Simple Steps to Younger Skin
Products That Actually Work
A common question from women over 35 is what lotions and moisturizers they can buy to fix sagging skin, diminish fine lines and brighten a dull complexion. While lasers, Botox, fillers, face lifts and liposuction work best to turn back the hands of time, there are creams and peels available to those of us not ready, willing, or able to go under the knife or the needle.
But all the anti-aging options can prove overwhelming.
The industry is bigger than ever and the marketing tactics are more questionable than ever. You simply cannot trust the claims most brands make about fixing wrinkles and tightening a jawline.
But some ingredients and products do have a track record of results. The key is knowing which ones are worth the buy.
These are the anti-aging products dermatologists recommend.
Dry skin leads to wrinkles, at least according to a study by Greg Hillebrand, Ph.D., of P&G Beauty and Science, and reported in Elle Magazine.
“Hillebrand’s study found that having dry skin more than doubles the rate at which lines will develop. That means a 28-year-old with dry skin will have a 52-percent increase in wrinkles by the time she’s 36, whereas a woman of the same age with a well-hydrated dermis will show only a 22-percent increase,” writes April Long in Elle Magazine.
So, no matter your age, it’s important to keep skin moisturized.
Facial moisturizers have the temporary effect of plumping up the skin and the longer-lasting effect of keeping skin supple and less prone to the inevitable etching in of lines.
Vichy Laboratories Aqualia Thermal Riche is a replenishing and soothing 48-hour moisturizer for dry skin. It is formulated with hyaluronic acid and aquabioryl, known to replenish the skin with hydration and form a protective film. It also contains fortifying and soothing Vichy Mineralizing Thermal Water. Aqualia Thermal Rich has a wonderful creamy texture, and melts immediately into the skin, leaving a velvety soft finish.
If you have oily or acneic skin, this product will provide moisture without causing a flare-up (it’s oil free, non comedogenic, and non acnegenic). It’s also paraben free, and suitable for sensitive skin. Consumer reviews are excellent.
Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals Face Finishing Moisturizer contains alpha lipoic acid, Vitamin C Ester and wheat proteins for intensive hydration. Alpha Lipoic acid is considered a super antioxidant, which helps to diminish fine lines, wrinkles and discoloration, refine skin texture, and reduce pore size, puffiness, imperfections and uneven skin tone. Consumer reviews are excellent for this cream.
Retinoids and Retinol
I’ve done quite a bit of research on anti-aging products and what I’ve found is that dermatologists agree on one thing: The only anti-ager on the market that has proven again and again to reduce fine lines and wrinkles are retinoids (think Retin-A and Renova), which work by increasing cell turnover deep within the dermis.
“I never recommend any of the other expensive products out there claiming to do this,” says dermatologist Maryann Mikhail of Spring Street Dermatology in Manhattan.
I’ve been using Retin-A on my skin for years. I noticed results within a couple weeks and I get regular compliments on my skin tone. Used nightly (or every other night), retinoids stimulate collagen renewal and prevent skin cells from breaking down. They also keep fine lines from turning into deeper furrows.
Retinoids come in a large range of strength. The most powerful punch comes from prescription retinoids such as Retin-A and Renova. You can buy these over-the-counter outside of the US, but in the US, you need a prescription and insurance typically won’t cover anti-aging products.
The good news is you can buy over-the-counter retinoid products, which are milder than prescription-strength formulas.
Great products to try are RoC Retinol Correxion Max Wrinkle Resurfacing System or Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair.
Retinoids can be irritating to skin; the key to usage is to not give up when your skin shows its first signs of redness and peeling.
As we age, our skin tends to become thinner, drier, and dull. Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) work as exfoliants, helping break down dead, dry skin and leaving skin looking brighter and more dewy. Studies also show that AHAs may increase the thickness of skin.
They come in the form of topical creams and chemical peels and the most common AHAs are made from food products, such as glycolic acid (from sugar cane), lactic acid (from sour milk), malic acid (from apples), citric acid (from citrus fruits), and tartaric acid (from grape wine).
Great over-the-counter AHAs choices include:
Alpha Skin Care Essential Renewal Lotion (10% Glycolic Acid). This unique anti-aging lotion is specially formulated with the optimal balance of 10% Gycolic Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) and a pH level of 4.0. It is also free of parabens and fragrances.
Organics Holistic Apothecary Triple Alpha Hydroxy Acid & Multi Fruit Acid Complex is a naturally formulated cream that includes Lactic Acid (from Bilberry), Glycolic Acid (from Sugar Cane), Citric Acid (from Orange, Lemon, and Cranberry), and Malic and Tartaric Acids (from Sugar Maple) plus antioxidants.
QRxLabs Glycolic Acid 30% Gel Peel is a professional grade glycolic acid face peel which stimulates collagen production, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation in the skin by increasing cell regeneration. New cells replace older and damaged ones, exposing a younger skin surface.
Each bottle contains up to 20 complete facial applications. Do it yourself at home and save on expensive spa treatments! Higher concentrations of glycolic acid are available, but I recommend the 30% concentration if you’re just starting out with peels.
Free radicals — the unstable oxygen molecules produced by pollution, stress and sun — are a skin care nightmare. They attack healthy skin cells and cause collagen breakdown, all of which lead to wrinkles.
You can fight free radicals by using an antioxidant cream each morning that has a combination of any two or more ingredients such as green tea, vitamins C and E, and coenzyme Q10. These work together to neutralize free radicals and a cocktail of these antioxidants is like a multi-vitamin for skin, according to dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross.
You may use antioxidants both orally and topically. In Elle Magazine, dermatologist Leslie Baumann, MD, swears by Heliocare vitamins. Topically, antioxidants are great for bolstering UV protection. Apply an antioxidant serum containing vitamins C or E, Co-Q, alpha-lipoic acid, green or white tea, pomegranate, or idebenone under your sunscreen (see products below). The antioxidants will fight those free radicals the sun generates.
One of the most popular topical antioxidants on the market right now is Prevage Serum from Elizabeth Arden.
You can also find some decent antioxidants at the drugstore; I recommend Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum.
Sun damage is the No. 1 cause of wrinkles. The lighter your skin, the more susceptible you are to wrinkles caused by the sun. This is why women with darker skin tend to age better than Caucasian women.
No matter your age, you can prevent more skin damage by wearing at least an SPF 30 sunscreen daily. Dr. Fredric Brandt, dermatologist to the stars, suggests using a “two-finger scoop” of sunscreen to the face and neck (never forget your neck when it comes to an anti-aging regimen). Get into the habit of wearing sunscreen every day, no matter the weather.
Your skin will thank you down the road. Your dermatologist, too.
Look for a sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection.
You can’t go wrong with Anthelios Face & Body 60 from La Roche-Posay. This melt-in sunscreen milk provides excellent broad spectrum and antioxidant protection, and is water resistant.
Dark spots on skin are caused by sun damage and can make your skin appear years older than it is.
The quickest and most effective way to get rid of dark spots is by lasers, but these can be costly and must be performed in a doctor’s office.
A cheaper version is to use a hydroquinone cream such as the dermatologist favorite, Ambi Fade Cream, which is super affordable. Ambi contains hydroquinone, as well as alpha hydroxy acid and Vitamin E. Apply to dark spots at night and keep in mind it may take up a few weeks to see positive results.
As an alternative to hydroquinone creams, Kiss Red E Anti Aging Whitening Creme has outstanding consumer reviews (4.9 stars average!), so it’s certainly worth a try.
Kiss Red E Creme also has impressive ingredients:
Organic Aloe, Aqua, Organic Sunflower, Hyaluronic acid, Kosher Glycerin, Organic Shea, Jojoba, Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, Bergamot Essential Oil, Melissa Essential Oil, Glycolic Acid, Reishi, Willow Bark, Licorice, Lemon Balm, Ginseng, Anise, Horseradish, Schisandra, Fennel, Horsetail, Gotu Kola, Wild Geranium, Green Tea, Xanthan Gum.
Other Ways to Keep Skin Youthful
As you age, there are many other ways to keep your skin in tip-top shape. Here are a few of my favorite tips:
Get plenty of rest. Lack of sleep shows on your face.
Wear sunglasses on sunny days. Excessive squinting can cause permanent crow’s feet.
Wear a hat and long sleeves when out in the sun for a long time.
Stress leads to furrowed brows, which leads to permanent lines etched into your face. Turns out wrinkle prevention is just another reason to take up meditation or yoga!
Here’s something we often forget about: our UV exposure in the car! Studies show that lines develop more on the left of the face on people who spend a lot of time commuting in a car. So, put up a UVA/UVB protector screen on the driver’s side of your car window if you spend a lot of time in the car.
Thanks for visiting and reading …
I hope this article provided you some practical information on keeping your skin young looking.
I welcome your comments below.
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