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Thursday December 13, 2012

Stop those spots

I’M a 36-year-old woman with fair complexion. I’ve been blessed with a youthful appearance and don’t use any intensive skincare products. I only practise a basic routine where I use a scrub three times a week, and apply toner and moisturiser after cleansing daily. However, I recently noticed age spots all over my skin, from my hands, to my neck, face and thighs. The spots are tiny and greyish, except those on my face, where there are quite a lot of ugly brown patches. I suspect it could be due to prolonged exposure to the afternoon sun while picking up my kids from school and gardening. It doesn’t help that I sleep very late, about 2am or 3am, eat unhealthy food and don’t apply any sun block. I only started using whitening products and serums, and applying sun block during the last two months, but haven’t noticed any improvement. Instead, more spots are forming. I’ve given up on these products, and just cover up with powder foundation and concealer. Please advise – Desperate.

According to Lancome trainer Alan Lim, prolonged exposure to the sun without sunscreen will cause the formation of melanocytes in the epidermis layer of the skin.

Melanocytes are the pigments that determine the skin colour and protect skin from the effects of UV radiation. They produce melanin which is responsible for pigmentation. Their activity will be disrupted due to factors such as UV aggression, pollution, stress and lack of sleep.

Coupled with natural ageing, the renewal of skin tissue slows down, and skin’s fundamental matrix deteriorates. The epithelial layer, composed of living cells, becomes thinner while the corneus layer, composed of dead cells, gets thicker. The whole process of cell regeneration is weaker and skin becomes less denser. As the skin gets thinner, the melanin trapped in the skin matrix layer, which consists of living cells and dead cells, dark spots and unevenness will become more visible.

In order to recover more brightness and luminosity, I would recommend Lancome Absolue Precious Cells White Concentrate.

After 20 years of research, Lancome has created this whitening serum which contains the Edelweiss extract. The Edelweiss, a tiny white star-shaped flower that grows in the Swiss Alps in hard-to-reach areas, is extremely rare. It is a powerful antioxidant, known for its soothing and detoxifying properties.

It also contains mint, rose and yeast extracts to neutralise pigmentation messengers coming from both the dermis and epidermis, hence regulating the pigmentation process at the source.

After four weeks, it will result in clearer and brighter skin, and a more youthful appearance. The intensity and number of spots will be visibly reduced after eight weeks. Use Absolue Precious Cells White Concentrate after your toner and before your moisturiser. Apply Absolue UV 50 to protect your skin before going under the sun.

Always remember to avoid excessive scrubbing and only do it once or twice a week as dead skin cells will form a layer of protection for the skin.

Lancome will be giving Desperate an Absolue UV worth RM280.

Every time I put on eye make-up, regardless of whether it’s light or heavy, it’ll smudge and the colour fades away just after a few hours. Then, little veins start to appear in my eyeballs. I’m quite paranoid that I might get an eye infection. What should I do to prevent the eye make-up from fading and getting into my eyes? I’m also quite tanned for a Chinese which makes doing my eye make-up quite challenging. I need advice! – Eva

Shiseido training executive Khoo Ai Tee says that common reasons for the smudging of eye make-up are oil-prone skin, squinting when sneezing, blinking too much, rubbing or even watery eyes.

Change your make-up routine and take some preventive measures for flawless, smudge-free eye make-up.

Prepping the eye area is the first step towards achieving eye make-up that will last. Simply dot a small amount of oil-free foundation such as Shiseido’s Refining Foundation SPF15, which can last up to 15 hours, and apply concealer on eyelids, then blend. Prepping will also enhance the vibrancy of the eyeshadow colour and prevent the eyeshadow from creasing throughout the day.

Using a cream type of eyeshadow such as Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Color can give you a smudge-free and dewy finish that lasts up to 16 hours. This cream-to-powder formula has great adherence and gives eyes a subtle sheen. It is perfect for layering one colour over another.

If you have dark skin, use Shimmering Cream Eye Color in BE 204 as the base before blending over natural tones such as gold or brown. Use a small eyeshadow brush and gently apply the eyeshadow on lids, up to the crease and blend.

You can then set the eyeshadow with light strokes of pressed powder or powder eyeshadow in a similar shade for more intensity. To achieve the smoky eye look, line eyes with pencil liner and smudge gently. Set the liner with a liquid eye liner for a precise and long-lasting finish.

Then, curl the lashes and prep with Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base. Finally, apply a few coats of Shiseido Perfect Mascara Full Definition in black to enhance your look.

Shiseido will be giving Eva two Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Colors worth RM150.

HERE’S a chance to get your “always wanted to know but didn’t know who to ask” beauty questions tackled.

E-mail your queries to beautyq@thestar.com.my to be answered fortnightly by beauty professionals from beauty or skincare houses. The queries should be beauty-specific and may be on skin or hair concerns, cosmetics or products, too.

Please include your name, address and contact number. Published letters will receive a gift. All the best to your beauty quest!


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