Plus, what NOT to do.
There are approximately three unbeatable (physical) compliments to receive in this world. ‘You smell great’ and ‘I love your eyes’ come in at a close second and third place, but we reckon that any compliment along the lines of ‘your skin looks amazing’ takes the cake. Because our skin is one of the first things people see when they look at us, feeling confident in it, at any age, is a real blessing.
[Note: at any age. The rhetoric around anti-ageing can be overwhelming and confusing. Especially in the era of social media, the ‘hype’ around looking 25 for as long as possible can be damaging because – news flash – we aren’t built like that. We don’t subscribe to that narrative; we just want our skin to look it’s best, no matter how old we are.]
Robyn McAlpine, skin therapist and founder of Skintifix, shares our philosophy. Here, she breaks down the anti-ageing dos and don’ts to keep your skin looking fresh.
What Not To Do
Reality check: “Trying to stop ageing is like trying to stop waves crashing on a beach,” McAlpine explains. “You’re just trying to stop nature from being nature.”
As we grow older, our skin cells do, too. As they age, they can malfunction and mutate leading to much more severe issues that just a couple of wrinkles. Supporting the natural (!!) turnover of these cells, rather than tearing them down, is important.
“Often treatments that are marketed in the name of eternal youth have the opposite effect,” warns McAlpine. “Breaking down skin in order to trigger a collagen stimulating response can actually be counterproductive. True anti-ageing products and treatments should support the skin’s biological repair processes instead of placing the skin under more stress.”
Hate to break it to you, but this means easing up on the harsh peels and resurfacing treatments. Over exfoliating can make your skin more susceptible to sun damage and environmental stressors which, in turn, speeds up the ageing process.
What To Do… At Home
The skin barrier has been a hot topic in the beauty world during 2020. The good news? Not only does caring for your skin barrier ensure glowing, even skin but it also helps to keep it looking youthful.
“In terms of the products you use at home, I would look for ingredients that support your skin barrier and the lipid bilayers between your skin cells,” recommends McAlpine. “Supporting the structure of your skin means the sturdiness and resilience of our skin will remain healthier for longer.” Read: it will keep the bad stuff out, for longer.
What are these magical ingredients you ask? “Lipids, antioxidants and Boswellia are brilliant for supporting the skin barrier and slowing the degradation of collagen,” says McAlpine. Our favourite products include ceramides and vitamins B, C and E.
We’ve linked a few below for good measure:
What To Do… In Salon
So, you’ve been nailing your at home skincare routine but want a little something extra? In salon treatments will up the ante. “My criteria for the best in-salon treatments include ones that stimulate collagen production with as little disturbance to the stratum corneum (outer layer of your skin) as possible,” says McAlpine.
A big fan of Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), McAlpine says this type of skin needling is high on her effective list can stimulate collagen production; however, it’s important to find a skin therapist that you trust. “Working with someone who understands the skin’s healing response is important to getting results without overdoing it on the inflammation front.”
If only there was a Tinder for skin experts…
What To Do… On Your Body
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: treat your body like your face. Our neck, hands and décolletage are some of the first to show signs of ageing. But a good body care routine can protect skin from premature ageing.
“SPF is your BFF always on both your face and your body,” says McAlpine. “UV rays stimulate enzymes that break down our skin’s collagen and elastin which is why sun damage leads to wrinkles.”
What to use? Like your face, creams and oils rich in antioxidants and lipids are key because – surprise, surprise! – the skin on our body works in the very same way as the skin on our face. Who would’ve thought?