SHIMMERING and Sun Kissed - Cracking the secret to glowing skin
A2 Aesthetic and Anti-Ageing Magazine|Dec 2020/Mar 2021 – Issue 35
DR TARRYN JACOBS reveals the science behind skin radiance, and imparts her expert tips on how to get your glow back.
DR TARRYN JACOBS

The quest for radiant skin is centuries old, dating as far back as 51 B.C. when Cleopatra reigned as the last pharaoh of Egypt.1 Cleopatra has always been, for the most part, portrayed as a great beauty. But what were her beauty secrets? Well, according to historic accounts, Cleopatra so believed that milk was an essential moisturizing component for the skin, that she often bathed in it.1 This bath-time ritual was then followed by an application of aloe vera to her skin to keep it soft and free from sun damage. Yet while Cleopatra’s beauty regime played a significant role in her life, it was of equal importance to the ancient Egyptians (as they deemed beauty to not only be fit for queens but a key part of Egyptian court life too). Indeed, the ancient Egyptians had many cosmetics developed to keep skin soft and supple (such as applying various chemicals to their skin), in order to protect it from the harsh desert heat.

The evolution of skincare

Now, fast-forward a few thousand years and we see this much-desired skin property has been hugely magnified in popular culture, mostly due to social media and all its platforms. In fact, thanks to applications such as Instagram and Snapchat, the opportunity to digitally enhance our appearance is just in the palm of our hands. Built-in filters and photo editing features allow us to smooth skin texture and tone while softening wrinkles and brightening skin – thus allowing us to visualize ourselves with the most luminous skin ever. The paradigm has shifted in that these self-altered photographs have now become our personal skin appearance goals.2

K-Glass

In the pursuit of ever-more filtered and glowing skin, a new trend has emerged: Korean beauty ‘glass skin’. This term was coined to describe a skin complexion that is so clear, dewy and luminous, that is almost transparent. Yet what is characterized as glowing skin in the media (from my point of view as a dermatologist), is, in truth, what perfectly healthy skin should look like. To sum up, healthy skin is free from disease, is well hydrated, has a strong barrier, and glows with radiance. And trends aside, radiant skin is seen as a signifier of youth and an external sign of good health.

Thanks to skincare technologies and cosmetic advancements, there are now many ways in which our skin’s radiance can be restored and enhanced. But in order to achieve this, a multidimensional approach is required, i.e. looking at the surface and inner skin structures that make up the attributes of a glowing complexion.

A smooth skin texture

Between the ages of 30 to 80 years, the skin cell turnover rate decreases by 30% to 50%. This results in a heap of dead skin cells (corneocytes) being left on the surface, ultimately causing a dull, rough appearance with poor light reflection. The question is: how do we transform a lackluster, grey complexion, to that of a skin oh-so radiant?

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