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The ultimate beauty cheat sheet

The wonderful world of skincare has advanced in leaps and bounds over recent years, but when the mania of the festive season comes knocking on our doors there’s nothing like a good beauty shortcut. And while we’re big proponents of a thorough skincare regimen, we don’t always have a couple of months to wait to see results – especially when that Christmas cocktail party is looming. Thankfully these beauty must-haves will help you fake it until you’ve got the time to overhaul your skincare routine – New Year’s resolution anyone?

The Shape Shifters

Now is the time to start putting some serious thought into those New Year’s resolutions, and what better place to start than a thorough overhaul of your skincare regimen. To make things easy – an achievable – we’ve spoken to skincare buffs to find out what ingredients we need to be including in our beauty routines.

VITAMIN A

Founder of Environ and award-winning skincare expert, Dr Des Fernandes, has long touted vitamin A as skincare’s ultimate age-restoring ingredient.

“Vitamin A controls everything that is important about skin,” Fernandes explains. “How thick the skin is, how much collagen you retain, even skin colour, texture and tone. But what many people don’t realise is that when we go into daylight we destroy the vitamin A in our skin so we need to replace it on a daily basis.”

Include vitamin A in your routine to boost cell turnover, enhance radiance and bolster collagen and elastin levels in your skin.

DNA ENZYMES

DNA enzymes have been popping up in skincare for a few years, according to leading dermatologist Dr Shobhan Manoharan, director of Westside Dermatology and Brisbane skin. But it’s only now that we’re really starting to see ingredients that get the job done. “It’s very clever new science and we’re getting to the point that it’s effective.”

When free radicals attack our skin they often damage DNA, destroying the structure of the skin and increasing chances of premature ageing. “DNA enzymes chop out the damage and replace it with a more normal structure of DNA; skin cells are then able to form in a healthy way.”

VITAMIN C

“It helps minimise the first signs of loss of skin firmness and photo-aging,” explains Ultraceuticals skin expert Tracey Beeby. A powerful antioxidant vitamin C can help to restore youthfulness to your complexion, protect skin from free radicals, promote wound healing, activate collagen synthesis and inhibit pigment-forming enzymes.

For the best results, Beeby recommends using vitamin C daily. “Over time you may notice an improved reduction in the appearance of brown spots and sun damage and see firmer looking skin.”

ALPHA-HYDROXY ACIDS

“AHAs are water-soluble, and are designed to break down the dead skin layer, unsticking the little protein bonds that hold the very top layer (stratum corneum) of your skin together,” says Tania McKenzie, clinical educator at Advanced Skin Technology.

This unique type of exfoliation increases cell turnover, supports healthy skin by hydrating and evening skin tone, and can improve fine lines, pigmentation and acne. McKenzie emphasises the importance of wearing sunscreen when using AHAs as your skin can become more vulnerable to UV damage.

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