Your Top Anti-Ageing Questions, Answered By A Dermatologist

Your Top Anti-Ageing Questions, Answered By A Dermatologist

Whether you’re not sure how to use retinol correctly or are keen to refine and smooth the appearance of wrinkles naturally, we asked Kiehl’s consulting dermatologist, Dr. Alexis Granite, for answers to some of this year’s most Googled anti-ageing questions…

First, What Are The Key Causes Of Skin Ageing?

“It’s no secret there are several factors that cause the skin to age. This includes genetics, pollution, poor diet, smoking and environmental exposures such as UV. It’s also worth noting that as we age, our production of collagen and elastin diminishes and in turn, this leads to many visible signs of ageing – think fine lines, wrinkles and a loss of volume throughout the face. On top of this, our natural oils reduce as we age, which results in a drier and duller appearance of aged skin. With all this in mind, it’s safe to say that some things are in our hands, while others are a bit inevitable. That said, years of cumulative sun exposure is the biggest cause of pigmentation and uneven skin tone, which is why SPF and limited sunbathing is key.” 

Does Stress Really Play A Part? 

“Absolutely. Chronic stress induces higher levels of cortisol, which then circulates throughout our bodies, and this can then accelerate the breakdown of both collagen and elastin within our skin, leading to slackness and a jowly appearance over time. Chronic stress can also cause increased inflammation within the skin, which hinders its ability to heal as readily as it should. There’s no easy remedy to this, but eating a well-balanced diet, limiting alcohol and high sugar foods can all go a long way to improving skin health, as can exercise which is a great stress reliever. It sounds cliché, but taking care of yourself from the inside out is as important as a thorough skincare regime.”

Retinols Are So Hyped, But When & Why Should You Begin Using One?

“Mid-twenties to early thirties is a great time to start incorporating a retinol into your routine. Retinol has huge anti-ageing properties, but it’s also helpful in preventing and treating breakouts, so it’s a great all-rounder. Many women continue to suffer with spots, well into their mid-twenties and beyond, so it’s a great product to use. You’ll also find it blurs fine lines, pigmentation and uneven tone over time – just be careful with the strength you choose. Start low and build up gradually to suit your individual skin type and needs.”

How Early Should You Start Using Anti-Ageing Products? 

“It really varies depending on your skin type. Generally, though, you should begin to think about an anti-ageing skincare regime from your mid- to late- twenties onward. Your collagen production begins to diminish yearly from age 20, so it’s good to get ahead of yourself and associate your skin with the right ingredients.”

Is An Eye Cream Essential In Your Regime?

“Serums can get the job done just as well in this delicate area. However, some people find they work well to combat dehydrated skin, and often they work better if you want something for your upper lids, too. If you do prefer a dedicated eye cream, Kiehl’s Powerful Strength Line Reducing & Dark Circle Diminishing Vitamin C Eye Serum brightens, smooths and firms the skin without any irritation.” 

What Do People Often Get Wrong When It Comes To Skincare?

“So many people don’t wear sunscreen daily. It’s one of the best and easiest products you can use to prevent your skin from UV damage and therefore, premature ageing. Often, clients load on too much product as well, which causes irritation and flare-ups – less is always more so try to apply your products in thin, gradual layers. Finally, people often assume it’s too late to get started with an anti-ageing regime – this is never the case. Likewise, it’s never too early to start either – many assume anti-ageing products are reserved for when they’re ‘older,’ but as mentioned above, you can begin from your early 20s as a preventative measure.”

Which Ingredients Are Best For Reducing Wrinkles?

“While retinol is a great all-rounder, other top ingredients for anti-ageing are vitamin C and niacinamide. Both offer great antioxidant protection, which means they protect against daily aggressors (UV and pollution), minimising pigmentation and inflammation in the skin. Hyaluronic acid is key, too – it adds moisture like nothing else, tightening the skin and boosting plumpness. Look out for these ingredients when building your anti-ageing regime.”

Finally, Can You Share What A Good Anti-Ageing Regime Looks Like?

“A good anti-ageing regime is quite straightforward. In the morning, you will begin with a cleanse (single or double depending on your skin type), followed by an antioxidant serum, moisturiser and finally a thin layer of SPF. For the evening, you follow the same steps, but switch your antioxidant serum for a retinol serum, followed by a hyaluronic acid serum, and finally a thick, cosseting moisturiser that locks everything in. Kiehl’s latest Super Multi Corrective Cream is ideal for this as its thick in texture, but sinks in fast for great hydration.”


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