Okay, so you’ve baked yourself crazy, sacrificed beauty sleep for last-minute work projects (and late-night parties) and stuffed yourself silly with sugary treats. Who hasn’t? What counts – at least in terms of looking younger – isn’t so much what you used to do, but what you’re doing right now. Consider this: ”Extrinsic agers” (a.k.a. those lifestyle choices we make that cause our skin to look years older than it should) accounts for an astounding 80 percent of skin ageing. Good for you, since scientific breakthroughs in the past decade have made it possible to reverse at least part of that self-inflicted damage, repairing skin’s most vulnerable areas with targeted products and treatments to redeem your sins and effectively slow down the clock.
#1. Skin Sin: Alcohol
We all love a little tipple every now and then, whether it’s meeting up with your girlfriends for a good cocktail after work, enjoying a drink with an evening meal or having a glass of wine at home to unwind after a busy day. However, sipping excessively can cause your skin’s blood vessels to lose tone permanently, causing persistent flushing and blotchy bumps. In fact, alcohol consumption is also proven to exacerbate flare-ups of rosacea (a skin condition which is characterized by excessive flushing, broken facial capillaries, inflamed pimple-like bumps and extreme sensitivity), as well as psoriasis. Heavy drinkers also tend to look older than their peers because they’ve been chronically dehydrated. Lines in dehydrated skin appear deeper faster, and skin cells’ collagen-regenerating capability is reduced as well.
Damage Control: A flushed look makes your face appear irritated, painfully shy or downright flustered…on top of clouding your even glow. Tone down excessive redness with VBeam Perfecta, the gold standard and gentle laser for minimising broken capillaries and generalised flushing to get your complexion calm and brilliant sans sensitising chemicals. Ditch dehydration, dullness and dastardly lines for a perpetual “I-just-ran-5-miles” dewy glow overnight with Revitalift Face to rejuvenate tired, lacklustre and dehydrated skins.
#2. Skin Sin: Too much jumping in your exercise regime
Working out is good for your skin. It boosts circulation, sending oxygen-rich blood to your cells; regulates your hormones, keeping inflammation-inducing hormones down; and more. However, if you’re not careful, losing weight can actually take a major toll on your skin. The first thing to go when you start shedding pounds? Skin firmness. Yes, cardio is essential for calorie and fat burning, but constant jumping and pavement pounding adds stress and can pull down skin that’s already lax.
Damage Control: Take a firm stand against gravity with Ulthera: The Ulthera lunchtime facelift is your modern non-invasive alternative to lift deep saggy tissues from within – sans scalpels, injections or downtime. Jowly jawlines are redefined and listless, droopy brows get an uplifting experience in just one session.
#3. Skin Sin: Excessive UV Exposure
UV damage is the number one cause of premature skin ageing. If you worshipped Apollo in your youth; and roasted your skin to a crisp every weekend without adequate sun protection – you probably have been exposed to this silent skin killer. Irregular pigmentation, most commonly in the form of discrete sunspots or patchy melisma start showing up on your face. Since blotchy skin is less able to reflect light, any subtle or overt discolouration will rob away the luminous clarity that says healthy, gorgeous skin. While you can’t undo past sins that have stained your complexion, there is plenty you can do to fight the ravages of sun and wipe years off your appearance.
#4. Skin Sin: Smoking
With 4,000 harmful chemicals in a cigarette, you’re ageing your body, face, teeth and skin every time you light up. By cutting oxygen supply, impairing wound healing abilities, sapping your skin of nutrients like vitamin C, and increasing the breakdown of collagen, smoking adds extensive wrinkles around the mouth and eyes, premature sagging, darkened lips, dullness, discolouration and extra years to your appearance, giving rise to what’s dubbed “the smoker’s face”.
Damage Control: Start by optimizing your skincare regime with the classic wrinkle repair quartet consisting of SPF, Peptides, AHA and Retinoids(SPAR). Treatments like Quattro Toning are also growing in popularity to spruce up the dull, crinkly complexion more rapidly and without downtime. Resistant wrinkles etched in delicate skin around the mouth and eyes might need a combination of Botox, fillers and a sophisticated resurfacing laser such as Fraxel Light to improve.