One thing nobody on earth can ward off is the power of time, and its effect on one’s appearance. Whether you are in your 30s, 40s, or 50s, all of us eventually face that day when we look in the mirror and see our skin has visually gotten older.
Perhaps it’s a sudden cluster of brown spots; maybe it’s a few new crows’ feet around the eyes. Whatever your particular problem may be, age spots, wrinkles, fine lines, and dullness are all a normal part of the aging process. The good news: There are more products and procedures than ever available to fight these unattractive reminders of our age.
Start With The Basics
If you aren’t doing this already: The most important step you can take to prevent further damage to your skin is to use sunscreen every single day. The sun’s UV rays are the main cause of damage to skin, and they can reach you even when you least expect it—cloudy days, through your car window, etc.
Even if your skin is already damaged, you can halt further acceleration by applying a high SPF sunscreen under your makeup…and don’t forget your hands and/or other exposed parts!
Needless to say—do not make any deliberate attempts to tan. Enjoy the sun and outdoors; just make sure you use a very high SPF and wear sunglasses and a hat! If you prefer to have a bit of sun-kissed color, experiment with self-tanning products or bronzers. There are many good ones currently on the market that provide a natural glow.
The next step you must take daily is to moisturize. Using moisturizer can trap water in your skin, “plumping” up fine lines and giving an overall smoother look. Invest in a good-quality moisturizer and be vigilant about using it twice a day. You can buy more than one product if you prefer a heavier moisturizer at night, just be sure to test them before use to avoid any potential reactive issues.
You can maximize the moisturizing step by choosing a product that contains several key ingredients that all work together to fight aging and protect your skin. Dermalogica’s Dynamic Skin Recovery, for example, gives you damage-fighting antioxidants, skin-smoothing emollients, and a dose of SPF 50 all in one application.
Address The Issues
Most women faced with aging skin are eager first and foremost to attack wrinkles and fine lines. It is difficult to achieve clinical results on your own—there is no topical substitute for procedures such as injectables or fillers—but you can improve your skin tone considerably working with a range of products available for home use.
When selecting an anti-aging product, here’s a few things to keep in mind:
- Don’t try too many products in one swoop. Try one at a time. If you introduce a variety all at once, you may irritate your skin.
- Test each product carefully before applying to your face. Even items marked “hypoallergenic” can cause reactions in some individuals. In order to make sure, put a dab on your forearm, and repeat for 4-5 days while keeping an eye out for any irritation, redness, etc.
- While prescription regimens may have some stinging or tingling effect, anything you buy over the counter should not. Save this sort of skin treatment to a professional.
If you’re confused by the range of products available at the store—and there are a lot!—read the labels and consider the following ingredients for maximum effectiveness, all of which are recommended by dermatologists:
- Vitamin C, which fights free radicals and aids new cell and collagen production.
- Glycolic acid, which gently exfoliates and also helps stimulate collagen growth.
- Peptides—yet another collagen stimulator.
- Retinol, which promotes new skin cell growth, firms skin, and lightens brown spots.
- Caffeine, which reduces puffiness.
Still Not Enough?
If you find that topical treatments aren’t filling the bill when it comes to addressing your aging process, visit a dermatologist or medical spa to explore clinical options. While injectable procedures such as Botox and Restalyne can be considerably more expensive than an over-the-counter skin regime, the effects usually are dramatic, last for months, and can even help halt further aging signs from taking effect.
Research your doctor or spa carefully before undergoing these procedures and be sure to follow all after-care instructions.