Most of us hope to maintain our youthful appearance for an indefinite period of time. So, when it comes to using anti-ageing products, prevention is always better than cure. While the "Fountain of Youth" may be a myth, anti-aging skincare, on the other hand, is most definitely not. These products are becoming very popular on the shelves and have the potential to do wonders for your skin if applied appropriately and at the right time.
Research shows that collagen production begins to decline at the age of 20 and continues to lower at a rate of one percent every year after that. As we become older, our skin becomes thinner and less resilient, our oil glands produce less skin-softening sebum, and our overall firmness decreases. You end up with those pesky "signs of ageing," such as fine lines around your eyes, brown spots that won't go away even after your summer vacation tan, and wrinkles on your forehead that just tend to accentuate you growing "old" rather than minimize it.
And then there are extrinsic factors of ageing; things like sun exposure, smoking, drinking alcohol, and not getting enough sleep. All of these can add to the tell-tale signs of ageing.
But there's no need to worry. You can take a lot of preventative and corrective steps, like an easy-to-follow skin care routine, using the right ingredients, and choosing the right products to lessen these signs of ageing. All this helps prevent damage before it starts and reduces signs of ageing later in life, so your skin stays looking youthful for longer.
What exactly is the skin ageing process?
The intrinsic ageing process (also called chronological ageing) is inevitable. Even with the finest skin care, some indications of skin ageing will occur over time, regardless of how much effort is put into maintaining a youthful appearance.
The earliest indications of ageing skin are the consequence of changes occurring beneath the skin's surface, which can go unnoticed. However, you might start to see the effects on the surface, such as dark circles under your eyes, or a loss of radiance and smoothness in your skin.
As we grow older, our skin's capacity to renew itself diminishes, and important structural proteins like elastin and collagen are lost or destroyed. Consequently, your skin loses its flexibility, resulting in the formation of fine lines and wrinkles that become more noticeable. As a result, your skin may appear dimmer. Age spots are another indicator of ageing, which is why they're commonly referred to as dark spots and uneven pigmentation.
The skin's barrier function diminishes over time, rendering it more vulnerable to environmental stressors like heat or pollution. Skin may become drier. Reduced blood flow can make your skin look paler and take away your rosy complexion.
As time passes, the muscles of the face become less elastic, resulting in a reduction in facial volume. When we reach our 40s, fatty tissue from around the eyes and cheeks travels down into the neck and jaw area, and we begin to notice drooping and eventually a change in the structure of the face.
Signs that it’s time to start using anti-ageing products
Even though these may be different for each person, here are some signs that your skin is getting older.
- Appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, especially in places that move a lot, like between the eyebrows, across the forehead, and around the eye.
- The development of dark circles under the eyes
- Hyperpigmentation (dark patches) that are more visible
- Skin that is both dehydrated and dry
- Pores that are clearly expanded and visible
- Skin that has an uneven tone and feel to it
- The natural radiance and firmness of your skin appear dull
The best age to start using anti-ageing products
The best age to start using anti-ageing products is when you start noticing changes in your skin, it’s just that simple!
Despite the fact that ageing is unavoidable, you can take actions to protect your skin and delay the appearance of obvious indications of skin ageing. Getting started is never too early or too late! When it comes to caring for your skin, the earlier you get going, the better. With age, the skin's natural synthesis of collagen and elastin (which help your skin stretch and 'bounce back') decreases. This happens in your late 20s and 30s.
Fine lines and wrinkles can be reduced by a variety of skincare practices, but the most effective way to delay the onset of age-related skin changes is to use these methods continually.
What you should look for in the products you choose
Skin care is a challenge that can seem overwhelming to many. From serums to oils to creams, there are a lot of options to choose from.
Skin types range from being very oily to being sensitive and dry. Before deciding whether or not to add an anti-aging skincare product to your routine, it's important to look at the product's ingredients to make sure they won't harm your skin and will, in turn, be helpful.
Ingredients do make a difference. People with dry skin should stay away from anti-aging products that are made of oils that can irritate the skin. Some people may think that oil-based products are easier to soak into the skin because they are softer, however the reality is the opposite. When used on dry skin, oil-based treatments leave a greasy film that doesn't blend in.
An "anti-aging" label does not imply that a product genuinely works to slow down the effects of ageing. There are, however, a few proven ingredients that can make a difference if applied effectively.
- Retinoids: Retinoids are strongly recommended by dermatologists for the early stages of ageing. It is the body's active form of vitamin A, and it works to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by boosting the skin's collagen production. With its ability to increase the formation of blood vessels beneath the skin, retinoids can help to reduce hyperpigmentation and restore a more even skin tone. However, retinoids come with their fair share of skin irritations. If you prefer using natural products then Bakuchiol is a well researched and scientifically accepted botanical alternative to retinoids with no irritations involved.
- Vitamin C: In addition to neutralising free radical damage caused by sun exposure and environmental irritants, vitamin C also reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation and melanin displacement. It is an excellent exfoliator that stimulates cell turnover, causing the skin to think it's being damaged resulting in an increase in collagen formation.
- Niacinamide: As a multipurpose Vitamin B3 form, niacinamide is currently in vogue as an all-purpose supplement. It helps strengthen the skin's natural barrier. It works like retinoids, but doesn't irritate the skin, so it may be a good choice for people with sensitive skin. It also works as an antioxidant to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals and reduce redness and irritation.
- Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid is a carbohydrate that is found naturally in the body. It can hold 1,000 times its weight in water, which is helpful as we age and our skin loses moisture. Topically applied hyaluronic acid locks in moisture and improves texture while establishing a barrier to protect the skin from external aggressors for a plumper, more supple (and therefore wrinkle-free) appearance.
How to choose the right anti-ageing skin care products
Buying a skin care product that fights ageing can feel like a hit-or-miss situation. With so many products to choose from, it can be hard to know what to get. These tips should help you shop with confidence.
1. Start with moisturiser and sunscreen
Make sure that the sunscreen you buy has the following features:
- Broad spectrum
- SPF 50 PA ++++ (specifically for skin of color)
- Water resistance
With an anti-aging moisturiser, fine lines are reduced. Moisturizing is so effective that it is the secret ingredient in many anti-aging products. It's fine to use a moisturiser that also contains sunscreen. The most important thing to look for is broad-spectrum protection with an SPF of 50 PA ++++
If you’re going to be outside during the day, make sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours or three hours. It goes without saying, even if you plan to stay indoors, WEAR SUNSCREEN!
2. Treat your #1 aging-skin concern.Give sunscreen and moisturiser a few weeks to work. Then check in with your skin. Is there still some sign of ageing 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 ageing
- Using more than one anti-aging product in a few days or weeks can irritate the skin and make you look older.
3. Invest in a product designed for your skin type.Your sunscreen, moisturiser, and other anti-aging skin care products will work best if they are made for your skin type. For instance, if your skin is usually oily, choose a moisturiser that is made for oily skin. If you have sensitive skin, the label should say "for sensitive skin."
This is important because everyone’s skin is different and ingredients/ formulations that may work for you will not work for someone else with the same skin type. Be mindful of what your skin is telling you.
4. Keep your expectations in check.Promises that sound too good to be true, like looking ‘10 years younger overnight’ or significantly reducing the visible indications of ageing, are usually exaggerated in a way. Anti-aging skin care treatments have modest results, keep that in mind.
The bottom line
There are a lot of different aspects to anti-aging skincare, and not all of them revolve around fine lines and wrinkle prevention. Wrinkles are caused by a variety of reasons, including genetics, smoking, and drinking. A healthy complexion requires regular washing and exfoliation, as well as the use of antioxidant-rich skincare products that can protect the skin from potential sun and pollution damage.
Remember that everyone ages differently and at their own pace, so it's important to listen to your skin and body. To achieve a youthful glow, you need to tackle the effects of ageing.
Despite the fact that no treatment can restore your 20-something skin overnight, you need to take care of it in order to keep it looking healthy and vibrant. Looking after your skin should be a priority, and you should begin now.