I kinda knew this was coming, as I recently had a skin cancer check and the dermatologist told me I was covered in ‘old freckles’ likely from childhood. I also have an Irish mum and Scottish dad, so my purple skin and the harsh Australian sun are NOT friends.
1. Wear sunscreen every day.
In terms of the best way to remedy my existing sun damage and protect my skin in the future, both Dr Joshi and dermatologist Dr Cara McDonald from Complete Skin Specialists in Victoria (another lovely expert I stalked down for advice) had a few pointers.
The first being sunscreen. Every. Single. Day.
“The number one anti-ageing product is sunscreen. Use it every day without fail,” said Dr McDonald.
This is a thing I already do every day (I wear SPF 50+ rain, hail or shine), so I was a little (a LOT) smug that I was already taking steps to prevent more glorious damage from happening to my already freckled skin.
2. Switch up skincare products.
Another tip? Both experts said to switch up my skincare routine if needed.
“Start with the basics: Use a soap-free cleanser and an antioxidant (for example a vitamin C serum) in the morning, followed by sunscreen,” said Dr McDonald.
“In the evening, target your ingredients to your specific skin concerns and goals, but generally start with an alpha-hydroxy acid to stimulate cell renewal and a good quality moisturiser for barrier protection.”
…Some cheeky reccos within these categories:
1. La Roche-Posay Redermic Vitamin C10 Serum 30ml, $59.49 from Chemist Warehouse.
2. Ultra Violette Supreme Screen SPF 50+ Hydrating Facial Sunscreen 75ml, $49 from Adore Beauty.
3. Sunday RileyGood Genes Lactic Acid Treatment, $186 from Mecca.
4. CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion PM 52ml, $17.39 from Chemist Warehouse.
Don’t worry, I took more notes.
“If you want to optimise your skin, see a highly trained dermal clinician or dermatologist who can target your skincare to your personal wants and needs. However, just beware of being over-sold products,” she continued.
Dr McDonald suggested always starting with the basics and building up your skincare routine with only one new product at a time, saying “This way, if you have any problems or reactions, it is easy to pinpoint the culprit.”
Makes sense, no?
3. Be patient and consistent.
Dr Joshi said to keep one thing in mind. “Remember, skin takes time. So, allow three months to really begin to notice an effect on your skin’s texture, fine lines and wrinkles and skin luminosity.”
“Consistency is the key,” adds Dr McDonald. “Find a manageable routine and stick with it. Over time, you can increase the potency and introduce extra ingredients for maximal results.”
4. Take care of yourself.
In terms of general non-skin specific things, Dr Joshi said to focus on diet and lifestyle, too.
“Maintain as healthy a diet and lifestyle as possible. Our 20s are often a blur of late nights, too much partying and a poor diet – and it all adds up.
5. Consider non-invasive treatments for sun damage.
And while I kinda like my freckles, Dr Joshi said if it’s something that worries me, there are options to minimise the appearance of them.
“If your freckles bothered you, there are various machines and treatments that could be used, such as IPL, to help permanently get rid of them in a few sessions, after a skin check to ensure no hidden lesions of concern first.”
6. Consider dermal fillers for dark circles.
When it comes to how I should approach some of the early signs of ageing, Dr Joshi said that for me, it’s all in the eyes.
“One of the earliest signs of ageing is the loss of the fat pad around our eyes, leading to “dark circles” and a tired, ‘barely slept’ look.”
“Because you are fair skinned, likely a skin type II, I’d say that you’re beginning to lose volume under your eyes, coupled with a pale complexion with thin skin in this area that allows blood vessels (dark blue/purple in colour) to show through, giving you that exhausted look.”
In terms of the best way to plump the skin under my eyes and address discolouration, Dr Joshi said my best bets were non-surgical treatments like dermal fillers.