Essentials for Younger Skin
The science behind skincare seems to evolve every day. One day, we’re told to avoid oils in products at all costs. The next, magazines and blogs are extolling the virtues of slathering the skin in cocktails of natural plant and fruit oils. The verdict on toners is constantly changing. Even the experts don’t always agree on the best ways to get younger skin.
The one thing everyone agrees on is that sun protection is of the utmost importance. Sunscreen is an essential component of everyone’s daily skincare routine. Up to 80% of visible aging is caused by sun exposure. Even incidental, short-term exposure can add up in the form of discoloration and textural irregularities, so you should be wearing sunscreen every day even if you don’t spend long stretches of time outdoors.
Chemical sunscreens are the most user-friendly. They work by sinking into the skin and absorbing UV rays before they can cause damage. However, chemical sunscreens can lead to breakouts and don’t always feel comfortable on the skin. Physical or mineral sunscreens reflect UV rays and are gentler for daily use, though they can dry white on the skin and can make makeup application difficult.
The cons of both formulas are negligible when compared to the risk of getting skin cancer or damaging your skin, so experiment with different brands and formulas until you find the product that works for you.
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Retinol is perhaps the only other skincare component that the experts agree upon. Retinol works to both heal acne and reduce wrinkles. It travels into the deeper layers of the skin, where it reprograms the cells and triggers cell regeneration and turnover. This means that new, undamaged skin cells will eventually rise to the surface to replace the old-looking ones that are currently there.
Retinol also causes new coallgen to form. Collagen is the substance that plumps the skin and keeps the facial features lifted. Wrinkling occurs when collagen naturally depletes over time. Generating new collagen helps to fill in wrinkles and prevent new ones from forming.
Chemical exfoliation with glycolic acid or lactic acid is generally considered a good thing, though some experts believe it can be difficult for people to manage themselves at home. Light chemical exfoliation draws away dead skin cells and speeds up the skin’s natural process of making new ones.
Problems emerge when people get impatient to see results and increase the strength of their products. They also might use the products more often than is recommended. The effects of chemical exfoliation are negated by sun exposure, so only those to are meticulous about their sunscreen use will see worthwhile results.
Vitamin C serums are great additions to a routine that already includes sunscreen and retinol. It boosts the protective power of sunblock, and it aids retinol in collagen regeneration. It has been shown to lighten discoloration caused by sun exposure and old breakouts.
If topical methods don’t give you the results you want, subtle fillers and botox injections might be the next step. Sometimes there are no other ways to effectively smooth out deep wrinkles, and there is no shame in having subtle out-patient procedures performed at a reputable spa or clinic. Combine spa treatments such as facials and microdermabrasion with daily use of sunblock and reparative products to turn back the clock and achieve and more youthful appearance.
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