There are a few key components to a well-structured skin care routine. The products you’re using should be cosmeceutical grade. This means they are part cosmetic (products you can buy on the high street) and part medical grade (high potency lotions prescribed by the doctor). Cosmeceutical products are extremely well formulated to ensure they can penetrate deep beneath the surface of the skin and stimulate positive, long lasting changes to the skin structure. We are proud to offer our results-driven skin care ranges:
- IMAGE Skincare
- ZO Skin Health & ZO Medical
- Heliocare, Endocare & Retriderm
The key ingredients that should be in your skincare routine
AHA / BHA ACIDS
Exfoliation is a key part of your skin care routine to ensure that other active ingredients can penetrate effectively. The days of scrubbing your skin within an inch of its life are luckily a thing of the past! Acids can thoroughly exfoliate the surface of the skin by dissolving the bonds that hold them together, leaving a smooth, refreshed appearance to the skin. There are 2 main groups of acids; AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and BHA’s (Beta Hydroxy Acids). AHA’s consist of Glycolic acid (great for anti-ageing), Lactic acid (Cleopatra used to bathe in it to keep her skin soft and hydrated) and citric acid to name just a few. The famous BHA is Salicylic acid, a hero for blemishes and excess oil! Salicylic acid has the ability to penetrate through oil and therefore works wonders for unbalanced skins that overproduce oil and those who suffer from blocked pores and pustules. Your skin cell turnover slows down considerably you age, and your skin can start to take on a rather dull appearance. It is vital that you aid the regeneration process by keeping your skin free of dead skin cells.
Antioxidants help to protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals, which present themselves as unstable atoms. Free radicals are released from UV rays, pollution and smoking, and contribute to the break down of essential components of our skin, primarily collagen and elastin, which leads to premature ageing. Antioxidants have the ability to neutralise these free radicals to protect your collagen and elastin from degrading. A great example of a powerful antioxidant is Vitamin C, which creates an invisible barrier under the skin to protect against free radical damage. Most importantly, it is essential for the synthesis of collagen in our skin. Also, be sure to eat a diet high in fruit and vegetables, this will increase your antioxidant levels significantly and will keep your collagen fibres healthy!
Unfortunately you can’t just use any old SPF if you are concerned about ageing and the overall health of your skin. It’s imperative you choose one which is ‘Broad Spectrum’ which means it covers both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are present when the sun is shining and the rays that cause heat and colour changes in our skin. UVA rays are far more dangerous. These rays are present ALL year round and can penetrate through glass, clothing and many other things! UVA rays are long enough to penetrate into our skin and cause mutations in our skin cells, unfortunately increasing the risk of cancerous cells. Wearing a sunscreen on a daily basis helps defend against the free radicals and mutations caused by UV radiation. A sunscreen with a factor of 30 to 50 is more than adequate, giving 96-98% protection from UV. We would highly recommend Heliocare SPF used by plastic surgeons all over the world and IMAGE hydrating SPF for added hydration.
Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in your body and is primarily found in the skin and connective tissue. Being a “water-loving” molecule, it has the capability of holding 1000 times its molecular weight in water, which gives us plump, hydrated and youthful looking skin!
Vitamin A (or Retinol as it’s commonly known) is a vital skin care ingredient for anti-ageing. It helps to correct & rebuild the skin from the inside out, regenerating the skin and stimulating the cell renewal process. The 4 main types of Vitamin A (ranging from the least active to the most potent) are Retinyl Palmitate, Retinyl Acetate, Retinol & Retinoic Acid (to be prescribed by a doctor). The 2 derivatives of Retinol, Palmitate & Acetate, are common in low doses in over the counter skin care products, which make mild changes in the skin over a long period of time. Retinol is a pure form of Vitamin A which stimulates positive changes in the skin fairly quickly. Retinol in cosmeceutical skin care is fast becoming the ‘it’ ingredient to be using for anti-ageing. Ensure it is well formulated like the Retriderm that we use at The Hampton Clinic, and you can achieve fantastic results without the downtime associated with the prescription strength Retinoic Acid.