If there’s one thing that scares every woman as she adds another candle to her birthday cake, it’s the thought of wrinkles! We get it; no one wants to grow old. That’s why experts advise you to start an anti-ageing skincare routine as early as at the age of 23. But who even thinks of ageing at that age, right? Well, you should, because dermatologist Dr. Niketa Sonavane says that preventive ageing is always better.

A cosmetic dermatologist at her clinic Ambrosia Aesthetics, Dr. Niketa (@drniketaofficial) is an expert when it comes to dealing with ageing skin. And lucky for you, we got her to answer some of your most asked questions when it comes to skincare. Here’s what she had to say.


BB: What’s the most common skincare habit that accelerates ageing?

BB: What’s the most common skincare habit that accelerates ageing?

BB: What’s the most common skincare habit that accelerates ageing?

Dr Niketa: Some of the most common habits that lead to premature ageing are not using sunscreen, overuse of makeup and harsh exfoliation. Besides this, lifestyle habits like smoking, too much alcohol, lack of sleep, crash dieting and sleeping on your tummy can also make you look older much faster.

BB: What foods should you avoid to prevent premature ageing?

Dr Niketa: If there’s one thing to give up for ageless skin, it is ‘sugar’ in all forms. The other things that you should consider giving up are refined flour, deep fried foods, processed foods, packaged foods with added preservatives and dairy products. These food products form glycotoxins or dAGEs during the digestion process. Simply put, they generate free radicals in the body, causing inflammation and speed up the aging process.


BB: Tell us one game-changing anti-ageing skincare product?

BB: Tell us one game-changing anti-ageing skincare product?

BB: Tell us one game-changing anti-ageing skincare product?

Dr Niketa: Your ‘serum’ is probably the most important product when it comes to your daily skin care routine. Try to include a light serum as the first product after cleansing. Serums are designed to deliver active ingredients deep into the skin. Choose your serum according to your skin problems or your skin goals. If you have never used a serum before, then try using an antioxidant serum for healthy glowing skin or a hyaluronic acid serum for plump, moisturised skin.

BB: Tell us the best night-time skincare routine for ageing skin.

Dr Niketa: Cleanse your skin with a hyaluronic acid mousse to deep clean without drying. Double cleanse with micellar water if you wear makeup or have exposure to dust and pollution. Apply a serum containing stem cell extract, vitamin C, peptides or niacinamide along with hyaluronic acid depending on your skin type and skin goals. Your eye cream should contain caffeine, vitamin K and a mild retinol to lighten, tighten and de-puff the delicate skin around the eyes. Finally, finish off with a daily repairing and resurfacing cream containing retinol, AHA or BHA.


BB: What is the ideal age to start your anti-ageing skincare routine? Why?

Dr Niketa: I firmly believe in preventive ageing. An anti-ageing routine starts with daily sunscreen use as early as possible. The next ingredient to add would be a vitamin C serum in your early 20s. In your 30s and later, you would have graduated to retinol and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). Consider beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) if you have oily skin or poly hydroxy acids (PHAs) if you have sensitive skin. Peptides and hyaluronic acid are hero ingredients that can be started at any age and by all skin types. Your youth-preserving routine should not be limited to skincare products only. Don’t be afraid to start collagen supplements, omega 3 and antioxidants under the supervision of your cosmetic dermatologist.

BB: Which anti-ageing skincare ingredient is super effective and how?

Dr Niketa: I have several favourite anti-ageing ingredients, though peptides are my all-time favourite. Peptides are tiny fragments of protein that stimulate skin repair. Matrixyl is amazing for restoring plump and youthful skin by stimulating collagen and elastin. Argireline works to reduce lines and wrinkles by causing muscle relaxation similar to the effect of botulinum toxin. Hyaluronic acid plumps and hydrates the skin. Retinol stimulates collagen, resurfaces the skin and gives the unmistakable ‘retinoid glow’. DMAE is another favourite of mine, which reduces sagging by literally ‘lifting’ the skin.


BB: What are some lifestyle changes that help slow down the signs of ageing?

Dr Niketa: I can’t stress enough on a healthy diet free of preservatives. Avoid sugar, packaged food and dairy as much as possible. Smoking is a big no-no if you want a healthy glowing skin. Include plenty of omega 3 fatty acids from nuts, seeds and fish. Include some organic desi ghee in your daily diet. Avoid blue light exposure, which means cutting down on screen time. Have a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water with pink salt first thing in the morning to cleanse your system. A collagen drink containing at least 5 grams of fish collagen hydrolysate later in the day would be ideal. 8 hours of sound sleep daily and 40 minutes of functional training on alternate days would be like the cherry on top!

BB: How effective are facial exercises? Do they really help to keep your skin youthful and glowing?

Dr Niketa: I don’t usually recommend facial exercises. There is evidence in medical literature that overexpression can worsen facial lines and wrinkles. People who are more expressive are known to develop facial lines and wrinkles much earlier in age. Facial exercises, which involve making expressions to exercise facial muscles can do the same damage.


BB: What are the best cosmetic treatments to deal with fine lines and wrinkles?

Dr Niketa: There are many effective anti-ageing treatments that reduce fine lines, wrinkles and pores. At Ambrosia Aesthetics, I usually combine these treatments to maximise repair and rejuvenation. The most popular treatment in my clinic is ‘Youth Infinity’ which combines the power of peptide peels with radiofrequency waves and magnetic pulses. This treatment works to tighten the neck, contour the jaw, melt away double chin, shrink pores, refine skin texture, brighten the skin and give an amazing glow. Another extremely effective combination that we have is the ‘Sound of Beauty’ which combines medium depth peeling with ultrasound energy to lift and tighten the skin without the need for a facelift surgery. Besides these, botulinum injections, dermal fillers, platelet rich plasma and fat grafting are also popular with our patients. But the current trend is changing from injectables, which require to be repeated, to energy-based devices (EBDs) which give longer lasting results.

BB: What are the three main anti-ageing skincare products every girl needs in her skincare kit?

Dr Niketa: Daily protection and daily repair are equally important. Every girl who wants to maintain youthful skin must have a hyaluronic acid serum, a day and night cream with peptides and a night exfoliating cream with either retinol or hydroxy acids. And of course, a broad spectrum sunscreen.

To reach out to Dr. Niketa for more personalised advice, log on to her website.