Regardless of our ancestral heritage, we’re all South Africans, and healthy, good-looking skin is within all our reach
The four pillars of preserving good skin are applicable to all skin types – from fairest to darkest – and each pillar is equally important in achieving best results together.
Pillar 1: wise lifestyle choices
Everything about our health (including that of our skin) is underpinned by a healthy Iifestyle. This includes following a healthy diet, regular exercise, getting enough restorative sleep, staying hydrated by drinking enough water, and managing our stress levels.
The entire system works together in harmony, and when the body is healthy, the skin will reflect that too.
The other great lifestyle factor is our relationship with the sun. For skin types 1 to 3, which burn (1 and 2) and may even tan under the sun (3), the threat from unprotected sun exposure is greatest, as it not only causes premature ageing in the form of lines, wrinkles, sagging skin and blotchy pigmentation, it can also lead to skin cancer, including deadly melanoma.
The zinger is that much of the damage that crops up later has already been done by the time we are 18, because our skin is more vulnerable, and this is the period we spend most of our time outdoors. So we need to educate our kids about staying sunwise and follow the rules ourselves: stay out of the sun at its peak – between 11am and 3pm, wherever possible. Wear protective clothing and get into the habit of protecting the skin with a good quality sunscreen that has both UVA and UVB protection.
For skintypes 4 to 6, the dangers of the sun are more about its ability to trigger patchy pigmentation, against which we also need protection with a good sunscreen.
Pillar 2: preserving your skin
We all want to maintain the healthy, plump, firm skin of our youth as long as possible. This involves putting our skin into the hands of aesthetic professionals for treatments such as injectables, which, used correctly, can address the natural ageing process as well as sun damage which cause the formation of wrinkles, loss of volume and sagging skin.
Fillers allow for subtle plumping and contouring of the profile, and threads can lift and tighten the skin without cutting.
Pillar 3: erasing the damage
The effects of the sun and lifestyle can be visible on the face, chest and hands as patchy pigmentation, a coarse texture, loss of elasticity, thinning of the skin, etc., and the treatments of choice for addressing the condition of your skin include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, lasers, pulsed lights, Carboxytherapy and skin needling.
It’s important to know that the darker your skin, the more cautious you need to be about which of these treatments may be performed on your skin tone, especially peels and light therapies. Do your homework about which are safe for you – read Getting to know your darker skin needs and only entrust your skin to a reputable skincare professional at a trusted aesthetic clinic.
The aim of these treatments is to boost and stimulate collagen, which plumps up your skin, improves its health, texture, condition and radiance, smoothing the surface and helping to erase dark pigmentation marks. The effects of these treatments are cumulative, so regular treatments are a must for best results.
Pillar 4: home support
All the hard work and expense you go to in order to preserve your skin’s health and youth needs to be backed up with a good home care skin regime – Invest in products with active ingredients suitable for your skin type – Skin Renewal partner with reputable cosmeceutical and medical skincare brands, recommended by doctors to nourish, protect and correct your skin.
This advice is especially important if you have in-clinic treatments for hyperpigmentation. Best results in fading existing marks and preventing new ones forming are achieved with supportive skincare against excess pigmentation.
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.