[By Tina Poon Yuen Lueng]

It is often said that a girl only grow to become a woman by learning from her past mistakes. But if the point is skin care, learning from the experience of your predecessors will be a much wiser route to take. In the flush of youth when you live like there’s no tomorrow, we often take our beauty for granted, neglecting good skincare habits and committing skin crimes that comes with a hefty price tag in your latter years. It is also common to be “penny wise, pound foolish” in our younger days of yore, failing to make sound investments to bolster the effects of aging which are adding up with each passing year. Fast approaching the mid-century mark and looking back , there are certainly beauty regrets that I wish I knew earlier. If given the chance to make things right, for sure it’s worth to nip them in the bud,  avoiding the repercussions of where things will eventually head.

Applying sunscreen down south

The big Kahuna of all the skin sins committed in the folly of youth is not paying enough attention to sun protection. We now know that 90% of skin damage happens due to over-exposure to harmful ultraviolet or UV rays. Hence it’s a no brainer that slapping on some SPF whenever you head outdoors is a habit you need to cultivate if you do not want to be covered with mortifying wrinkles and sunspots as you head towards your 30s-40s. Foster a life-long relationship with a trusty broad spectrum sunscreen that works against both UVA and UVB with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more. The skin over our neck is thinner and has less fatty tissue and sebaceous glands compared to the skin of the face, and explains why the skin over our neck feels drier, and dry skin tends to age at a faster rate.Pay as much attention to your neck as you do to your face and it won’t betray you when the time comes around. One for the easiest habit to cultivate to slow down the aging process of the neck is to make sure that whatever serums and creams you apply to your face, extend southwards to cover the neck and décolletage. Sunscreen is especially important as the neck is prone to wrinkles, fine lines, textural changes and pigmentation.

When unfortunately signs of premature aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, sun spots, patchy discoloration and decreased skin elasticity are already set in stone, your best bet to reverse some of these damages from the indiscretions of youth is with some form of resurfacing lasers. The patented Fraxel® laser technology governing the BB Aqua Touch Laser treatment is the first and most extensively studied fractional resurfacing laser, often hailed by experts as the gold standard for ultimate skin renewal. It can be engaged as a primary or adjunct aesthetic treatment to combat the physical signs of skin aging, or age-proof yourself by keeping them in check.The Thulium 1927nm wavelength is the priced hero, effectively targeting the superficial skin layers for faster clearance of brown pigmented lesions, melasma, and aged spots.This unique sub-ablative laser is also found to be effective in improving skin elasticity, reducing enlarged pores, fine lines and wrinkles. As its key strength lies in the renewal of the superficial layers of the skin, BB Aqua Touch Laser gives your complexion an instant “photoshop” makeover effect. Clinical studies suggest that for most patients looking for improved texture and reduction in prominence of wrinkles and fine lines, satisfactory results can be attained after 3 to 5 sessions done regularly at 4 to 6 weeks’ intervals.

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Seeing eye to eye

Our eyes are one of the first facial features to bear the brunt of aging, as the skin around around them is the thinnest and most delicate part of your face. With a lack of surrounding supporting structures, the areas around the eyes are prone to fine lines and wrinkling. In addition, a paucity of sebaceous or oil glands make these areas a lot drier than the rest of the facial skin, with constant movements such as blinking, squinting and rubbing adding further stress to the skin. A good eye care product doesn’t come cheap, so it’s often omitted from the skincare regime and not appreciated till the signs of aging creep up around the peepers. Not all eye creams are made equal and you should learn to tell them apart from not just their packaging and price tag. Always read your labels to assess the active ingredients before putting your money in it, and although it might not be the elixir of youth in a tub, a dab of eye cream goes a long way if the correct type is chosen and used consistently.

CHAI LIQUID GOLD Eye Illuminating Serum is a doctor-inspired, pharmaceutical-grade ‘eye-opener’ packed with potent yeux-prettifying 23 carat gold and other powerhouse ingredients including wrinkle-relaxing Argireline, often touted as “the topical Botox”.  Regular use will dramatically recharge skin elasticity to reverse the signs of photo-damage and dermal aging, targeting directly on skin fibroblasts to visibly improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles at the surface level and beyond. LIQUID GOLD works in overdrive to strengthen the skin’s regenerative ability, helping to counteract the visible signs of aging by increasing skin’s natural moisture barrier and restore elasticity to crepey undereye skin.

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Not Feeding Your Skin Properly

If you’re eating junk food all the time, your waistline is not the only one that’s going to suffer as you’re essentially robbing your skin of protein, antioxidants and other nutrients that are required to keep it happy and healthy looking.You are what you eat— good dietary habits will show themselves on your pretty face and dietary indiscretions will leave their nasty footprints of dermal onslaught all over the place.

“To eat your way to good looking skin, avoid foods with high glycemic index as they cause a sugar rush and sudden insulin spike when consumed. As far as your skin’s health is concerned, sugar in the bloodstream is undesirable as it attaches itself to collagen and elastin fibres in a process known as glycation, and weakens them by doing so,” Explains Dr. Toby Hui, senior medical consultant with the SW1 Clinic (formerly known as The Sloane Clinic). “Glycation made these protein fibres dry and brittle, as they ceased to be firm and elastic like how we would like them to be; translating asskin wrinkling, sagging and other signs of premature aging.”

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Not giving acne the attention deserved

When I started to have breakouts during my teens, I immediately assumed that the zits were caused by oily skin and that they will disappear once puberty is over. Playing the expert when I knew next to nothing, in an erroneous bid to dry out my skin as much as possible, I experimented with all kinds of harsh products from Dettol soap to alcohol wipes! Needless to say, my self-taught beauty regime backfired.I was totally clueless and just using whatever I can lay my hands on, I could have been using all the wrong products but the thing was, I never knew. On hindsight, the two shallow acne scars between my brows serve as a constant reminder that I could’ve given my skin a little more TLC, and treated my adolescent acne right.

The Purity Program is a comprehensive approach to tackle moderate to severe acne from various angles, using proven and FDA-approved modalities. The VBeam Perfecta diode laser effectively tackles inflammation and red, angry looking lesions, i-Clear photobiomodulation targets the clearance of acne causing P. bacterium, while Exilis Lift which engages radio frequency waves as a source of therapeutic energy penetrates deep into the dermis to help regulate sebum production from the over-active oil glands. Working cooperatively in a synergistic manner, these treatments aim to provide a long term solution to keep breakouts in check and restore clarity to troubled skins. A side benefit of the Purity Program is the positive impact on moderate acne scars and fine lines in the long run, secondary to the collagen and elastin boosting capacity of RF waves that is harnessed as the energy source by Exilis Lift. With these super-duper trio giving you a double whammy skin rescue, this comprehensive treatment plan is as close to 100% patient satisfaction as one can get, restoring and refining flushed, stubborn blemished complexions with dazzling satisfaction.

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Hair today, gone tomorrow

Hormones keep your hair in fabulous condition while you’re pregnant but the honeymoon is over once the baby is born. Known medically as postpartum alopecia, female hair loss after delivery is simply your hair returning to its normal growth cycle with hair falling off at a faster rate. This usually presents as gradual thinning of hair but can result in the formation of unsightly bald patches spread over the scalp. According to the American Pregnancy Association, 40% to 50% of women will experience hair loss up to 6 months post-delivery, and this can be mild and back to normal in good time or can be very dramatic and extremely traumatizing. I was totally fine with my first two, but when the third came round, it was totally a different story. Adding on to the woes of constant diaper changing, a crying baby and two extremely jealous sibs, my usually thick and luscious locks were falling in clumps, literally like a cancer victim post chemotherapy. Although the nightmare was eventually over after 4 months of ‘hair-raising’ struggles,  I’m somehow convinced that my crowning glory wasn’t what it used to be.

Laser light therapy has gained momentum as an effective treatment of hair loss in recent years, with the FDA approved Revage 670 Laser widely recognized as the gold standard to treat hair loss in women, including postpartum thinning hair which can be exceptionally awful and traumatizing. With a total of 30 laser diodes, Revage provides critical coherent beams as a direct source of low level laser energy in a hood that goes over the scalp to ensure maximum contact with the areas to be treated. With no injections nor chemicals involved, Revage is no doubt safe for pregnant ladies and breastfeeding mothers. Studies have shown an 85% success rate in halting hair loss with an almost 40% of increased fullness reported. Therefore, this is not just a treatment that targets current hair thinning but is also useful to help prevent further hair loss, and seriously, I wish I knew it earlier….

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