Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Skincare routine: Step it up, or not?

1)    How many steps should my skincare routine have?

Youthful, problem-free skin should do just fine with a cleanser and sunscreen, says Dr Jean Ho, consultant dermatologist with Jean Ho Skin and Laser Clinic. However, Kati Kasza, founder and managing director of Evolu, says that as skin ages, its natural rnechanisms become less efficient, so expanding your skincare routine helps to compensate for the skin's reduced ability to rccover and regenerate.

Dr Nicholas Perricone, clinical and research dermatologist and founder of Perricone MD, adds that needs vary with age, the environment, sun exposure and many other factors. "Fragile, mature skin needs more nutrients and more help than the skin of a person in their teens or twenties," he says.

2)    What should I look out for when introducinq new products into my skincare regimen?

It's not a good idea to use an indiscriminate assortment of skincare products without first finding out more about the products in question. If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, Dr Ho suggests starting on a simpler routine and adding on products for targeted concerns like pigmentation, acne or wrinkles, if necessary.

3)    Why are some creams used only at night, and one before the other?

Retinoid products degrade rapidly when exposed to UV rays, so they should be applied only at night.

Some products like alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) when applied first, enhance the penetration of a secondary product such as lightening cream. If time permits, it's best to wait five to 10 minutes before applying the next product, says Dr Ho.

4)    Why one product cannot do everything?

"The skin is a living organ and constantly changing, so having individual treatment products allows you to customise a routine to best suit your skin," says Kati.

Dr Perricone adds that separate serums or creams are created to tackle specific concerns because certain active ingredients function best in tailored carrier systems that can deliver the optimum level of nutrients to the skin. "It is impossible to dissolve all the ingredients into a solution without the cream being so thick it would be
unusable," he says.

Excerpt from Simply Her, Feb 2011