The traditional cleanse-tone-moisturise routine has been radically updated to include ingredients that provide an active role in improving and transforming skin. Aysha Awwad of Cosmedix reveals more on the dos and don’ts of anti-ageing skincare.
DO use active ingredients that help repair and maintain a healthy barrier function
The root causes of dry skin and tightness are often caused by a combination of factors. We know the skin’s structure includes a barrier that helps to maintain its health. The barrier works similarly to the earth’s ozone layer to protect against UV radiation and to keep the atmosphere in balance. If the ozone layer becomes compromised we would be fried to a crisp. In a similar fashion the skin’s barrier works to prevent tissue damage. The health of our skin barrier is integral to whether skin ages prematurely or remains looking healthy for longer.
Different types of nutrients and lipids exist in the skin barrier. The technical term used to describe this mixture is the ‘extra cellular matrix’ (ECM). Exposure to aggressors found in some skincare such as abrasive ingredients, harsh peels, scrubs and cleansing brushes or environmental factors can compromise the ECM.
When this happens symptoms such as dryness will arise including a feeling of tightness after cleansing, a loss of hydration through accelerated water loss and in a mature skin, premature ageing.
A disrupted skin barrier function is also ineffective at blocking UV radiation and free radial attack. These two key factors directly cause mutation to skin cell DNA and damage healthy cell function. Consequently, a lack of protection from environmental exposure leads to a loss of healthy skin and an increase amount of damage to collagen and elastin fibers.
The CosMedix treatment approach addresses the root cause of dryness by repairing the skin’s barrier function. It does so using a hero active ingredient called Retinol AGP Complex that is a combination of proteins extracted from red wine and a derivative of vitamin A called Retinol. A nighttime product called Define is made with 2% Retinol APP Complex.
These products effectively improve the quality of skin and over time daily use will stimulate the synthesis of firming collagen and elastin. This is the only proven wrinkle-busting ingredient approved by the Federal Drugs Agency in the USA.
DON’T forget to cleanse your skin
The first step in your skincare routine should be to cleanse. With so much product choice today incorporating such things as cleansing gadgets or face wipes is common. However, if you wish to enhance the effect of an active product then simply introduce a cleanser made with L-lactic acid. In doses of 5% or more it will remove dirt and open up pores to help increase penetration of actives you apply after, such as your serum or moisturiser.
If you think you may have sensitive skin or prefer using more natural skincare opt for cleansers free from Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), a detergent ingredient commonly used in foaming products such as washing up liquid. Studies have found that over time SLS can lead to symptoms associated with sensitised skin such as redness, irritation and dryness. CosMedix cleansers are all free from SLS. Purity Clean has a deeply cleansing effect and the peppermint essential oil leaves a lovely tingly and fresh feeling.
DO treat lines using vitamin A all year round
Drawing on its scientific track record, Vitamin A is an absolute must for everyone, of all ages. Used as part of a daily homecare plan you will see positive changes that reach far beneath the skin’s surface. Whether you are a concerned with maintaining an ageless complexion or you’re fond of a less is more approach to beauty and rejuvenation treatments, using vitamin A will help prevent future lines appearing and reduce the amount of products or treatments you might need in the future.
Dark eye circles and lines are similarly treatable with vitamin A. Tapping a small amount of residue from the application to the face, around the eye bone daily will help maintain skin’s density and ensure skin on eye lids remains firm. Skin there is thinner so always take a less is more approach as otherwise you can cause a rash to appear.
The type, percentage and efficacy of vitamin A can vary. Depending on the derivative and application, if chosen correctly, using encapsulated vitamin A is safe to use in all types of climates, including sunny ones. Interestingly, vitamin A isn’t just a stimulating ingredient. The benefits also come from being naturally photo-protective which helps to prevent damage from sun exposure.
DON’T think vitamin A is damaging your skin
If you have previously used vitamin A and found it too sensitizing there are still some great options to consider. CosMedix Serum 16 gives all the rejuvenating benefits of medical grade vitamin A without causing overstimulation so there will be no rash.
It’s made with a sophisticated complex that mirrors the effects of natural hyaluronic acid in skin, which hydrates and plumps up skin. It also contains essential fatty acids from seeds that nourish deeply and help to prevent cell damage – it’s a truly luxurious and invigorating anti-ageing solution for everyone.
If you’re new to using vitamin A and your skin feels tight this likely to be only temporary. During the initial phase, after switching from regular products to ingredients that are more active and corrective, skin cells start to renew which helps to repair skin’s structure.
The outer layer of skin is often made of compacted ‘cellular debris’ – skin cells sitting on the surface of skin giving the appearance of dullness and a rough texture. This is caused by a sluggish renewal rate. With vitamin A use, old cells are encouraged to renew more quickly but skin might feel tight in the process. Once skin is repaired and renewed the feeling of tightness is no longer an issue.
DO wear a mineral sunscreen, even in winter!
Sun protection is the step most people neglect in their daily routine which is often the reason why damage occurs in the first place. If you find conventional sunscreens irritating you might find avoid irritation with natural based sunscreens which also help to protect against the damaging effect of UV radiation. Broad-spectrum sunscreens containing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide prevent both UVA (which penetrates and damages collagen and elastin fibers) and UVA (responsible for causing burning) by reflected rays away from the surface of the skin, in the same fashion as using lots of tiny mirrors.
It’s no longer necessary to wear a thick layer of very white, ghostly sunscreen that is even more greying for people with darker skins. Today’s minerals (derived from rocks) are very small in molecular size and can be nearly invisible.
CosMedix Reflect SPF 30 is a one of kind clear spray sunscreen made with titanium dioxide and a blend of protective antioxidants.The convenience of using a spray allows for everyone to top up throughout the day easily and conveniently. It’s also great for oily complexions that feel a cream is too rich. Knowing the importance of protecting skin from UVA and UVB rays which can cause premature ageing, the recommended advice is to wear sunscreen daily, even in winter.
DON’T forget to refresh and brighten skin with enzymes
Masks have quickly become the at-home solution for the time poor who are unable to seek out a professional treatment regularly. In between bi-weekly facial treatments, an enzyme-rich mask at home is the perfect solution for helping to smooth a rough complexion without compromising a healthy skin barrier. Doing a light exfoliation using a Pure Enzymes will instantly transform dull into a diamond sparkle