This post aims to offer general guidelines about how to care for your skin so it can look as young as possible. Certainly I have nothing against looking your age, if that is what you want. I think you need to look the way you think you look best so if you want to get Botox or have fillers injected – go ahead! There are also so many things that you can do on a daily basis to protect and nourish your skin so that you retain what you consider to be a youthful appearance. All it takes is a few minutes a day in order for you to preserve what you already have and to help slow down the effects of aging.
This post is all about tips and ingredients. I actually don’t want to recommend products here, unless readers ask me to, because what I really want is to help everyone understand what they should be looking for when purchasing anti-aging products. Everyone has different products that they love and that work for them so this post just wants to steer you in the right direction about finding those products.
Ingredients and Tips
Sunscreen: At the risk of sounding like a broken record I’ll say it again – if you want to stay looking young use a sunscreen daily and reapply it! Sunscreen will protect your skin from wrinkles, laxity, hyperpigmentation, and of course, skin cancer. Though it is great if your moisturizer and/or make-up contain sunscreen be sure to apply enough of that product in order to get complete coverage. Personally I don’t think people do apply enough of either their moisturizer or make-up to get complete spf coverage so I always recommend using a separate sunscreen too. Be sure to cover not only your face but your neck, chest, and hands as well. So many women concentrate all their anti-aging attention on their face and then their neck, chest, or hands gives away their true age.
Antioxidants: Antioxidants fight free radical damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce inflammation, can repair DNA damage, restore the skin’s surface barrier, protect the skin from environmental stress, brighten the skin, help the skin build more collagen, and some new research indicates that some antioxidants might help protect the body from skin cancer. Antioxidants can indirectly stop damage to collagen and DNA in skin cells thus stopping new wrinkles from forming. In my opinion there is no “best” antioxidant; there are many great ones though. Look for Vitamin C, E, and of course A (retinols), green tea, idebenone, coffeeberry, resveratrol, and alpha lipoic acid. I suggest using an antioxidant serum in the morning and a moisturizer and sunscreen that contains antioxidants. For more information on antioxidants and retinols specifically (and product recommendations) see my previous posts: Add Antioxidants to your Home Skincare Regime and All About Retinol.
Exfoliate: As we age our skin cell turnover rate slows down considerably which translates to uneven, rough skin. Gentle exfoliation is a must in order to remove layers of dead, thick, and rough skin cells. Regular exfoliation (approximately twice a week) will help reveal bright, even toned skin. For lots more information about exfoliation see my early post All About Exfoliation. There are lots of product recommendations in the post if you need them.
Peptides: This ingredient is a bioengineered growth factor that mimics a natural element in the body. Peptides are chains of amino acids help heal, repair, and even can increase collagen and elastin production in the skin. Additionally peptides are a humectant and have antioxidant qualities as well.
Sources and Further Reading
An excellent source of information on anti-aging products and ingredients is Chapter 9: Cracking the Code on Cosmeceuticals: Can Antiaging Products Make US Look Younger, and Which Ones Really Work? in Ellen Marmur, MD’s book Simple Skin Beauty
Anti-aging Superstars by Paula Begoun
Five Things Your Anti-Wrinkle Products Must Contain by Paula Begoun