Giving your skin the right attention at the right time can make all the difference. Here’s how to time your beauty rituals perfectly.

Timing is everything – any sportsman will tell you that. And this goes for your beauty routine too. Keeping an eye on the clock (and calendar) can make a noticeable difference to maintaining your good looks and keeping the ravages of time at bay. During the day, your skin is working hard to protect itself from the elements and toxins in the environment. At night it repairs, regenerates, rejuvenates and heals itself, says Dr Alek Nicolic, a Cape Town-based arthetic practitioner and Health24.com anti-ageing expert.

Description: Night & Day

“Your face takes a beating every day – with the skin’s main function to protect itself against harmful elements, like sun exposure. There’s a lot that goes into keeping your skin healthy, and part of the process involves the constant regeneration of new skin cells”, says Dr Nicolic.

“Timing your treatments and skincare routine correctly is vital. As we age, all functions of the skin either slow down or they overreact to various stimuli. A proper home-care regimen with the correct products at the correct time is an effective anti-ageing treatment plan.”

Make sure, too, to harness the super-boosting powers of serums regularly to give skin the extra oomph to protect and repair itself, says Joburg-based cosmetic doctor Maureen Allem from Skin Renewal. “I prefer using serums twice a day, because of their higher concentration of active ingredients. Women in their 20s should use antioxidant serums to protect the collagen they already have, and women in their 30s onwards should use serums with vitamin A, peptides or growth factors.”


Description: A hot shower starts your skin off on the right track

A hot shower starts your skin off on the right track: the steam opens pores and allows your cleanser to work better. Using a cleanser suitable for your skin type plays a vital role in the efficacy of your products, says Dr Nicolic. Active ingredients, like salicylic acid, have antibacterial properties that are great for acne/ break-out prone skin. Glycolic acid cleansers are good for gentle to mild exfoliation as they dissolve the build-up of dead skin cells. Choose a gentle cleanser for mornings because your skin doesn’t require as much cleaning as in the evening.

Use a day cream formulated to protect against harmful and oxidative elements. Antioxidants, like vitamin A, C and E, will protect the skin from free radical damage that leads to the breakdown of collagen and elastin. Peptides will increase the skin’s collagen production and the natural hyaluronic acid structure, enhancing firmness, says Dr Allem.

Pay special attention to your eye area, says Dr Nicolic. Eye creams containing caffeine help to reduce puffiness, while hyaluronic acid acts as a natural “moisture magnet” to attract and keep water in the skin. Vitamin E and K provide antioxidant benefits and strengthen the superficial capillaries, clearing up dark circles.

Use a sunscreen with board-spectrum protection (SPF30 or higher) separately after you’ve used moisturizer and before your foundation. “Don’t forget the neck and décolleté. Sun damage there shows up dramatically in later years,” says Dr Allem.

Exfoliate normal skin twice a week and sensitive skin once a week to remove dead cells. But beware of over-exfoliation with granular products that may irritate skin. And weekly masking is key, says David White, national training manager for Givenchy. Masks do in 10 minutes what no cream can do as they have super-active ingredients that target specific concerns.

Description: Try these creams to nourish and protect

Try these creams to nourish and protect:

(1)  Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Lotion Board Spectrum SPF20

(2)  Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream

(3)  Estée Lauder DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Crème Oil-Free SPF25

(4)  Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Crème Hydration Protection Radiance

Serums to boost skin:

(5)  Vichy LiftActiv Serum10 Youth Enhancing Serum

(6)  Clarins Extra-Firming Tightening Lift Botanical Serum

(7)  SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum

(8)  Lancôme Genifique Youth Activator

(9)  Priori Idebenone Superceuticals Smooth Lines

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