Anti aging in a Nutshell

anti aging routines

September 16, 2021

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How should I shop for anti-aging products?

One of the most common questions for people to have these days is ‘which products should I be using?!’ 

The key to choosing the right anti aging products is recognizing the role each ingredient can play and whether it fits into your overall skincare goals.



What is aging mean when it comes to the skin?

Remember that most age related changes are actually ‘extrinsic’ changes. This means the changes we think of as natural aging are actually more a result of the impact excess UV, nutrition, medications, and the environment have on our skin. Extrinsic changes to the skin include accelerated loss of collagen and elasticity.  This results in fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging of the skin. Also in this category are increases in discoloration and freckles on the skin.  

Intrinsic or natural aging of the skin does include a reduction in collagen and elasticity but not at the same rate as that caused by the environment.



What does ‘anti-aging’ mean when it comes to products?

The term ‘anti-aging’ has different meanings for each consumer.  I have come to learn after caring for tens of thousands of patients that the term ‘anti-aging’ is truly in the eye of the beholder. Consider different eyes and different goals when it comes to skincare.

  • 20-something shopping for anti-aging products is likely trying to truly slow or prevent age related changes to the skin. 

  • 40-something shopping for anti-aging products is likely looking to address some changes they have started to note in their skin and hoping to prevent more.

  • 70-something shopping for anti-aging products is likely seeking a product to help improve the overall look and feel of their skin and achieve a more youthful appearance. 



What should a 20-something look for in products to slow the impact of age related changes to the skin?


If you define ‘anti-aging’ as halting or slowing the process of developing age related changes to the skin then protecting our skin on a daily basis, year round, indoors and outdoors is the best achieved with sunblock. 

Your first line defense to age related skin changes:

  • Use products that contain zinc and/or titanium or other sunscreen ingredients on a daily basis every morning.

  • Use products that moisturize or hydrate the skin overnight to allow the skin to repair and restore itself from the environmental exposures it faced during the day.

  • Avoiding smoking or second hand smoke as these contribute to the free radicals that can accelerate age related changes to the skin.



Skincare Routine In Our 20s

AM

Sunscreen

PM

Moisturizer

 

 

 


Beauty SleepRelated: Beauty Sleep


Ok, now I’m in my 30s, what will I notice happening to my skin?


By our 30s, our skin, depending on the amount of cumulative UV exposure we have had, may start to experience specific changes.

  • Fine lines that stay at rest.  Expression lines are wonderful to help express how we feel while chatting.  When we stop talking, if those lines are still there, then we have one of the first signs of skin aging.  This is a result of thinning of the epidermis that allows the surface of the skin to hold onto a wrinkle.  Not to the degree of seeing a depression or deep line necessarily, but enough to notice a line at rest.

  • Discoloration and freckles.  At this point, so many people are so cognizant of avoiding excess sun in their 20s. Once they hit their 30s they often say that it doesn’t make any sense- they have been so careful with sun exposure!  The challenge is that the freckles noted in our 30s are often a result of the excess UV during childhood and teenage years, a time when we may not have been as careful to avoid excess UV.  Also, hormonal changes can influence our skin’s sensitivity to light resulting in added pigmentation.



What should I add to my anti-aging skincare routine now that I’m in my 30s?

If you are starting to see discoloration or freckles, adding Vitamin C serums to your morning routine can help fade and reduce the tendency towards discoloration. 

Topical vitamin C does several things: it’s a potent antioxidant to prevent damaging our cells from UV and the environment, it inhibits an enzyme called tyrosinase in the skin to prevent hyperpigmentation, it is an anti inflammatory to help with redness in skin, and it can boost collagen production. It has been shown to improve the texture and appearance of skin overall. 


retinol

For the evening, in a word, retinol

Retinoids work by targeting specific cell receptors regulating gene expression. They increase the rate of cell turnover. They increase collagen production and decrease the rate at which collagen is broken down.

Retinoids are known to improve fine lines and wrinkles by boosting collagen production in addition to helping to retain water in the skin. 

They can actually help reverse the signs of aging that come from sun damage. 

They can also work to minimize discoloration in the skin and give the skin more of a glow. 

Retinol when applied to the skin is inactive. The inactive retinol is converted into retinoic acid which is considered an active retinoid. It is the active retinoid that can actually benefit the skin, not the retinol directly.  

If your skin is too sensitive to retinol, consider bakuchiol as an alternative. 


bakuchiol



Skincare Routine In Our 30s

AM

Vitamin C

Sunscreen

PM

Retinol (or Bakuchiol)

Moisturizer



Related: Retinol

Related: Bakuchiol

Related: I turned 40 and my skin just changed!



Moving right along, I’m now in my 40s.  Any anti-aging products to add into my routine?


Once we enter our 40s, hormones can have an impact on our skin.  These changes are ironically not always consider in the aging category, but ought to be.  The challenge is that when we get breakouts in our 40s, there is an assumption that we need to go back to acne products.  These may help ‘dry out’ a few breakouts, but likely will not control them effectively.  Traditional acne products may ironically flare the skin.  

Rosacea, traditionally considered flushing or blushing of the skin, also includes breakouts.  

Flushing or blushing can first appear as rosy cheeks when the skin is inflamed.  When this calms or fluctuates, the skin can appear dry and flaky. 

If flushing is present too long, breakouts can occur.  These breakouts are of a different nature.  These pimples do not pop so easily.  They can feel tender, under the surface, not always coming to the surface for relief.  If an attempt is made to pop these pimples, often clear fluid comes out and the pimple remains.  There is not always the satisfaction of popping a pimple to see resolution.

Now is the time to integrate a few ingredients to help address the excess dryness without clogging our pores, as well as ingredients meant to calm the skin as antioxidants and anti inflammatories.


hyaluronic acid



The first ingredient to consider adding to the morning routine would be
hyaluronic acid (HA).  Topical formulations of HA are seen for anti-wrinkle creams and skin hydration. The goal of HA topically is to increase improve skin hydration, elasticity and decrease wrinkle depth. HA can attract and retain moisture in the skin. The reality here is that it’s not truly an anti-aging product- its action is misunderstood by people who opt to use it. HA in fillers is injected directly into the dermis of the skin to get to work. HA topically can’t get there- the molecules are too big. It may get into the very superficial layer of the epidermis to retain some moisture to make the skin look less wrinkled because it’s more hydrated. In this sense, it’s an effective moisturizer. 



niacinamide skin serum

Next, Niacinamide. Niacinamide is also known as vitamin B3. Niacinamide is hydrophilic, meaning it loves water or moisture.  It has been shown to have multiple benefits for the skin.  It has anti inflammatory and anti-itch properties as well as antimicrobial activity. It actually even has photo-protective qualities as well.  One more bonus, it has been shown to reduce sebum or oil production in the skin as well! For years I have been seeking products for my rosacea prone patients can use that can work with their skin to reduce inflammation, redness from flushing and blushing and subsequent breakouts. I have ultimately found that niacinamide is one of the best ingredients to seek out for this type of sensitivity in the skin.

If breakouts and/or discoloration have become fairly persistent, consider adding Azelaic Acid to your evening routine. Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring dicarboxylic acid that is FDA approved in a 15% concentration for the treatment of rosacea.  Over the counter it is available in a 12 % concentration.  


 Skincare Routine In My 40s

AM

Hyaluronic Acid

Niacinamide

Vitamin C

Sunscreen

PM

Azelaic Acid

Retinol (or Bakuchiol)

Moisturizer



Once I’m in my 50s, should I add anything in or just continue more of the same?


If your skincare routine has been fairly consistent, there may not be a need to change much at this point.  The biggest challenge in our 50s and beyond is a quality of skin change.  The crepe like quality of the skin is a result of thinning of the epidermis.  Hydration is paramount to improving the turgor of the skin and improving its overall appearance.  Although at this point hyaluronic acid and moisturizers are in your routine, skin peptides are another addition to considered for added benefits.

Skin peptides make a lot of unregulated claims with regards to skincare benefits.  It is very difficult to acknowledge their claims given the lack of studies supporting them.  However, these products tend to give the skin added hydration and improve its overall appearance.  

 

Are there simple go-to brands to choose products to fit into my skincare routine?



Brand

Products for my 20s

Products for my 30s

Products for my 40s

Products for my 50s on

CeraVe

AM

CeraVe AM

____

PM

CeraVe PM

AM

CeraVe 

Vitamin C

CeraVe AM

____

PM

CeraVe Retinol

CeraVe PM

AM

CeraVe 

Hyaluronic Acid

Vitamin C

CeraVe AM

____

PM

CeraVe Retinol

CeraVe PM

AM

CeraVe 

Hyaluronic Acid

Vitamin C

CeraVe AM

____

PM

CeraVe Retinol

CeraVe PM

The Ordinary

AM

Sunscreen

____

PM

Moisturizer

AM

Vitamin C

Sunscreen

____

PM

Retinol

Moisturizer

AM

Hyaluronic Acid

Niacinamide

Vitamin C

Sunscreen

____

PM

Azelaic Acid

Retinol

Moisturizer

AM

Hyaluronic Acid

Niacinamide

Vitamin C

Sunscreen

____

PM

Azelaic Acid

Retinol

Moisturizer







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