Exposing Beauty: A Dermatologist’s Beauty Secrets 

2023 The Year of the Exposome
@drteowanlin Will you still love me, when I’m no longer young and beautiful? #beautytok #foreveryoung #agewell ♬ Young And Beautiful – Lana Del Rey

The exposome refers to the sum of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that contribute to skin aging, the physiological process responsible for the appearance of wrinkles, loss of elasticity, irregular pigmentation, skin signs collectively described as photoaging. Photo- a reference to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays that cause cell damage, the root cause of skin aging. Or is it? 

Dermatologist Beauty Secrets

In this podcast episode, I tell a story about beauty and the light. 

The term photoaging arose out of dermatology literature, based on traditional perceptions of skin aging. Quite literally, one that was due to sun exposure, hence the prefix photo. However, what the skin exposome concept now tells us is that aging… well she may well be more intelligent than we had expected. 

The sun, the source of all life on earth, casts its evening glow at sunset. Turning all into darkness. The next day, she rises again. She knows when it’s time. 

“It’s dawn.” She says.

“Before man opens his eyes.” The earliest rays chime.

And so little by little. We begin to see the light.

It’s the same light that falls on our faces. The spots, the lines, the depressions. 

Time we say, tells.

The truth of skin aging. 

Once we have the answers. Anti- aging is no secret. Age is. Maybe we aren’t asking the right questions. 

Sun rise and sun down is nature’s clock. The circadian rhythm. The birds, trees, animals, big and small, don’t need to tell the time. But we do. Because, human beings. We are afraid to die. We see that our skin decays, wondering when it’s our time. So in our desperation,  we devised a secret. 

“Don’t let the light fall on your face.” She whispers.

“The Sun. She will devour you.”

Beauty Secrets from a dermatologist

Dermatologists like to explain it this way. The sun’s rays, UVB penetrate the epidermis, and UVA even deeper into the dermis. There, skin cells begin to mutate. When we were young, our cells corrected themselves. When we grow older, the cells like us, become a little tired. Sometimes they even fall asleep. And it is when the good guys fall sleep, that the bad guys take over. The machinery that rightfully belongs to you, the tyrants make it theirs. 

They do stealthily. 

So that one day, when their work is complete. It will be too late. 

“How do we tell the time?” She asked.

“Time is of no use to those who are immortal.” She realised.

We all know what to do. Cleanse your face. Choose skincare with antioxidants. The antioxidants, like vitamins help the good guys stay strong, not just strong. They become resilient. Moisturise with serums, lotions and creams and use sunscreen. 

When I was in my late teens, I was very conscious about how my complexion looked under different lights. Daylight was especially harsh. I didn’t have wrinkles then, but I did suffer from acne bumps sometimes. They would always be on my chin. Even though they were few, they were large and painful. I would apply concealer on those spots, but I never thought that it helped. I thought the concealer made it even more obvious. If I put too much especially. Or too little. And it was painful too. So I carried a small mirror around with me, so I would keep checking, if I could see it. There was one time, I thought I had finally managed to hide my pimple perfectly. But that was also when my mother pointed it out.

@drteowanlin Will you still love me, when I’m no longer young and beautiful? #beautytok #foreveryoung #agewell ♬ Young And Beautiful – Lana Del Rey

When I grew older, I thought my dark circles were growing darker. So I applied concealer under my eyes. Too much, it became more obvious. And too little, too. One day I thought I had mastered the art of applying undereye concealer. Then someone asked about the lines under my eyes.

Now that I am older. I think to myself. Follow the sun. When she rises and when she sleeps. Time, is on her side. So when the light falls on your skin, the next time, you need no longer fear. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode, a little story about beauty. Do follow me on Instagram and Tik Tok @drteowanlin. If you haven’t already checked out Little Bird Whispers-Asian Beauty Secrets, my latest podcast on all things relating to asian beauty, do tune in to the latest episode to find out more about what my thoughts on 2023 skincare trends. 

What are some unconventional beauty secrets?

Unconventional beauty is beautiful!
As Francis Bacon said “There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.”

What are the best daily beauty secrets?

Rise and sleep according to the sun. It’s known as the circadian rhythm and all our body’s physiological processes depend on it.

Cleanse your face if you do nothing else.

Applying sunscreen is important but overrated (just my humble opinion).

Stay content and don’t compare yourself with others.

What are your top dermatologist recommended beauty secrets?

You can become your own beauty expert. Many over the counter products now contain cosmeceuticals that are effective for anti-aging and also preventative skincare for pigmentation, acne and photoaging concerns.

What are some beauty myths?

I would love to debunk the popular beauty secrets that I feel most uncomfortable about. Like looking good when you age has to do with aesthetic treatments or maintenance work etc. To each his own but, how about changing your perception first? We can choose to see ourselves differently


Check out more beauty related news and tips on beauty podcasts by Dr.TWL on spotify and follow our IG!

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