Women (and men) search high and low for anti-aging skin care tips and products. In reality, anti-age is impossible and the term is only widely used in marketing for our comprehension.
However, there are realistic skincare habits to foster in aging gracefully.
Below are 15 scientifically-proven habits that we’ve gathered for this ultimate skin care guide for women living in humid countries like Singapore.
Stop Going To Sleep With Make-up On
All of us have probably heard of this, yet commit this ultimate skin-sin every now and then. Many make-up products have ingredients like silicone that blocks pores. Hence, sleeping with make-up clogs pores, causing breakouts, dries out skin and speeds up the aging process due to a collagen breakdown. Eventually, it leads to premature wrinkles!
Whatever your reason may be, STOP. Regardless of how tired you are, remove them before bedtime.
People with healthy skin wash their faces regularly. However, the frequency depends on your lifestyle, environment and skin condition.
Most of us have a good habit of cleansing our face daily, but we need to be mindful of how we do so. We are so familiar with washing our face that we wash with our eyes closed and the hands go auto-pilot, without knowing if the motion is right.
Make a point to observe how you wash your face tonight. Ensure that your fingers (and not your whole palm) move in an upward circular motion. Start at the corner of your mouth and work up to the sides of your nose, forehead, temples, cheeks and then the chin, before rinsing with water.
Pat your face dry with a towel gently after rinsing. Never wipe or rub your towel against your skin because our facial skin is thinner and will cause stretches.
We experience high humidity in Singapore all year round and the tropical weather usually leads to enlarged pores, constant perspiring and increased oil production. Throughout the day, our skin is also exposed to micro particles from air pollutants that will congest the open pores of your skin.
Exfoliators help to clear clogged pores and dead skin, along with accumulated grime, to allow your skin to breathe.
Be mindful of the type of facial scrub you use. Choose one that is less abrasive. While using a facial exfoliator, be sure not to use too much force on your face. Limit its usage to once or twice a week. Overdoing it and your face is not going to be happy with you. Over-exfoliating can irritate your natural skin barrier, causing your skin to lose moisture and become more susceptible to sunburn.
Hydration Is Vital
Keeping your skin adequately moisturised helps it stay smooth and supple – which means fine lines and wrinkles are less likely to deepen! Equally important to having healthy skin, hydrated skin also keeps sebum glands in check so they will not produce sebum excessively to compensate for the moisture lost.
While using a moisturiser helps, choosing a suitable moisturiser is just as important and this will depend on your current skin condition, which may change over time. Below is a general guide to choosing the right moisturiser for your skin type:
Oily or Acne Prone Skin
Light moisturisers that do not clog pores. Look out for labels such as “oil-free” or “non-comedogenic”.
Living in Singapore and being exposed to the humid weather, heavy moisturisers are only recommended when you are frequently exposed in an air-conditioned environment. If your skin is really dry, use a cream-based moisturisers that soothes dryness and has long-lasting, all-day hydrating benefits. Moisturisers with coconut oil, shea butter or jojoba oil work well. Look out for urea, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, lanolin, or mineral oil in the ingredient label.
When your skin has a weaker immune function, certain ingredients can irritate it easily. Avoid moisturisers that contain retinoids, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and beta hydroxy acid (BHA). Look for unscented hypoallergenic moisturisers instead.
Keep your moisturiser light and non-greasy. Choose lightweight oils or gel-based moisturisers. Avoid creams as they are too rich for your skin type and may clog pores, causing pimple outbreaks or worse, milia seed growths.
Stop Trying Every Fad Product
No two individuals have the same skin condition and we require different products for the best outcome. If you don’t have a strong grasp of your skin condition, exposing your face to any skincare product may backfire. Stop trying every ‘hot’ product. Save money for products and treatments that have proven to work.
If you’re unsure about your skin type, make an appointment with an aesthetic clinic for an assessment. If you’re in luck, the clinic may provide services that formulate personalized skincare products for their patrons!
Do Not Fall Asleep With Your Facial Mask On
We all love pampering ourselves with a facial now and then. For the busy women in Singapore, time is scarce and doesn’t allow us to visit beauty parlours. Packed facial masks are our to-go when our skin feels the need for a nutrient buffet. While regular facial treats at home is reasonable, the recommended 20-minute waiting time has proven enough for us over-worked ladies to doze into slumber.
Unless the face mask you use is creamy and meant to stay overnight, leaving them on for an extended period doesn’t ensure better work. Leaving them on your face long enough for them to dry can do more damage (and dry-out) than good to your skin.
If you’re worried you might fall asleep or lose track of time, set a timer.
Go Au Naturel
We all have imperfections to conceal with make-up and having to leave home bare-faced is like waging war with self-confidence. No one is willing to leave home with eye circles that is as dark as an Oreo cookie, with unconcealed scars caused by acne or dull skin that lacks luster.
However the regular use of makeup, particularly with heavy make-up, can lead to premature aging of skin. Make-up, particularly oil based ones, tends to clog pores and aggravates fine lines below and around eyes (a common sign of aging). Talc based make-up products (commonly in lipstick, face powder, foundations, blushers and eye shadows) can dry skin up and cause rapid wrinkling. The various chemicals in make-up products can cause the loss of tone and elasticity in skin too.
What our mothers’ and grandmothers’ nagging about slapping on too much ‘powder’ seems right.
Never Skip Sunscreen!*
You may have heard this many times, and the importance of using sun screens worth the mention in this ultimate ageing guide. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can damage our skin and cause up to 90% of skin to age. Sun exposure is actually responsible for most of the visible aging on our skin – more than all other factors combined!
I hope this has intensify your desire to slather on those sunblocks religiously when you’re out.
Drink More Water
Drinking plain water has proven to be a natural anti-aging and clear skin remedy. Water helps to cleanse the bodily toxins that causes our skin to age prematurely. Not only does water helps to purge the toxins, it also aids skin cells repair and increase elasticity.
This calls for the need to hydrate in such warm and humid weather of Singapore even more – not only to replenish the bodily fluid loss, but also for our skin too!
Load Up On Antioxidants
Choose skin care products that are enriched with antioxidants as the antioxidant are essential in fighting free radicals that hastens skin aging. Look out for these common antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, polyphenols, resveratrol, coenzyme Q10 and niacinamide.
Don’t forget to include foods into your diet that are rich in antioxidants, and we promise you’ll like some of these foods that have made the list:
- Dark chocolate
- Goji Berries
- Red Cabbage
- Kidney beans
- Red wine
- Matcha tea
Avoid Excess Sugar
Your daily cup of sweetened beverage is not only expanding your waistline but could also be aging your face. Foods with high glycemic index increases cortisol through a process called “glycosylation”, where sugars bind to collagen and weakens it, promoting premature aging. Just skip the candies.
Sweat It Out
Logging a few hours a week getting sweaty has proven to not only slow down skin aging process but can reverse the signs of aging skin! Aim to have at least 30 minutes of activity, five times a week for dewy and youthful skin!
Find Your Inner Zen Zone
For busy women in Singapore, chronic tension and physical stress is just part of life. However, stress can cause surges of cortisol in the body. This hormone, cortisol, breaks down collagen and elastin, ultimately leading to wrinkles. To slow down the process of skin aging, it is important to find your inner ‘zen zone’ and relax.
7 Hours of Snooze Time
Sleep is the time when your body repairs itself. While sleeping, your skin’s blood flow increases, restores collagen and repairs damaged cells caused by UV exposure, reducing wrinkles and age spots. On the other hand, sleep deprivation induces the body to produce more cortisol (the hormone as we’ve mentioned above) that is responsible for breaking down skin collagen and causing premature aging. Studies have shown that just one night of poor sleep can cause:
- Hanging eyelids
- Swollen eyes
- Darker eye circles
- Pale skin
- More visible wrinkles and fine lines
- Visibly droopy corners of the mouth
While we should embrace ageing, we don’t want to speed up the process while choosing to stalk friends on Instagram or watch TV for hours over having a good night’s rest. For healthy and youthful skin, seven to nine hours of sleep is recommended for each night.
Reducing Visible Signs of Aging
There is no anti-aging formula in existence (at least for now) but we can protect ourselves from the effects of premature aging if we practise the tips above.
Aesthetic practitioner, Dr. Heng Wee Soon, whose primary focus is on reducing visible signs of aging has helped both men and women regain youthful looks and personal confidence.
Make an appointment with us or walk-in at our clinic and resolve your skin-aging woes today!
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