The Basics of Anti-Aging

So this is a skin subject that most consumers don’t really know much about, and for some reason professionals aren’t always quick to educate them.  Well, I’m going to break it down for you, because I care about your face.

I get asked a lot by twenty-somethings if they even need anti-aging.  My answer is always an enthusiastic YES!  It’s called “anti” aging for a reason, people.  If you’ve already aged, there isn’t much you can do about wrinkles and sun spots, is there?  So, what are you actually trying to achieve by using products labeled “anti-aging?”

You want to increase your cell turnover rate.  We shall call that CTR to make my life easier.  When we, as humans, are born, our cells turn over at a rate of approximately fourteen days.  As we get older, this obviously slows down.  To have great skin that ages more slowly, you want your skin cells to turn over every twenty-eight days.  Unfortunately, if you don’t take care of your skin, your cells could be turning over at a rate as high as approximately forty days!  FORTY DAYS.  This, my friends, is the foundation of anti-aging.

The next big question is, how do I get my cells to turn over at a rate of twenty-eight days?  Exfoliation.  Getting the old cells off so new ones can form.  This is a product that should be discussed and chosen with your esthetician to make sure you’re getting the correct exfoliator for your age and skin condition.

Treatments for anti-aging are almost always exfoliators.  They may have different ingredients, but they all do essentially the same thing, just at a higher or more intense rate.  For instance, in your twenties, you can probably get away with a scrub exfoliator that’s light (like Daily Microfoliant), but in your thirties or forties might need to switch to a stronger chemical based exfoliator that features glycolic acid (like Complete Reform).  Again, there are a ton of options out there, so it’s best to get with an esthetician to find out what will work best for you.

Another aspect we focus on with anti-aging products is hydration.  You must keep your skin properly lubricated to keep it at its healthiest.  This is why those with oily skin types typically age better, because they are always naturally lubricating their skin.  In other words, if you’re a normal or dry skin type, you really must focus on hydration.  There are great masks on the market that you can do weekly, and you want to look for ones that are creamy and feature ingredients like Vitamin C or other antioxidants.  Intense hydrators like shea butter are also great ingredients.

And finally, stay out of the damn sun!!!!!!  Seriously.  In my professional opinion, sun spots age people more than wrinkles do.  Use sunscreen every single day.  I have seen more sun damage on the left side of people’s faces just from driving in their cars to work five days a week.  Of course, most of your sun damage is done before age 18 (up to 80%) so please, if you care about your children, slather them with SPF until they are 18 and can decide for themselves what to do.  It’s the greatest gift you can give them.  Well, other than unconditional love and a sense of self-worth and all that crap.

If you are in your forties or fifties and you’ve discovered your sun spots are coming out, get yourself a product with hydroquinone.  It’s an FDA approved ingredient for actually lightening pigment.  You can get it over the counter at up to 2% or prescribed for a product that will work much faster.  And yes, it does actually work with continued use.  (There is a difference between BRIGHTENING and LIGHTENING but that’s probably a whole separate post.)  I have personally seen clients get results with Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum but you must follow the directions to a tee.

I think that covers it!  If any esthies have anything else to add, please do so in the comments, and if you need a recommendation for an esthetician you can always ask me (of course if you’re from San Antonio or Champaign only.)

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3 thoughts on “The Basics of Anti-Aging

    • Thanks Kristin! Yes, for the dark marks you want the same ingredient, hydroquinone. Murad makes a product called Post-Acne Spot Lightening Gel, which you can also get at Sephora or online at http://www.murad.com. It’s a bit pricey obviously, but does work. You must use it only at night and you can’t be out in the sun for long periods of time during the day, so that’s kind of a bummer. Sun exposure though will make them worse anyway, so it’s best to avoid it altogether. You can see a dermatologist to get a prescription for a higher percent of hydroquinone, and the only difference is that it will work faster. AND to tie this all together with the anti-aging theme, Murad has a whole line for Acne Anti-Aging if you’re ever looking to splurge for a whole regimen.

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