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Vitamin A, Vitamin C, marjoram extract, and targeted peptides. Elastin is best preserved by avoiding solar damage, whilst hyaluronic acid can be boosted through saccharide isomerate.
Whilst ageing can never be entirely reversed, longevity can be preserved by maintaining a balance in lifestyle, nutrition, and of course - good skincare.
Acne occurs when excess sebum (skin oil) is released in conjunction with an overproduction of skin cells, which causes the pores to be congested with oil, dead cells, and debris. This condition is categorised into four progressive grades. Grade one is non-inflammatory, where only whiteheads and blackheads are present. Grade two demonstrates additional inflammation, papules, and pustules. If grade two advances to grades three and four, your skin will be at risk of infection and deep scarring and will require professional treatment.
Although acne requires patience to manage, combining a good skincare routine with balanced nutrition will work to control breakouts and boost your skin confidence.
As we age, our skin naturally produces less sebum (the oil produced by the skin) and barrier lipids, which can potentially lead to dry skin. Over time, the epidermis becomes thinner and the stratum corneum retains water less effectively. As a result, many will experience dry skin from their 50s onwards. There are two distinct types of skin dryness: a lack of water (dehydrated skin) and a lack of oil (lipid dry skin). Dry skin is lacking oils, having little to no sebum, no greasy surface, and no open pores. Dehydrated skin is lacking water, which can still have sebum and open pores. Both can be flaky and feel tight.
Water is the most important molecule for our skin, and a healthy barrier ensures moisture is retained internally whilst keeping external irritants at bay. Dehydrated skin is usually caused by environmental conditions such as a lifestyle, dry climate, air conditioning, a change in medication, or by using unsuitable skincare products. To address this skin concern, water-rich products are needed.
Ingredients like niacinamide (Vitamin B3) are proven to rebuild and strengthen the protective outer barrier of the skin to retain moisture, whilst increasing natural ceramide levels of the skin to keep it hydrated. Moisturisers that fall into the categories of humectants, emollients, and occlusives are also highly effective in reducing water loss and creating a thick sealing to hold moisture for dry or barrier-damaged skin.
Lipid dryness, on the other hand, tends be a chronic condition. If your skin appears dull and rough overall, then this may be a sign of lipid dryness, which can also be linked with skin sensitivity from a compromised barrier. To address this concern, oil-rich products are needed. Nurturing oils that behave like the skin’s sebum will assist in supplementing the delicate barrier of lipid dry skin.
When your skin is irritated, you may feel itching, burning, stinging, or dryness and see visible redness or bumps. Inflammation is the lead catalyst for sensitivity, so the aim is to soothe, repair, and fortify the fatigued skin barrier with low irritancy ingredients so that the skin become less prone to flare ups. We recommend the following hero ingredients:
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): Niacinamide boosts skin immunity and increases the production of the skin’s natural ceramides in the stratum corneum. Ceramides lubricate and protect the skin from moisture loss (TEWL). Niacinamide assists in regulating oil glands and minimising inflammation. This ingredient has been shown to be even more effective than topical antibiotics.
Prebiotics and Probiotics: The probiotic lysate together with the prebiotic skin nutrition restores balance to the skin’s microbiome and prevents the triggers for skin inflammation. Using topical pre and probiotics daily will calm sensitivities by boosting the skin’s natural resistance.
Blackcurrant seed oil: A highly effective botanical active designed to reduce inflammation, regenerate damaged ageing skin, and protect the barrier from environmental aggression.
Sea Buckthorn Oil: This oil exhibits exceptional healing properties with carotenoids that reverse UV free radical damage whilst Vitamin K and plant sterols reduce inflammation and skin redness. Rich in Vitamins A, E, C and K, this oil can be used topically as a natural treatment for burns, scars, and sensitive skin types.
Squalane: A pure concentrate rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients. Squalane is almost identical to human sebum, which boosts the skin’s immune system and helps treat all inflammatory skin conditions.
There are three types of hyperpigmentation that are treatable with cosmeceuticals and skin treatments: sunspots, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), and melasma.
Sunspots or ‘age spots’ are the most common form of hyperpigmentation. This condition is caused by melanocytes, which fill
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) refers to the red, purple, or brown areas that appear on the skin after trauma, heat, or infection. This is because the skin has been wounded, and the melanocytes are attempting to protect the skin once again by creating more pigment. Many people refer to PIH as a type of scar, but technically this isn’t true because there’s no tissue loss under the skin. Some people with darker skin tones are more prone to PIH from skin trauma, which is why they should avoid treatments that are too aggressive or overheat the skin.
Melasma is caused by both internal hormonal triggers and environmental triggers, mainly affecting women - although it also affects 10% of men. Dark patches are often evenly distributed over the face, cheeks, chin, bridge of the nose, and forehead. This condition is commonly caused by UV light, blue light, and pregnancy hormones. Other hormonal changes such as a menopause, HRT, contraceptives, and stress-induced cortisol levels can also exacerbate the condition.
Sebum (or skin oil) is created by receptors in the sebaceous glands binding to the testosterone hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Excess DHT - or higher-sensitivity oil glands to DHT - is common in adolescence whilst transient oiliness and enlarged pores are caused by fluctuating hormones, which is why it is often observed after puberty.
The best skincare ingredients to regulate excess oil and minimise pore size are Vitamin A, niacinamide (Vitamin B3), AHA/BHA’s, and barosma betulina (buchu leaves).
Vitamin A reduces excess oil production by reducing division of sebocytes - the sebum or oil-producing cell in the sebaceous gland.
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) assists in regulating oil glands and minimising inflammation. This ingredient has been shown to be even more effective than topical antibiotics.
AHA and BHA’s (such as malic and salicylic acids) are excellent solutions for those with oily skin as well as folliculitis sufferers, since they will both exfoliate and remove dead skin cell debris trapped inside the pores.
Barosma Betulina Leaf Extract is a plant-derived ingredient high in the active molecule diosmin, which has been shown to inhibit sebocyte differentiation and decrease lipogenesis (oil production) in the oil gland, thereby regulating oil production. It is also clinically proven to reduce pore volume and diameter, which in turn, reduces debris build-up, resulting in refined pores and a balanced complexion.
From your twenties, the first signs of ageing begin. These changes may develop very gradually at first, but eventually lead to loss of tone, texture, and tightness. As the production of your skin’s collagen, elastin and antioxidants slows, you may begin to notice fine lines and wrinkles appearing under the eyes, uneven skin tone and pigmentation spots as a result of sun damage.
Invest in active serums that deliver a concentration of vitamins to your skin that specifically target skin conditions such as dryness, fine lines, redness, pigmentation, congestion, and blemishes. The three key serums for all skin types are Vitamins A (retinoids), Vitamin B (niacinamide) and Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid). A daily moisturiser is also a must for keeping your skin hydrated and nourished. There are several targeted moisturisers to choose from, but if there was one skincare product that can act as your insurance policy to prevent premature ageing, it would be sunscreen.
Youthful, healthy skin is all about adopting in a clean lifestyle. Address your skin conditions from inside and out by consuming a balanced diet with minimally processed food, coupled with a consistent cosmeceutical skincare routine.