Tatler x Raffles City’s Fireside Chat with Dr. Sylvia


Our very own Dr. Sylvia recently participated in an illuminating fireside chat at the Tatler x Raffles City event. Held last June 11 at the Raffles City Level 3 Atrium, Dr. Sylvia talked about “The Art of Graceful Ageing” and delved into important topics about skincare and skin aging, including the:

  • Most prevalent skin concerns 
  • Factors that accelerate aging
  • Active ingredients for improving skin health
  • Treatments that support graceful aging
  • Navigating the saturated skincare market

Tatler x Raffles City’s Fireside Chat with Dr. Sylvia The Art of Graceful Ageing

Here is a rundown of what Dr. Sylvia discussed in the fireside chat:

The most prevalent skin care needs and concerns of women in different age groups

  • 20s – With main concerns such as slight dullness and generally looking more tired, it is best to focus on hydration, sun protection, and prevention. Preparing the skin for the future is also important, as well as adding products (AHA/BHA-based serum or topical retinol) that help tackle dullness and encourage gentle exfoliation.
  • 30s – Early signs of aging and the first effects of sun damage may show up in your 30s. Dr. Sylvia’s advice is to start addressing early signs of aging with antioxidants, retinoids, and laser therapy. You may also benefit from injectables such as botulinum toxin and skin boosters. 
  • 40s – The focus on your 40s should be addressing more pronounced signs of ageing, including wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, and sun damage. It is ideal to consider in-office treatments such as botulinum toxin, dermal fillers, and chemical peels, as well as laser and ultrasound treatments. 
  • 50s – The main concerns are thinning skin, deeper wrinkles, dryness, and pigmentation. Dr. Sylvia recommends focusing on retaining moisture and addressing hormonal changes with gentle cleansers and combination treatments. Consider skin tightening, dermal fillers, botulinum toxin, lasers, microneedling, as well as body contouring treatments like CoolSculpting Elite
  • 60s and beyond – Lack of hydration and moisture retention are the main concerns in this age range. The recommendation is to keep skincare simple and focus on procedures that build collagen for progressive improvement. It’s never too late to start anti-aging treatments.

Key contributors that expedite skin ageing

Skin aging is influenced by environmental, lifestyle, and genetic factors.

  • Environmental damage includes radiation and pollution. UV radiation can cause photoaging/sun damage, DNA changes, collagen breakdown, and wrinkles. Pollution, meanwhile, contributes to skin dehydration, microbiome disruption, and skin barrier damage. 
  • Stress, particularly psychological stress, plays a role in the development of many skin diseases and can disrupt the skin barrier function, impair wound healing, and promote inflammation. 
  • Climate, especially extreme temperatures and low humidity can strip the skin of natural oils, and lead to dryness and irritation, while high humidity can worsen acne.
  • Negative lifestyle habits such as smoking, poor diet, and lack of sleep can cause premature skin aging or accelerated aging, increased risk of skin diseases, delayed wound healing, and skin damage. 
  • Key contributors that expedite skin ageing

Preventative measures and products

These include sun protection, antioxidants, hydration, lifestyle modifications, stress management, and supplements for skin health.

  • Sun protection – involves the daily use of broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and wearing protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses.
  • Antioxidants – neutralize free radicals and protect against oxidative stress. Sources include topical formulations (vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid) and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
  • Hydration – the use of moisturizers and humidifiers can help maintain optimal skin moisture levels.
  • Lifestyle modifications – include quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and getting adequate sleep.
  • Stress management techniques – such as mindfulness and regular exercise can help reduce the impact of stress on the skin.
  • Supplements – including collagen peptides, vitamin C, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, hyaluronic acid, and zinc can improve skin health and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Regular dermatological check-ups – are important for early detection and treatment of skin changes and conditions.

Active ingredients for improving and maintaining youthful skin

These include:

  • Retinoids – for fighting acne, refining texture, fading dark spots, and promoting collagen production and cell turnover.
  • Vitamin C – for brightening, preventing sun damage, improving the appearance of wrinkles, and fighting free radicals
  • Alpha hydroxy acids – for shrinking pore appearance, refining texture, and a glowing effect.
  • Hyaluronic acid – for hydrating and attracting water to the surface of the skin, minimizing the look of fine lines, and providing a plump appearance.
  • Growth factors and peptides – for supporting collagen production and skin repair.
  • Niacinamide – for boosting hydration, soothing redness, reducing the appearance of pores, treating dark spots, reducing wrinkles, and possibly protecting against skin cancer.

Treatments that support graceful ageing and skin health

New and important treatments focus on biostimulation to promote stimulation of our own tissues. 

  • Skin booster – hydrates the skin and improves elasticity, and texture with clinical studies demonstrating its effectiveness.
  • Calcium hydroxylapatite injectable – stimulates collagen production and replaces volume loss.
  • Microfocused ultrasound with visualization (MFU-V) – is a non-invasive treatment that lifts and tightens the skin by boosting collagen production.
  • Microneedling – creates controlled wounds to stimulate collagen production and improve skin quality.
  • Oral Beauty – or nutricosmetics include substances like collagen, peptides, proteins, vitamins, and minerals for cosmetic applications. Collagen supplementation can also improve skin aging, as well as promote collagen and hyaluronic acid synthesis.

Treatments that support graceful ageing and skin health

Navigating the saturated skincare market and choosing the right products

Dr. Sylvia shares a few key tips on choosing effective and appropriate products for your age and skin concerns:

  1. Understand your skin type and concerns – identify your skin type and assess your skin concerns.
  2. Research ingredients – look for proven ingredients and check concentrations.
  3. Evaluate product claims and reviews – see if the person giving a review is credentialed and consult third-party sites.
  4. Patch test new products – apply a small amount of the product on a discrete area and observe for 24-48 hours for any adverse reactions.
  5. Consider professional advice – consult a doctor with experience and seek professional treatments.
  6. Avoid overcomplicating – simplify your routine and avoid trends and gimmicks. 

Dr. Sylvia on “ageing gracefully”

Dr. Sylvia relabeled the term “ageing gracefully” as “ageing joyfully” to focus on embracing the positives of getting older. Mental health, nutrition, fitness, and emotional well-being all play crucial roles in contributing to beautiful, healthy skin as we age. This is why instead of trying to look younger, it is better to embrace the joys of aging and work towards enhancing them while managing the effects of aging. 

She also shared that she relies on scientifically proven ingredients, as well as combined advanced dermatological treatments with a holistic approach, as it is her goal to achieve beautiful, radiant skin at any age.

Dr. Sylvia on “ageing gracefully”

We extend a big thank you to Dana Koh and the Tatler Team for organizing this event and to all the incredible Tatler ladies in the audience.

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