Medical Director of Epionce UK and Ireland, Dr Mervyn Patterson, talks us through
Protecting your skin from ageing is a lifetime process but starting early — in your 20s and 30s — will build a strong foundation for a bright and resilient complexion that will last long into your twilight years.
When it comes to protecting your skin from the effects of ageing, most of us only get serious with our skincare about a decade too late.
In our 20s, we may neglect our skin completely or be blissfully unaware of the damage our skin endures every day. By our 30s, the damage is clear to see, and we desperately try quick fixes or use unsuitable products to reverse the signs of ageing.
The problem lies in not fully understanding our skin, or how it changes as we get older. It’s time to get smart about our skin.
In our 20s, skin is often oily, and pores can become blocked or congested, causing acne outbreaks. While we’re still dealing with what’s often seen to be a teenage skin complaint, many of us are unaware that we should also be taking action to prevent visible signs of ageing. Collagen in the skin starts to deteriorate in our mid-20s and decline by about 1% with each passing year, resulting in a loss of elasticity in the deeper skin layers and leading to laxity and the formation of wrinkles.
As we age into our 30s, skin tends to transition from oily to either normal or combination skin type, where the central ‘t zone’ is oilier and the outer parts of the face are drier. Outward changes to the skin become noticeable, such as fine lines appearing around the eyes and forehead. Luckily, with a good skincare routine, it’s never too late to get your glow back.
The cardinal sin of skincare? Not wearing SPF. High quality sunscreen is undoubtedly the most important preventative product you can have in your skincare armoury — preferably one that’s chemical free, water resistant and invisible on the skin like the Epionce Daily Shield SPF50 lotion. Use SPF every day, all year round — yes, even in Northern Irish weather.
One of the biggest problems I see in my clinic is clients overworking their skin. In the quest for perfect skin and a ‘filter-free’ natural glow, many clients tend to over exfoliate and to apply too many so called ‘active’ products.
Your skin is your friend — it’s a self-repairing organ, so treat it gently and nudge it in the right direction rather than overworking it with high concentration skincare routines, where ingredients such as hyaluronic, vitamin C, vitamin B3 and retinol are being applied in much too high a concentration.
Some medical clinics advocate prescription high-strength products and retinoids which are actually harmful in the long-term and can cause unnecessary side effects. For me, Epionce is the only skincare brand I work with and is proven to be superior and much safer than using high strength retinoids.
They say you are what you eat and it’s no secret that our diet can affect our skin, causing breakouts, dryness or dullness. Limiting our sugar intake, eating less highly processed foods and drinking more water all help brighten our skin and keep breakouts at bay. Getting a bit more exercise and taking simple steps to get better sleep can do wonders for the skin, so it’s important to address any skin concerns from an overall wellbeing perspective.
Hyaluronic acid, retinol, vitamins B and C… we’ve all heard the fads and know what the latest ‘key ingredient’ is for our skin, but don’t make the mistake of jumping on the bandwagon and snapping up this week’s trending product. As we age, it’s important to choose products that our right for our own skin. Skin is a complex organ and needs to be treated on an individual level, with a personalised skincare routine adopted to bring out the best in you. Skincare should be safe, effective and proven and if you don’t know where to start, begin with a skin consultation.
When it comes to giving away age, the eyes are one of the most obvious areas. As we get older, crow’s feet, dark circles, under eye bags and puffiness can all add years to our face.
The eye area has an extremely thin skin barrier — only about five skin cells thick — so it’s extremely vulnerable to the ageing process and it can be difficult to find clinically proven formulations that really work on such a delicate area.
The new Luminous Eye Serum from Epionce is not only designed to reverse signs of ageing around the eyes, but the advanced formulation works in synergy with anti-inflammatory and barrier repair technology in the Epionce Renewal Eye Cream to awaken and refresh the skin. The best thing about it is that it’s made with new botanicals including watermelon, cacao, algae and lentils to rapidly reduce ageing in the eyes whilst protecting against pollutants and blue light which can trigger skin damage.
Whilst I’m seeing more people in their 20s coming for tweakments or gentle aesthetic procedures, it’s normally 30-somethings that decide it’s time for more intensive treatments to rejuvenate and revitalise their appearance. Undoubtedly, the most common procedure is Botox which, in the hands of an experienced professional, can look very natural and avoid that shiny mirror look which gives the game away.
Baby Botox is something that those in their 20s are increasingly requesting — delicate injections that help mitigate the signs of ageing without anyone knowing the treatment has been done.
For those in their 30s, skin peels are a great way to reset the skin. Gentle forms of micro needling such as DermaFrac, IPL Fotofacials and fractional lasering can all rejuvenate and tighten the skin, whilst the more intense controlled microneedling under vacuum combined with the infusion of growth factors has been proven to reverse collagen decline.
Whatever stage in life you’re at, there are a range of treatments available to subtly revitalise and refresh the skin, giving you back that youthful glow.
For more information on Epionce, see www.epionce.co.uk
Nimue Anti-Ageing Hand Cream, £32
Epionce Luminous Eye Serum, £59
Image Skincare, Ageless Total Facial Cleanser, £32
My Skin Matters Intensive Hydrating Serum, £4.50 from Sainsbury's
Skin Proud Sleep Hero, was £14.94 now £9.97 at Boots
StriVectin’s TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream PLUS, £79
Super Facialist Retinol+ Anti-Ageing Restoring Serum, £18.60
The INKEY List Retinol Serum, £9.99
The Solution. Retinol Body Lotion, £10
Wild Science Lab Root + Fruit Bright Start Broad Spectrum UV Shield, £39