Anti-Aging Products

Men and women start to notice the effects of aging at different ages, not just because of differences between the sexes but for many other reasons. Lifestyle choices like drinking and smoking are detrimental to the skin and other parts of a person’s body, helping to destroy healthy cells and the production of age-fighting collagen.

Another problem is exposure to things like sunlight, chlorine, and dry air. Third could be genetics while a fourth would be nutrition. Attitude matters too, and regardless of your years on the calendar, the aging process might have already started taking effect before you reach 40 if you have been a sun-worshiping smoker with a chip on your shoulder.

Other Components of Aged-Looking Skin

As people age, they also notice scars from teenage acne or injury are amplified. This happens when skin tone slackens and the color of one’s skin is no longer uniform. Glowing, healthy cheeks appear a little more sunken. Brightness around the mouth and eyes dims. This is partly a bi-product of aging as the elasticity and hydration of skin start to fail. Exposure to the sun begins to show up more prominently as dark spots as well.

Areas of the Skin to Focus on

Most people are primarily concerned about facial and neck skin. This includes areas around the mouth, forehead, and eyes. Dermatologists recommend that consumers pick a focus area and a particular issue, one at a time, rather than trying to eradicate all signs of aging all over the place. It is expensive to do too much, more so if you equate a high price tag with quality. Also, who knows whether two treatments will react against each other to cause more damage? If one experiences an allergic reaction, it is important to know which product or ingredient caused it.

Most importantly, whichever focus you choose, give yourself time to see results. Don’t expect anything to happen overnight or to regain 20 year-old skin. Protect your skin too, and start right away. Use sun screen to block UV rays which, though invisible, are responsible for much of the damage men and women’s faces suffer throughout their lives including cancer, related scarring, sun spots, dryness, and inflammation.

Particular Skin Issues

Skin treatments generally tackle the following concerns, sometimes two at a time, but often individually. They include:

• wrinkles
• sun spots
• scarring
• inconsistent coloration
• dryness
• inflammation

The ultimate goal is not to cover up a problem but to heal the skin. In an ideal situation, products chosen by the concerned consumer will assist the skin as cells attempt to heal themselves. Consumers should also remember to combine a skin regimen with healthy eating. This involves consuming less sugar, lots of antioxidants (berries and green tea, for example), plenty of water, and cutting back on alcohol and caffeine.

Ingredients that Support Anti-Aging

Pharmacies, cosmetic counters, and department stores carry a huge range of products under the “anti-aging” banner and they do a lot of different things. Their ingredients include resveritrol, retinol, Vitamin B, and seaweed; green tea, fruit enzymes, and coenzyme Q10. They might contain AHA or BHA, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, or grape seed. Ceramides and Linoleic Acid are also part of an anti-aging army. Try to select only products that contain natural ingredients like these and make use of the fewest ingredients possible. Distilled water is fine but perfume could cause an allergic reaction, irritate the skin, or dry it out.

Brands to Watch

A number of cosmetic and skin-health companies make anti-aging skin-care patches, serums, oils, and creams. They include Olay, BeautiControl, Mary Kay, Elizabeth Arden, Ole Henriksen, and Clinique. There are more besides, so the best advice is to follow suggestions above, read reviews for applicable products, and set a budget. Don’t be too stingy: a good product is likely to cost $20 or more. Some items can be made in your kitchen for next to nothing.

Tools for Anti-Aging

Retinol is one of the many ingredients found in creams and serums which support the growth of healthy cells. After you have exfoliated, work in a moisturizer containing retinol. Collagen production could be enhanced as a result, leading to younger-looking, more elastic skin. Vitamin C also works to strengthen and repair skin at the cellular level. Don’t forget to consume Vitamin C in the form of citrus fruits, preferably in their whole, raw form or as a supplement.

Anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C, resveritrol, and green tea contain anti-inflammatory properties which give skin a chance to heal. They also pump cells full of active agents to support health and strengthen against the forces of aging and exposure.

Grape seed is associated with skin healing, particularly scarred skin. If acne was a problem, it’s probably starting to show more now as you get older. Consider grape seed or linoleic acid which smoothes skin and provides it with fatty acids, the type you want.

Vitamin E and Vitamin C work together. Vitamin E protects your skin whether you take it internally or externally. Meanwhile, certain B Vitamins contribute to better hydration so that skin is not so dry. Dry skin looks old in its own right but is also more prone to damage.

Ceramides prevent skin cells from breaking down. When they no longer combine to form a shield against the elements, they are also less hydrated so your skin appears sallow; shrunken. Even overweight individuals will notice the effects, especially around their eye sockets.

Combination Attack

Generally, the products which support anti-aging efforts work in different areas and support one another. They act slowly, maybe over a course of weeks, but you should see results by the end of the second week. A few products such as rollers for under the eyes take away the puffy appearance skin adopts after a long night, but most results are not instant.

Combine better eating, lots of rest, and a great skin-care regimen with a stress-reduction strategy which is likely to also reduce wrinkles on your forehead and near your eyes. Happiness is the best anti-aging formula around, so adopt a positive outlook to defy the signs of aging.

Anti-Aging Products
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Jana Evans

Janet Evans is our resident Health Nut and aspiring chef. She can shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's with her eyes closed.