I believe that at some point all of us heard the term “anti-aging”.
In the present time beauty and cosmetic industries are under huge pressure to ditch term “anti-aging” altogether as diminishing, disrespectful and even shameful for men and women.
For the longest time aging was referred to sagging skin, wrinkles and generally becoming “old”.
Natural aging became something that you should be ashamed of and try your hardest to avoid.
What is anti-aging
I view it as a holistic approach to your health, appearance, emotions and feelings. It is impossible not to age, not to have wrinkles and not to experience some health complications here and there once we get older. However, it is possible to do our best to look and feel good regardless of our age.
It is important what kind of food we eat, because certain foods can help us maintain functions of bones, fatty tissues, collagen production and prevent certain diseases.
It is important to exercise and be active as it boosts our emotional as well as physical health.
It is important to realize that aging is inevitable and learn to embrace new chapters in our lives.
Our skin is the largest organ of the body, so it is only natural that it will reveal sings of aging pretty soon.
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I am in my 40’s and I finally learnt to embrace myself and feel comfortable with who I am, what I am and how I look. I love my age, my experiences and what I have accomplished so far.
I invest a lot of time and effort into my health and skin care not because I want to look 20 years younger (that would be nice, but unfortunately, impossible); I do that because I want to have healthy and glowing skin regardless of my age. And it is possible in present time due to lots of scientific discoveries and advances in beauty and cosmetic industry. I can honestly say that right now my skin looks and feels better than it was 20 years ago (it was oily, dehydrated and I had breakouts).
I will be talking about non-invasive procedures that you can easily do at home. If you are looking into more invasive interventions like fillers, botox, and so on, I advise you to do further research.
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When should you start using Anti-Aging products?
When I was about 25 I remember my mother telling me not to use cosmetics for ladies over 40, because supposedly it would make my skin age faster. I also remember cosmetic lines of beauty products for ladies “in their 20s”, “in their 30s” and so on. And I honestly believed that if I am 29 years old, I do not need a cream for those in their 30s.
Right now I strongly believe that our skin care should not be based on our passport age, but it should accommodate our skin needs regardless of the age number.
If your skin feels dry and dehydrated in your20s – then do not be afraid to use potent hydrating and moisturizing products.
If you started finding fine lines and wrinkles in your 20s or early 30s – then look for products that will help you to resolve an issue.
However, if your skin is young, hydrated well and does not really have many fine lines – then there is no need to look for active ingredients in your beauty products. You do not really want to overload your skin with potent components.
To summarize, your anti-aging skin care can start at any age, even in your late teens.
Anti-aging is not just about skin care
As I mentioned earlier, anti-aging is a holistic approach where you take care about your whole body and mind.
If you have lots of stress, unhealthy habits, do not get enough sleep: your skin will reveal it. If you smoke, I hate to say it, but you will develop wrinkles around mouth much faster, than those who don’t.
There are many anti-aging supplements out there on the market. I won’t get into details about them in this post simply because I did not find any product that will convince me that it will slow down body’s physical aging. I do not have a goal to promote some trending items unless I either tried and loved them myself or there are many positive reviews by consumers.
There are certain foods that will provide your body with necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, collagen and fatty acids, which will slow down signs of physical aging.
To summarize, anti-aging is not about working on one aspect of your life (skin care, or going to the gym). Rather it is a whole lifestyle philosophy where you take holistic approach and threat your body, mind and spirit as a whole.
HOWEVER, LET’S TALK SKIN IN THIS BLOG POST.
After all, skin care plays a very important role in how we look and how other people guess our age (and hopefully, they guess 10 years younger than we actually are lol).
What happens to our skin as we age?
· Dry and roughened skin – as we age, our sebaceous glands secrete less and less skin oil. That results in loss of moisture and dry skin.
· Loss of skin elasticity and turgor – as we age, our body loses collagen which results in sagging skin.
· Wrinkles and fine lines – is the most obvious sign of skin aging. Sun radiation, loss of hydration and moisture, age spots, loss of collagen and skin oil contributes to wrinkles and fine lines formation.
· Age spots (also known as sun spots, or hyperpegmintation) – these are brown spots that are mostly due to over exposure to sun.
· Dull, tired skin tone – the buildup of dead skin cells as well as skin dehydration cause our skin look dull, almost greyish in colour and tired.
I only listed few the most obvious signs of skin aging. I know it might feel upsetting to realize that our skin will go into such unhappy transformation. Fortunately, there are many skin care products on the market that will help us to slow down skin aging and maintain healthy glowing skin for a very long time.
Importance of skin hydration and moisturizing
Before I list other anti-aging ingredients in modern cosmetics, I would really like to point the importance of skin hydration. It took me almost 2 years of committed skin care to say with confidence that my skin finally does not feel dehydrated.
Poorly hydrated and moisturized skin will always look dull, sagging, tired and simply old. Dehydrated skin will reveal and multiply fine lines and wrinkles. It will also make your sensitive skin more irritated and red; dry skin more flaky and dry; already oily skin will produce more skin oil and greasy shine.
No matter what age, your skin care must always include hydrating and moisturizing products.
Hydrating ingredients will attract water to your outer skin layer and will hold it there. Some of the most known hydrating ingredients are hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides etc.
Moisturizing ingredients will form breathable thin film on the surface of your skin, preventing water from escaping from your skin. Some of the most known moisturizing ingredients are skin butters and oils (cocoa butter, shea butter, jojoba oil etc.).
I strongly believe (based on my own experience), that if you can only concentrate on extensive hydration and moisturizing of your skin, you will look way younger and glowing than if you did not.
So, when creating your skin care routine, always include hydrating and moisturizing products. Always!!!
Anti-aging ingredients in cosmetic products
Ok, we know now that hydration and skin moisturizing is crucial part of our skin care routine.
Let’s look at other effective cosmetic ingredients that will contribute to skin elasticity, improve tone, lighten age spots and lift sagging skin.
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1. Retinol – a stable form of vitamin A, it penetrates deeply into the skin, smooths fine lines and wrinkles, brightens age spots and also fights acne. It also speeds up cells turnover which promotes brighter skin tone. You need to use retinol for about 6 months to see results. I have an extensive post on RETINOL, its benefits and how to use it.
2. Peptides are becoming more and more popular in anti-aging skin care for their amazing effects. Peptides are synthesized complexes of amino acids. Depending on their composition, they are able to relax muscles similar to Botox, and strengthen the fibers of collagen.
3. Fruit acids (milk, apple, citrus, grape) eliminate fine wrinkles and pigmentation, as well as improve skin tone giving it bright glow.
4. Antioxidants (flavonoids, polyphenols, isoflavonoids) fight skin cell oxidation and environmental negative effects. Antioxidants remove age and sun spots, promote faster cells turnover and can even stimulate collage production. Good sources of flavonoids are citrus zest, onions, red wines, buckthorn, and black chocolate. Green tea polyphenols – a powerful antioxidant – one of the best, along with vitamin C and E.
- Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that promotes collagen synthesis.
- Ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10) – antioxidant, that promotes collagen synthesis and reverses sun damage and age spots.
- Idebenon is currently winning over vitamin C. Idebenon is a very strong antioxidant similar to coenzyme Q10.
- Isoflavones is another antioxidant. Isoflavones are natural plant components, most often extracted from soy and red clover.
5. Niacinamide – this ingredient is becoming more and more popular in anti-aging care. People, who are sensitive to retinol, can easily replace it with niacinamide. It extensively hydrates skin, removes sun damage, and strengths protective outer layer of skin.
6. Hydrolyzed collagen is a protein that is critical for our muscles, tissues including skin. It supports our facial structure and skin elasticity. As we age, collagen amount diminishes, and that is why our skin loses elasticity, turgor, starts sagging and wrinkles appear. So it is very, very important to maintain levels of collagen as much as possible.
- You cannot replenish collagen by simply applying collagen-containing products on the surface of your skin. Please, do not give in into this marketing trick where a company states that their product will replace lost collagen. So far it is impossible.
- Having said that I would like to mention, that there are ingredients that will trigger collagen production (this ingredients kick off the process during which extra collagen is produced). Some of these ingredients are antioxidants and peptides.
- However, applying hydrolyzed collagen will boost your skin’s hydration and we already learnt that hydrated skin has elasticity and looks younger.
7. Ceramides – another very popular anti-aging ingredient. Ceramides are very good fats that hold skin together keeping turgor and elasticity.
8. Unsaturated fatty acids OMEGA-3 and OMEGA-6 – these ingredients keep moisture in your skin by forming breathable thin protective layer on the skin’s surface. Argan oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil are examples of such moisturizers.
9. Phytoestrogens are plant extracts related to the skin by composition. They are able to slow down the aging of the skin during menopause, when the production of their own estrogens is reduced. Most often phytoetragenes are extracted from wheat, soybeans, flax seeds, alfalfa.
10. Caffeine is widely used for its ability to reduce swelling and lighten up dark under eye circles.
11. Hematite– a mineral that gives creams black colour. In cosmetics this mineral is responsible for delivering oxygen to the tissues.
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As you can see, there are many products in modern cosmetology and skin care industry that will help us to take care of our skin. Hydration, collagen production and sun damage removal are vital in how healthy and glowing our skin looks.
Anti-aging is not just taking care of one aspect of our lives or one organ/body part. It is rather taking care of our body, mind and spirit as a whole. So regardless of age, we can look and feel our best. And also accept and love ourselves for who and what we are.