Dr. Med. Oana Petrica
German Board-Certified Dermatologist
German Dental and Dermatology Center Doha
If you asked most of us to use one word that describes how we'd like our skin to look, we assume that 'glowing' would be pretty high up the list.
But that flawless, luminous and healthy looking skin is only God-given for a very few people. The rest of us are going to need to invest a bit of time, love and patience.
How to get glowing skin: your 7 step manual
1. Make sure you apply SPF daily
We know, we know – you've heard it a million times, but wearing SPF is the best way to prolong healthy, glowing skin.
When it comes to how to get flawless skin, know that: 80% of wrinkles are from sun exposure. It's so much easier to prevent the damage than it is to fix it afterwards. That means no skipping this routine during winter months either. Whats more, don't forget to apply when you're in the the office or the car, as cell-damaging UVA rays can penetrate glass too.
Look for a formula that offers broad-spectrum protection to guard against UVA rays (the ones that cause premature ageing) and UVB rays (one of the main causes of skin cancer).
2. Use hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of your skin that keeps it hydrated and soft. With age, or due to a harsh environment, the hyaluronic acid content in your skin may decrease, and your skin may lose some of its elasticity and hydration. Use a moisturiser or serum that is rich in hyaluronic acid. This heavy-hitting hydrator can hold up to 100x its own weight in water, meaning it’ll draw water into every layer of the skin and hold it there.
Visit your dermatologist office and book a Skinbooster session. During this treatment micro droplets of hyaluronic acid will be injected in different layers of the skin; you will get a refreshed and radiant look that lasts around 6 months.
3. Invest in skincare with antioxidants
For years, health and skin care companies have been searching for the “fountain of youth” and it looks like we have come close to a solution, all thanks to antioxidants.
Environmental factors like radiation from the sun, pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke and other toxic chemicals are also known to trigger the formation of free radicals. Antioxidants protect the skin by limiting free radical production, which can damage the skin.
With daily use, they can reduce lentigines (sun spots), help combat visible signs of aging and calm skin inflammations. Several antioxidants provide the skin with hydration and increase moisture retention to help revitalize dull-looking skin.
A great place to start with are Vitamin C-packed serums, that are more concentrated than creams, so you tend to only need a small amount daily to see results. They are also lighter and have the capability to absorb deeper into your skin.
A favorite among dermatologists, vitamin C is one of the most studied antioxidants available on the market. Other than being a free radical inactivator, vitamin C has other skin benefits, like boosting collagen production and fading dark spots. But beware, vitamin C is inherently unstable and can lose its potency when exposed to light or air. It’s best to store it in a cool, dark drawer or cabinet.
Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, or THD, is a form of vitamin C that is inherently more stable, and it’s lipid soluble, which means that it can better penetrate into the deeper levels of the skin to stimulate collagen production. Some prefer this formulation, which tends to be a bit velvety and creamy rather than serum-like. Other forms of vitamin C include L-ascorbic and ester-C.
Look for serums that contain antioxidants like vitamin C, phloretin, ferulic acid, resveratrol, niacinamide or polyphenols.
Are you aiming for that “ red-carpet glowing skin “? The dermatologist can help you with one of the best treatments: antioxidants mesotherapy. The magic cocktails containing high concentrated antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and different vitamins will be used during the session, making your skin more luminous by rejuvenating and tightening it.
4. Have a face peel to rejuvenate your face
If the thought of having a facial peel conjures images of red-raw skin and a terrifying recovery process, think again. Today's peels should be considered a step up from at-home exfoliating products – perfect for the lead-up to a wedding or big event.
Rejuvenating skin peels are one of my key secrets to maintaining beautifully glowing and clear skin all year round. Gone are the days of the very aggressive style peel where you will leave the clinic looking like your face has fallen off! We can now have rejuvenating peel treatments at regular intervals to achieve lasting results with minimal downtime.
I highly recommends superficial skin peels which use active compounds like alpha and polyhydroxy acids, lactic, caffeic or TCA. These peels exfoliate and smooth the skin’s surface and also stimulate collagen and skin matrix formation to create a strong and healthy skin structure. They can be modified to treat specific skin concerns, all Fitzpatrick types and all ages as well as being the perfect companion to complement other aesthetic medical procedures.
5. Use your skincare in the right order
The sequence in which you apply your products could be even more important than the products themselves. Reach for your serums first, as they will contain the most active ingredients. These are the most powerful, so you want them to come into direct contact with your skin.
If you're using more than one active product (like an antioxidant serum and Retin-A), start with the thinner one. Anything that's water soluble should go first, followed by the product that's thicker and creamier. If you do it in reverse, the heavier cream will block the ingredients of the lighter one from penetrating the skin, so they won't have any impact. If you need moisturiser, it's next up in line, followed up by SPF.
6. Use an exfoliator to reduce appearance of pores
It's amazing how something so tiny can feel so huge, but enlarged pores are one of the most common beauty complaints.
Pores appear larger when they're filled with dirt, oil, dead skin cells, and keratin, a protein that lives on the surface of skin. Remove those plugs, and they seem to shrink. To clear out pores, two-to-three times a week reach for a cleanser, or exfoliator, that contains an Alpha-Hydroxy Acid, or AHA. These skin-friendly acids work to chemically exfoliate dead skin cells and dissolve dirt lurking deep within pores.
Hello, glowing skin.
Once in a while pamper yourself and have a hydrafacial. This multi-step treatment uses a patented device to cleanse, exfoliate, and extract dead skin cells while bathing the skin in serums packed with rich hydrating ingredients, antioxidants, and peptides.
7. Add Collagen Supplements to your diet
Collagen makes up to 80% of our skin, and works with another protein called elastin that — yes, you guessed it — keeps our skin elastic. But as we age, our bodies naturally start reducing collagen production. Starting in our 20s, we begin losing about 1% of our collagen each year. This, unfortunately, means drier, duller skin. Sun exposure, cigarette smoke and pollution can also accelerate collagen breakdown.
A collagen supplement delivers various types of collagen protein when taken daily. Two types of supplements are gaining popularity — hydrolyzed collagen and gelatin. These have already broken the large protein down into smaller peptides, which are more easily absorbed in the body.
There aren’t many studies on collagen supplements, but those that exist show an improved elasticity and hydration, while reducing the fine wrinkles and restoring the skin radiance.
If you want a true supplement that works for your skin, look for one that contains Type 1 Hydrolyzed Collagen (collagen peptides) with High Bio-availability. Make sure to pay attention to the concentration per serving (5,000 - 10,000mg) if you want to see visible result. For younger adults (<35) a lower daily concentration between 2,500mg - 5,000mg is typically sufficient.