A Dermatologist’s Guide To Anti-Ageing While In Quarantine
Look younger, fight skin ageing, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles by practicing a good skincare routine—while social distancing.
Taking care of your skin or combating wrinkles hardly seems important nowadays given the global health pandemic. However, putting on a beauty mask or making sure your skin is properly hydrated might just be the welcome distraction you need from the challenging news you hear each day.
Keep in mind, though—you likely don’t have spa-level equipment at home or general expertise to do Botox injections or extractions. What you can do now is create a strong skincare regimen with DIY solutions, as well as get advice from beauty experts and dermatologists, who are offering skincare videos on social media, and skincare consultations with patients.
To help you rejuvenate you face, we turned to skincare expert, content creator, and dermatologist Dr. Gaile Robredo-Vitas of BeautiqueMD, who recently partnered with cult-favorite Thai skincare brand Snailwhite. In this interview, she shared with us the best anti-ageing skincare tips while in quarantine, how we can avoid wrinkles, and the most powerful anti-ageing ingredients that we should know about.
MS: Can you share with us some of the best anti-aging skincare tips while in quarantine?
Dr. Gaile Robredo-Vitas: The following are what I call skin care “essentials”–those that we should still do despite being indoors most of the time:
Cleansing. Though it may seem that your skin is “clean” because you are indoors, make-up free and not exposed to the elements, we still need to properly clean our skin to prevent build-up of dead skin cells and to remove oil, dirt and even bacteria that can later on lead to blackheads and whiteheads and breakouts.
Wash your face twice a day using a soap-free cleanser. One that “cleans” while preserving your skin’s protective barrier made up of ceramides and natural lipids.
Exfoliation. Exfoliation aids in removing leftover dirt and debris not effectively by your cleansers. It also helps remove dead skin cells to encourage production of new ones and also allows for better penetration of the products you put on your skin. When exfoliating, you can either use physical scrubs that will not abrade your skin, or you can go for chemical exfoliants– such as creams, toners or tonics containing AHAs (Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid) or BHAs (Salicylic Acid).
You may also use exfoliating pads that allow you to do both–mechanical and chemical exfoliation. What you have to remember when exfoliating is that it’s very important to find the kind that works best for your skin and you do this by asking for the advice of your dermatologist and to exfoliate correctly, otherwise you may end up doing more damage than good. Exfoliation is not recommended for those with existing inflammatory conditions and those with known allergies to AHAs and BHAs.
Applying sunscreen. We still need to wear sunscreen even when we are indoors. Window glass only blocks UVB–the burning ray, but still lets in UVA–the aging ray; and other than UVA, we also need protection from high energy visible light or blue light, which is emitted by our laptop computers, tablets and cellphones. What is important when it comes to sunscreen application is to use sunscreens that are broad-spectrum with at least an SPF of 30, applying the right amount, which is 2mg for every 2cm2 of skin or 1/3 of a tsp for an average-sized face, to reapply as needed, every 2 hours or more frequently when swimming or perspiring and to choose something that you are willing to apply on your face everyday.
Nourishing your skin with moisturizers. Containing pro-collagens such as vitamin a (retinol) and c, anti-oxidants and peptides. Pick something that is age-appropriate and contains the ingredients that target your skin concern—it can be fine lines, pigmentation or dry and sensitive skin. Your choice of ingredients is a very personal one.
MS: How can we avoid wrinkles?
GRV: These are my tips:
A. Staying out of the sun (UV radiation) because exposure to UV radiation accelerates collagen degeneration
B. Minimizing excessive muscle movements on the face or by undergoing preventive treatments such as botulinum toxin injections that temporarily paralyze muscles.
C. Eating a balanced diet and minimizing consumption of refined sugars, trans fat and processed food – your body needs the right food to supply it with the nutrients it needs to function properly. Without them you become weak and more prone to diseases.
D. Getting enough restful sleep—this is just as important as eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. It is when we sleep that our body recovers. It is crucial for proper brain functioning and greatly affects cognition, concentration and performance.
MS: What are some of the most powerful anti-aging ingredients that we should know about and how do they work?
A. Retinol or Vitamin A is my go-to anti-aging ingredient. It reduces fine lines and wrinkles, improves pigmentation, reduces pores size and makes our skin smoother and more plump. Retinol is a keratolytic, it increases skin cell turnover unclogging the pores and preventing formation of blackheads or whiteheads and having breakouts. In addition to stimulating collagen production by activating certain receptors in our skin, retinol also prevents the production of collagenase, which is an enzyme that breaks down collagen in our skin.
Retinol is also an anti-oxidant which protects our skin from the damage that environmental pollution and toxins we are exposed to daily.
B. Snail Secretion Filtrate or Snail Mucin. A mucus-like ingredient that is emitted by snails to protect themselves against bacteria, cuts, and UV rays. It contains a combination of potent ingredients like elastin, proteins, anti-microbials, copper peptides, hyaluronic acid, and glycolic acid which is why it’s known for being able to improve skin’s appearance overall. This one ingredient can do a lot for your skin such as soothe redness, hydrate dry patches, reduce the appearance of signs of aging, brighten dark spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation, and protect your skin from free radicals. I like that this is also gentle enough to be used with other products with active ingredients because it complements them.
C. Antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and E, and I actually like to use them in combination. Vitamin C minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helps lighten pigmentation, while Vitamin E acts as our first line of defense from free radicals and oxidative stress and helps protect our skin from environmental stressors such as UV radiation and pollution. Combined use of these two ingredients will give us healthy, younger-looking skin with a brighter and more even complexion.
D. Exfoliants, the Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs). We make new skin cells every 28 days, however as we get older, this ‘skin turnover’ slows down and becomes less efficient resulting in dry, dull or lackluster skin, enlarged pores and an uneven skin tone. Exfoliation aids in removing leftover dirt and debris not effectively by your cleansers and also removes dead-skin cells to encourage production of new ones and also allows for better penetration of the products you put on your skin. Both the AHAs and BHAs work by breaking the bonds that hold dead skin cells together on the surface causing them to shed naturally revealing smoother skin. AHAs like your glycolic and lactic acids are water-soluble and work on the surface of the skin, while your BHA, your salicylic acid, is fat-soluble and goes deep inside the pore and helps to unclog it.
E. Niacinamide or Vitamin B3 is a water-soluble vitamin that works by restoring our skin’s protective barrier and repairing the damage caused by environmental stressors. Niacinamide also protects against moisture loss and dehydration. It works well with almost all ingredients and is well-tolerated by all skin types even those with sensitive skin. When used consistently, it keeps your skin hydrated, improves uneven skin tone and diminishes fine lines and wrinkles.
Now that you have the lowdown of the best tips, below are also some of the best anti-ageing skincare products that you can regularly use to achieve that youthful glow.
Special thanks to Snailwhite Philippines