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Expert speak: Glow with youth

Surprising thing that ages you 4: Central heating Many of us spend a fortune on anti-ageing skin products, yet we may regularly accelerate skin ageing without even being aware of it. The central heating and air conditioning systems that many of us use at home and at work can severely dry out skin, leading to premature ageing and wrinkles. To help keep skin youthful and soft, try turning down the heating and wearing more layers to stay warm. Keeping a glass of water in the room can also increase humidity, while wearing a protective face cream can help relieve dryness.

We asked Dr Rekha Sheth to share with us 3 anti-ageing tips that work for her.

The three P's that have worked for me are

1. Products I use:

Thorough cleansing Currently I use my own formulation called 'Cleanse' which has microbeads of Vitamin E, almond oil and is pH balanced. You could try products from L'Oreal, Dove, Garnier etc. To remove make-up, I use cleansing milk.
Sunscreen I use my own formulation, or L'Oreal, Vichy, Aveeno, RoC, etc., with SPF 50
Night anti-ageing creams Since I know how each cream works, the different creams I alternate between are:

Retinoids: These are the most effective but generally not so well tolerated. So I use about twice a week-Tretinoin .025 which is a prescription cream. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs): These are less powerful but still quite effective. Again, I use my own formulation 'Ultrarejuv'.

Peptides: These are quite effective without being irritating. It is found in Olay's Regenerist.

Anti-oxidants: The are the mildest, yet most essential to counteract the bad effects of pollution, excess UV exposure, stress, etc. I used Neutrogena's moisturiser with vitamin A, C and E earlier but now I am using my own formulation 'Vitaglo'.

2. Procedures:

Microdermabrasion or skin polishing or skin peels every month. It is a painless procedure on the surface of the skin.
Fractional laser for skin tightening. I started it last month and will be taking 6 sittings at monthly intervals. It uses a laser beam to treat a fraction of your skin at a time.

3. Passion for my subject and exercise:

My love and interest in what I do and a regular exercise regime have been equally important. Sometimes these two have worked for me more than anything else.

Dr Rekha Sheth is a leading cosmetic dermatologist. She is the vice president of International Society of Dermatology, founder-president of Cosmetology Society (India) and also runs Dr Rekha Sheth's Skin and Hair Care, a successful chain of skin clinics.

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