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The Iconic Edition
|13 Oct|5 mins

Everything You Need To Know About Active Skincare

General Practitioner and Cosmetic Physician Dr Prasanthi explains how active ingredients in skincare work beyond surface level.
The Skin Project active skincareThe Skin Project active skincare

We know taking vitamins plays an important role in keeping the body healthy, but did you know topically applying certain vitamins can benefit your skincare routine too? To celebrate the launch of The Skin Project, a high-grade active skincare collection created by cosmetic doctors, we asked Dr Prasanthi, a general practitioner and cosmetic physician, to explain the importance of active ingredients in a skincare routine, and share her advice for what to apply and when.

The Skin Project now available on THE ICONICThe Skin Project now available on THE ICONIC

The Skin Project now available on THE ICONIC

What is active skincare?
“Active skincare contains active ingredients that have been shown by research, to actively change the architecture of your skin – it’s not just making the surface of your skin look good superficially, but it’s also modifying the actual health of your skin at a cell level.”

What are active ingredients in skincare and why are they important?
“If a product has a claim, for example, ‘this is an anti-aging product’, the active ingredient is the thing that is making the changes to your skin. A great example is vitamin A for anti-aging – this ingredient directly stimulates the cell called a fibroblast to make more collagen, therefore that is the active anti-aging ingredient.”

“Another great example is vitamin B3, which is the ever-popular niacinamide. It helps to combat inflammation, it helps to fight free radical damage, it reinforces the skin barrier – it’s doing lots of active things whilst also helping the appearance of your skin.”

“There’s been a shift towards active ingredients in today's day and age, and the cleanse-tone-moisturise model is a little bit archaic because it’s not taking into account the nuances and the differences in each individual skin journey. The great thing about actives is that you can modify and use different ingredients to address very specific skin concerns. Old cosmetic skincare products were just making the surface look really beautiful superficially, but skin products, such as The Skin Project, are actually going in and changing the architecture of the skin from the base up – building collagen, regulating your pigment-producing cells to even out pigmentation, reinforcing the skin barrier with peptides to minimise dryness and improve hydration – that’s the difference in the skincare products of today.”

The Skin Project now available on THE ICONICThe Skin Project now available on THE ICONIC

The Skin Project now available on THE ICONIC

What products should be applied in the AM and PM?
“With skincare, it’s not just about the active ingredients that are included, it’s about the formulation and the delivery and also when we are applying that product to maximise effect. We have a natural circadian rhythm to our skin and we can utilise this to our advantage to use ingredients at certain times of the day to maximise their effect. For example, retinol is traditionally applied at nighttime due to the circadian rhythm of the skin favouring the application of that at night. In the mornings, you’re generally trying to protect your skin from the environmental stresses that you face throughout the day, namely UV radiation and pollution, so you want to incorporate antioxidants into your morning routine to help combat the free radicals that are created by the sun and other pollutants that can wreak havoc on our skin, causing damage.

At what age should you begin using active anti-aging skincare?
“People should start investing in anti-aging skincare from their mid-to-late 20s to their early 30s. The reason for this is because it’s around this time that we start to lose collagen at a rate of about 1-2% per year. So, in using active ingredients we can help combat that so it’s really essential to start your skincare at this time. Prior to this, we should be using sunscreen to mitigate the damage from UV radiation on our skin.”

What are your top three must-have active ingredients to include in a skincare routine?
"My non-negotiables for a skincare routine are vitamin A, an antioxidant – whether that is vitamin B or C – and amino acids or peptides."

Why is looking after your skin more important than ever during lockdown?
“I think skincare in this time is a little bit of self-care and a little bit of indulgence that is actually going to be beneficial not just for your skin but for your sense of self. I think the home has kind of blurred into an office and a gym and a school, so it’s nice to have time aside for yourself to mindfully apply these ingredients to your skin and enjoy the process – it’s almost like a spa experience for yourself at home that you curate.”

Eliza Concepcion
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