Let Vitamin C Save Your Skin
Environmentally damaged skin is skin that presents itself as prematurely aged through environment or photo aging (sun damage).
Because so little was known about the effects of photo aging, or UV damage, for a long time, a lot of Celtic or Irish skin is now considered this way. The effects are cumulative but we now know that prevention is better than cure.
Prevention comes in two formats; skincare and SPF. Treating the effects requires both in salon/clinic treatment and an at home regime. The important thing with this type of damage is that cell turnover happens (this slows as we age) and once you accelerate it, then you protect the newer skin underneath completely.
It is a myth that a foundation or BB cream will be sufficient for this. A separate product is best as this will do only one job and do it well. I tend to favour a standalone product as it can double as a good primer for your make-up too. Choose one from a skincare band, as opposed to one you would use on holidays as these – if used continually – it can clog and congest the skin.
Let us first look at prevention: A high-quality vitamin C is the most practical and effective method of delivering an antioxidant topically. Vitamin C has a unique status when it comes to skincare. When added to your daily skincare routine, well-formulated products containing vitamin C provide a range of benefits, from helping to even out your skin tone and significantly improving hydration, to keeping your skin looking younger for longer.
However, not all vitamin C is created equal and the most lauded of all is L-ascorbic acid. When properly formulated (it needs to penetrate your natural PH of 5.5), ascorbic acid helps create younger-looking, firmer-feeling skin, while signs of uneven skin tone seem to disappear.
Ascorbic acid also helps skin’s surface rebuff free radicals and reduce the effects of exposure to the elements. The most effective delivery methods has been proven to be a once per day serum applied topically.
Skinceuticals have a range of three, available at Kathryn Revell Cosmetic: Serum 10 at €78 and CE Ferulic or Phloretin CF, both retailing at €150.
My experience with these products, having used them all over the last 18 months, has been this: Serum 10 is ideal if it’s your first time to use a vitamin C. Phloretin is for oily or combination skin and CE Ferulic is ideal for dry or mature skin.
Always keep the lids on Vitamin C products closed and keep them out of sunlight too. If you are lacking radiance, look at supplements that contain the magic Vitamin c and zinc combination; particularly if break-outs are common with your skin.
Starter kits are something that lots of brands are embracing, because today’s consumer is savvier than ever. I recently got to try Nimue (a cosmeceutical brand available in salons and clinics) and their kit for environmentally damaged skin. It contained smaller sizes of the cleansing gel, exfoliating enzyme, day and night cream, conditioner (toner but less harsh) and an SPF.
The two stand-out products for me were the exfoliating enzyme and the SPF. The exfoliating enzyme works by breaking down the protein bonds on your stratum corneam (top layer of skin that you shed) to detach them and help them shed. You apply the product, leave it for two to three minutes and then rinse off.
The SPF 40 is light, contains Vitamin c and does a really stellar job as a primer. As a range I have tried only the products in the kit and but I must say that they were all really great.
The full range is available at Coco’s in Ballincollig and you can avail of their in-salon peels also.