Last updated: 2.43pm, Wednesday 24th February 2016
What are some of the attributes of young skin? Let’s recall a baby’s cheeks for this one.
Softness. Suppleness. Firmness. Lack of visible pores. Luminous glow. Uniform tone.
Naturally, as we age, some or all of the above start faltering, in various degrees and at different speeds. Today, let’s tackle the even tone and brightness, so easily bestowed upon the youthful and so quickly taken away from those that cross the 25-30 year old mark. Right around then is when the endearing term “freckles” transforms into an ominous phrase “age spots”. Sunspots, scarring and patchy skin are all results of damage done to skin over time that stands in the way to bright and luminous skin we all long to get back.
Asian beauties have long been in pursuit of luminous, glowing skin, while the rest of us sunbathed to get toasty and, incidentally, more blotchy. Let’s take a note out of the Korean and Japanese beauties’ books and find out what we can do to reverse signs of sun damage.
Traditionally, Asian brands had used hydroquinone to effectively bleach skin of any discoloration. This active ingredient has been getting a notorious reputation and so did the term “whitening”, when used in skincare.
Fast forward a few years and plant-derived enzymes have replaced the sometimes irritating chemical. They encourage cell turnover and block the production of melanin, which is precisely what causes the changes in skin colour in the first place. Liquorice, angelica root, mushrooms and soy are some of the potent, yet natural remedies used in skincare nowadays. They treat an array of issues, from acne scars to sunspots.
We have previously written at length about Vitamin C and its ability to brighten skin. Not only can the active ingredient erase signs of existing damage, it can also prevent further discoloration, if used regularly.
Acid peels, though dangerously sounding, come in an array of formulations that can be gentle enough for home use, yet pack a punch in delivering brightness. Some of the more popular AHA’s are glycolic and lactic acids and they range from single-digit percentages in at-home solutions to doctor’s office strength options that need weeks to recover from.
And once you manage to erase all signs of pigmentation, you would need to work extra hard to prevent any repeat performances by the pesky offenders.
Religious application of Antioxidants, via serums and lotions, put under your moisturisers will become part of your daily and nightly routine. Gone are the days, when moisture was the only concern to target with products, you have bigger fish to fry.
And as we have previously mentioned, sunblock is an absolute must to apply, irrespective of the season. Little use would your heavy skincare artillery be, if you simply reverted back to your sun-worshipping ways. High factor SPF is your best ally against encroaching ageing pigmentation.
Essentially, if you remember one thing only, let it be this: when it comes to anti-ageing, the best form of attack is defence.