When Should I Start Using Anti-Ageing Products?

Plus your other burning skincare questions answered by experts

Is moisturiser important, especially since Singapore is already so humid?
Moisture in the air won’t hydrate the deeper layers of your skin, so invest in a good moisturiser nonetheless. That said, Dr Karen Soh, medical director of Privé Clinic, recommends tailoring your moisturiser to your climate. For example, Singapore’s heat and humidity leads to increased perspiration and sebum production, which may clog pores, so choose a lightweight, fast-absorbing and oil-free formula if you live here.

If I cleanse my face thoroughly every day, do I still need to exfoliate it?
“Yes - no matter how often you wash your face, your skin will still accumulate dead skin cells and various waste products,” says Dr Soh. But don’t exfoliate too hard or too often. About once a week with a gentle scrub or peeling milk is enough. Remember to follow the instructions carefully to prevent inflammation, irritation or increased skin sensitivity.

At what age should I start using anti-ageing products?
“We start ageing the moment we are born, and studies have shown that our skin begins to lose collagen as early as our early 20s,” explains Dr Low Chai Ling, medical director of The Sloane Clinic. So no matter how young you are, choose an anti-ageing regime that suits your skin type and needs, and be sure to incorporate sunscreen into your daily routine.

Skincare supplements in drinks and tablets: Do they really work, and how much should I rely on them?
This depends on your diet. “If you have a balanced diet, you are probably getting most of the nutrients you need,” says Dr Low. Multi-vitamins may help to supplement any lacking nutrients. However, she adds that many oral supplements may not be targeted enough as only a small percentage of vitamins and minerals get delivered to your skin.

What causes adult acne, and how can I prevent it?
Common culprits include stress, changes in hormone levels due to menopause, and switching or stopping birth control pills, says Dr Low. Topical acne creams may work - but if you suffer from sudden and persistent adult acne, it’s best to consult an aesthetic doctor to find out the cause and your best treatment options.

What causes blackheads and whiteheads, and how can I prevent them?
Whitehead and blackheads are caused by a combination of sebum and pore-clogging skin debris, explains Dr WS Heng from IDS Clinic. Pick a cleanser and moisturiser with salicylic acid to keep your sebum level in check, gently lift off dead skin cells and unclog pores.

What ingredients aggravate troubled skin?
Many factors are at play here, such as the concentration of ingredients, the interaction of different products, and the pH level of each formula, says Dr Heng. His advice: Avoid switching to new products when you’re suffering from active breakouts. This includes new hair products. “Their fragrances tend to irritate oil glands and increase sebum production and clogged pores,” he shares.

Photo: Imaxtree

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