Dr Nina Wines of Northern Sydney Dermatology and consulting dermatologist for L’Oreal Paris advocates better sun-safe habits we can all follow to ensure good skin health.
Vogue – Cosmetic – February 2017 p. 49
Hot Picks – Skincare
Beauty starts with healthy skin, and few things are more important than staying unsafe. Follow this expert guidance on summer skin
What are the Summer skin care essentials?
There is no doubt the head-turning potential of radiant skin. But like everything worthwhile, achieving this takes consistent work. Summer is the time when skin suffers the most damage, especially in Australia. The days are longer, we tend to wear less clothing and exposure to ultraviolet rays is at its peak. Every summer the damage accumulates, and every bit of sun exposure will determine how the skin ages. Eventually, the skin develops unsightly brown spots and becomes more lax, blood vessels become visible, wrinkles develop and the changes of getting sunspots and eventually skin cancers increase.
Often the appearance of the skin can hold people back and affect overall confidence. Patients confide in me how the state of their skin can affect social interactions, confidence and in some cases even impact relationships and employment opportunities. Life is too short to be held back by your skin.
Nothing is more beautiful than a woman who is relaxed and comfortable in her own skin. As summer is the time when skin is damaged the most, I feel passionate about improving our summer skincare essentials and habits. I tell my patients: we are what we repeatedly do. It’s important to target daily habits. Everyday good habits result in cumulative change. I advise my patients to update the old notion that sunscreen alone is enough. Every day we need to do something to inch towards better skin health.
I use the acronym STOP to remind my patients to break bad habits and create new ones:
S = Skincare: follow professional advice regarding the right skincare to minimise and repair damage and maximise results.
T = Topical moisturisers and serums: summer sun dehydrates and creates inflammation in the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a powerful ingredient that will increase the hydration of your skin. Serums are a powerful way to add active ingredients to the skin which can help repair the skin, reversing the signs of environmental damage.
O = Other areas: don’t forget to care for the other exposed areas, such as the backs of your hands, neck, chest and legs and arms. These too can develop visible damage.
P = Protect: cover exposed parts of your body and wear a hat. Don’t forget how much damage is done to the chest, hands and forearms when you’re in the car. The summer sun penetrates glass, so think about placing UV filters on your car windows.
What ingredients should you look for in serums and moisturisers?
Serums contain antioxidants such as Vitamin C will repair free radical damage generated from the sun exposure. Excess sun also causes inflammation in the skin which can be soothed with hydrating serums. Skincare ingredients that deliver include:
Micrometer ultra concentrated hyaluronic acid: this restores volume and youthful appearance to the skin. As skin is damaged by the sun, hyaluronic acid content decreases and the skin loses its ability to retain water. Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of skin that seals moisture and makes skin appear more hydrated. It works on the epidermis to hydrate skin for longer, as well as stimulate collagen production to increase skin volume and plumpness.
Not all hyaluronic acids found in skincare products are the same. The formulation really matters. Low molecular-weight micrometer hyaluronic acid will penetrate deeper into the skin and works much more effectively. Ultra-concentrated means more hyaluronic acid is delivered to the place where it is needed. Choose products that are backed by large laboratories and scientific research.
Niacinimide (vitamin B3): proven in large controlled trials to fight ageing, sun damage and pigmentation.
Pro-Xylene: a molecule designed to restructure the skin and fight loss of firmness. Scientifically proven to target collagen production to firm sagging skin.
Sunscreen: this is more powerful when used on its own. However, it is better to use a moisturiser with SPF than no sunscreen at all.
How important is sunscreen as skincare?
We all know that sun causes skin damage and sagging. Sunscreen is an essential component of our skincare armamentarium, especially in Australia. Sunscreen not only prevents skin cancer, but when applied as a daily habit will reduce the formation of brown spots, dilated blood vessels, large pores, wrinkles and lax skin.
Should you use a neck cream, or is a normal moisturiser okay?
Many women are concerned about the appearance of their neck (and their hands). They worry about their neck being “crepey” or saggy. Some patients feel concerned about having a “turkey neck”.
Clinically, the problem is just lax skin. Summer sun can damage the neck. I always wonder why we aren’t talking about this more, as so many women are concerned by this.
Some women have botulinum toxin injected into their necks to make them look better or undergo laser treatments. The side of the neck also creates concern, as it is extremely vulnerable to red and brown pigment damage. Dermatologists call this Poikiloderma of Civatte.
The neck needs to be managed just as much as the facial skin. For the above reasons I tell my patients to extend their skincare regimen to the neck and the chest and also the back of their hands. These areas age as well. Good and early management may save a woman a fortune on lasers in the future.
What are the first steps to take in a skin overview for the new year?
Invest in yourself and lift your skin to new heights by developing good habits this summer. These habits will become second nature in no time and will eventually pay off. My patients with good daily habits get results and look half the age of their friends and don’t need to spend a fortune on treatments!
Just as its never too late to stop smoking, it’s never too late to develop good skincare habits.
A sophisticated choice is to recognise that the neck, chest and hands are just as important as the face. Good daily skincare habits will lead to timeless perfection. It’s all in the detail.
To contact Dr Nina Wines, call (02) 9958 1555 or visit www.drninawines.com or www.nsdermatology.com.au