Walk down any drugstore beauty aisle and the choices seem infinite, especially as more people are looking to nonsurgical ways of achieving a youthful appearance. Cosmeceutical companies have responded by releasing a deluge of anti-aging creams with catchy claims that tout the next “it” ingredient. But which products are backed by actual scientific data, and what are the drugstore duds to skip? In this confusing and oversaturated market, use these simple, tried-and-true recommendations to develop an effective anti-aging action plan for you.
Skin aging results from the combined effects of genetics (intrinsic aging) and environmental factors (extrinsic aging). Among all environmental factors, ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is the primary contributor to premature aging and by some estimates accounts for up to 90% of visible signs of aging on the face.
Get in the habit of applying sunscreen to your face every morning. Simplify your regimen by using a facial moisturizer that also offers broad-spectrum photoprotection by blocking both UVA and UVB rays. I recommend La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Cream With Sunscreen, a dermatologist favorite. It’s unscented (great for sensitive skin), feels light on the skin, noncomedogenic, and provides lasting hydration with broad-spectrum UV protection.
The use of topical antioxidants is very popular because they work! Extensive data show that these substances can be easily absorbed by the skin where they exert their anti-aging effects by minimizing free-radical damage. The all-star list of antioxidants includes vitamins C and E, resveratrol, retinol (discussed below) and green tea extract. Antioxidants reduce wrinkles, blotchiness or discoloration (including brown spots and redness) and dullness.
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is a hit serum loaded with antioxidants (vitamins C and E) to reduce free radical damage coupled with ferulic acid for UV protection. Wrinkles are erased, and brown spots quietly fade over time, leaving skin smoother, firmer and more evenly toned. Apply 4 to 5 drops to your face and neck and rub gently. The serum is ultra lightweight and absorbs instantaneously. Follow up with a morning moisturizer and sunscreen.
Topical retinoids are a potent class of molecules widely recommended by dermatologists to treat photodamage. They have been used for decades with strong data supporting their efficacy and excellent safety profile. Retinoid creams diminish wrinkles by increasing collagen production and decreasing its degradation. Cell turnover is also increased, enhancing skin texture and fading stains or facial hyperpigmentation. Skin is left with a luminous and youthful glow.
StriVectin-AR Advanced Retinol Night Treatment is light, nonsticky and gentle enough for those with sensitive skin. After cleansing, allow your skin to dry for 10 minutes before applying a thin layer all over the face. This helps minimize irritation. In a few weeks skin will appear smoother and firmer. It also works great on the neck and décolletage to reduce fine lines and tighten sagging skin.
Topical retinoids are the strongest topical ingredients in a dermatologist’s arsenal for slowing signs of aging. Everyone in his or her thirties or beyond should get in the habit of incorporating a topical retinoid cream in their evening routine.
Peptides are part of a group of agents that act as chemical messengers to direct cellular activity, including signaling fibroblasts to make collagen. Peptides are now found in creams and serums to reverse signs of aging and treat hyperpigmentation and other skin conditions.
Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx Growth Factor Extreme Neuropeptide Serum contains several youth-preserving peptides: palmitoyl hexapeptide-19, hexapeptide-10, myristoyl octapeptide-1, palmitoyl hexapeptide-19, acetyl hexapeptide-25. Some of these send signals to produce collagen, while others slightly dampen muscle function (in a more superficial manner than botox), which helps lift and shape the skin.
Effective moisturizing begins with a mild cleanser that removes impurities without leaving the skin parched. Adequately moisturized skin retains water, which helps keep it smooth, supple and less prone to skin irritation that over time can accentuate both fine lines and skin discoloration. Remember, your skin is ultimately a protective barrier that functions best when hydrated. Dry skin is prone to inflammation and accelerated aging.
In the morning, I recommend an ultra-gentle, soap free, pH-balanced cleanser like Effaclar Purifying Foam Gel to banish dirt and excess sebum without leaving the face dry and bothered. Kinerase Gentle Daily Cleanser also delivers a refreshing, thorough clean and packs potent anti-aging antioxidants like green and white tea extracts to curb free radical damage.
For a deeper clean, pair your favorite cleanser with a cleansing device, like the compact Mia 1 Facial Sonic Cleansing Brush. The two work in perfect harmony to clean, exfoliate and brighten the skin.