Body & Skin Care

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It acts as a protective covering and is the first barrier against illness and disease, as well as a passageway to our bloodstream.  Culturally, skin defines much of our standard for beauty. Bright, youthful skin signals health and vitality. And, just like every part of our bodies, skin responds to care and attention. Good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices can slow the aging process, keeping skin healthier for longer. This section will give you the information you need to work towards achieving or maintaining beautiful, radiant skin.

The Skin Care Basics page contains essential details for day-by-day care of your skin. There’s also information for those who’d like to understand more about the ingredients in various skin care products in the market, and how they may benefit your skin.

Because we recognise that different skin types have different needs, included are tips for managing dry skin, as well as managing oily skin. For up-to-date advice on how to slow down the aging process, see our Anti-Aging Care Tips.

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Good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices can keep your skin healthy and glowing for years to come. Proper skin care can also help delay the natural aging process and prevent various skin problems. Here are some basic skin care tips:

  • Cleanse and moisturise your skin daily: Wash your face twice daily – once in the morning and once at night before going to bed. The purpose of a cleanser is to remove dirt, debris, germs, excess oils, and left-over products applied to the skin. After you cleanse, follow with a moisturiser to hydrate and replenish the skin. Moisturising is necessary even for people with oily skin, but buy a moisturiser that is best suited for your skin type (dry, normal, or oily).
  • Protect yourself from the sun: One of the most important ways to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. Extended sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems, as well as increase the risk of skin cancer. Limit your time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10am and 2pm, and always wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater. Cover exposed areas with protective clothing which is specifically designed to block ultraviolet rays, such as a long-sleeve shirt, pants, and a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Don't smoke: Smoking damages the skin in a number of different ways. It narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow and depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin, which are the fibres that give your skin its strength and elasticity.
  • Eat a healthy diet: According to Mayo Clinic , research suggests that a diet rich in vitamin C and low in unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates may promote younger looking skin. Vitamin C stimulates collagen synthesis to protect against wrinkles, so reach for fruits like kiwi, oranges, and grapefruit. Greens like spinach, arugula and broccoli are packed with naturally occurring antioxidants that help fight the aging effects of sun, pollution, and time. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and walnuts, can also improve the skin's elasticity.
  • Manage stress: Apart from affecting your overall health, uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin, as well as a healthy state of mind, take steps to manage your stress. Try incorporating relaxation techniques, such as meditation, breathing exercises or yoga into your daily routine.
  • Seek professional help for skin problems: There are a range of different skin problems, such as acne or rashes, which might affect you throughout your lifetime. Address the problem by seeing a professional skin expert, such as a dermatologist, for more severe skin problems.
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Have you ever wondered what the ingredients listed in your skin care product means? This information can help you understand more about the ingredients in various skin care products in the market, and how they may benefit your skin:

  • Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs): This group of natural-based acids found in a vast number of skin care products includes glycolic, lactic, citric, and tartaric acids. AHAs are used to exfoliate the skin, reducing fine lines, age spots, acne scars, and irregular pigmentation. They also may help to decrease enlarged pores. To avoid skin irritation, start with a cream or lotion that has a low concentration of AHA (5-15%) and apply every other day, gradually working up to daily application. Even at lower doses, however, the acids may irritate and dry skin as well as increase sensitivity to the sun. Doctors recommend using moisturiser and sunscreen when using any products that contain AHAs.
  • Beta-hydroxy acid (salicylic acid): Salicylic acid exfoliates skin and can improve its texture and colour. Because it penetrates pores, it also helps with acne. Many skin care products – over-the-counter and prescription – contain salicylic acid. Studies have shown that salicylic acid is less irritating than skin care products containing alpha-hydroxy acids but has similar results in improving skin texture and colour.
  • Hydroquinone: Skin care products containing hydroquinone are popularly referred to as bleaching creams or lightening agents. These skin care products are used to lighten hyperpigmentation, such as age spots and dark spots related to pregnancy or hormone therapy. If you are allergic to hydroquinones, you can use products containing kojic acid instead. Pregnant women cannot use hydroquinone.
  • Kojic Acid: Kojic acid is made from a fungus, and studies have shown that it is effective at lightening skin. Kojic acid is a more recent remedy for treating pigment problems and age spots.
  • Retinol: Retinol is made from vitamin A, and is in many non-prescription skin care products.  It can improve mottled pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, skin texture, skin tone and colour. However, pregnant women should not use retinol.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps to minimise fine lines, scars and wrinkles. It's the only antioxidant that is proven to boost production of collagen, which keeps skin strong, flexible, and resilient. However, be choosy when selecting a vitamin C product. Vitamin C in its most commonly found forms is highly unstable when exposed to oxygen, making it useless. If you want to use a topical vitamin C-based product, ask your dermatologist which one would be most effective for you.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid is known for its ability to reduce the signs of aging. Your body produces hyaluronic acid naturally, keeping tissues cushioned and lubricated. Age, smoking, and an unhealthy diet cause you to make less of it over time. Products containing hyaluronic acid are most frequently used to treat wrinkled skin. It's especially effective when combined with vitamin C products.
  • Copper Peptide: Copper peptide promotes collagen and elastin production, and also acts as an antioxidant. Studies have shown that copper-dependent enzymes help firm, smooth, and soften the skin quicker than most other anti-aging skin care products. In addition, copper peptides have been shown to remove damaged collagen and elastin from the skin and scar tissue.
  • Alpha-Lipoic Acid: Alpha-lipoic acid diminishes fine lines, gives skin a healthy glow, and boosts levels of other antioxidants, such as vitamin C. Alpha-lipoic acid can enter all parts of a skin cell. Due to this quality, it is believed that alpha-lipoic acid can provide more protection than other antioxidants against damaging free radicals.
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Here are some simple ways to combat dry skin and prevent its return:

  • Limit bath or shower time: Limit your time in the shower or bath to 5 or 10 minutes. If you bathe more than that, you may strip away much of the skin’s oily layer and cause it to lose moisture. Use lukewarm rather than hot water, which can wash away natural oils.
  • Blot skin dry: After a bath or shower, pat skin dry gently for less than 20 seconds – don’t rub the skin when toweling dry.
  • Apply moisturiser immediately after washing: Moisturisers work by trapping existing moisture in your skin. Apply moisturiser while your skin is still damp.
  • Use only gentle, unscented skin care products: Some skin care products are too harsh for dry, sensitive skin. Steer clear of deodorant soaps, perfumed soaps, and skin care products that contain alcohol, fragrance, retinoids, or alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA).
  • Use an ointment or cream: According to the American Academy of Dermatology , ointments and creams are more effective and less irritating than lotions. Look for a cream or ointment that contains an oil such as olive oil or jojoba oil. Shea butter also works well. Other ingredients that help to soothe dry skin include lactic acid, urea, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil, and petrolatum.
  • Use a humidifier in the winter: Set it to around 60%, a level that should be sufficient to replenish the top layer of the skin.
  • Avoid fabrics and laundry detergents that irritate the skin: Wear cotton or wool under fabrics that feel rough, such as wool. Use fragrance-free laundry detergents and avoid fabric softeners.
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If you struggle with the daily nuisance of a shiny face, you know how difficult it is to get oily skin under control. Here are some steps you can take to manage oily skin:

  • Always follow a washing-moisturising regime: This is a crucial step in reducing the symptoms of oily skin and should be done on a daily basis.
  • Don’t over-wash: Twice a day is enough to keep your skin healthy.
  • Always remove makeup before sleep: Never go to sleep with makeup on as you are putting your skin at risk of clogged pores and excessive oil production. Your skin needs time to breathe, especially when you are asleep and your body is in repair mode.
  • Use a mild, all natural soap: Soaps with harsh chemicals and strong scents can irritate the skin and cause an overproduction of oil to occur.
  • Go for a natural moisturiser: While it seems like it doesn’t make sense to apply moisturiser to oily skin, the skin’s response to oil removal is to produce more oil. Therefore it’s important to keep your skin’s moisture level balanced.
  • Exfoliate regularly: Oily skin tends to have a layer of dead skin cells that have been built up on the surface of the skin. Exfoliation can remove this build up while reducing clogged pores and keeping the skin smooth.
  • Opt for oil-free cosmetics: Look for the words “oil free” and “water-based” on all skin-care products. 
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Slow down the aging process with these skin care tips:

  • Wear sunscreen every day: Regular sunscreen use protects against wrinkling, spotting and loss of elasticity caused by exposure to the sun's ultraviolet radiation. You need sun protection during daylight hours, no matter if it’s overcast or you’re staying indoors. The sun’s rays can pass through clouds and windows, so you're always exposed. Apply sunscreen with broad-spectrum SPF of at least 15.
  • Cleanse your face daily: Using a non-soap cleanser and warm water, remove dirt and oil to create a canvas for anti-aging products, which you should apply in order of consistency, from thinnest (for e.g. serums) to thickest (for e.g. creams) so they properly penetrate skin.
  • Treat your eyes: The area around your eyes is the first place to show visible signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. The skin here tends to be thinner, drier and more sensitive than any other area on your face. Gently pat a pea-size amount of cream on the undereye area as part of your daily routine.
  • Moisturise: Maintaining a moisture balance in your skin reduces the appearance of fine lines, prevents sensitivity and controls oil production. Each time you wash your face, you remove some of its natural moisture. If the moisture isn’t replaced, skin becomes dehydrated. Pat it on while your skin is still damp to seal in moisture.
  • Don't smoke: Smoking damages collagen and elastin, which are the fibres that give your skin its strength and elasticity.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains for healthy skin. A diet rich in vitamin C and low in unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates can promote younger looking skin.
  • Exercise regularly: Apart from offering a range of health benefits, exercising also helps your skin by increasing blood flow and flushing out dirt from your skin.
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