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These Age-Defying Skincare Options Make Maturing More Graceful Than Ever

Maturing gracefully has never looked better, with a regimen of potent skincare options effectively delaying the major signs of aging.

Photo: Francesco Scotti

Could it finally be acceptable to look your age? With older role models like Martha Stewart finding a new niche as a skincare influencer on TikTok, women are becoming more comfortable in their own skin. But even within this space, the conversation can become cloudy, as the once common term “anti-aging” is replaced with “age defying” and “mature skin celebrating.” As iconic model Paulina Porizkova opined last year on a beauty roundtable for the Aspen Institute, “You’re shamed if you do, shamed if you don’t,” in reference to women criticized for chasing the fountain of youth. For those uncomfortable with the idea of fillers and scalpels, a safe neutral ground may be found in facial nourishment – the commonsense additions made to skincare routines that allow the complexion to be the best version of itself.

Clean sweep

“I believe that aging is a privilege, and I always say to my clients that it’s best and easier to prevent rather than to treat,” says Sarah Battikha, founder of Dubai clinic Frame by Sarah Battikha. Moving from using a physical scrub to chemical exfoliation is one simple way to make an impact on more delicate maturing skin, she adds. “As we age, skin tends to look dull because cell turnover takes longer so the accumulation of dead skin cells will make it look gray,” she notes. Choose an active like lactic or glycolic acid, to use in place of a nightly serum.

Serve and protect

It’s obvious, but true – sun protection is the best and easiest way to reduce surface aging, with fine lines, pigmentation, redness, and texture all markedly reduced with daily sunscreen usage. Those applying sunscreen will experience 24% less skin aging than casual or intermittent users, according to a four-year Australian study published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Can’t get past the thick and sticky texture of sunblock? Look for a Korean-made formulation, which pays attention to day-to-say practicality as well as offering strong protection. “Western sunscreens tend to be heavier and more water-resistant, and intended for outdoor use, while Asian sunscreens are lighter and more suitable for everyday use under makeup when sun exposure is minimal,” explains cosmetic chemist Michelle Wong.

Volume control

“Women aged 50 and above can be going through menopause, and there are a number of concerns around this age including the effects of gravity on skin and the slowing of our metabolism and lack of collagen production,” says Amanda Powell, founder of beauty tech brand Cellreturn Middle East. She says that changes can be noticed around the jaw line, with a hollowing of the cheeks and losing malar fat pad contributing to the drooping of the cheeks. To combat textural issues and rebuild collagen at home, Powell recommends Cellreturn’s Platinum LED Face Mask. Using photo biomodulation, the light from the LED is converted by the membrane of the cells’ mitochondria to energy. “This energy allows the cell to function better, prevent cell death and also to stimulate a cascade of cellular events including collagen formation,” she explains. “The mask’s red mode uses red and near infrared wavelengths that ensure penetration of six millimeters – most professional devices in market only goes to three to four millimeters – into the skin, so this full depth can regenerate and rejuvenate.”

Fight free radicals

“It is a well-known fact that vitamin C slows down the aging process of your cells,” says Battikha. A highly potent antioxidant, vitamin C delivers a smorgasbord of skin brightening and smoothing benefits, making it worth adding into rotation. While vitamin C can come in several forms, Drunk Elephant founder Tiffany Masterson recommends using L-ascorbic acid, describing it as “the gold standard” due to its ability to diminish the signs of sun damage, fight free radicals, and brighten the skin. “While all varieties of vitamin C provide some antioxidant benefit, L-ascorbic acid is the only form that has been shown to penetrate and replenish the levels of vitamin C in human skin. That makes L-ascorbic our most powerful defense against environmental free radical damage like UV and pollution,” she explains.

Peptide power

The workhorses of the beauty world, peptides are chains of amino acids, which create specific proteins. With the ability to target individual skin needs – from firming and tightening, to renewing and rebuilding crucial cells – peptides are a crucial component for keeping skin looking younger for longer. A new development in peptide research has arrived with Lancôme’s Rénergie H.P.N. 300-Peptide cream, which contains extracts of more than 300 unique peptides working in unison to build collagen growth, inhibit loss, and boost its longevity. According to the brand, the new launch returns the cell regenerative properties in women aged 40 to 59, to a similar speed of women up to two decades younger.

Originally published in the July/August 2023 issue of Vogue Arabia

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