BETTER FACES: This is how you can slow down the effects on ageing skin.
BETTER FACES: This is how you can slow down the effects on ageing skin. Cecilie_Arcurs

Fountain of youth? How to slow ageing skin

TAKE the advice of an expert and use these tips for women and men for slowing down your skin's ageing process.

Melbourne dermatologist Dr Michelle Rodrigues reminds us to have on hand sunscreen, cleanser and moisturiser, but we don't need to spend a lot on them to get a result.

She recommends talking to your healthcare professional for help on navigating your way through the mire of cosmetic treatment choices for your face because everyone's skin is different. "Creating a regime is not a one size fits all," Dr Rodrigues added. The best approach is always individualised."

Sunscreen

  • There's no surprises when you hear the sage advice; "it's never too late to start with a good sunscreen".
  • Aim for sunscreen with a SPF factor of 50 or more, and a label saying high UVA protection.
  • The key here is UVA which does a lot more damage to the second layer of the skin.

"With regular sunscreen, we can to a degree, decrease the amount of sun spots and decrease the amount of pigmentation on the face," Dr Rodrigues said. "It is over time going to actively improve the skin."

Add an active ingredient

  • For your morning skin moisturising regime, and under your sunscreen, add niacinamide which comes in pharmacy over-the-counter products such as serum, gel and in creams.
  • It should be in a concentration of five per cent or more.

"It can actively provide antioxidants to the skin and actively try to prevent further UV damage, and help with pigmentation and small blemishes," Dr Rodrigues said.

Include Vitamin A

It's only available by prescription from your GP or dermatologist, but a Vitamin A derived tretinoin-based cream is another item to add to your skin repair shopping list.

"There are a lot of over-the-counter products that claim they contain retinol and vitamin A for anti-ageing, but the only one that has been proven scientifically to reverse the signs of ageing over about a six-month period is the tretinoin," Dr Rodrigues said. "It decreases fine lines and wrinkles, helps with pigmentation and increases luminosity of the skin. It is a proven anti-ageing method that's simple and effective, and inexpensive."

Men's advice

Dr Rodrigues recommends men talk to their GP or dermatologist about what they need to help revive their skin including niacinamide and tretinoin, in addition to always applying sunscreen before heading outdoors.

What about solar keratosis?

This can occur when you have had extended exposure to the sun. The best way to treat it is to apply a prescribed cream, like a chemotherapy cream, which peels the areas of the face. "It's not going to rejuvenate the face, it's not going to turn back the clock from an ageing perspective," Dr Rodrigues said. "It's specifically for the treatment of sun spots and trying to remove those sun induced keratoses."

Skin care advances

The newest laser technology can help rejuvenate men and women's skin, decrease redness, decrease subtle pigmentation and fine lines. "There is some breakthrough, powerful technology that can help and in addition the creams, can yield quite nice results," Dr Rodrigues said.

But, a word of warning - because operating and licensing rules are different across Australia, be careful who you use for laser treatments. So, it's best to start with your GP for a referral to a dermatologist who can determine if these laser treatments are suitable to your skin condition.


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