Have you spent too much time in the sun in the past, especially without SPF, used irritating care products or gone overboard with facial scrubs? Then chances are your skin is damaged or ageing more quickly. Fortunately our skincare products can help repair some of the damage and prevent concerns from worsening.
Paula’s Choice has several tips for dealing with a dull complexion, age spots, red spots, wrinkles and breakouts in adulthood.
Protect your skin from the sun to prevent any discolouration from worsening. Use a broad-spectrum sun cream daily and be sure to check that it's SPF 30 or higher. This helps reduce sun damage (brown pigment spots) and red skin left by breakouts.
Then go for products that inhibit pigment production. Ingredients such as vitamin C, niacinamide, acetyl glucosamine and retinol have been proven to be effective. Also use an AHA or BHA liquid exfoliant daily. Apply the product all over your face (or on the body part in question), not just on the spots. Be patient: it may take six to twelve weeks before you see the results.
If you’ve never used an AHA or BHA exfoliant, you may notice a quick improvement! Exfoliants help to remove build-up of dead skin cells turning a lacklustre complexion into a glowing one. They also smooth the texture of the skin, unclog pores and help improve the penetration of other skincare products into the skin- making them more effective. Double down on discolouration by combining your exfoliant with products that contain vitamin C and niacinamide.
Products with retinol have powerful anti-ageing properties. Amongst other things, retinol contributes to healthier cells, improves the skin’s firmness plus texture and helps the skin function as a barrier.
Retinol is an active ingredient that comes in various strengths. If your wrinkles are pronounced or you suffer from other sun damage, then you'll benefit from using a stronger retinol-based product. While not every skin tolerates high concentrations of retinol, it's worth checking how your skin responds to it first. You can also alternate between a product with a high concentration of retinol and one with a lower concentration. Whatever works for your unique complexion and skincare concerns!
What if you never used retinol before? Only use your retinol-based product every other day and/or blend it with a serum or moisturiser without an SPF to reduce its strength. If your skin tolerates this for one or two weeks, then you can consider using your retinol product daily.
Not everyone grows out of their spots and others only develop spots later in life. This may be due to a number of reasons such as hormonal fluctuations.
Research has shown that the best treatment for breakouts is salicylic acid (BHA). Daily use of a product with a concentration of 2% BHA (which you leave on your skin) can work miracles. BHA has many positive properties: exfoliation, reducing redness, stimulating collagen production and mild treatment of the bacteria that cause breakouts.