Anti-ageing skin care tips from the British Skin Foundation
Skin Care One of the skin’s main functions is to act as a barrier to the outside world. But the skin’s ability to function as a protective barrier can easily be disrupted or damaged by noxious chemicals, sun damage and pollutants in the environment.
This is why cleansing is so important, as Dr Anjali Mahto, a consultant dermatologist and spokesperson for the British Skin Foundation, explains: “A good cleansing routine is vital for keeping skin healthy and preventing disease. Using a cleanser will remove dirt and micro-organisms, as well as potentially improving the barrier function of the skin. This in turn will result in an improved overall appearance.”
Dr Mahto recommends trying to and avoid soaps and other substances that can irritate the skin and dry it out. This means things like preservatives, fragrances, colours, or agents that release formaldehyde – including the chemicals imidazolidinyl urea or quaternium 15.
“A traditional rinse-off cleanser may be better, and cause less irritation than a facial wipe or leave-on cleanser, particularly if you tendency to have sensitive skin, eczema, or allergies. If you have normal or dry skin oils are suitable, but should be avoided if you have other skin conditions such as acne rosacea.”
As skin ages, it becomes increasingly dry over time. “The key thing that moisturisers do is improve hydration of the skin,” Dr Mahto says. “They can also contain specific anti-ageing ingredients such as retinol which will improve fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. A good anti-ageing moisturiser should also provide protection against ultraviolet radiation; a key culprit in skin ageing”, he adds. Another alternative is a facial serum, which are best suited to oily skin types.
Exfoliation is another vital part of the anti-ageing skin care routine, which Dr Mahto says can “instantly improve the appearance of skin by removing the dull, dry layer of upper skin cells”. Exfoliation can either be physical - with sponges, facial brushes, and scrubs - or chemical; usually acids that are left on the skin to dissolve the dry skin cells. Both can be effective, “but you will only see long term benefits from exfoliating regularly,” he adds.
Currently the anti-ageing skin market is huge, and future products are likely to be tailored to each person’s, with more powerful molecules and more accurate delivery systems. As Dr Mahto says: “These trends will mean more high-quality products that will provide even better anti-ageing benefits.”