In our last blog, we looked at 3 ways to prevent skin aging, but what if you already have signs of skin aging? While we will look in detail at most of the main aging-skin concerns in future blog posts, let’s look at a few general improvement tips.
*Moisturize. Moisturizing the skin not only improves the feel of aging skin (as skin dryness is a major part of skin aging), but it also improves the appearance of skin. Many anti-aging creams and serums include powerful humectants (=ingredients that absorb moisture) and emollients (=ingredients that adds moisture and prevents moisture loss) as primary ingredients because wrinkles and fine lines are less noticeable and pronounced in moisturized skin.
*Be gentle with your skin. Aggressive exfoliators or too much pulling and tugging at skin may both worsen any signs of aging. Skin becomes drier and more delicate with age, so how you treat it should adapt. Use gentle exfoliating ingredients such as glycolic acid rather than harsh, exfoliating particles such as sugar or salt. If you are struggling with adult acne, you may wish to consider switching to a gentler acne cleanser than the ones teens use. While pulling & tugging at skin is unadvisable at any age (because the skin remembers!), these actions can exacerbate issues such as wrinkles and fine lines. When applying eye creams or serums, gently pat them in with your fingers. When cleansing or moisturizing, use light, gentle strokes to apply the product to the skin. For cleansing, you may even wish to consider using an ultrasonic brush (with a sensitive brush head, as needed) to help you thoroughly clean skin without being too aggressive.
*Be smart about ingredients. Buying a bunch of “do everything” products will likely be less effective than selecting a few products that target your specific concerns. If a product is claiming to do a million things, it may very well have all of those active ingredients, but they will obviously be in smaller concentrations. A one ounce tube can only hold but so much, after all. Choose your top skin concerns, be it wrinkles and skin texture or discoloration and dryness, and focus on those. Also, be aware that certain ingredients can counteract each other or may be better used at certain times of day. For example, salicylic acid works against retinol products. Retinol gets broken down in sunlight so it is best used at night. Do your research or ask your dermatologist about products if you are unsure.
*Consider cosmetic treatments. We will be talking about these options in upcoming blog posts, based on the area treated, but keep in mind that non-invasive and non-surgical treatments such as chemical peels, wrinkle relaxers (i.e. BOTOX), soft tissue fillers (i.e. Juvéderm) and laser procedures are available that can improve the appearance of aging skin.