Basic skin care: The X Factor

In partnership with SA’s top medical aesthetic companies

Looking to add some oomph to your skin? These skin-care ingredients will raise your skin routine to new heights.

Some of us are born with skin that doesn’t age well. Some of us don’t protect our skin from the sun during childhood, and some of us don’t use effective, active skin care and look after our skin. Either way, we can end up with skin that looks lacklustre, uneven, blotchy and even lined well before its time. Even if we haven’t looked after our skin properly up ‘til now, it is possible to reverse a substantial amount of damage – and prevent future damage – with the right skin care. It’s never too late.

Your first step is to book a consultation with a skin doctor or skin care professional at a Skin Renewal medical aesthetic clinic. After examining your skin, they will prescribe the best course of treatment for your skin. If it has serious environmental damage, you may need professional treatments, such as chemical peels, needling, medical facials or laser therapies, which stimulate collagen, the vital ingredient in our skin that keep it youthful-looking, firm, plump and wrinkle-free, as well as refining the skin texture and giving it increased radiance.

However, it is vital to follow up these treatments with a home-care routine using medical skin care that is enhanced by GRASS active ingredients, which continue the good work begun with the professional treatments.

We’ve mentioned the GRASS principles (please link) that keep your skin nourished, hydrated and topped up with the vital ingredients it needs to keep it healthy, working effectively and protected against environmental damage, but what are they exactly?

G for Growth factors and peptides

Growth factors are proteins that play an important part in maintaining healthy structure and function of all types of skin cells, including the cells that make collagen and elastin. (Find them in Lamelle Dermaheal)

Peptides are protein fragments made up of amino acids. Different combinations make up different peptides. Peptide technology has improved over the years and different peptides are used in skin care formulas to stimulate the skin’s own proteins that target firmness, wrinkle, texture and elasticity, for example. (Try NeoStrata Skin Active range).

R for Retinoids

Retinoids is the blanket name for different forms of vitamin A, the vitamin vital for our skin health. Available in different forms (retinol, retinaldehyde, retinyl palmitate), retinoids were first discovered to help with acne, but they were soon noticed to improve the appearance of wrinkles as well. And this powerful antioxidant has been a powerhouse in skin care and dermatological treatments since the 1980s. The only downside is that retinoids can irritate and dry the skin, as well as making it very sun sensitive. So you need to start with a low dose and increase the strength as your skin develops tolerance. (SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3, 0.5, 1.0)

A for Antioxidants are essential for keeping our bodies healthy and youthful as they neutralise cell-damaging free radicals. Unfortunately, the antioxidant supplements we take daily don’t help much with our skin’s need as it is the last organ to be supplied. Applying a skin cream with potent antioxidants such as vitamins C, E, resveratrol, green tea, etc., is a daily must to protect the skin and/or help reverse free radical damage.

S for Specialty product

If you have pigmentation, acne, rosacea, sensitivity or other conditions, add specific products that target these conditions to your general routine. Your skin specialist will advise you which treatments are best for your needs, and how to fit them into your routine.

S for Sunscreen

The last step in your skin routine, sunscreen is always the top layer, designed to shield your skin against damage from both UVA and UVB rays. Many modern sunscreens are also skin treatments, as they contain ingredients such as antioxidants.

For more information on skin care from the outside in and from the inside out, visit Skin Renewal on or contact 0861 SKIN SA (754 672).

Take the quick Beyond Beauty Survey and you could win a R2 000 Skin Renewal voucher to spend in our online store, with free delivery within South Africa. T&Cs apply.

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