Seven Skin Tips By Dr Alek Nikolic
This advice is for all ages so even if you are in your 20’s or 30’s one should consider a skin regime to maintain the skin’s health and stimulate its health for the future.
More than a great wardrobe or a skilled hand with make-up, glowing skin turns heads. A study was done that specifically asked the question: ‘What makes us look old. What are the factors that when someone looks at us makes them think this person looks old.’ Interestingly wrinkles were not No. 1 on the list.
So what are the factors that make us look ‘old’?
First is Texture and Colour of the skin, second is the Glow or Luminosity to the skin, then it is the Symmetry of the face and its structures and lastly are Wrinkles. Having a smooth, pore and pigment free glowing skin is our answer to looking ‘young’.
Just ask my wife Samantha, whose main job is to look after me, our patients and our cosmetic practice – no mean feat! She regularly gets complimented by our patients on her seemingly poreless, ‘lit-from-within’ complexion.
The key to that gorgeous skin? She was born with it. And she has stayed out the sun from when she was much younger.
“Honestly, I’ve always been lucky to have good skin,” Samantha says. “But staying out the sun has played a large part in keeping it that way.”
Yes, some people win the hereditary lottery when it comes to good skin. “Not all skin is created equal,” says Paula Bourelly, MD, a dermatology professor at Georgetown University. “You can’t underestimate the value of genetics.”
But genes are just the starting point. Beautiful skin is also about good skin care habits practiced day in and day out.
Here are Dr Alek’s recommendations for a glowing healthy looking skin:
Sorry smokers but this has been shown to affect the skin. One of the main contributing factors is the vaso-constriction or a dramatic reduction of blood supply and therefore nutrients and oxygen to the skin.
Sunscreen, sunscreen and sunscreen.
A good SPF or sunscreen is an SPF 50 or higher that contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Imagine two people starting out with the same exact DNA. One smoked and sunbathed, the other avoided both. Would that make a difference in the appearance of their skin? Definitely Yes.
A team of experts led by plastic surgeon Bahman Guyuron, MD, of Case Western Reserve University analysed photographs of the faces of 186 pairs of identical twins taken at the Twins Day Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio. The twins had also filled out detailed questionnaires about their lives and daily habits.
Those who smoked and spent lots of time outdoors without wearing sunscreen looked years older than the brother or sister who shunned cigarettes and tanning. They had more fine lines, deeper and more plentiful wrinkles, and skin that was more mottled.
Many of the things that patients complain about such as dull, rough skin and uneven skin tone are related to chronic sun exposure. Furthermore studies have shown that smoking is associated with premature wrinkling.” Her advice:
Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of 50 or higher and contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, even on cloudy days.
Reapply your sunscreen every two to three hours if you are outdoors.
Don’t smoke — for the sake of your overall health as well as your appearance.
Consider Retinoids (or Vitamin A) and Vitamin C: Combo Ingredients for Powerful Results
Retinoids unplug pores, help clear up acne, reduce fine lines, boost collagen production, lighten brown spots and freckles, and improve skin texture. They can even help treat precancerous lesions.
Retinoids are sold by prescription only under names that include Renova, Retin-A, and the generic Tretinoin and is available on SkinMiles as the SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3. You can also consider starting with the NeoStrata Renewal cream. Key ingredients: 12% Gluconolactone, Pro-Retinol (vitamin A derivative), and Vitamin E.
Very simply put a retinoid should be the foundation of any topical anti-aging regimen.
I would even recommend that men and women make a retinoid part of their evening regimen beginning in late 20’s or early 30’s.
The downside is that Retinoids can cause dryness, flaking, and redness but with the Retinol 0.3 we have on our site this is drastically reduced with the once a week application formula.
Starting out slowly by applying a pea-sized amount of retinoid every second or third night can help your skin adjust to the powerful ingredient.
Add a few drops of SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic (15% Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid) treatment to your daily skin care regime for dramatically brighter, firmer and healthier skin.
Keep Skincare Simple
Overuse of products is the biggest mistake people make in their skincare regimens so using a lot of different ingredients can be irritating, and some ingredients cancel out each other’s benefits.
For example, the acid in salicylic or glycolic acid breaks down ingredients like retinol, hydroquinone, or vitamin C. The simpler your skincare regimen, the more likely you are to stick with it.
Give Products Time to Work
Changing your products every couple of weeks can also be counterproductive.
Give them a chance and finish the entire tube or bottle of a skincare potion before you decide how well it works.
You might, though, want to adjust your beauty regimen seasonally, swapping, say, the oil-free moisturizer you use in the summer for one that’s more emollient during the winter when frigid temperatures and indoor heating can rob your skin of moisture.
The exception: If your skin reacts with swelling, redness, or burning to a new product you’ve tried, stop using it immediately.
A Balanced Life Leads to Your Best Skin
Regular sleep optimizes the natural secretion of human growth hormone, which promotes cell turnover and collagen production. And exercise increases circulation and the flow of nutrients to the skin.
Activities like yoga and meditation help keep stress in check, which in turn reduces the release of stress hormones that worsen conditions like acne, eczema, and rosacea.
Meditating regularly may even make treatment more effective. In one study, people with psoriasis, a condition that causes itchy, scaly skin, listened to meditation tapes while they got ultraviolet light treatments. The results: They healed four times as fast as those who didn’t meditate.
Consider monthly superficial or ‘light’ glycolic acid chemical peels
like the NeoStrata or SkinCeuticals Peel Systems (doctor only administered peel treatments). Remember to use a good SPF (factor 50 or higher that contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide) applied several times daily.
The bottom line: The key to gorgeous skin turns out to be a mix of science, common sense, overall good health habits, and a simple stick-to-it skincare regimen.
If you would like to have a personal skin assessment complete our Face2Face online form and submit a photo of your skin. Dr Alek will personally assess your application and advise on a skin regime best suited to your skin.
About the authors:
Dr Alek Nikolic was born in South Africa and received his MBBCh (Wits) in 1992 and in 2000 he received his MBA (UCT). He has been in private practice for 20 years and is the owner of Aesthetic Facial Enhancement, which has offices in Cape Town.
Dr Nikolic specialises in aesthetic medicine and is at the forefront of the latest developments in his field. He is very driven and has lectured extensively lecturing and done live demonstrations throughout South Africa and abroad. Dr Nikolic’s focus is on skin care and skin ingredients and cosmetic dermatology treatments. He has performed over 20 000 procedures to date and as such is responsible for training numerous medical practitioners both in South Africa and internationally.
Dr Nikolic is one of the founding members of the South African Allergan Medical Aesthetic Academy and chaired its inaugural launch in 2012. The Allergan Academy provides essential training to keep up with the latest technology in aesthetics. Dr Nikolic holds the advisory position of Allergan Local Country Mentor in Facial Aesthetics and is the Allergan Advanced Botox and Dermal Filler Trainer. He is chairman of the Western Cape Aesthetic and Anti-Aging Medicine Society of South Africa and of the Western Cape Aesthetic Review group.