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  • DIAGNOSIS - Anti-ageing

Expert Advice, Hints & Tips from the Professionals

Florence Benech
Pharmacist
Director of Vichy Laboratories - Active Cosmetics

Anti-ageing

Find answers to common questions asked to experts like dermatologists, pharmacists and nutrionists with hints and tips on achieving healthy-looking skin, scalp & hair.

Dermatologist’s advice

How can I prevent the appearance of age spots that darken with time?

Did you know?
“Age spots”, also called “lentigines” (the plural of “lentigo”), are brown formations without any texture that appear on the surface of the skin.

Each lentigo is caused by a dysfunction of the melanocytes, those cells responsible for the production of a brown pigment called melanin. These cells protect the skin from damaging UV rays by producing and distributing melanin, which “colours” the skin. This normally progressive process produces a tan. However, when the process is sudden or repeated, pigment spots appear.
Lentigines are a consequence of ageing, repeated sun exposure and UV aggressions, in particular from UVA rays. These UV rays penetrate the skin deeply and they are present all year long, whether the weather is hot or not.

Age spots appear mostly on the areas that are most exposed such as the hands, the face and the décolleté.
The best way to fight these spots is to prevent them from forming by protecting your skin from UV rays on a daily basis, and especially when you’re exposed to sunlight.
Your dermatologist can also minimise any spots that are already there with procedures such as a laser treatment or peeling.

What to do:
The best way to fight these spots is to prevent them from forming. Limit lengthy sun exposure and choose a daily skin care product that contains a protective sunscreen against UVA and UVB rays, with a texture that is suitable for your skin type.
To minimise any age spots that have already formed, you can exfoliate the skin regularly in order to stimulate cellular renewal in the epidermis and eliminate the excess melanin in the skin. Some skin care products are also specifically designed to minimise age spots. Ask your pharmacist for advice.

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Dermatologist’s advice

Which type of skin wrinkles more quickly, oily or dry?

Did you know?
Wrinkles are the external sign of changes that are happening at every level of the skin, from the surface (epidermis) to the deeper layers (dermis). The repeated contractions of the facial muscles will eventually cause expression lines, especially on the forehead, in the nasolabial folds and around the eyes.

Moreover, the slower cellular renewal process, the degradation of the supporting fibres in the dermis (elastin and collagen) and the “lethargy” of the fibroblasts – the cells that produce these fibres – are responsible for the loss of density and elasticity that ultimately produces wrinkles.

Skin dehydration is one of the most important factors involved in the formation of wrinkles. Dry skin’s hydrolipidic barrier (a combination of water and lipids whose role is to protect the skin’s surface) is of a lesser quality. This makes it more fragile and vulnerable to external aggressions.

Also, when dry skin severely lacks water and lipids, it loses its density more rapidly, as if it were “deplumping”.
This means that wrinkles will appear sooner on dry skin than on oily skin.

What to do on a daily basis:
If you have dry skin, protect your skin with a daily moisturising treatment. Opt for an anti-wrinkle treatment that is specifically recommended for dry skin and contains moisturising and nourishing agents.

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Dermatologist’s advice

How can I enjoy the sun without “burning away my youth”?

Did you know?
The sun’s rays represent a permanent aggression for your skin. We now know that UV rays are dangerous for all skin types:
- UVB rays allow us to tan, but they also cause sunburn.
- UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply and are responsible for premature ageing of the skin.

The sun’s rays also cause the oxidation of the components in the skin that preserve its youthful appearance – the elastin and collagen fibres found in the dermis.

Studies have shown that women who regularly wear a sunscreen to protect from UV rays have skin that appears to be on average 4 years younger than the skin of other women (Source: Ipsos Centres Santé de la peau Vichy).

UVB and UVA rays can also cause allergies and pigmentary disorders, and can even increase the risks of skin cancer on a long-term basis.

What to do
On a daily basis: choose a daytime moisturiser that contains a protective sunscreen against UVA and UVB rays with a texture that is suitable for your skin type.

When you go out in the sun: protect yourself by regularly applying a sunscreen lotion with an SPF of at least 30 (ideally higher). To better protect the fragile areas of the face and décolleté, wear a T-shirt, a hat and sunglasses. Avoid the sun during the hottest hours of the day, between noon and 4 p.m.

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Dermatologist’s advice

Which type of skin wrinkles more quickly, oily or dry?

Did you know?
Wrinkles are the external sign of changes that are happening at every level of the skin, from the surface (epidermis) to the deeper layers (dermis). The repeated contractions of the facial muscles will eventually cause expression lines, especially on the forehead, in the nasolabial folds and around the eyes.

Moreover, the slower cellular renewal process, the degradation of the supporting fibres in the dermis (elastin and collagen) and the “lethargy” of the fibroblasts – the cells that produce these fibres – are responsible for the loss of density and elasticity that ultimately produces wrinkles.

Skin dehydration is one of the most important factors involved in the formation of wrinkles. Dry skin’s hydrolipidic barrier (a combination of water and lipids whose role is to protect the skin’s surface) is of a lesser quality. This makes it more fragile and vulnerable to external aggressions.

Also, when dry skin severely lacks water and lipids, it loses its density more rapidly, as if it were “deplumping”.
This means that wrinkles will appear sooner on dry skin than on oily skin.

What to do on a daily basis:
If you have dry skin, protect your skin with a daily moisturising treatment. Opt for an anti-wrinkle treatment that is specifically recommended for dry skin and contains moisturising and nourishing agents.

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Gynaecologist’s advice

What impact do hormones have on skin ageing during the menopause?

Did you know?
Your skin’s balance is affected by hormones, particularly oestrogen, which helps make skin soft and supple. During the menopause, your body undergoes major hormonal changes, with a significant drop in oestrogen and progesterone levels. The skin may appear drier and thinner, skin folds become more marked and wrinkles more visible owing to a loss of collagen (responsible for the skin’s suppleness).

What to do:
It is important to choose a skin care product that is specially designed for this period of your life, providing your skin with the nourishment it needs. Maintain a healthy, varied and balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruit and vegetable proteins. This will give your body the elements it needs.
And don’t forget: avoid excessive sun exposure and cut down on smoking!

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Gynaecologist’s advice

What impact do hormones have on skin ageing during the menopause?

Did you know?
Your skin’s balance is affected by hormones, particularly oestrogen, which helps make skin soft and supple. During the menopause, your body undergoes major hormonal changes, with a significant drop in oestrogen and progesterone levels. The skin may appear drier and thinner, skin folds become more marked and wrinkles more visible owing to a loss of collagen (responsible for the skin’s suppleness).

What to do:
It is important to choose a skin care product that is specially designed for this period of your life, providing your skin with the nourishment it needs. Maintain a healthy, varied and balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruit and vegetable proteins. This will give your body the elements it needs.
And don’t forget: avoid excessive sun exposure and cut down on smoking!

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Nutritionist’s advice

As I get older, should I follow a particular diet to keep my skin looking good?

Did you know?
The skin is the body’s largest organ, and like all organs it is nourished through the blood by the nutrients that come from our diet.
Skin that lacks vital elements cannot be beautiful and radiant. Throughout your life, your skin needs vital elements such as essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, flavonoids and polyphenols.

What to do on a daily basis
Since diet is a major factor in keeping skin beautiful, make sure your diet is varied and well balanced by eating plenty of vegetables, fruit and vegetable proteins that will give the body the nourishment it needs.

Choose foods that are rich in calcium to compensate for the drop in levels of oestrogen, a hormone that helps fix calcium in the bones.

Finally, take regular exercise to maintain your figure. Just 30 mins of exercise each day will help keep a healthy balance between muscle and adipose tissue.

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Nutritionist’s advice

As I get older, should I follow a particular diet to keep my skin looking good?

Did you know?
The skin is the body’s largest organ, and like all organs it is nourished through the blood by the nutrients that come from our diet.
Skin that lacks vital elements cannot be beautiful and radiant. Throughout your life, your skin needs vital elements such as essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, flavonoids and polyphenols.

What to do on a daily basis
Since diet is a major factor in keeping skin beautiful, make sure your diet is varied and well balanced by eating plenty of vegetables, fruit and vegetable proteins that will give the body the nourishment it needs.

Choose foods that are rich in calcium to compensate for the drop in levels of oestrogen, a hormone that helps fix calcium in the bones.

Finally, take regular exercise to maintain your figure. Just 30 mins of exercise each day will help keep a healthy balance between muscle and adipose tissue.

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Pharmacist’s advice

Can my skin get used to my cream, and should I change creams regularly to make sure I get the best results?

Did you know?
You don’t have to constantly change your skin care cream to get the best results. Your skin will need nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.) throughout its entire life cycle. The best thing to do is to consistently provide skin with what it needs and not make drastic changes.

Your skin cannot get used to your cream. However, since your skin is a living organ, its needs can change with time. Your cream must be able to relieve a deficiency or reinforce the intake of nutrients so that hydration, cell renewal and protection remain optimal. Cosmetic ingredients are absorbed by the skin, which uses them, assimilates them and eliminates them. So there is no risk that your skin could become addicted to your skin care product!

Regular use of a product is the most efficient method. Constantly changing your skin care product doesn’t improve your skin. On the contrary, tests have shown that the repeated use of a product provides the best results. A skin care cream must be applied daily for several months before you can see the real effects on the skin’s surface. You can therefore use the anti-ageing product that best suits your skin for as long as you wish.

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Pharmacist’s advice

Can lifestyle habits help me to have beautiful skin?

Did you know?
Your diet and your entire lifestyle play a role in how beautiful you look.
You already know that sport is beneficial for the body, but you may not have realised that it also has a positive effect on your skin. Physical exercise provides cells and tissues with more oxygen, stimulating their renewal.

What to do on a daily basis:
Aside from a regular sport, it is above all a healthy lifestyle that will ensure that your skin remains in top shape. Make sure your diet is varied and well balanced, and eat lots of fruit and vegetables for their vitamins, fibre and anti-oxidant properties. Reduce your consumption of alcohol, coffee and tobacco. Make sure you get enough sleep to ensure your skin has the opportunity to recuperate fully at night.

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Pharmacist’s advice

Planes, air conditioning, central heating – what are the dangers of temperature changes for the skin?

Did you know?
If you have to fly regularly, you may have noticed that the humidity level inside the plane’s cabin is often less than 20%, when ideally it should be between 40 and 65%. The same goes for highly air-conditioned rooms. Dry air can dehydrate the skin and cause small wrinkles to appear, especially around the eyes.


What to do
Protect your skin from sudden temperature changes. Avoid rooms where the air conditioning is too strong. When flying, remember to drink water regularly and protect your skin with an appropriate moisturising cream.

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Pharmacist’s advice

Tobacco accelerates skin ageing: what can I do to remedy this situation?

Did you know?
Smoking causes premature ageing of the skin: tobacco dulls the complexion and accelerates the emergence of wrinkles.
Merely drawing on a cigarette causes very specific wrinkles in smokers, namely on the upper lip (smoker’s wrinkles). However, this is not the only impact smoking has on your skin. Just like sunlight, tobacco leads to a proliferation of free radicals. These particles oxidise and attack the cells and tissues in the skin.

Moreover, tobacco has a vasoconstrictor effect (it reduces the diameter of blood vessels). The blood flow slows down and oxygenation of the skin cells is impaired – it is as if they are being asphyxiated. The complexion becomes yellow and dull.
Studies have shown that tobacco is responsible for the increased production of an enzyme (MMP-1) that leads to collagen degradation. The skin loses its elasticity and flexibility, which in turn causes wrinkles to appear.


What to do on a daily basis:
To compensate for the consequences of smoking, choose a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables to supply vitamins to your skin and help it fight the impact of free radicals. Hydrate your skin daily and don’t forget to exfoliate it regularly to give your complexion a radiant look. Choose anti-ageing products that are enriched with anti-oxidants and have a texture that is appropriate for your skin type.

Stop smoking: naturally this is the most effective solution, but it is also the hardest to achieve. Stopping cold turkey is not the only method available; you can also stop progressively. Substitution treatments are available to help you, such as nicotine patches, gum and lozenges. Ask your doctor for advice.

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Psychologist’s advice

Can caring for your skin boost your self-esteem?

Did you know?
Caring for your skin allows you to take care of your body and gives you a sense of pleasure and well-being. The skin expresses and communicates your inner feelings; it influences the way others see you, but first and foremost it influences the perception you have of yourself.

Cosmetic products play a vital role in this relationship. They touch a person at the deepest level and are part of life’s essential functions. Caring for your skin means taking care of yourself. The time you take to care for your skin doesn’t only contribute to the harmony between your body and mind; it also promotes the respect you have for yourself and others. You can see yourself in the way other people look at you, and this influences your quality of life.

A study conducted by Vichy Laboratories on more than 800 women around the world has demonstrated that caring for your skin improves self-esteem.

All the women used the same anti-ageing product. After using it for one month, they noticed an improvement in their quality of life.

The women remarked various positive results:
- an impact on their social life/relationships (impact of the skin on femininity, attractiveness, etc.);
- an impact on their general state of health (fewer hot flushes, less difficulty sleeping, feeling less emotionally fragile, etc.);
- an impact on their self-esteem (acceptance of their face and body shape, satisfaction with their skin, pleasure touching their skin, etc.).

What to do on a daily basis:
In addition to applying your favourite skin care product, here are a few ideas to help preserve your self-esteem and your sense of well-being. Take time out for yourself. Practise a gentle sport to maintain your body and develop a sense of ownership. Go out regularly with friends. And get involved in projects and activities that you are passionate about.

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