Let’s face it; the highly humid conditions in Singapore can make your skin suffer in many ways. If anything, it leaves it vulnerable to dryness and premature skin aging, which is why we’d like to share with you some of our skin care secrets. From choosing the right moisturizer to more advanced solutions like Skin Booster, we will give you insights into how to properly care for your skin as you age.
What does dry skin really mean?
If you can hold off for a bit, we would like to let you in on some facts that most people often misunderstand. You might have heard about dry skin so many times, but do you really understand what it is and how to manage it? Did you know that this problem is also linked to premature skin aging?
For starters, dry skin affects people of all ages worldwide, but it is often found in most individuals over the age of 60. However, with several extrinsic and intrinsic factors coming into play, younger individuals are not spared.
The deficient production of sebum (oil) may contribute to the development of dry skin; however, a more complex dysfunction of the topmost layer is likely to blame. When the outer layer of the skin dries out, it results in a loss of pliability which eventually creates small cracks on the surface. This also makes the skin surface dull, rough and scaly in appearance. In most advanced cases one may experience crusting, oozing and abundant scratch marks. These symptoms are also associated with itching and stinging. Failure to act on it will only encourage premature signs of aging to appear or worsen existing problems.
While mild skin dryness may clear up in a few days of treatment, severe cases may require prolonged therapy with topical corticosteroids. However, in either situation, regular use of humectants, occlusives, emollients, or rejuvenators are necessary to minimize relapse. This is where your creams, oils and other skin care products come into play.
But with so many products in the market today, all with their own impressive formulation, how can one choose? Let’s narrow down the list and let you in on some tips for choosing which products and services can bring radiance back to your dry and aged skin.
1. Know your moisturizer
There are a multitude of products that have been formulated to treat dry skin, and as a group, moisturizers have been created to either impart or restore hydration. However, given the physiological variations in skin among different races, an ideal moisturizer for one may be less effective for another. Therefore, knowing how moisturizers work and choosing a suitable one is critical in achieving its maximum benefits. Furthermore, knowing when to apply them is also as important.
Unfortunately, choosing the right moisturizer is still a matter of trial and error. To guide you in your buying decisions, remember these pointers when shopping for moisturizer:
- It should reduce and prevent further trans-epidermal water loss
- It should be able to restore the lipid barrier, i.e. duplicating and enhancing the skin’s moisturizing retention mechanisms
- It must be hypoallergenic, non-sensitizing, fragrance free, non-comedogenic
- It should be absorbed immediately, providing immediate hydration
- It should be cosmetically acceptable
- It should be affordable
The right timing for application is also an important aspect. Ointments, lotions, and creams work by trapping existing moisture in your skin. To effectively do this, you must apply a moisturizer within a few minutes after drying off after a shower or after washing your face.
If you experience skin dryness and any attempt at restoring moisture does not bring relief, you may want to see your dermatologist. They can examine your skin and explain what can be done to reduce your discomfort. Your parched skin may require a prescription cream or ointment.
If there is one thing which comes close to being the magic bullet for perfect skin that would be retinol. A derivative of vitamin A, prescription Retin-A, Tretinoin, and over-the-counter retinols help increase cell turnover and stimulate collagen synthesis. As the skin’s natural rejuvenation process slows down drastically with age, the skin becomes thinner, drier and less elastic. Retinol helps stimulate the regenerative process.
For those who are trying out retinoids for the first time or for those with sensitive skin, an over-the-counter retinol is an appropriate choice. It is less irritating to the skin because the retinol slowly gets converted to retinoic acid. Due to its lower strength, it may take more time (around 12 weeks) to notice a difference in your skin compared to prescription brands. If you don’t see any benefits after 3 months of use, consider trying a prescription-strength formula. Having been exposed to OTC products will help your skin adapt to the prescription brand better, making you less likely to suffer from the latter’s side effects.
What retinol does is that it helps normalize the skin’s look and feel. It turns around skin concerns such as dullness and rough skin texture. It also helps the skin achieve an even tone.
Also remember that when shopping for your retinol products, the packaging matters. Retinol is a potent but delicate ingredient. The formula can be easily degraded with routine exposure to air and light. Therefore, skip those that come in jars or clear containers and go for products that come in aluminum tubes.
3. Peel it off
A popular and inexpensive way to treat some skin disorders, and to refresh and rejuvenate the skin is through a chemical peel. Also referred to as chemoexfoliation or dermapeeling, peels are classified by their depth of action into superficial, medium and deep peels. The depth also correlates to the clinical changes that can be achieved, their healing time, and their potential for complications.
These peels target the epidermis (topmost layer of the skin) and the area between the epidermis and dermis (the second layer of the skin). It is beneficial in treating acne and post-inflammatory pigmentations. Ultimately, it provides better luminosity and radiance to the skin.
These are dynamic tools for superficial scars, pigmentary disorders, and textural changes of the skin. The histological basis of the rejuvenating effects of medium-depth peels have long been established. It is proven to penetrate deeper, and the improvement is seen in the middle layers. This is particularly helpful for skin that is damaged by radiation.
These types of peels are used for severe photoaging, scars, deep or coarse wrinkles and even some precancerous skin lesions. Deep peels are not recommended for most dark-skinned individuals due to the increased risk of prolonged or permanent pigmentary changes. A popular alternative would be lasers to create deep skin resurfacing because they avoid the adverse effects of deep chemical peels.
4. Zap it out!
Laser therapy, also called photorejuvenation, is considered an effective method for diminishing wrinkles to make the skin look younger. It comes in several types and they are optimized for different skin types and issues. The reason for this is because no single laser can address all skin concerns. So, it is not just for those with profound signs of aging, but also for those who wish to address skin aging concerns early on. Here are a few of the different varieties of lasers available today:
CO2 lasers – These are generally ablative lasers that can target winkles, scars, warts, and deeper skin flaws.
Erbium Lasers – This can be ablative or non-ablative, and it is recommended for age spots, fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, and age spots.
Pulsed-Dye Lasers – This laser can target melasma/hyperpigmentation, warts, hypertrophic scars, and broken capillaries.
Fractional Lasers – It is named as such because it breaks up the laser energy into thousands of tiny beams to treat a fraction of the skin in a certain area. It can be used to treat several age-related blemishes.
Some of these treatments tend to create some level of discomfort, while others are painless. However, what is good about these devices is that most are created to be sensitive to different skin types. This means that it can be safely used even on Asian skin. The best way to ensure a safe and effective treatment for your skin type is to consult a provider who has extensive knowledge and training in laser resurfacing procedures, and has experienced working with darker skinned patients.
With several studies supporting the effectiveness of these devices, you are given several options for addressing the different signs of aging on your skin through lasers.
5. Give your skin a boost
Did you know that no matter how expensive your skincare products are, you could simply end up frustrated if your skin is not healthy enough to absorb them?
Restylane® Skinboosters™ work from the inside out to replenish the body’s natural reserves of hyaluronic acid (HA) – a powerful moisture-binding ingredient. This is the perfect treatment to address dull, dry and aged skin.
To deeply hydrate and plump up the skin, Skinboosters™ are injected into its superficial layers. As it reaches the dermis, the gel Skinboosters reestablish a greater degree of hydration while stimulating collagen regeneration. This action restores the volume and density of the skin. The deep skin hydration reduces surface roughness, improves skin elasticity, and reduces pore size, all while giving your skin a nice radiance. It not only improves the look of the skin but it also restores its health through deep hydration.
This treatment does not promise immediate improvement; rather, it offers a subtle and gradual change in skin quality and elasticity. It doesn’t leave you with that overdone look, but a noticeable invigorated appearance to your skin.
We offer the Skinboosters™ treatment at The Aesthetics Clinic, Singapore because we believe in its efficiency and effectiveness. It promises beauty from the inside out. If you are interested in any of these procedures, we advise that you trust people who are trained and certified to perform them. If you must invest in these additions to your skin care routine, make sure that you trust the right people.
If you have more questions and skin care concerns, book your appointment with us today.