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Exclusive skincare secrets from a Somatologist

Picture: Pexels
Picture: Pexels

The summer holidays can be a trying time for your skin.

Whether your holiday plans involve several big nights out with the girls or a 2-week vacay on the coast, your skincare routine needs to be part of the festivities. To keep you looking flawless all summer long, GLAMOUR spoke to the owner of The Skin Institute by Azaria and sensational Somatologist, Azaria Anderson.

Since achieving her National Diploma and BTech Degree in Somatology at the University of Johannesburg, Azaria has put her skill and passion to work by treating skin conditions such as pigmentation, acne, scarring, ageing and improving the overall skin health. At The Skin Institute by Azaria based in Westrand, Ruimsig, Azaria and her team offer a variety of skincare treatments, helping clients look and feel like their best selves.

Below we chat with Azaria about her passion for skincare, she shares insight into Dermaplaning and the benefits of popular skincare ingredients Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol, as well as skincare secrets to help you maintain your summer glow.

What made you choose to go into this industry and how did you go about it?

Somatology is the career I decided on because of the exposure to it by my mom. My mother always had an interest in taking care of her skin as well as holistic therapies such as massage and detox therapies. As a teen, experiencing breakouts on my own skin and trying to mix ingredients or certain creams together to treat breakouts motivated me to want to help others experiencing the same. I have always wanted to own my own business as well as teach people and by going into this field of study I was able to do both.

How important is a healthy diet and lifestyle for your skin?

Your skin is an organ just like your heart, your kidneys or your liver. The skin is the largest organ and by eating correctly you will be taking better care of it. Our skin is exposed to so many external and environmental factors as well as internal factors that cause damage by destroying molecules, damaging skin tissue which then leads to loss of water and collagen breakdown.

An adequate and balanced diet is extremely important to protect your skin. You might not see a major difference in your skin immediately by eating correctly but you will notice a gradual and noticeable difference in your skin by following a healthy eating pattern.

To keep your skin healthy, eat a well-balanced diet that includes fruit, vegetables and proteins. It is important to have a healthy gut and consume a good amount of probiotics which will encourage good bacteria found in the gut. Look out for vegetables and fruit that include C, E, A, K and B complex vitamins as they aid in collagen production. These are also antioxidants that will protect your skin from free radicals caused by pollution and environmental factors. Minerals such as selenium, copper, zinc are good to strengthen the skin as well.

Feeding the skin from the inside as well as the outside will help heal the skin as well as build up the immune system which in turn may reduce inflammation in the skin and may assist to reduce skin diseases such as acne and abnormal production of pigmentation.

These are a few foods to avoid or have in moderation:

Sugar – Causes inflammation and accelerates the ageing process.

Smoking- Accelerates ageing and the impact of free radicals.

Dairy – Causes acne.

Alcohol- Possible dehydration and free radicals.

Processed foods

Caffeine

Fatty/oily foods – These lack vitamins and minerals.

Spicy foods – These contribute to redness in the face.

Foods we should be eating:

1. Citrus fruits – High in vitamin C.

2. Foods containing omega 3,6 and 9.

3. Carrots- Contains Vitamin A.

4. Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, avocado, mango and green tea are antioxidants.

5. Legumes contain Biotin which strengthens the skin and hair.

Can you tell us more about Dermaplaning and explain the benefits?

Dermaplaning, previously referred to as face shaving, has become a popular treatment and can be added to a facial or a superficial chemical peel to enhance the treatment, although I would not recommend a combination of treatments for a first-time patient.

Dermaplaning is the removal of vellus hairs (short, thin and light-coloured hair found on the face and the neck) and dead skin cells (together forms peach fuzz) with a surgical blade. The procedure is not painful but rather should feel like a card gently scraping your skin. The procedure can be done with an oil designed for dermaplaning skin, for patients who have sensitive, dry or mature skin types.

Dermaplaning is not recommended for patients who have active acne as it can spread and cause further irritation. The benefits of Dermaplaning include brighter looking skin, smoother makeup application and it is suggested that it assists with better product penetration as the ingredients within the products will not have to work through the dead skin cells first. It is a lovely treatment to have done as it provides immediate results and there is no downtime after the treatment. It is very important to apply your sunscreen especially after a treatment like Dermaplaning as you would want to protect your “new skin”.

How do hyaluronic acid and retinol benefit the skin?

These are 2 ingredients almost everyone should be using. Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in your body and can hold 1000x its own weight in water. Hyaluronic acid gives our skin its structure as well as a plump and hydrated look. We experience something called Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) daily which is the measurement of how much water is evaporated from the skin. Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient that prevents TEWL by slowing down the rate at which water can escape your skin. This is an excellent ingredient to have in your products as it locks the moisture in your skin which is needed for dry or oily skin. Remember, dry skin = lack of oil whereas dehydrated skin = lack of moisture (water), so it is possible to have an oily skin type as well as a dehydrated skin condition.

I believe everyone should have a percentage of Retinol in their skincare products from the age of 25. Retinol is a form of vitamin A and it can be found in many products. It is an ingredient that needs to undergo bioconversion within the skin to become active and combine with retinoic acid receptors to be effective. Many products claim to have this amazing antiageing ingredient inside of them but you need to consider the following:

1. The percentage of Retinol in the product.

2. The percentage you are left with after conversion.

3. Your natural metabolism of the retinol.

Retinol increases the turnover of skin cells, which assists with ageing, improves skin texture, helps remove age spots and improves skin colour.

What is your summer skincare routine?

The one thing I cannot go without, summer or not, is sunblock, especially in summer it is imperative to wear an SPF of 30 or higher and to reapply it to your skin at least 2-3 times a day. Your skin is an organ that must be protected from the rays of the sun as well as High Energy Visible light which we are also exposed to from LED lighting and flat-panel screens.

My morning skincare routine I keep quite simple and it is as follows:

1. Exfoliating cleanser with jojoba beads and Vitamin E inside to heal and protect my skin.

2. Hyaluronic acid serum to keep my skin hydrated and plump. I love the glow it provides as well.

3. Vitamin C lightweight moisturiser. Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant and protects your skin from free radicals found in the air.

4. anti-ageing eye cream.

5. SPF 50 with a tint inside.

My evening skincare routine:

1. I double cleanse my skin with a creamier textured cleanser in the evening.

2. I use 2% Salicylic acid pads to clean out my pores and ensure my skin is clean after a long day. Salicylic acid acts as a bottle brush and cleans out the pores of oils that are stuck in them. This is especially useful if you are prone to breakouts or underlying congestion in your skin.

3. I use a skin calming serum if I have been exposed to a lot of sunlight throughout the day. I prefer using skin brightening serums on my skin.

4. I apply a lightweight moisturiser to my skin and, believe it or not, I also use an SPF on my skin in the evening without a tint.

In addition to these routines, I exfoliate my skin once a week, massage it with oil specifically designed for the skin and then apply a brightening or hydrating sheet mask.

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