Sun Damage Is The Leading Cause of Premature Ageing
Are you ready to hear some hard truths about ageing? Research shows that UV exposure is the reason behind 80% of your skin’s ageing, causing brow spots, pigmentation, broken capillaries, fine lines and wrinkles. It should then come as no surprise that researchers found that Aussie women are ageing up to 20 years faster than US women due to the combination of our high UV levels and sun-seeking lifestyles.
My first VISIA scan was a big wake up call. I pretty much cried, cursing myself for my sun worshipping youth. But as the skin therapist performing my scan assured me, these results are typical of an Australian woman in her thirties. VISIA scans are performed by dermatologists and dermal clinicians in selected salons/clinics.
It was time to get myself on a hardcore skincare routine to treat my specific concerns, which would be common concerns for most Australian women in their 30s:
My brown spots score was 18%, which means I was in the 18th percentile of the women around the world that my skin was compared to. When I first saw this score, I was like, "Wow, that's great. My brown spots are low." But, the lower the score, the worse the concern. I wasn't using a pigment serum, so added this to my routine as well as a stronger retinol.
My texture score was 24%, so I started using a gentle exfoliating cleanser in addition to my weekly at-home peel product.
My wrinkles were the worst at 9%, however, the results showed these were dehydration lines that could be treated by swapping from an eye cream to an eye gel and drinking more water.
The Results After 3 Months On My New Skincare Routine:
Consistency was key for me. I work in the beauty industry and I'm constantly trying new products. I find it hard to stick to the same skincare routine week after week. But after seeing the cold hard facts, I became committed to the cause. I had my second VISIA scan almost three months after my first, and when a skin age of 28 years-old popped up on the screen, I literally screamed with joy.
My brown spots, wrinkles and texture scores all improved with daily use of cosmeceutical skincare.
UV spots are deep beneath the surface of the skin and are very difficult to treat. The most important thing I learned from this whole experience was that sunscreen isn't enough to keep you safe from the sun. As we moved into warmer weather, my UV spots got worse, even though I religiously use SPF 50+ every single day. Avoiding the sun when UV levels are at their peak is the best thing you can do to prevent this kind of damage.
Aside from the VISIA results, I was getting a lot of compliments on my skin, which was smoother and plumper.
Here are before and after photos of my skin 18 months ago versus today:
My Skincare Routine For Sun Damaged Skin:
If you're a 30+ Australian woman who spent time in the sun in your teens and twenties, you will probably have very similar concerns to me. If your main concern is ageing and sun damage, you can incorporate these ingredients to your current routine:
Exfoliating cleanser (AM/PM): Aspect Purastat 5 is gentle and non-irritating, which also helps to reduce the appearance of pigmentation and uneven texture
Vitamin C (AM): There are plenty of Vitamin C serums on the market at all different price points. I used Aspect's Extreme C 20
Niacinamide (AM): Also known as Vitamin B3, this ingredient evens out skin tone. I used Aspect Extreme B 17, which contains a patented blend of Vitamin B Complex Polypeptides
Pigment serum (AM/PM): Aspect's Pigment Punch + treats age spots with a blend of antioxidants, extracts and peptides
Eye gel (AM/PM): I swapped to Beauté Pacifique Puffy Eyes Gel from an eye cream to help reduce the dehydration lines
Retinol (alternate PM): I upgraded to a higher-strength retinol, using Retinol Brulee every other night
At-Home Peel (twice weekly): Estée Lauder's Instant Resurfacing Peel is one of the most effective at-home peels I've tried
Moisturiser (PM): I prefer to use a thicker, richer moisturiser particularly at night, like Erno Laszlo's Phelityl Cream. It's pretty bougie, so I also like Skinsitut's range of moisturisers
Hyaluronic Acid (AM/PM): Rather than using a moisturiser in the AM, I use Cosmedix's Surge with a hydrating sunscreen. Hyaluronic Acid keeps the skin looking hydrated and plump
SPF (AM): Last but definitely not least. This is the MOST important step of my whole routine. I used Ultra Violette's Supreme Screen as my moisturiser, primer and sunscreen