An unseasonably sunny spring has left some of us with dry, tired or sun-damaged skin.
As summer has now arrived, Dr Ne Win, Senior Dermatologist and Clinical Researcher at Plymouth University Hospital NHS Trust has partnered with Absolute Collagen to offer his advice and guidance for caring for your skin during the warmer months.
Beauty comes from within
“Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and its condition is often a direct reflection of what’s happening on the inside. Your diet, sleep quality, stress levels, exercise, hydration levels and exposure to environmental pollutants such as smoking will all contribute to the overall health, and appearance, of your skin.
“Make sure you’re covering the basics: a healthy balanced diet rich in antioxidants, five portions of fresh fruit and veg a day, two litres of water and at least 60 minutes of exercise per week – a house is only as strong as its foundations and this really is the case for your skin too.
“2020 has not been a walk in the park for most of us so far, and a global pandemic certainly isn’t ideal for those prone to anxiety and stress. There is a proven brain/skin connection, showing stress as a trigger for many skin conditions, so this is yet another reason to make sure you are looking after yourself.
“Take time to do things that help with your personal wellbeing, whether that’s meditation or mindfulness techniques, connecting with loved ones, or taking a digital detox at certain times throughout the day – you have to come first for your mental health and your skin’s sake!
Protect what you have, replace what you’ve lost
“We all have a favourite skincare routine, I’d personally recommend an antioxidant such as Vitamin C serum or moisturiser and SPF in the daytime, making sure it is a daytime formulation, and a cream or serum containing retinol to promote cell regeneration at night. One component of your skincare routine, however, cannot be applied topically, and that’s collagen.
“Collagen is absolutely essential to your skin’s overall health and wellbeing, it’s the protein which gives your skin its structure and form resulting in plump firm youthful skin. Collagen is produced naturally in the body, but it gradually begins to deplete from around the age of 25. For this reason, I’ve been taking a natural liquid marine collagen supplement called Absolute Collagen for two years and would definitely recommend it.
“The supplement helps to replace the collagen lost during the natural ageing process and as a result of UV damage. It is in liquid form, containing hydrolysed collagen peptides which are essentially broken-down blocks of the large collagen protein, and therefore easier to digest and absorb into the body. Collagen is often referred to as the ‘scaffolding’ of the skin, and if this is weak, no amount of expensive moisturiser or topical serum will achieve a plump, healthy outer appearance.
“Our skin has a complicated relationship with the sun. We need sunlight for our production of vitamin D, and a lot of people in the UK do have a vitamin D deficiency, especially those with darker skin types. However, sunlight also breaks down collagen and elastin, and this contributes to the ageing of our skin – UVB has a relatively shorter wavelength but higher energy levels. It causes damage to the outer layers of your skin. It is also the cause of most types of skin cancer. UVA rays have a longer wavelength and penetrate the skin to the deeper layers. They’re also responsible for some types of skin cancers. It is mostly UVA that causes the undesirable photoaging effects on skin such as wrinkles and lines as well as thin “crepey” skin. Unlike UVB, the UVA rays can penetrate windows and clouds. They can both cause damage to your DNA which can accumulate and cause a variety of problems further down the line. It is imperative to get yourself well educated on Sun Awareness.
“The pigment of our skin protects us from the sun. I know it isn’t what you want to hear, but if you’re tanning, it means your skin can no longer tolerate the UV levels it’s being exposed to, and is darkening in order to protect you. Choosing SPF over a tan is one of the biggest gifts you can give your skin, why not try a tinted moisturiser so you can still experience the warm glow of a summer tan, without damaging the precious skin underneath?”