History has it that centuries ago, explorer Ponce DeLeon searched in vain for a “Fountain of Youth.”
Even today, people explore store shelves, sail through a tide of TV and radio ads, and navigate the internet for an elixir to help them maintain a lean, strong body and wrinkle-free skin.
While nothing works for everyone — and, indeed, some products don’t actually work for anyone — there are some products and practices that can help making the inevitable process of getting older a little less obvious.
7 ways you can help reduce the signs of aging
Medical professionals say that getting better results from your anti-aging products can be as easy as following a few simple tips.
“People often think that the more expensive a product is, the more effective it will be,” said board-certified dermatologist Susan C Taylor, MD, FAAD, founding director of the Skin of Color Center at St Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals in New York City. “That’s not always the case. People need to shop smart since there are some very effective, affordable products in the skin care aisles of their local stores.”
To get the most from age-fighting products, Dr Taylor recommends you also follow these tips:
- Wear sunscreen every day, because the sun’s rays can accelerate signs of aging. Use a sunscreen or facial moisturizer that offers broad-spectrum protection and has an SPF of at least 30. Be sure to apply sunscreen to all skin that is not covered by clothing.
- Do not tan. Getting a tan from the sun or a tanning bed exposes you to harmful UV rays that can accelerate aging, causing wrinkles, age spots, a blotchy complexion and even skin cancer.
- Moisturize. Moisturizing traps water in the skin, which can help reduce the appearance of some fine lines and make your complexion look brighter and younger.
- Test products, even those labeled “hypoallergenic.” To test, dab a small amount of the product on your inner forearm twice a day for four to five days. If you do not have a reaction, it is likely safe for you to apply to your face.
- Use the product as directed. Active ingredients can do more harm than good when too much is used. Applying more than directed can cause clogged pores, a blotchy complexion or other unwanted effects.
- Stop using products that sting or burn unless prescribed by a dermatologist. Irritating the skin makes signs of aging more noticeable. (Some products prescribed by a dermatologist may cause stinging or burning. When under a dermatologist’s care, this can be safe and effective.)
- Limit the number of products. Using too many products on your skin, especially more than one anti-aging product, tends to irritate the skin. This often makes signs of aging more noticeable.
“It’s very important that people allow time for the product to work. While a moisturizer can immediately plump up fine lines, most products take at least six weeks to work and sometimes it can take three months,” said Dr Taylor. “See a dermatologist if after following these tips you still do not see the expected results,” said Dr Taylor.