Skin Care Tips For Women Above 25
Turning 25 usually opens the door to wrinkles, pigmentation, dark circles, acne and more. Dr Chytra Anand shares some secrets on how to send these uninvited guests away before they come to stay.
By Team ParentCircle
Dr Chytra V Anand is an internationally renowned cosmetic dermatologist. She is Founder and CEO of the well-known Kosmoderma chain of clinics. Her skill in dealing with all skin types is well known and her impressive client list comprises socialites and prominent personalities from various walks of life, including fashion, films and the corporate world. Popularly known as ‘Beauty Doc’, she is an expert in cosmetic dermatology therapies to deal with acne, scars, loose skin, pigmentation, hair-loss and ageing-related issues. She is proficient in the use of injectables and laser devices.
After completing her MBBS at the JSS Medical College, Mysore, Dr. Chytra went to London for higher education. She studied at the prestigious St. Johns Institute of Dermatology, Guys & St. Thomas’ Hospital, Kings College, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Dermatology. She subsequently completed an International Fellowship in Cosmetic Dermatology from Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, USA.
In January 2006, Dr. Chytra moved back to India from London to pursue her dream of opening a chain of world-standard skin and hair clinics that provide effective and affordable care. Thus was born Kosmoderma, the specialist Cosmetic Dermatology Clinic, Bangalore’s first MediSpa. A year later, she founded the International Academy of Aesthetic Medicine to train doctors in the field of Cosmetic Dermatology, as she realized that doctors in India did not have sufficient exposure in this field.
A prolific columnist who also has her own call-in radio show, she is sought after for her advanced and developed sense of aesthetics by patients and other doctors. Patients come from all over India and even abroad to seek her expertise.
Talking to Dr Chytra V Anand, ParentCircle learns about the different things a woman above 25 years should do to maintain the health of her skin.
How did Kosmoderma come about?
I worked for a chain of salons and clinics for a while. As time went on, I felt the desire to start one myself. I had the options of opening a clinic in London or moving back to India. I love India, I love my life here. So, I decided to come back and start a chain of spas and practice a bit of aesthetic dermatology. But then, when I came back, I heard things like ‘Honey, you have come from London. I don’t think people here will understand the concept of a spa right now. This is not the time.’ However, I decided to start my medical practice. And it soon picked up. And grew. That’s how Kosmoderma started. In due course, I started an academy to train doctors across India to be better at aesthetic dermatology.
What are the most common skin problems for which women come to Kosmoderma?
I think it’s as basic as acne. A lot of people have acne issues, even during pregnancy and post-pregnancy. Pigmentation and hair fall are two other major problems for which women visit dermatologists. These are the three services that we call our bread-and-butter services.
A girl should grow out of acne by the age of 18, or at the most, by 21. If the problem persists beyond that, it means there are hormonal imbalances.
Pigmentation is the next biggest problem, it affects 75%-80% of women at some point in their lives. Women don’t like different skin hues.
Hair fall is the third most common complaint. Even young women face what is known as female pattern baldness, also called frontal thinning. The major causes for these problems are lifestyle, stress and hormones. But I think people are now becoming more aware and have started to take care of themselves.
Which are the most common skin problems for which women come to Kosmoderma?
I think it’s as basic as acne. A lot of people still have acne issues, even during pregnancy and post-pregnancy. Pigmentation and hair fall are two other major causes for women to visit a dermatologist. These are the three services that we call as our bread and butter services.
The thing with acne is, a girl should grow out of acne by the age of 18, the worst-case scenario by 21. Beyond that, it means there are hormonal imbalances.
The next big thing is the pigmentation. 75-80% of women have pigmentation issues at some point in their life and they don’t like different hues on their skin. Hair fall has become the next huge quandary now, even with young women. They deal with female pattern baldness, which is called as frontal thinning.
The major causes for these problems are lifestyle, stress and hormones. But I think people are now becoming more aware and have started to take care of themselves.
Is there something women can do at home to care for their skin and hair?
Daily skincare, is a must to maintain your skin health. The same thing goes for your hair. Every six months, make sure you test your Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and iron levels. If they are normal, your skin will automatically heal as long as you keep it hydrated. It is advisable to drink at least two litres of water per day; if you exercise, you will need more water. The critical thing to remember is to not have too much water, because then you may dilute your electrolytes.
The best things you can do at home are to use a soap-free cleanser or a PH-balanced cleanser instead of soap, as it doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils, and to apply sunscreen to protect the skin. We always say sunscreen is the cheapest and best anti-ageing cream because 85%-90% of the damage to the skin over the years is because of UV radiation caused by long-term sun exposure. It happens even if you just sit by the window during the day; you don’t have to be out in the hot sun. So, if you use sunscreen on your face, neck and hands, it will reduce pigmentation issues.
Also, you can make simple face packs at home using the peel of fruits and vegetables like papaya and pumpkin. Make a pulp of papaya, add a bit of a lemon juice, which is citric acid, and apply it once a week. It softens and exfoliates the skin.
We read often about the regimen of cleansing, toning, exfoliating and moisturizing. Should that be done daily? How should we go about it?
The need for toning and moisturizing depends on your skin type and also your age. If you have oily skin, you need to remove the excess oil, because otherwise, it becomes food for bacteria that causes acne. But if you have normal-to-dry skin, it is enough to just moisturise it.
Until the age of 25, your skin will hydrate and moisturize itself because of the natural moisturizing factor in it. Consequently, there is no need for external moisturizers unless you have very dry skin. But after 25, skin starts to get sluggish. So that’s when you need to start making an extra effort to take care of your skin. You can use a hydration gel or cream which has hyaluronic acid or a moisturizer with Aloe Vera. An oil-based cream can also be used. By the time you are 30, you need to add retinol products to your skincare routine. They increase the speed of skin rejuvenation.
Even if you don’t have time to do all of this, make sure that you cleanse your skin and use sunscreen every day.
How often should we use face packs?
I would say you need to use a face pack at the most once a week. Doing it more often would be too much for your skin to take. It is advisable to use enzyme masks and peels.
There are so many beauty products on store shelves now, and one reads so much about organic products. How can the average woman pick the right beauty products? What should we look for?
I think one should start reading labels and manufacturer details. If you are using Aloe Vera, then it is better to use the organic variety, because you can be sure that your skin is exposed to fewer pesticides and chemical fertilizers. To set a daily routine, you must understand your own skin. Is it oily, dry, a combination of the two, normal, mature or dehydrated? Choose beauty products based on this knowledge. If you have dry skin you should use something more creamy and heavier; if your skin is oily, go with something light and water-based.
How often should people with oily skin use a moisturizer?
If your skin type is oily, all you need to do is keep it hydrated. You can use a water-based moisturizer, or a hydra moisturizer. If you feel it is drying, try a lactic acid-based or urea-based moisturizer. You don’t need to use a heavy one, like a shea butter or almond oil-based moisturizer.
What undesirable ingredients should we watch out for in labels?
Ensure that there are no steroids. A lot of skincare brands in India add steroids to their products to give them the lightening and brightening effect. So, ensure that there are no steroids in the skincare products that you use. I think the biggest abuse in India is steroid abuse.
How would we know if a product has steroids?
Look for a mention of corticosteroids on the label.
What are the main desirable ingredients in a product that we need to look for?
You should always find out what the active ingredients are. Active ingredients are agents which penetrate your skin. Say you have a moisturizer made up of a hundred different ingredients. You need to know which of those ingredients are active. Not every ingredient of a skincare product can penetrate your natural skin barrier. Only active ingredients can do so. If a skincare product has one or two active agents, it’s a good product to use.
What is your skincare routine? What are the products you use?
I found that there were not a lot of skincare products for Indian skin available in the market. There were a lot of limitations, and so I started making my own skincare products. I have a PH-balanced cleanser that I use on an everyday basis. I also use a baby cream, manufactured in Thailand which is a moisturizer with sunscreen. That way I don’t have to wear make-up, moisturizer and sunscreen, it is all done in one.
My daily morning routine includes a Vitamin C serum, the reason being that Vitamin C is an antioxidant and boosts immunity to the harmful rays of the sun. In the evening, I cleanse my face and then use a hydration serum, like a hyaluronic acid serum, twice a week. I am 42, so hydration is a must for me.
I use a retinol-based moisturizer every day. It has Ozone 12 to activate my skin cells, as well as an estrogenic extract. After 30, your oestrogen levels go down and you need more sol-gel based products. Retinol keeps my skin rejuvenated. Once in two weeks, I exfoliate my skin using an enzyme-based pack and once a month I have a photo-facial. That’s my regime.
So, let’s do everything we can to keep glowing, even after 25!
About the author:
Written by Siddiqha Naseem on 14 December 2019.
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