Fight ageing in 3 steps

Arm yourself with this power trio

Women's Health Contributor / June 30 2016

Vitamins, peptides, AHAs, enzymes, retinol…Sound like the NRL banned substance list? If you find anti-ageing skin care confusing, you’re forgiven. But if you’re ready to tackle your wrinkles, try this simple dermatologist-designed starter plan.

It’s time to recruit some grown-up skin care to fight the signs of ageing – and you can do it by adding three simple steps into your regimen. “In terms of anti-ageing you need vitamin A, vitamin C and an acid in your cleanser,” says Dr Van Park, Sydney cosmetic physician. “They’re basic ingredients but if we’re talking solid evidence of what’s good for skin anti-ageing – they’re the big three.”

Build your routine to a daily face wash with some form of acids, vitamin C serum in the morning and vitamin A serum before bed. This newcomer anti-ageing plan is all about skin renewal and keeping your skin glowing, says Park.


Face wash

The key ingredient: Acids

What do acids do? In general – they exfoliate. They’ll help unclog pores and even out your skin tone. Use any type of acids in the form of a face wash every morning, says Park. Salicylic, glycolic, lactic, citric – “It doesn’t matter – but for acne-prone skin choose salicylic.”

Try: Aspect Purastat 5 Cleanser – it’s a softening foam with a gentle exfoliating action from citric and sugar acids.


A.M. treatment

The key ingredient: Vitamin C

“Vitamin C is an antioxidant, but also stimulates collagen and plays a role in protecting skin from the sun,” says Park. Use it in the morning, under your sunscreen.

Try: Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Vitamin C + Serum – it has a long-lasting derivative of vitamin C, 3-0-ethyl ascorbic acid, which penetrates well and helps banish dark spots.

Every anti-ageing regimen needs SPF 50+ sunscreen on the frontline. It’s the last product to put on after your skin care – before your makeup.


P.M. treatment

The key ingredient: Vitamin A

At night, reverse skin damage with vitamin A (aka retinol or retinoic acid). “Retinol is the cheapest and best ingredient for anti-ageing,” says Park. Cheap = good, because your new regimen, while worth investing in, may set you back a bit. Tried it before and your skin didn’t like? You can get a retinoid reaction. It’s normal in the first couple of weeks. Push through it by building up gradually, says Park. 

Try: Medik8 Retinol 10 TR Serum has one per cent of pure retinol. Phase it in gradually starting twice a week for the first two weeks, building to every other night for the next two weeks. Let it sink in before layering on your moisturiser.

Got super dry skin? Alternate or layer a serum containing hyaluronic acid, which increases the cells’ ability to bind water, holding up to 1000 times its weight in moisture. Bonus: hyaluronic also plumps skin, making wrinkles appear smoother.

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Main image credit: Getty


Melinda is a beauty and travel writer, content creator, podcaster and mama. She has penned prose for the likes of Vogue, Women’s Health, Harper’s Bazaar, Mindfood, and body & soul. Melinda loves trying out pretty things, talking to talented people and travelling to picturesque places then telling everybody all about it with witty words. She keeps a journal, drinks ten cups of tea most days and listens to seventies disco in the car.