You’re not imagining it, freckles have become a trending beauty look recently. While once these cute lil’ spots were covered, they are now showcased (and faux-cased) loud and proud. We all know these wee guys have a tendency to present themselves after some sun exposure – but please, don’t let your skin guard down in the name of freckle fashion. Instead, here’s expert tips on how to protect your freckle-prone skin this summer.
Sunscreen – This is a non-negotiable daily skincare product. Choose a UVA/UVB 50+ for everyday wear.
Niacinamide – A form of vitamin B3, this is a pigment inhibitor which helps to reduce the formation of pigment.
Vitamin C – Not only does vit C help to target pigment and increase light protection, it can also stimulate collagen and elastin and fight free radicals.
The days are getting shorter and colder, and we get it – all you want to do is snuggle up and never leave the house. But life beckons us to reluctantly crawl out of our caves, and mustering up the mental and physical energy to get through the day doesn’t come easily to the best of us.
Metropol caught up with Head Pharmacist at Unichem Cashel Pharmacy, Annabel Turley to get her top three essential vitamins to keep you in tip-top shape this winter.
Vitamin C: Taking regular Vitamin C supplements is the key to a top-performing immune system all winter long, Annabel explains. “Not only is it a godsend when it comes to warding off colds and flus, Vitamin C also helps protect and improve the function of cells, supports the absorption of iron and helps to maintain healthy bones, cartilage, skin and teeth,” she says.
Unichem Cashel Pharmacy offers a range of vitamin C brands that are high quality and fast-absorbing.
Vitamin D: According to recent studies, there is in fact a link between Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Vitamin D deficiency, which explains the winter slump. This little warrior can battle depression, anxiety, fatigue and muscle aches!
“It’s vital for healthy immunity, energy and mental wellbeing,” Annabel says. “It is also unfortunately not present in most foods, but relatively high doses can be found in cod liver oil capsules which are available here at the pharmacy.”
Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is required to make healthy red blood cells that are needed to carry oxygen throughout the body. Researchers have discovered that individuals with B vitamin deficiency may find themselves more sensitive to cold temperatures. and the result is poor circulation, Annabel explains. “So this means cold hands and feet and general intolerance to low temperatures.”
Unichem Cashel Pharmacy not only offers vitamin B12 supplements, but they can also do B12 injections.
They say you are what you eat. But can you feast your way to fabulous skin?
Metropol catches up with Oxford Women’s Health dietitian Sara Widdowson to discuss the impact of diet on your skin.
How much influence does our diet have on our skin?
It seems many of us have skin complaints we would rather live without and, while there is no shortage of topical creams and lotions claiming to give the results you desire, there is often little attention given to the importance of nutrition when it comes to skin health.
Zinc, vitamins A, C and D, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, are all key players in your skin’s health and the nutritional treatment of skin complaints.
What foods should we be avoiding?
There is some evidence that foods that contribute to a high glycaemic diet (high in refined carbohydrates and sugar) can contribute to the development of acne.
This is because high sugar levels in the bloodstream cause the release of a hormone called insulin, which increases production of androgens – hormones associated with an increase in acne.
When eating carbohydrates, aim to include those high in fibre, such as wholegrains, pulses, legumes, vegetables and fruit, rather than foods with added sugar.
What are some of the best foods we can eat to make the most of our skin health?
Zinc is an essential micronutrient for many processes within the human body, including skin healing.
Research has shown that those with acne have lower zinc stores than those without skin complaints.
The exact mechanism in which zinc assists in the treatment of acne is not fully understood but what is clear is that there is a relationship between zinc intake and acne.
Zinc is relatively safe to take as a supplement and is found in food sources such as red meat, shellfish and nuts or seeds.
Vitamin A has been shown to prevent UV-light mediated skin damage and is likely useful for the treatment of psoriasis.
Vitamin A is found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, as well as eggs and dark leafy vegetables.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fats that are known to have health benefits, such as reducing inflammation in women with endometriosis and protection against heart disease.
When it comes to skin health, supplementation of omega-3 is useful for dermatitis and psoriasis treatment. You can find omega-3 in foods such as oily fish, avocado and olive oil.
This vitamin is unique as it is found in poor quantities in our food.
Most of our vitamin D comes from sunlight but there is a fine line between sun exposure that is helpful for skin and increasing your risk of sun damage.
Vitamin D reduces inflammation and improves immunity and skin healing time.
Vitamin C is often taken to prevent or treat a cold but it also plays a valuable role in skin health.
Remember stories of sailors getting scurvy while out at sea for months without fruits and vegetables?
This is due to vitamin C deficiency. While deficiency in recent times is uncommon, appropriate intake does promote skin hydration and wound healing.
Fine lines, dark circles, age spots, dry skin and thinning hair are just a few of the unavoidable aspects of getting older that keep us up at night. There are some clever tricks of the trade that make it possible to bring back that youthful glow.
Beauty bloggers and dermatologists are raving about Vitamin C for anti-aging. It can improve the appearance and texture of your skin by decreasing the sun’s harmful effect on the skin and preventing future damage. It also encourages collagen production to promote skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. What’s more, this miracle antioxidant targets stubborn skin discoloration and reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation, redness and under-eye circles. Serums are one of the best ways to add Vitamin C to your skincare routine.
These anti-aging injectables fill in wrinkles and depressions, replenishing lost volume to smooth your skin and promote an even complexion. Dermal fillers like Restylane and Juvéderm® use hyaluronic acid, a sugar naturally found in the body, to soften facial wrinkles and restore volume. When injected into the skin, it causes a smoothing, filling effect where lost volume needs to be restored. The effects of hyaluronic acid last between six and 12 months. An experienced injector who understands facial anatomy can give you the natural results you want.
As the name suggests, microneedling involves pricking the skin with tiny needles, creating microscopic channels for anti-aging products, like hyaluronic acid or Vitamin C, to penetrate the deep layers of the skin. The tiny injuries caused by the needles promote collagen production and build new elastin. The anti-aging results of microneedling are most apparent after four to five treatments. The treatment is especially effective at treating large pores, acne scars, neck lines and wrinkles around the mouth.
Just as your hair thins with age, your eyebrows may start to look sparse as you get older. Microblading is a non-surgical cosmetic procedure that can give you the appearance of thick, lush brows to lift your face and make you look younger. The technique involves using a hand-controlled device with ultrafine needles to make microscopic strokes which are filled in with semi-permanent pigment that resembles your natural eyebrow hair, creating a defined shape and fuller look. Results last between one and three years, depending on skin type.
Vitamin A (Retinol)
The wrinkles and freckles we associate with aging appear most prominently on skin that has been exposed to the sun. Vitamin A, which you might also see labelled as retinol, helps fade these dark spots and stimulates the production of new skin cells. And these are just the creams and serums you can get over the counter. Prescription-strength retinoid can actually renew the skin by treating acne, reducing the appearance of fine lines and evening out skin tone. Not only can retinol boost collagen production and treat the signs of aging that are already there but also it can potentially prevent future sun damage.
Among the millions of minimally invasive cosmetic procedures performed each year, BOTOX® is one of the most popular. It is used to reduce fine lines and wrinkles in the face by paralysing the underlying muscles, which stops the overlying skin from creasing. The anti-aging effects last between three and six months. It is important to note that BOTOX® will not treat wrinkles caused by sun damage, but, when paired with another treatment like microneedling, BOTOX® can produce fantastic anti-aging results.
Radiofrequency Skin Tightening
A radiofrequency (RF) treatment involves heating the deepest layers of the skin to encourage new collagen production and cell turnover to help the skin become firmer, thicker and younger-looking. While lasers work to improve the skin’s surface, radiofrequency treatments use a lower frequency to safely penetrate to a deeper level. This helps improve skin tone and structure, and it can even lift tissue. Radiofrequency treatments can be performed in tandem with injectables, microneedling and other minimally invasive treatments to achieve complete facial rejuvenation.
Makeup can transform your appearance and minimise the physical signs of aging. Primer helps minimise fine lines and large pores by filling them in. For fuller lips, lightly draw over the border on your lips with a lip liner that matches your natural lip tone and top with a sheer gloss. Bold and defined eyebrows can also make you look younger. A brow pencil that is a cross between a pencil and a powder will create the illusion of fuller brows. For your eyes, use a cream eye shadow in a neutral shade and apply powder illuminator to the inner corner of your eyes. Cream and silicone-based cosmetics work best for aging complexions because they ‘melt’ into the skin and offer a flawless, natural-looking finish, while powder settles into fine lines and can make the signs of aging more apparent.
Laser resurfacing uses short, concentrated beams of light to remove layers of the skin for improved texture. Facial flaws like age spots, acne scars, wrinkles and sun damage respond well to laser resurfacing as it smooths out your skin for a complexion that not only looks younger, but actually is younger. A series of treatments are best for long-lasting results.
Vitamin C’s the hottest thing to hit skincare since sliced bread. We’ve got a big dose of everything you need to know about this antioxidant and why we’re crushing on it right now.
As the new ‘it’ ingredient in skincare, Vitamin C has been adding muscle to our beauty regime over recent years with its antioxidant super powers. We up the vitamin internally in the winter, so externally, it’s logical to utilise the superhero’s properties to help fight those unavoidable free radicals in the environment – these arch enemies of our skin.
Winter especially ravishes our faces with free radicals such as pollution, and the drying effects of cold winds and moisture-zapping home heating. We need plenty of collagen in our skin and neutralising antioxidants to be able to fight back – Vitamin C does both.
The vitamin’s role in collagen is essential. It is the structural protein our bodies need to create the connective tissues for our entire body. This building-block protein plumps skin with firm elasticity and luminosity. Collagen synthesis sadly decreases with age in our bodies, so the more help we can get from both inside and out to infuse the powerful C into the skin’s structural matrix, the better. By incorporating the vitamin in a form that is readily bioavailable to our skin, quality beauty products can now help heal, nourish and protect from the outside.
And the science does stack up quite nicely. From serums to creams, the new age in skincare claims, in many cases, to help prevent and even reverse signs of aging such as wrinkles and age spots. Vitamin C as an antioxidant helps regulate skin tone. In a multitude of game-changing new products, it works in effective synergy with other antioxidant skin savers. Packaging and storage is also important to protect the vitamin’s effectiveness from light, heat and air.
Yet another little trick up its beauty sleeve, Vitamin C neutralises chlorine, which can dry the skin. So for a bath that doesn’t smell like a swimming pool, add around 1000mg of Vitamin C in powder or effervescent tablet form to counteract chlorine tap water. It’s really a wonder that Vitamin C only comes third in the alphabet – but it comes first in our toiletry bags this winter.