SKINCARE 101
Femina|April 2021
DR JAISHREE SHARAD busts common skincare myths, and gives us the lowdown on acids for skin, and anti-ageing treatments.
Sukriti Shahi

The pandemic changed our mindsets about skincare. While we became cautious about our regimens, the lockdown also made us struggle with the ills of blue light and screen exposure. Still, skincare had its moment in 2020, and the trend is here to stay. As we adapt to new beauty mandates, we asked Dr Jaishree Sharad, celebrity cosmetic dermatologist, about new skincare challenges and common doubts.

THE LOCKDOWN HAS INCREASED OUR SCREEN TIME AND EXPOSURE TO BLUE LIGHT. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON ITS IMPACT ON OUR SKIN?

We’ve been using laptops, television, our cell phones all this while, and the blue light that emanates from these screens has a detrimental effect on the skin. It can break down collagen, result in a build-up of free radicals (toxic to the skin), and cause hyperpigmentation and an uneven skin tone. Sunscreens with iron oxides and vitamins A, C, and E protect the skin from blue light, but it’s tough to find these in India. So, use sunscreen with an antioxidant and a serum with vitamins A, C, or E, or flavonoids, which can protect the skin from harmful blue light.

WE’RE NOT REALLY STEPPING OUT OFTEN IN SUNLIGHT AND INTO FRESH AIR...

Even when we are indoors, the skin goes through a lot of stress, which we need to address with key ingredients. Hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide that is naturally present in our skin. It has a property of attracting water, absorbing it, swelling up a thousand times its weight, and hydrating the skin. It also stimulates collagen and elastin fibres, and keeps the skin youthful and alive. Within the home, we are also usually in an air-conditioned room, we forget to drink water, and, as a result, the skin gets dehydrated. Hyaluronic acid is beneficial to rehydrate dehydrated skin. The second powerful ingredient we need is vitamin C. It helps in achieving even skin tone, fighting different radicals, and preventing collagen breakdown and dark circles. It can be used both in the morning and at night.

WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO START WITH AN ANTI-AGEING SKINCARE ROUTINE?

One must start using a sunscreen and a moisturiser from the age of 16. These are the two most important products when it comes to anti-ageing. While sunscreen protects the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet A, B, and C, a moisturiser hydrates. Going without these two products during the teens or in the twenties will degrade the skin at a much faster rate. Then, when it comes to ingredients like vitamin C, ferulic acid and peptides, start these at the age of 25. These antioxidants are anti-ageing. Ingredients like retinol and polyphenols can be added by the age of 30.

ACIDS FOR THE SKIN! PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THESE.

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