Doctor-approved skin secrets to kickstart the year

Doctor-approved skin secrets to kickstart the year

Fresh start

Text: Renée Batchelor

Who better than a doctor to give you the skin advice and lowdown on the newest in skin enhancements that you never knew you needed? We speak to Dr. Rachel Ho of La Clinic, for the ultimate ways to improve your skin

It's a new year, and if like us you've made some resolutions regarding your skincare and makeup habits, you'll want to read on. If you're been putting the same skincare regimen (or non-regimen) on repeat year in and out, it might be time to explore other options. After all, improvements in technology are literally happening every year. Don't want your skincare routine to be stuck in a time warp? Take some expert advice from Dr Rachel Ho of La Clinic.

Says Dr Ho, "One of the latest trends to reverse the signs of aging in the skin is the use of skin fillers containing polynucleotides, or DNA. The DNA in Rejuran Healer comes from salmon. Research has shown that salmon DNA repairs damaged skin cells and stimulates collagen synthesis, thereby improving skin elasticity and texture, slowing down signs of ageing" As to how long these take to work, Dr Ho says although results are can be seen with just one session, for optimal results, serial monthly injections are advised for three months. Thereafter, maintenance injections every six to twelve months will suffice.

Tired of using moisturisers and heavy creams that don't seem to do anything to enhance your skin's dewy luminosity? One skin treatment to try are skinboosters. Says Dr Ho, "Instead of spending on expensive moisturisers with limited absorption, one way to improve the hydration of the skin and to achieve a dewy and glowy look is to have Skinboosters, or hyaluronic acid injected into skin. Skinboosters are very popular in Korea and the rest of Asia is catching on this trend using Skinboosters to achieve this moist and glowy look. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring substance in our skin and accounts for skin hydration and the ability of the skin to repair itself."

How these skinboosters work is by attracting hyaluronic acid into the dermis to literally plump up the skin from the inside out. Dr Ho says, "By introducing tiny microdroplets of hyaluronic acid into the skin, the molecules attract water into dermis by up to 200 times its weight and this results in improved skin hydration, finer wrinkles and less roughness. Skinboosters can also 'lift' depressed acne scars and have been found to improve collagen synthesis and collagen levels in the skin." Best of all, this is one treatment that is instantaneous, although consistent treatment will give you better, long-term results.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That works for only a few things before new technology and discoveries tend to age it. But vitamins are some key anti-ageing ingredients that have stood the test of time. "One of the oldest and most well studied anti-ageing ingredients is vitamin A. Vitamin A helps to reduce fine wrinkles and pigmentation by stimulating collagen synthesis and preventing the formation of pigmentation," says Dr Ho. Best used as retinol, and over-the-counter version of vitamin A that doesn't irritate skin, you'll need a doctor's prescription to use this, but you will see results in four to six weeks — impressive considering that it is a topical treatment that doesn't cause any pain or irritation if used correctly.

Other vitamins that works include vitamins C and E, which are antioxidants that combat oxidative damage to the skin. Dr Ho recommends applying these on your skin saying, "Topical antioxidants have been show to provide a higher level of protection than with oral vitamins, hence, for better skin protection, topical antioxidants are recommended. For example, vitamin C has also been shown to reduce the appearance of sun-related pigmentation within six months of daily use."

The inappropriate choice of skincare for your skin type can lead to a whole host of problems from breakouts to allergic reactions. Know your skin type, by getting it properly diagnosed by a skin doctor. Says Dr Ho, "Using products that are inappropriate for your skin can cause problems like congestion. For example, using a rich moisturiser on oily skin can cause comedones and even pimples. It is best to identify the right type of skincare for your skin type: For example gel textures work for oily skin and creams for dry skin."

Skipping sunscreen altogether because your primer or cushion foundation already has some sun protection in it? Not a good idea, according to Dr Ho. "Forgoing sunblock in lieu of a makeup base that contains SPF is a big no-no. Makeup bases do not provide adequate coverage despite promising SPF protection. The damaging effects of the sun on the skin are well known —pigmentation, sunburn and wrinkles — so having adequate sun protection is very important to any good skincare routine." You heard it straight from the doctor's mouth. Make sure you use proper SPF every day, if you do nothing else on this list!

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