Wrinkle creams, eye serums, and other anti-aging skin care products can help diminish signs of aging. To create a truly effective anti-aging skin care plan, however, it helps to start with healthy skin care habits.
To help you create your own anti-aging skin care plan, you’ll find key healthy skin care habits below. Years of research supports each of these recommendations.
The benefits of healthy skin care habits include:
- Prevent (or clear up) a blotchy complexion
- Retain skin’s youthful firmness longer
- Reduce fine lines and wrinkles
- Keep complexion looking brighter and younger
- Avoid leathery skin
- Reduce skin cancer risk
Anti-Aging Skin Care Tips
1) Protect your skin from the sun: Sun protection forms the foundation of every anti-aging skin-care plan. The sun’s rays make our skin age more quickly. We have so much evidence that the sun prematurely ages our skin that there is actually a word to describe this effect. This word is “photoaging.” To help patients protect their skin from the sun and other harmful UV rays, dermatologists offer these tips:
- Seek shade: Be sure to seek shade between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and whenever your shadow looks shorter than you are.
- Cover up in style: Whenever possible, wear a wide-brimmed hat, pants, and long sleeves. Gloves help to minimize common signs of aging on our hands such as age spots. Sunglasses help reduce fine lines around our eyes.
- Slather on the sunscreen every day before going outdoors: To protect your skin, apply sunscreen to all skin that clothing will not cover. You want to use a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, SPF 30 (or higher), and water resistance.
2) No indoor tanning: The sun, tanning beds, and sun lamps expose you to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. These rays accelerate skin aging.
3) Apply moisturizer every day: As we age, skin becomes drier. Fine lines and wrinkles appear. Moisturizer traps water in our skin, giving it a more youthful appearance. For best results, use a facial moisturizer, body moisturizer, and lip balm.
4) Wash away dirt and grime twice a day: How you wash your face can affect your appearance. For best results, you want to wash with warm water and a mild cleanser rather than soap. You also should avoid scrubbing your skin clean.
5) Stop smoking: Tobacco smoke contains toxins that can lead to smoker’s face. Signs of smoker’s face include dull and dry complexion, loss of skin’s firmness, premature lines and wrinkles, and leathery skin.
6) Eat healthy foods: A healthy diet promotes healthy skin. Make sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
7) Get enough sleep: It’s called beauty rest for a reason. Sleep gives your body time to refresh and renew itself.
If you want to include anti-aging skin care products in your plan, dermatologists recommend that you select these products carefully.
How should you shop for anti-aging skin care products?
Shopping for an anti-aging skin care product can feel like hit-or-miss experience. With so many choices, it can be difficult to know which products to choose. These dermatologists’ tips can help you shop with confidence.
1) Start with sunscreen and moisturizer: Dermatologists agree that sunscreen and moisturizer are the two most-effective anti-aging products you can buy. Using these every day can make a noticeable difference.
When shopping for sunscreen, select one that offers all of the following:
- Broad spectrum
- SPF 30 (or higher)
- Water resistance
Moisturizers help to minimize fine lines. It is so effective that moisturizer is the secret ingredient in many anti-aging products.
Using a moisturizer with sunscreen is fine. Just be sure that the product offers broad-spectrum coverage and an SPF of 30 or higher.
If you will spend time outdoors during the day, you should apply a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, SPF 30 (or higher), and water resistance. Be sure to reapply your sunscreen every two hours while outdoors.
2) Treat your #1 aging skin concern: Give sunscreen and moisturizer a few weeks to work. Then look at your skin. Is there still a sign of aging that bothers you?By focusing on one concern, such as wrinkles or dark spots, you’ll get the best results. Look for a product that targets your concern. There are two reasons for this:
- No product can treat all signs of skin aging.
- Using more than one anti-aging product in a few days or weeks can irritate the skin, making you look older.
3) Buy a product formulated for your skin type: Your sunscreen, moisturizer, and other anti-aging skin care products will work best if they are formulated for your skin type. For example, if your skin tends to be oily, select a moisturizer made for oily skin. If you have sensitive skin, you want to see the words “sensitive skin” on the label.
This is important because no one product works for everyone.
4) Read product labels and select a product that offers all of the following:
- Hypoallergenic (The product can still cause an allergic reaction, but there is less risk.)
- Non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic (does not cause acne)<
- Consumer hotline (to contact for questions)
5) Have realistic expectations: Exaggerated promises, such as look 10 years younger overnight or quickly reduces all signs of aging, are too good to be true. It’s important to remember that anti-aging skin care products deliver modest results. You cannot get the results of a facelift from a cream.
TIP: “Clinically proven” means that the product was given to consumers to try. It does not mean the product underwent clinical trials and received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
6) Select a product within your price range: It’s human nature to think that the more expensive the product, the better the results. Effective anti-aging products come in all price ranges. Once you’ve selected a product, be sure to maximize the results you see by also following the tips at the top of this page.