After a rainy winter that has kept us indoors more than ever, the return of a bit of warmth and sunshine are particularly welcome!
Dr Barbara Kubicka
The feeling of sun on your skin can be quite delicious – warming and happy. The sunny weekends that we’ve had have seen millions of Brits peeling off the layers to catch some rays and soak up the feel good factor that the sun generates.
However, nowadays most of us do have at the back of our minds the fact that however good it feels in the short term; in the longer term, the sun can be the enemy of radiant skin. So how do we strike the right balance?
The most important element of any skin care routine should be sun protection. Preventing sun damage is so much easier and more effective than treating it. Don’t be tempted to think that the sun isn’t as damaging in spring, the UVA and UVB rays can be just as harmful, causing collagen and elastin to break down so that lines and wrinkles appear prematurely; in addition to pigmentation problems and at worst, lesions that might be cancerous.
I recommend a quality SPF50+ sunscreen every day of the year, which can be worn under makeup or on its own to ensure that the skin is protected. In addition, a sensible approach to the sun is invaluable – such as avoiding prolonged exposure and times when the sun is highest in the sky.
Integrated Skin & Healthcare
Looking after the body from the inside always shows benefits on the outside and the skin is very responsive to dietary changes.
Sufficient hydration helps the skin to remain softer, plumper and more glowing. On one level, it’s as simple as ensuring that you drink enough. However, the right drink is also influential on your skin. Choose water as much as possible. Although any water is better than soft drinks or caffeinated tea/coffee, I recommend Kangen alkalised water which has a range of benefits over ordinary water – I drink it myself and have seen the difference.
For clearer, brighter skin, a good diet is also a sure fire way to see improvements. Choosing plenty of fresh fruit and veg within your diet and cutting back on salt, sugar and fat will feed the skin with the best nutrients.
At my skin clinic, we like to advocate a natural, non-surgical approach to looking good and improving the skin, ensuring that our treatments work in harmony with appropriate nutrition and lifestyle. It’s an integrated, holistic and more natural approach to aesthetic medicine.
I particularly advocate those skin treatments that work in harmony with the body’s own processes and these can be very effective in giving the skin a healthy glow as well as tackling signs of sun damage.
My favourite treatment is mesotherapy. This involves a series of tiny injections of carefully chosen vitamins or hyaluronic acid (a naturally occurring water retainer). Delivered directly into the skin’s mid layer, the mesotherapy treatment nourishes the skin while the injection process kick-starts the skin’s own healing and renewal processes for firmer, tighter skin.
Chemical peels are also an effective choice, providing gentle yet effective exfoliation to remove the top layer of dead skin cells, revealing clearer brighter skin beneath. These can also help with previous sun damage and smooth away fine lines and pigmentation irregularities. Organic peels and peels with natural, organic ingredients are available and are a good choice for those keen on natural health. Also consider an Obagi Blue Radiance peel, which shows immediate results with healthy, glowing radiant skin as well as longer-term benefits thanks to its cell renewal boosting qualities.
New technology also offers us options. IPL treatment uses the power of safe light waves to treat the skin, tackling issues such as thread veins and pigmentation as well as prompting skin rejuvenation processes for clearer, brighter skin. It involves no injections and no chemicals, so is an excellent non-invasive option to complement your skin and healthcare regime. PRP (platelet rich plasma therapy) is a good choice for more mature skin or skin which is very tired or damaged.
For a pampered feeling and an instant glow, cosmetology facials can be tailor-made to suit each individual’s skin care needs.
Choose a practitioner who advocates integrated skin and healthcare and discuss which skin treatments best suit your skin requirements and budget.
Skin Regime at Home
To complement any professional treatments, I recommend a good skin routine at home.
As well as daily cleansing and moisturising, regular exfoliation is extremely helpful to boosting the skin’s condition. Mechanical exfoliator machines with dermabrasion function are now available which offer excellent results. Also, exfoliating wash such as NeoStrata’s which contains Chamomile and Pro-Vitamin B5 as well as Gluconolactone (a polyhydroxy acid) for daily gentle exfoliation to reveal clearer, brighter skin.
In terms of products, Obagi’s Vitamin C Serum shows excellent results in improving the skin. Then choose a light, mineral makeup which allows fabulous skin to shine through, such as the Glominerals products.
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