Skincare through the years

A facial treatment by cult French skincare brand Biologique Recerche.
A facial treatment by cult French skincare brand Biologique Recerche. PHOTO: BIOLOGIQUE RECERCH
PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Adjunct associate professor Steven Thng, senior consultant and head of the pigment clinic at the National Skin Centre; and Dr Chan Yuin Chew, a dermatologist at Dermatology Associates at Gleneagles Medical Centre, offer advice on what to take note of at different ages.

20s

Prof Thng: "Those with very oily skin might experience an onset of adult acne. Avoid skincare products that are too greasy. A simple skincare routine of face wash, gel- or water-based moisturiser and sunscreen will do.

At this age, there is no need for Botox, fillers and anti-ageing treatments. It is fine to go for facials, but do not allow the beauticians to squeeze red and inflamed acne. Do not do it yourself either; improper squeezing will result in scars. "

Dr Chan: "Avoid heavy make-up which might lead to clogged pores and aggravate acne problems. If medical attention is not sought for serious acne issues, it can result in permanent scarring."


PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Skincare products suitable for someone in her 30s may not be suitable for someone in her 60s.

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR STEVEN THNG

30s

Prof Thng: Adult acne may still persist. Melasma (or dark patches of pigment) may start appearing, especially if you have a family history, are pregnant or on oral contraceptives. The skin starts to age when you are in your 30s, but it may not be visible. So this is the time to start using preventive anti-ageing treatments.

Use sunscreen to prevent UV damage that ages skin.

Your skin may start to get dry too. If so, a cream-based sunscreen would be suitable.

With more financial freedom, many at this age make the mistake of trying too many new beauty products and treatments at a go. This increases the incidence of allergies and other skin irritations.

Do not seek beauty treatments from unlicensed practitioners. Seek a doctor's advice on any form of invasive procedures, such as chemical peels, lasers, filler injections and intense pulsed light."

Dr Chan: "Avoid excessive sun exposure, as it can also lead to facial pigmentation."

40s

Prof Thng: "This is when melasma is most likely to surface. The early signs of skin ageing, such as marionette lines and frown lines, are also more obvious. Topical products that contain retin A, as well as vitamins C and E, are useful. Consider supplementing your skincare routine with oral antioxidants."

50s and 60s

Prof Thng: "Skin cancers are a concern for those in their 50s and older. Look out for the signs; such as rough, spiky areas and bleeding moles. Do not ignore them and seek a doctor's advice.

Wrinkles, pigmentation and skin tags become more visible; especially for those in their 60s.

As skin becomes thinner and more sensitive as well, consider stopping the use of retin A and strong bleaching creams that can irritate.

Due to these reasons, skincare products suitable for someone in her 30s may not be suitable for someone in her 60s.

Stop using harsh soaps that can aggravate skin dryness. If skin is dry, moisturise up to four times a day.

Remember: Smoking, stress, alcohol and excessive sun exposure are the main causes of skin ageing. Lots of fruit and water, enough sleep, exercise and a common-sense diet can help skin to look youthful."

Dr Chan: "Moisturise regularly if you have dry skin, especially when travelling to places with cooler and drier climates.

But generally, you can look younger at any age when you avoid too much sun exposure, eat a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly and manage your stress and work-life balance."

Gladys Chung

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2015, with the headline 'Skincare through the years'. Print Edition | Subscribe