Dear Derm: Skin Appearance Is 80% Control / 20% Genetics – Here's How You Take Control

Simple maths.

These days, when it comes to our skincare routines, we’re pretty clued up.

Searches for “vitamin C skincare” on Pinterest were up by 3,379 per cent year-on-year in 2018; most of us know our hyaluronic acid from our salicylic acid, and we’re probably all aware that we should be using an SPF daily.

However, knowing when to use which products in order to best support your skin is the real trick of the trade.

Irish Tatler asked Dublin-based skincare expert Ciara Darcy how we can navigate how different skins age, taking into account internal and external factors including lifestyle, ethnicity and life-stage.

"I really dislike (hate sounds too harsh!) the term anti-ageing in the beauty industry," Ciara says.

"It sounds like something to fight against and to fear. In my opinion, growing older is a privilege it's something that should be cherished and celebrated. Your age can't be controlled but how your skin ages can.

"You have 80 per cent control over it, the other 20 per cent is genetic. Lifestyle factors will accelerate how your skin ages. So whether you are in your twenties or sixties consider the lifestyle factors that contribute to how healthy your skin is at every age:- 


Stress plays havoc on our skin. When you are stressed, your body produces more cortisol. Cortisol sends a message to your skin to make more oil. Oily skin is prone to acne and other skin problems.


When you nod off, there's an increase in blood flow. At night your skin renews itself, choosing serums to support this (retinol) will stimulate collagen and elastin production. Keeping your skin strong and healthy.


90 per cent of how your skin ages is down to sun exposure. UVA rays are present all year round. Sun damage causes the skin to lose elasticity.


A daily skincare routine that will support and nourish your skin. 


Investing in treatments that will work at a deeper level to stimulate fibroblast cells (produce collagen and elastin). Regular at-home facials are great too! I love liquid exfoliators and sheet masks. My favourite skin treatments from a salon - results-wise are Alumier peels and Rejuvapen micro-needling.


Fruit, vegetables and essential fatty acids along with a high water intake. I'm not sold on skin supplements yet."

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