Facial care products have many claims related to reducing the effects of aging. There are so many different brands and different formulas available, it can be difficult to choose the best option for your skin. When choosing an anti-aging cream, it’s important to consider your skin type. There are creams made for dry skin, oily skin, combination skin, or normal skin.
You may also need to consider your main aging concerns. Some creams may be designed for use on mature skin with deep lines or wrinkles while others are designed to work on younger skin that has yet to see many aging problems on the face.
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What’s Causing Those Skin Changes
Your skin is composed of several layers. Each one becomes thinner over time. All the layers contain collagen—the protein that provides structure, keeping skin thick and firm. With age and sun exposure, collagen production declines, often causing sagging, wrinkles, and slower healing. In fact, wounds may last up to four times longer in older adults than in younger people.
In addition to the forces of aging and the environment, several other factors can contribute to thinning skin. Menopause can make it more difficult for the skin to retain moisture, leaving it almost papery. Many common medications can also thin skin or cause it to bruise more easily, including oral steroids (such as prednisone), topical steroids (such as hydrocortisone), and some blood thinners (including aspirin).
Update Your Skin-Care Habits
“Taking proper care of your skin becomes even more important as you age,” says Shari Lipner, M.D., Ph.D., a dermatologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. “And that may mean changing some of your skin-care products and habits.” Forgo long, hot showers and baths; both can dry out and irritate the skin—especially during cold, dry weather. “Limit your showers and baths to 5 or 10 minutes in tepid—not hot—water,” Elmariah says.
You’ll also want to re-evaluate some of the products in your bathroom. Toss out any harsh scrubs, for instance. If you want to exfoliate the dead, dry skin, try rubbing a soft washcloth over wet skin, suggests David E. Bank, M.D., director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, N.Y.
Care for Wounds the Right Way
Thin, fragile skin is more prone to cuts and scrapes than healthy skin. But beware of adhesive bandages, which can irritate or cut the skin, Bank says. Look for labels that say “sensitive skin,” or cover the wound with a nonstick pan and use paper tape or an elastic wrap (like an Ace bandage) to keep it in place.
In people with diabetes, peripheral artery disease, and some other health issues, wounds can become chronic—generally defined as not healing within three months. Talk to your doctor if a cut is not healing normally.
At what age should you start incorporating an anti-aging cream into your skincare routine?
The best “anti-aging” product is sunblock, and that should be applied to the face daily as young as possible! In individuals with dry skin a daily moisturizer, serum, and eye cream should be started in the early 20s. If the individual has oily skin, traditional anti-aging products can start in their 30s, but most likely they will be using a retinol product to combat acne breakouts, so they are already using preventative measures.
Is it beneficial to use different formulas for morning and night?
Your skin doesn’t know what time it is, so the logic behind a day versus night regime is that the night regime doesn’t have to compete with makeup over the top of it and can be a thicker formula, while the daily regimen is typically lighter weight with less “corrective” properties.
What treatments do you recommend to treat wrinkles and other signs of aging?
Stimulating collagen production is key in combating signs of aging. For the novice, I like to start with micro needling, chemical peels, or IPL. These are all low downtime and usually affordable treatments done in a series of three to six sessions. For the individual that needs a more rigorous anti-aging treatment, I am a huge fan of laser resurfacing treatments such as Fraxel and Pixel Erbium laser. These treatments act on a deeper level and can correct texture, tone, and sun damage at a more aggressive level.