Euromonitor International reports that we now spend almost 10 billion dollars annually on anti-aging skin care products. That’s an increase of over 100 percent since 1997. Clearly, we are more concerned with looking young than ever before. But with so many anti-aging products to choose from, which ones work best?
Here are our top five picks for products that can help skin to stay smooth, firm and young.
1. Use a sunscreen every day
Of all the products designed to keep skin young, sunscreen is the most important. Sunscreen protects us from the sun’s skin-damaging UVA and UVB rays. Most of us slather on the sunblock at the beach to prevent sunburn from UVB rays. But we need protection from UVA rays too, and we need it all day every day. Unlike UVB rays that cause sunburn only in direct sunlight, UVA rays harm your skin all day long. UVA rays penetrate windows and can damage your skin in the shade or on cloudy, overcast days. The best sunscreen for face is one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of at least 30.
2. Practice a skincare routine religiously
Cleaning, toning and moisturizing in the morning and before going to bed is essential for clear, healthy skin. Never go to sleep with a dirty face. Grit, pollutants, oil, sweat and makeup can block pores, cause eye infections and create unsightly blackheads. Blemishes and pimples are bad enough, but if you get acne, you could wind up with permanent facial scaring.
3. Apply a facial mask twice a week
Masks can draw impurities out of your skin, especially those impurities lurking just beneath the surface. Masks remove excess oil, clean out pores and make pores look smaller. Masks also stimulate circulation and expand the blood vessels in your face. This, in turn, improves skin tone and gives you a healthy glow. The right mask can tone, tighten and firm your complexion with just one application.
4. Exfoliate daily
As you get older, dry skin cells start to accumulate on the skin’s surface. Over time, they can clog pores and make your complexion look dingy and dull. When you exfoliate, whether with a textured facial sponge, a complexion brush or an exfoliating scrub, you’ll sweep away all those dead surface cells to reveal fresh and smooth skin beneath the surface. Just one exfoliating treatment can deliver amazing results.
5. Nourish your skin
Collagen and elastin are proteins that keep the skin firm and young. With age, collagen and elastin production slows down. A face lifting cream that contains collagen can help to support the skin and reduce sagging. Night creams with antioxidants and other skin repair ingredients can neutralize free radicals that harm the skin while stimulating collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Skin care products containing salicylic acid (BHA) and glycolic acid (AHA) stimulate collagen production to plump and firm the face. Skin serums with Vitamin A (retinol) assist the skin in producing elastin; this helps skin to maintain a firm appearance. Skin care formulations with hyaluronic acid plump up the skin and reduce fine lines by improving the skin’s moisture content and increasing its natural barrier against irritants. Hyaluronic acid also contains antioxidants that reduce inflammation and neutralize free radicals.
When it comes to looking younger, one product can’t possibly do it all. However, when used in tandem, all of these anti-aging products, used faithfully, can and will do their part to help you stay young and beautiful.