With people living longer and healthier lives, the demand for anti-ageing products has never been greater. A leading cosmetic surgeon, based in Cape Town, believes that skin needs daily replenishment of vitamins and antioxidants to fight the effect of photoageing, ageing which is caused by exposure to sunlight.
Dr Des Fernandes claims that photoageing is skin disease caused by a vitamin deficiency. Exposure to sunlight destroys vitamins A, E and C and beta carotene in the skin. The treatment for photoageing, he says, is to supply skin with what has been lost though exposure to UV light.
“The skin ages because we lose essential light-sensitive vitamins every time we go out into sunlight,” says Dr Fernandes. “The scientific method to counteract this damage is to replace the lost vitamins every single day, preferably both morning and evening.
“Vitamin A is the key molecule that maintains safe, healthy skin and it should be used by every single person on this planet in order to neutralise the accelerating damage from a thinner ozone layer.”
Vitamin A is essential for healthy cells in the skin, but it is destroyed by exposure to UV light. If there is insufficient vitamin A in the skin then no matter what cosmetic you put on it, Dr Fernandes says, the skin’s cells will not be healthy. Sunlight causes not only a lower concentration of vitamin A in the skin, but prolonged exposure can also lower the blood levels of vitamin A.
Vitamin C and E are also destroyed by exposure to UV light. These two powerful antioxidants are crucial in protecting healthy skin cells. Vitamin C is also essential for the production of collagen and also for reducing pigmentation blemishes while vitamin E also helps preserve cell walls. Topical vitamin A has long been used in anti-ageing cosmetics as it makes the skin thicker, reduces pigmentation and helps to smooth out the skin. However, Dr Fernandes recommends vitamin A combined with antioxidants for the most effective results. He believes that there are two significant rules to revolutionising skin care. Firstly, every skincare regime should have vitamins A, C, E and Beta carotene included at least once a day. Beta carotene is often called vitamin A, but it is also a powerful antioxidant. Secondly, vitamin replenishment should start soon after exposure to sunlight. “In order to protect the skin each day, yet allow for the formation of natural vitamin D, a low SPF should be used for simple ‘round the town’ sun exposure,” he says. “The low SPF can be augmented, in effect, if the day cream has been fortified by the addition of natural vitamin A and antioxidants. These antioxidants will reduce the damage from UV light.”
For UK stockists of Environ skin creams, formulated by Dr Fernades to contain his recommended vitamins A, C, E and beta carotene, call 020 8450 2020.