What’s the Difference?
There are countless products on the market trying to make you look younger. Lots of products promise things related to your age by using tons of different terms. Here we break down two major skincare categories so you can see the differences between them and decide what’s right for you.
When Do I Need an Age Prevention Product?
Exposure to Skin Irritants
Our skin is in a constant fight with our surroundings. UV rays, pollution, dirt and grime, and oil buildup assault our skin throughout the day. Irritation can lead to damaging inflammation. Inflammation causes increased oil production, leading to enlarged pores and a higher risk of breakouts. We want to protect ourselves from what we can and wash away the rest at the end of the day.
Fighting the Sun with Sunscreen
UV rays have an obvious effect on your skin when you tan or get a sunburn. This damage to your cells can lead to premature aging and much worse things like skin cancer. To block the damaging effects of the sun, you should use a product with sunscreen in it. There are two types of sunscreen—chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays while physical sunscreens, or sun blocks, reflect UV rays away from the skin. They both work to limit UV ray interaction with your skin. Preventing this damage can go a long way to keeping you looking young. Sunscreen is an age prevention product because it’s trying to slow the aging process caused by the sun.
Keeping Skin Young with a Moisturizer
Moisturizing is the basis of most age prevention products. Moisturizing prevents the skin from being damaged by dryness. Softness and elasticity are properties of young, healthy skin that moisturizers can help with. Moisturizers aid skin’s natural water barrier properties and they can help replace lipids in the skin to keep it soft. Choose a moisturizer based on your skin type. Some product will have a skin type recommendation right on the packaging. If not, choose a lighter formula like a lotion for oily skin and a heavier formula with more oils for dry skin.
When is an Anti-Aging Product Appropriate?
Multiple Signs of Aging
The signs of aging affect different people at different times. For most people, fine lines will appear before deep wrinkles. You can notice skin starting to sag and lose its shape at any time as you age. Some people develop dark spots as they age or with hormone changes. There are some ways to combat the signs of aging and specific products to help.
Fighting Wrinkles and Sagging
Many anti-aging products claim they will get rid of your wrinkles, but some are formulated to work better than others. A good moisturizer alone can fight fine lines because the moisturizing ingredients themselves help with skin’s health and softness. Then there are ingredients meant to work on the cellular level.
Retinol, which is a form of Vitamin A, is converted to retinoic acid by your skin cells. This affects collagen production, which plumps your skin and fights lines and wrinkles. However, retinol formulas can cause irritation, so use them carefully. If you can’t handle a regular retinol formula, try a sensitive or gentle formula for a few weeks. After that, your skin may be able to handle the regular formula with a higher concentration.
Rejuvenation by Exfoliation
Another way to fight aging is by exfoliating. These anti-aging products rely on skin’s natural ability to renew itself. Exfoliates clear away dead skin cells and boost blood flow to the skin to encourage rejuvenation. Chemical exfoliates usually come in the form of an alpha hydroxy acid or AHA. There are stronger AHAs like glycolic acid and milder ones like lactic acid. Exfoliation can help fade dark spots on the skin as well by penetrating pigmented areas.