Anti Aging Skin Care
Although anti aging skin care may seem like a modern development, humans have in fact been interested in maintaining their youthful essence for hundreds of years – just think of the expression "the fountain of youth," which was coined by an ambitious Spanish explorer in the early 1500s. Of course, the anti aging skin care "movement," as it is now referred to by the medical community, is somewhat more recent – beginning in the 1990s. Since then we have seen a burgeoning anti aging cosmetic market, which includes both skin care products and plastic surgery – the most popular of which are Botox and facelifts.
However, with all the anti aging skin care products now available to us, just how are we to decipher the good stuff from the rest? To help you on your quest, we have developed this anti aging skin care guide that will help you make a more informed choice. Don’t go to the drugstore without it!
What Causes Skin to Age?
Although most people think that they are destined to look just like their parents as they age, research has shown that only about 30% of facial aging is the result of genetics. The most significant factors that determine how a person ages are lifestyle factors; namely smoking, sun exposure and pollution.
Anti Aging Skin Care Products
If you’ve ever visited the skin care aisle at your local drug store, you will surely have noticed that there is no shortage of wrinkle creams available – and the selection is ever-increasing. So how is one to know which ones have a chance of fulfilling their promises in the fight against wrinkles and which ones don’t? The short answer is – you can’t. But there are some clues you can look for that may help determine if the product is right for you.
Over the counter skin creams, for example, have not undergone the same rigorous testing methods that prescription creams are subjected too. For this reason, they contain less of the active ingredients proven to combat wrinkles. Therefore what effect, if any, they have on your skin is likely to be temporary and easily reversed upon discontinuation of the product.
And finally, don’t look to cost to guide you towards better value, either. Costs are a result of marketing, not quality. In fact, recent studies have shown that the best anti aging skin care products are often the less expensive ones, although the results often vary from woman to woman. So it’s best to try a few before settling on one.
What to Look For
When choosing skin care products, it’s best to look for ones containing the following ingredients, which have been clinically proven to reduce the signs of aging:
- Vitamin A: Thanks to its inflammatory properties, using vitamin A can help puff up the skin, making wrinkles appear less deep
- Vitamin C: Using vitamin C can have a brightening effect on the skin – helping to boost circulation and collagen production, which can help prevent new wrinkles from forming
- Vitamin E: This vitamin has been shown to improve moisture and softness of the skin, helping it to look smoother and more radiant. However, as with all of the vitamins, vitamin E, C and A are most beneficial when consumed in food, rather than in pill form.
- Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs): These ‘fruit acids’ help the skin get rid of dead cells on the surface, helping to rejuvenate the skin and improve its overall appearance. Of the AHAs, the most effective is glycolic acid. It triggers collagen to form plump cells, reducing wrinkles on the surface of the skin. Glycolic acid has also been shown to be effective in acne treatment.
- Retinoids: These chemicals cause the skin to produce new cells more quickly, causing the skin to become thicker and tighter. After a couple of months, the skin becomes smoother and fine wrinkles are reduced – although the benefits generally plateau after about six months. However, retinoids have no long-term effects and do not impact deeper lines.
Before starting any new skin care treatment, however, it is a good idea to first consult with your doctor and/or dermatologist, as some may even pose risks to certain individuals, such as smokers. Also beware of supposedly natural supplements and skin care products. The problem is that "natural" is often interpreted as risk-free, which is not the case. Again, you should be in consultation with your doctor before beginning any form of medication – natural or otherwise
In any case fact, the best way to reverse the aging process is a by preventing it from occurring in the first place. For best results, start the following habits early:
- Use Sun Protection Exposure to the sun is the number one cause of skin damage, including wrinkles – not to mention skin cancer. So protect your skin by always wearing skin cream with a built-in sunscreen of at least SPF-15. And wear protective hats and clothing to limit your skins exposure to the suns harmful rays, even in cloudy and cold weather.
- Moisturize! Fine lines are often brought on by dry skin cells. Therefore, keeping your skin moisturized can help to minimize their appearance.
- Butt out Smoking damages natural fibers in your skin that help to maintain its elasticity, thereby prematurely causing the formation of wrinkles.
If you’re looking for more dramatic results, consult your dermatologist, who can recommend the best skin care products for you, as well as certain cosmetic surgeries that can help you win the fight against aging.