A lot of us are finding ourselves doing some out of the ordinary things to pass the time during this strange time in history. And while I have been baking way more than my household of two can consume, I’m also mulling over my skin care purchases on a spreadsheet for the rest of 2020, which is a very normal activity for me. I’ve always been a list person, so this kind of planning (that is definitely excessive) has weirdly become a fun hobby of mine. It’s not uncommon to find me with too many tabs open in my browser of different product pages along with reviews, scientific research papers, and my spreadsheets trying to decide what I want to try out.
With a milestone birthday this year, I’ve definitely gone into full anti-aging mode as I move into my 30s. And while I understand that isn’t “old” by any means, for me, I definitely think it’s time to look at really diving into aging as gracefully as I can. I would rather start now and help slow things down rather than turn the clock back, which is more difficult and potentially way more expensive.
While I understand that 30 isn’t “old” by any means, for me, I definitely think it’s time to look at really diving into aging as gracefully as I can.
I’ve noticed some overall trends emerging within my own hunt for products for a more “grown-up” skin care routine, and I wanted to share my superstar anti-aging ingredients and products as I take my first steps into this concept of “prejuvenation.”
Prevention is everything, and when it comes to sunscreen, we’re not just talking about aging y’all. I want to do everything I can to prevent the word “melanoma” from becoming a part of my life, and considering I live in the middle of the desert, sunscreen is a major component of the things under my control.
One of the more prominent studies that has a larger sample size and also takes place over multiple years offered strong evidence that sunscreen can help prevent things like wrinkles and dark spots. Bonus points for the study being conducted in Australia, where testing parameters and requirements for sunscreen are some of the most rigorous in the entire world.
In the interest of both my health and my skin care goals, I’m never without a sunscreen, and you shouldn’t be either. Find one that works for you, and use it pretty much any time you leave the house. This isn’t something to save just for beach days or going to Disneyland or the zoo. Normal, everyday activities like getting groceries, going to the mall (especially if it’s outdoors), or walking your dog are all things that you should generally be using a dedicated sunscreen for.
I see a group of medieval trumpets playing a fanfare every time I talk about retinoids, aka vitamin A, because they truly are the champion of champions when it comes to respected and researched skin care. It’s probably not the first time you’ve heard about it and it certainly won’t be the last. To be honest, it deserves several discussions dedicated entirely to it because of all the ins and outs of how retinoids work, the different types of retinoids there are, and the various formulations that are used to deliver them to the skin.
There are a lot of other ingredients that I see grouped in with retinoids, like vitamin C in all its forms or the many peptides we’re seeing more and more in skin care. And while I’m not saying that they are not effective or can’t give you good results with consistent use, I also feel the need to highlight how much more research has been done on retinoids proving their effectiveness in improving everything from wrinkles to hyperpigmentation to acne and virtually anything you could ever hope a topical product to do.
It’s not even something that you need to use on a daily basis to see results. There are a lot of studies like this one that retinoids, retinol in particular for this study, can make a significant difference in the skin while also making it more resilient when used a few times a week (three times a week in this case). If something can not only address my current concerns but also help safeguard me down the line, I’m 100 percent in. Just make sure you use sunscreen on a daily basis if you’re using a retinoid of any kind because it will make your skin more susceptible to potential harm from the sun.
So much research has been done on retinoids proving their effectiveness in improving everything from wrinkles to hyperpigmentation to acne.
One of the most common things that I hear from aestheticians both online and in my personal and professional life is that dehydration in the skin is one of the most common things they encounter, and also one of the most detrimental things to the skin. It’s really not too different from the rest of your body—you don’t drink enough water, and you start sliding down a very slippery slope of dry lips, headaches, lack of energy, etc.
Now of course we can’t entirely prevent dehydration in the skin, especially if you live in a dry climate and/or are dealing with forced air, but it’s very important to the overall health of the skin to keep it hydrated (which is different from moisturized) to ensure it functions properly and the other products you’re using can be as effective as they can. Nothing is going to have an easy time getting through a dried-out top layer of skin.
That dry layer also will inevitably keep your skin from looking great—wrinkles will look more pronounced, any raised texture on your skin from things like breakouts will now be raised and crusty looking, and your pores will both look more pronounced and get clogged more quickly. Your general complexion will look pretty flat and dull. I think it goes without saying that this is not a condition you want your skin to be in on a regular basis, and it can impact both the appearance as well as the overall health of your complexion.
Hydrators like glycerin or hyaluronic acid aren’t usually at the forefront of the discussion when it comes to top anti-aging ingredients. But I think maintaining a solid foundation for the general health and function of your skin goes a long way to keeping things looking and feeling good for as long as possible.
I hope this helps shed a little light on the great mystery the beauty industry and society at large builds around the concept of “anti-aging.” This certainly won’t be the last time I discuss this subject, but I think it’s important to always make sure that whatever steps you’re choosing to incorporate, you’re doing them for your own enjoyment and satisfaction with the intent of bringing contentment and kindness to yourself.