5 Days of Christmas Skincare Tips By Dr Harold Ma
Christmas is around the corner, here is a gift from Dr Harold Ma as he shares some skincare tips!
And suddenly, we are counting down the days to the end of the year – there’s nothing nicer than to reflect on our past year’s achievements and challenges. Another year has passed us by – for some, it may be the appearance of a first wrinkle on our forehead; or the deepening of crow’s feet; or the start of saggy jowls. Or maybe, we are getting asked more often: why are you looking so tired? The hard truth is that none of us are spared from the inevitable ageing process. And as the wise saying goes, “age gracefully” – with that, I leave you 5 days of Christmas tips during this holiday season to feel confident, naturally beautiful and proud of your skin.
On the first day of Christmas, my doctor said to me:
1. Block, Block, Block – it may sound like a broken record but experts have said it time and again and I will reiterate it. Wear a sunscreen with SPF of at least 50 anytime, any occasion, any weather – daytime. Even if you are braving the cold in Europe or holidaying in the tropics, there is always sun exposure which is the number 1 culprit for photo-ageing. So… BLOCK UP. But what does that really mean? You should use at least 1 teaspoon’s equivalent of sunscreen for the full face, and double that to include the neck and V of the chest. Studies have shown that most under-block, they use too little and do not spread the sunscreen evenly to be protected effectively from UV rays. Vitamin C serum in high concentration of 10% upwards is specially designed to complement sunscreen to protect further from UV and even infrared radiation. Finally consider oral sunblock supplements, available in most leading aesthetic clinics and pharmacies to give an added layer of protection from top to toe. These oral supplements are derived from fern extracts (polypodium leucotomos) shown to protect skin from DNA damage.
On the second day of Christmas, my doctor said to me:
2. Hydrate, Rehydrate and again Hydrate – during the holiday season where you may be consuming more alcohol than usual, keep your body well-hydrated. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day – coffees, teas, sugary drinks do not count (they are diuretic which means they actually draw water from you). With adequate water, your skin looks healthier, less prone to wrinkles and is important for detoxification purposes. A good guide is to drink until your pee is clear.
On the third day of Christmas, my doctor said to me:
3. Keep your skin clean and moisturized - Wash off make-up thoroughly – even when the holiday season sees you partying into the wee hours of the night, remember to always remove all traces of make-up before going to bed. Practice good skin hygiene by double cleansing – use a proper alcohol-free make-up remover, followed by a good quality cleanser. A toner helps to clean any remaining impurities and prepares your skin to absorb the serums and creams you will apply next. Never go to bed with make-up on as it clogs pores, causes break-outs and eye irritation.
On the fourth day of Christmas, my doctor said to me:
4. Get a professional facial – everyone benefits from regular facials; whether it is for a chemical peel to resurface skin or a manual extraction to eliminate blackheads, whiteheads and clogged pores. If you are not a regular facial customer, it might be good to get your skin cleaned out professionally ahead of the holidays. Constant partying and holidays (with changes in climate, etc) can take a toll on one’s skin; so a facial (preferably a clinical facial combined with manual extraction) can go a long way in restoring your skin’s natural glow and radiance.
And on the fifth day of Christmas, my doctor said to me:
5. Consider an aesthetic treatment – even with the best skincare products or facials, these are limited in terms of their ability to adequately correct a more serious skin condition (wrinkles, fine lines, saggy jowls, dark eye circles). That is when one might consider having Botox, fillers, skinboosters, lasers or other minimally invasive skin tightening procedures to safely and effectively reverse the effects of age, with minimal downtime. The important thing is to choose a medical practitioner who is skilled, qualified, understands your needs and views your treatment protocol as a journey.