Did you know that collagen production peaks at age 25 and declines by about 1 percent every year after that? I just recently learned this, and I’m turning 30 next year! I’m pretty sure I can feel the collagen fibers in my skin just shriveling away as I type.
Okay yes, maybe I’m being a little tiny bit dramatic, but seriously. It’s definitely time for me (and you) to hop on the anti-aging train!
I’ve personally never given anti-aging concerns their proper due. To me, the term “anti-aging” has always been a turn-off when it comes to beauty products. It just felt like a nebulous marketing term to make women panic-buy more skin care.
As it turns out, the more I learn about anti-aging, the less I feel that way. Yes, there are brands that take advantage of buzzwords to peddle mediocre products, but I’ve realized that there are plenty of useful products out there too.
Collagen production peaks at age 25 and declines by about 1 percent every year after that. I’m turning 30 next year, and I can feel the collagen fibers in my skin shriveling away as I type.
If you’re like me and haven’t given the idea of anti-aging skin care serious consideration, I encourage you to take this ride with me.
So What Is Anti-Aging Anyway?
Here’s what I’ve learned.
The concept is less about hiding the fact that you’re getting older and more about doing everything that you can to maintain smooth, plumped-up, and healthy (aka “youthful”) skin. It also extends to taking care of your hair and nails as well. Today though, I’m going to focus on anti-aging as it pertains to skin care.
There are two types of skin aging: internal and external.
We can’t really do much about internal factors because these are largely affected by things like hormones, genetics, and our own biological clocks.
Fortunately, when it comes to external skin aging, there are plenty of things that we can do to slow and, in some cases, even reverse the visible signs of skin damage. Some of the biggest factors that contribute to external skin aging are smoking, sun exposure, poor nutrition, and a lack of appropriate skin care. This is actually great news because these are all problems that we can fix.
Since I’m talking about fixing problems, I’m going to also take this moment to insert my life’s motto and signature skin care mantra: Wear! More! Sunscreen!
Getting everyone to wear sunscreen and protective clothing is my life’s mission. Seriously, it will probably be the epitaph on my tombstone. Sunscreen is, without question, the most important anti-aging tool in your arsenal. Know it. Love it. Wear it. Then wear it some more.
(And if you don’t believe me, the American Academy of Dermatology is totally on my side here.)
Sunscreen rant aside, the main point you need to remember when it comes to anti-aging skin care is this: The best products either protect you from external aging factors or work with your skin’s natural processes to repair aging damage that has already been done.
How Do I Know If I Need Anti-Aging Products?
Honestly, the answer is simple: Are you 25 or older? If so, adding anti-aging products to your regimen is a good idea.
The better question to ask is: “Which anti-aging products do I need?”
While the real answer to that question is worthy of a whole separate post, I’ll give you the short answer for now.
As I’ve been reading, I’ve noticed that there are a few issues that keep coming up in regards to combating skin aging. I’ve unofficially dubbed them “concern categories” in my notes, and I’m going to share them with you:
1. Fine lines and wrinkles
2. Sagging, crepey, or leathery skin
3. Blotchy or dull complexion
When it comes to choosing products, it will mostly come down to which concern categories you want to focus on and having a better understanding of what each of the major “workhorse” ingredients do.
Great, Now Which Ingredients Should I Look For?
Again, since this is just the intro post, I won’t drown you with a huge list of products and compound names. For now, I’m just going to stick with listing the best and most common anti-aging active ingredients to look for.
Retinol, retinoids, retinoic acid … all of these are forms of vitamin A, which is considered the “gold standard” for repairing sun damage and wrinkles. It’s the most studied anti-aging ingredient available, and it has tons of clinical trials and studies to back its claims.
If I had to choose one “workhorse” ingredient to have in my skincare arsenal for the rest of my life, it would be niacinamide. This guy basically does it all. Niacinamide can help to reduce moisture loss, even out blotchy skin, refine skin texture, and reduce redness. It can even act as an antioxidant!
There are many different peptides, and each of them has a specific job when it comes to addressing skin concerns. However, the right ones can restore a plump and healthy glow to your skin (when you use them in conjunction with a good skin care routine, of course!).
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a seriously powerful antioxidant. It can help to stimulate collagen production and give your skin a “lit from within” glow. It’s especially effective when paired with vitamin E and ferulic acid.
5. Hydroxy Acids
This includes alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), and polyhydroxy acids (PHAs). All three can help refine skin texture, reduce dark spots, and gently exfoliate dead skin cells.
Even though we only dipped our toes into the ocean of anti-aging skin care today, I know that was still a lot of info.
Let me hit the highlights for you one more time:
– If you’re over 25, it’s time to start adding anti-aging ingredients to your skin care routine.
– Sunscreen is the best and most important weapon you have in the fight against external aging factors.
– Anti-aging skin care won’t magically make you look ageless, but it will help to keep your skin looking healthy and beautiful.
– The best products will address the major “concern categories” of fine lines and wrinkles, sagging skin, and a dull or leathery complexion.
– When choosing your anti-aging arsenal, it’s important to look for the well-researched powerhouse ingredients I mentioned above.
If you want to know more, keep an eye out for the next post in my anti-aging series!