Actually, our skin has been slowly and quietly losing elasticity and developing teeny, tiny fine lines since we were basking in the glow of our 20s, but we were probably too drunk or busy dating jerks to notice. Whether you're 38 or 23, if you've recently decided now is the time to take action and incorporate a good anti-aging regime into your skin care routine, congratulations and welcome!
So, now what?
As much as some of us would kill to have the time and money to get Kardashian-style vampire facials, we're finding it difficult enough to wipe off our mascara at night before we collapse into bed. Busy women, we salute you. Here’s the bare minimum anti-aging routine you need to keep your skin looking healthy and youthful.
Every expert we spoke with agreed on one thing: The more hydrated your skin, the more youthful it appears. Author, acupuncturist and herbalist Aimee Raupp, who developed her own natural skin care line, says it is vital to hydrate the skin, both internally, by drinking enough water and eating a variety of foods that are rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and externally, by finding a moisturizer that works for you. If you can think of 100 things you'd rather spend your money on than creams, Raupp suggests opening up your pantry and grabbing a bottle of coconut oil or olive oil or sticking with products that are free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, fragrance, polyethylene glycol and alcohol.
Dr. Marina l. Peredo, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, says she is partial to Revision Papaya Enzyme cleaner, which gently exfoliates, Skinmedica TNS Essential serum and Neocutis Lumiere Riche Bio Restorative Eye Cream.
Dr. Jill Waibel, board certified dermatologist at the Miami Dermatology and Laser Institute, also recommended the Neocutis line, specifically its Bio-Serum, along with SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum, vitamin C, vitamin E, ferulic acid and green tea.
And for Sheri Poe, Purity of Elements founder and chief creative officer, the winning anti-aging ingredient is copper, which she says helps skin structure proteins maintain their effectiveness, which allows them to confer strength and suppleness to the skin. She recommends her Copper 5 Complex™, which she calls "an antioxidant-rich cocktail of (1) Copper Salt, (2) Green Tea Leaf Extract, (3) Vitamin E, (4) White Tea Leaf Extract and (5) Grapeseed Extract."
Peredo suggests adding one new anti-aging product into our regimens every 10 years.
"Women should start with preventative care in their early 20s. It is all about prevention and sunscreen at this age," Peredo said. "A light moisturizer with SPF 30 and a hydrating eye cream are the starting points. With each decade, they should add another product into their regimen. In their 30s, an antioxidant should be added. In the 40s, retinol and collagen boosting growth factors should be added. Once a woman hits 50, it's time to pull out the heavy hitter of a prescription strength retinoic acid."
If you spent your 20s chain-smoking on the beach, forgive yourself because you were young and foolish. But throw out those cigarettes pronto and repeat the words: I will wear a sunscreen each and every day of my life from this day forward.
We're not suggesting you never drink a glass or two of wine, but if your skin is a concern and you're addicted to McDonald's, you're going to have to give up that nasty habit. Raupp recommends simply taking a daily supplement of fish or cod liver oil, sleeping at least seven to eight hours each night, and drinking bone broth daily because, she says, it is amazing for hair, nails and skin. As for your diet: Raupp says to stick with organic foods like grass-fed animal protein, pastured eggs, grass-fed butter, organic coconut oil, green vegetables, berries and avocados. Yum! Doesn't sound like too much of a sacrifice, does it?
Some bad news: There are folks out there trying to take our hard-earned money and make us believe certain products and ingredients are fountains of youth. Don't believe the hype.
"Ingredients like Snake Venom that claim to deliver results similar to neurotoxins are simply not real," Peredo said. "These synthetic venoms may contain peptides that can be beneficial to skin, however, only a neurotoxin can truly deliver smoothing results."
One of Raupp's pet peeves is products that contain collagen, which she says is too large of a protein to penetrate the skin, while Poe suggests always looking for anti-aging ingredients that have been clinically tested with strong results.
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