Monday, June 25, 2012

Anti-Aging Skin Care

Salutations S+SR Readers!

I come to you today with a requested blog post from a dear friend of mine. Today's topic is "Anti-Aging."  Now that all my friends and I are hitting our late 20's and early 30's we are starting to think about this area of beauty products.  So what do we need to know?  I think it is good to remember that we all have different skin with different needs.  Some people might see wrinkles in their 20s, while others don't until they are in their 40's.  No matter what, do what feels right for your skin**!  This being said, I have a few general things first.
Seeing as this is more a discussion than about specific products, it seemed like a great opportunity for another silly stock image!  I have a great time looking for these cheesy stock images.  Anyway, like my last stock image, I'll gladly give someone credit for their image or take it down if whoever owns it throws a hissy fit

General Anti-Aging Tips:
  • Drink lots of water!
  • Wear sunscreen, hats, and generally protect from the sun (though 10-15 minutes of sun a day lets your body produce vitamin D which is a good thing.)
  • Eating healthy helps too because it promotes healthy shedding and regeneration of skin cells.
  • We are all different!  Genetics plays an important role in aging.  Some skin types are more sensitive to damage from the sun than others. There are also just some people that get really lucky and don't develop wrinkles as easily. While your years of life are a general indicator of steps you might take to prevent aging, make sure you try and adjust for your specific skin type!
"Blah blah blah...drink water, sunscreen,  eat heathy...blah blah blah.  I want to fight wrinkles with an army of products and spend some money!"  I get it, quick fixes are quite appealing, but they are also costly and some don't even work. I'm staying far away from the plastic surgery debates (who really wants to get sliced open anyway?) This is what I have come up with as reasonable steps one can take without spending too much money.

I  broke this out into approximate age ranges so that you can better adjust for your own skin:

Before 25 years old:
Note that the corner stone of anti-aging products is extra moisture and promoting skin renewal.  Before 25 you skin is regenerating quickly and probably is not lacking that much moisture.  Caking on the anti-aging products at this point might actually make your skin worse by making it extra oily or extra dry.
  • Prevention is really the key for you.  That water, sunscreen, eating healthy?  Yes, that is you.  You are young and growing.  Your cells are regenerating rapidly as a result.  You are stressing out about love, life, and who you want to be.  You really don't have to add aging to the mix!
  • If you insist on doing something to prevent aging at this age, moisturizing is your friend.  Most facial lotions SPF will do just fine, if you want to pay more for that lotion to say "anti-aging" you can, but it most likely is a waste of money.  You can also remember to exfoliate with a scrub or mask to promote skin regeneration.
  • Many acne products actually will help prevent aging, so do not feel like you need to double up acne products and aging product.  For Example: "Salicylic Acid," "Glycolic Acid," and "Benzoyl Peroxide" are all ingredients that promote skin peeling.  These chemicals increase skin turnover to clearing pores, reducing bacterial count, and are anti-microbial.  This also works to turnover skin cells to prevent aging.  For more information see my report on effectively treating acne. Acne can happen at any age, but I figured I'd throw this point here.
 Between 25-35 years:
You can probably start to add some anti-aging products to help ramp up your war against wrinkles.  I would focus on the most at risk areas (eyes and around the mouth).
  • There are a host of brands that want to sell you a million products but I suggest just finding one eye cream and one face cream.
    • You probably do not need a deep wrinkle/collagen heavy eye cream at this time.  Moisturizing (I like Burt's Bees Queen Bee Jelly Eye Cream*) or ones for fine lines are just fine (no pun intended!) for now.  
    • The main difference between day and night creams is that day creams have SPF and less moisture than night creams.  Night creams tend to be so heavy in moisture that they can leave your skin oily.  I suggest that your one face cream be one that is worn during the day.  It will mean that you get extra SPF protection and you can just use your favorite regular moisturizer at night (avoiding the more expensive anti-aging night products)
  • A great alternative to anti aging face cream is making your foundation (if you wear it) an anti-aging foundation.  You eliminate a product step in the morning and have one less product you have to buy!  There are many brands that offer "age defying" foundations.  I personally prefer using a BB creme (like ones from Skin79-I use the "Super VIP Gold") that has anti-aging properties.  I love BB cremes because they have so many benefits in one.  Anything to save time!  
After 35-40 years: 
You are now in the market for all the best in anti-aging care and there is a lot to pick from.  There are companies that boast instant solutions and sky high prices for itty bitty jars.  It is really confusing.  The fact of the matter is that with out surgery, you are still dealing with the same corner stones: quickening your natural exfoliation process to generate new skin, and adding extra hydration to try and defy gravity.   Below are some tips to keep in mind when selecting your regimen.
  •  Love your skin, first and foremost, while it might be nice to not have wrinkles or fine lines, it is also a result of living life and growing older which is an amazing thing.  Life is about the journey and you should never feel insecure about your skin.  You shine and sparkle from the inside!  Heck, this bullet belongs in all the age categories...
  • The above bullet is important because once you have wrinkles, there is no magic cure.  All anti-aging products can do is help reduce their appearance and prevent future skin damage.
  • Moisturizing is an easy way to plump up saggy skin cells. Any moisturizer that works well on you earlier in life is still just as valid today.  Moisture is moisture, so I do not think expensive anti-aging moisturizers are necessary as long as you are also using sun screen.
  • Active Ingredients:These are normally going to be the things that promote skin renewal.  Pay attention to what they are an in what % concentration.  There is no need to have a million products with the same active ingredients. I would like to direct you to this Mayo Clinic-Guide to Winkle Cream Ingredients. In this article they break down (in easy language) the differences between retinols, hydroxy acids, coenzyme Q10, copper peptides, kinetin, and tea extracts. All the other stuff in XYZ's "Super Ultimate Fantastic Signature  Anti-Aging Cream of The Century" are going to be moisturizers, fillers, anti-oxidants, fragrances, and dyes.  I personally prefer products to be as free of fragrances, dyes, fillers, parabens (basically preservatives) as possible, but no matter what, the active ingredients are what are going to make the biggest (if any) difference.
  • As long as you are aware of active ingredients, I suggest trying different products to see which work for you and your budget.  You can either have a few products or a bunch.  If you want to add, experiment, and have fun with your beauty routine, be my guest! There are tons of fun anti-aging masks, washes, foundations, and all manner of things to try if you'd like.  If you are more of simple beauty routine person or a product junkie, you are sure to shine and sparkle! 
So I hope this helped you navigate the wide spectrum of anti-aging products a bit better.  And as always...

Shine & Sparkle!  

 *I am not paid or contacted by any of the companies mentioned in this post.  These are my honest feelings and opinions. 

**Take my advice at your own risk...that being said, I think it's great advice! Consult with your doctor, especially if you are taking medications or may/are pregnant.  If you don't, "it said so on the internet" is not a great explanation to St. Peter.

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