It’s an icy winter’s day amidst a polar snap in Johannesburg and I’m feeling very fortunate to be writing this from my bed, beneath the covers, hot-water bottle doused in eucalyptus oil beside me always. I’m really battling with allergies at the moment and the eucalyptus wafts give a little respite which is satisfying. Having a gap to write in the daytime always feels like such a privilege, a task I normally only get to do once the boys are asleep. Writing has always felt like a form of self-care to me and I cherish these rare moments where I get to channel my inner Carrie Bradshaw; let’s chat about my skincare routine in my 30s.
Gosh it’s been years since I did a skin check-in and this post is long overdue. My skincare needs have certainly changed over the years and, being in my late 30s, my protocol now is centred largely around hydration and anti-ageing. I recently sought the advice and recommendations of Dr. Alek Nikolic of SkinMiles in an attempt to a. fix my skin barrier and alleviate some redness caused by a product I had a reaction to and b. ensure I was on the right path from an overall regime and anti-ageing skincare perspective.
My experience has been great and I have happy, calm skin to prove it. I love that I was able to do my analysis with Cape Town based Dr. Nikolic via Zoom, despite that I live in Johannesburg. It’s wonderful that so many professionals have embraced technology and broadened their horizons beyond in-person meetings and consults. I had a 30 minute session with Dr. Alek where he took a close-up look at my skin (even on camera the redness and irritation was clear as day) and I discussed my overall goals, hopes and skincare dreams.
My skin wish-list
Despite my skin being oily it still feels dry (the Johannesburg climate is harsh) and I wanted to restore moisture and that dewy feeling. I don’t mind a glow and I’m not one for trying to mattify the skin; here’s hoping it’ll keep the wrinkles at bay. I also wanted to ensure I was incorporating all of the right active ingredients to combat ageing and protect the skin. Our priority was to help repair the skin’s barrier and alleviate the redness and irritation, ultimately restoring calm, and then to get to work on my skin’s texture, fine lines and pigmentation. Please note many of the products I’m using and list below contain active ingredients which cannot be used when trying to conceive/pregnant/breast-feeding. The SkinMiles website is super helpful and clearly points out which products contain active ingredients.
Our plan of action
Cleanse: Dermaquest C Infusion Cleanser, recommended to gently cleanse the skin, it contains vitamin C as an antioxidant and can be used mornings and evenings
Protect: SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF, recommended as a day antioxidant which contains vitamin C to prevent and repair UV and environmental damage to the skin, boost collagen production, fade pigmentation and brighten the skin tone. It also contains Silymarin which helps to prevent excess oiliness. I apply 4 to 5 drops to clean skin in the mornings, followed by my moisturiser and sunscreen.
Moisturise: In order to repair the skin’s barrier and restore calm it was advised to use Lamelle Serra Restore Cream as my day and night moisturiser for 3 to 4 weeks and then to revert back to the Lamelle Luminesce products which I normally use to moisturise day and night (these contain active ingredients and are particularly helpful in minimising pigmentation).
Sun protection: Heliocare 360 Fluid Cream sunscreen to be applied daily
Cleanse (as per my morning routine)
Prep: As a targeted night serum, Dr. Nikolic recommended the sk.in flash 2 which is a vitamin A/retinol serum. Retinol helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, fade pigmentation, minimise pore size, improve skin texture and tone and reduce sebum production. As this is an active ingredient, he recommended introducing it slowly (every 3rd night for 2 weeks, then every second night for 2 weeks and every night), eventually applying 1 pump to the entire face, followed by my night moisturiser.
Exfoliate: As an exfoliator I was recommended the sk.in avenge glyco 10, which contains 10% medical grade glycolic acid which will exfoliate the outer dead layer of skin cells, helping to improve skin texture, minimising pore size and improving the appearance of fine lines. This should be used twice weekly (on different evenings to the sk.in flash 2 in the beginning) and applied to clean skin; once dry you follow your normal routine. This is one of my favourite new additions to my repertoire and I love the tingling sensation; it feels like the product is really getting to work. Be gone dead skin cells!
Moisturise: I switched to the Lamelle Serra Restore Cream as my night moisturiser while we worked on the skin’s barrier and the redness. After a few weeks my skin was calm and a lot more balanced so I reverted back to my Lamelle Luminesce Evening Glow which Dr. Nokolic confirmed was right for me and what I’m aiming to achieve with my repertoire.
I think like so many of us we tinker and hack with our skincare regimes without really knowing if we’re following the right course of action or in fact using the right products. Yes, there’s loads of great anecdotal advice out there from people in our friendship circles and network, but I loved the peace of mind of a holistic analysis and approach from a medical doctor with an incredible understanding of what’s on the market. If you’d like to have Dr. Nikolic offer you an in-person consult or face-to-face analysis like I did on Zoom, you can schedule one with his team. Alternately SkinMiles also offer a complimentary Face-2-Face analysis and offering which you can access here.
Lastly I wanted to mention that I try to take a holistic approach to my skincare which includes prioritising the gut too; I’ve been following the Viome protocol for 18 months now and I incorporate collagen into my diet daily. My favourite collagen products are Skoon’s Beauty Smoothies and Be Bright collagen.
I hope this post gives you a little skinspiration and I’d love to hear your thoughts; you can leave a comment below.