Growing older is a natural part of life. Just like the sun reliably rises in the east and sets in the west, we can’t avoid ageing.
However, unlike the sun’s daily cycle, we have some control over ageing. There are steps we can take to slow the process down. But, unfortunately, many of our daily habits might actually be speeding it up.
For one, we don’t invest enough in a consistent and comprehensive skincare routine that addresses our skin’s needs and promotes overall skin health. Instead, many still rely on quick fixes like cosmetics to cover up skin issues.
Yes, makeup can temporarily make your skin look flawless and dewy, but it merely masks imperfections and may not address the root causes of your skin concerns.
The science behind skin ageing and damage
Our skin is a complex, multi-layered organ that serves as the body’s primary barrier against environmental stressors, regulates temperature and provides sensory input.
While doing its job, it goes through various factors contributing to its degradation. Here are some:
- Sun exposure. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the leading cause of premature skin ageing and damage. Excessive sun exposure can lead to the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibres, resulting in wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and an increased risk of skin cancer.
- Pollution. Airborne pollutants, such as smog and particulate matter, can clog pores and cause oxidative stress on the skin. This can lead to inflammation, uneven skin tone, and accelerated aging.
- Smoking. The chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the skin’s collagen and elastin fibres, leading to premature wrinkles, sagging skin, and a dull complexion.
- Lifestyle choices. Poor diet, lack of exercise, inadequate sleep, and high-stress levels can negatively impact skin health, contributing to inflammation, breakouts, and premature aging.
- Genetics. Our genes play a significant role in determining our skin type, texture, and how it ages. Some people may be genetically predisposed to specific skin issues, such as acne or early wrinkling.
- Hormonal changes. Hormone fluctuations throughout our lives, such as during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, can impact skin health and contribute to issues like acne or dryness.
- Biological processes. Cellular aging, a natural process, can lead to a decrease in collagen production and skin elasticity, resulting in the formation of wrinkles and sagging skin.
The benefits of prevention in skincare
From what we’ve discussed earlier, it’s clear that our skin faces quite a few challenges that can lead to ageing and damage. That’s why adopting a proactive approach to skincare, focusing on prevention, can make a huge difference in maintaining the health and appearance of your skin. It’s one of the trends we hope will catch on. More specifically, prevention can:
Minimise skin damage
Starting preventive skin care measures early on allows you to tackle potential issues before they become more significant problems. For instance, using SPF50+ sunscreen daily from a young age helps keep premature wrinkles and age spots at bay, which can be caused by sun exposure.
Also, remember that while some treatments can improve your skin’s appearance, they often can’t fully reverse long-term damage. For example, laser treatments might lessen the visibility of acne scars, but they can’t erase them entirely. In the same way, no treatment can restore skin elasticity and collagen levels to those you had as a teenager once they’ve decreased due to aging. Your body slows down collagen production after you hit 25 and begins to lose collagen after you turn 30.
Reduce the risk of developing skin conditions
Simple steps like consistently using a broad-spectrum sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and limiting sun exposure can make a significant difference. These preventive measures reduce the risk of developing skin concerns like actinic keratoses, melasma, and solar elastosis.
If you delay addressing your skin’s needs until a condition has developed, you might find that skin treatments, especially invasive ones, come with potential side effects and complications.
Be more cost-effective
Investing in preventive skin care measures, such as using quality skincare products and receiving regular professional treatments, can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for expensive corrective treatments later in life. Take Stage III melanoma treatment as an example. It could set you back a whopping $60,000 to $100,725! But regular skin checks? They’ll cost less than $300 – $500. Add in the cost of sunscreen, some protective clothing, and a stylish wide-brimmed hat, and you’re still spending way less on prevention than you would on treating skin cancer.
Enhance overall skin health and appearance
Celebrities may seem to have discovered the fountain of youth (and strong use of filters!), but the current trend and their secret weapon for reducing ageing is prevention. Whether it’s getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water or making regular appointments with a dermatologist, skin-savvy stars understand that taking a proactive approach to skincare is essential for maintaining a youthful, radiant appearance.
Preventive skin care practices
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to adopting preventive skincare practices, here are some essential steps to consider:
Safeguarding your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays is crucial in preventing premature skin ageing, sunburn and skin cancer.
Start with applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50 to all exposed skin areas, even on cloudy days. Then, reapply every two hours or more frequently if you’re swimming or sweating.
Then always wear clothing made of tightly woven fabrics, wide-brimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses to provide additional protection from the sun.
Limit your sun exposure. Avoid extended periods in direct sunlight, particularly between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are the strongest.
Skin treatment plans
Create a comprehensive skincare plan tailored to your needs to address specific concerns and support overall skin health.
We recommend having a whole-year plan, as your skincare needs may change with the seasons. For instance, you might require a heavier moisturiser in winter or more frequent exfoliation in summer.
You can discuss this with our skin specialists.
When performed by a qualified professional, laser treatments can help address skin concerns such as acne scars, sun spots, and fine lines. Some beginner-friendly and non-invasive treatments include:
- Laser Genesis. This non-invasive treatment gently heats the upper dermis layer of your skin. It’s excellent for stimulating collagen production and reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone.
- IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Photofacial. IPL is a light-based treatment that targets pigmentation issues like sunspots, age spots, and redness. In addition, it can help even out your skin tone and improve overall skin appearance.
- Fractional Non-Ablative Laser. This treatment uses a non-ablative laser to target the deeper layers of your skin without damaging the surface. As a result, it stimulates collagen production, improves skin texture, and reduces the appearance of scars and fine lines.
To maintain your skin’s elasticity and strength, use products containing ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, and peptides that promote collagen production. You can also consider micro-needling or radiofrequency treatments to stimulate collagen synthesis. The simple glycolic peel every month is both cost-effective and collagen-building.
Regular skin examinations and consultations with professionals
This is a smart move to keep your skin in tip-top shape. Skin specialists keep a close eye on your skin’s health and tackle issues right away. They can spot potential issues early, offer personalised advice for your unique skin type and suggest the right treatments and products for you.
Get qualified guidance from Enrich
Our dermatologists are well-versed in the latest research, techniques, and technologies in the skincare industry, ensuring you receive the most effective and up-to-date advice. We will work closely with you to understand your skin’s unique needs and develop a comprehensive treatment plan addressing your concerns.