When most people hear the words “Anti-Aging products”, they usually think of products specifically for women, possibly in their late 30’s and up. To tell you the truth, I use to be one of those persons, until I was schooled that even in your 20’s you can start to take steps to fight the signs of aging by incorporating anti-aging products into your skin care regimen.
When you think about the skin care routine you already have established, adding anti-aging products may sound a little overwhelming, but think about all the money people spend on cosmetic surgeries, all of which could be saved if early prevention is implemented.
So, by now you’re probably asking yourself, “What can I do now, to fight the signs of aging?”. Found some helpful advice from Dr. Leslie Baumann on suggestions for the years during which skin changes the most:
If you are in your 20s, you should use anti-aging products with prevention in mind. There are two anti-aging products that you should use as often as possible to treat fine lines and wrinkles early: anti-aging products with sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) and targeted anti-aging facial moisturizers.
• If you smoke, stop – and definitely don’t start. Learn to incorporate skin-friendly foods into your diet, like berries and green tea for antioxidants, salmon and flax seed for omega-3 fatty acids.
• Start using products that contain niacinamide. That will help prevent damage to your skin’s DNA caused by whatever sun exposure you do get, and can “stop the clock” on several signs of skin aging.
• You may want to begin using retinoids.
Once you are in your 30s, it’s time to expand your anti-aging skin care routine. In addition to continuing to use anti-aging products like facial moisturizer and sunscreen, it’s important to add an anti-aging firming lotion.
• You may notice your skin becoming drier in your 30s, making proper hydration crucial! Well-hydrated skin repairs itself better and shows fewer signs of aging. If you have dry skin, avoid harsh foaming cleansers, skip the toner, and look for moisturizers with cholesterol, fatty acids (commonly listed on labels as “stearic acid”), and ceramides.
• Antioxidants are a good addition to your skin care regimen at any age – but if you’re not using them by your 30s, it’s crucial that you start! They are the best way to fight the skin damage that leads to lines and wrinkles. Add plenty of oral antioxidants to your diet.
• Try using glucosamine supplement at 35 – there is strong evidence that glucosamine can help your skin generate hyaluronic acid, which is one of the dermal building blocks we lose with age. (Hyaluronic acid is also the main component of dermal fillers like Restylane and Juvederm.)
• By your 30s, you may also start to get the most benefits from Botox. By decreasing muscle movement, Botox can slow the formation of wrinkles, especially around the eyes. (Remember, it’s always easier to prevent wrinkles than to treat ‘em one they’ve formed!)
• It is also during this decade that patients generally start to benefit from IPL (intense pulsed light) treatments to minimize the appearance of sun spots or broken blood vessels.
40’s and Beyond
Finally, once you reach your 40s and beyond, it’s important to add a specialized anti-aging cream that targets specific problem areas, such as wrinkles on skin or fine lines around the eyes.
• Try Imedeen Time Perfection. These oral supplements are pricey, but they’re also highly effective in minimizing fine lines and hydrating skin, which becomes drier with age, from the inside out.
• In the 40s, skin’s texture also tends to become more of a concern. Chemical peels can be a great way to smooth skin and treat sun spots and fine wrinkles. In your regular at-home regimen, be sure to use retinoids and products with glycolic acid to improve the evenness of your complexion and maintain the benefits of professional peels.
• Dermal fillers start to have a particularly noticeable impact in the 40s. As far as fillers go, I love Restylane (for mild to moderate wrinkles) and Perlane (for deeper wrinkles) – research shows that they may also stimulate your skin to produce more collagen, meaning you get both short- and long-term benefits!
• If you’re not already, consider taking a coenzyme Q10 supplement (100-200mg) every morning by age 50. Studies have shown that coenzyme Q10 helps prevent skin cancer, which commonly appears in this decade. Furthermore, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs decrease natural levels of coenzyme Q10; if you’re taking such drugs, a supplement can be particularly beneficial.
• Fraxel laser treatments are among my favorite professional procedures for patients in their 50s – it many cases, they’re even an effective alternative to the surgical procedures my patients ask about. For example, I love the Fraxel for treating crepey eyelids and wrinkles around the eyes. It also successfully minimizes lines and age spots.
• Menopausal and post-menopausal women who have elected not to do hormone replacement therapy should discuss topical estrogen creams with their dermatologists. As estrogen levels drop, skin tends to become drier and thinner, but topical treatments can improve skin’s strength and texture.
• With less estrogen to keep male hormones in check, post-menopausal women may also start to experience acne. Prescription retinoids like Retin-A, Differin, and Tazorac are a great option for treating acne (and fighting wrinkles too!), and tend to be easier for post-menopausal skin to tolerate than drying benzoyl peroxide products. One of the newer prescription retinoids, Ziana, also contains an acne-fighting antibiotic, making it a great option for anyone particularly bothered by blemishes.
A few things I would like to add…One thing that wasn’t mentioned under the 20’s and 30’s was eye cream. Eyes are one of the first places to show aging, so you should use eye cream daily. The skin around the eyes is extra thin so you’ll want to protect it from the sun with eye cream. I’m currently using Kate Somerville’s Line Release Under Eye Repair Cream.
You should exfoliate at least once a week. Choose a formulation that’s best for your skin type. Chemical exfoliators (glycolic or salicylic acid) are best for oily or combo skin, while scrubs found in microdermabrasives work best for sensitive skin. Try Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion in a Jar or or Lancome Resurface C Microdermabrasion.