So many creams, so many lotions and potions. Everyone has the answer to maintaining [skin's] fountain of youth. But how much is hype, and what actually works? And what should we be doing right now?
3 basic rules
According to Dr. Kenneth Beer, author of Palm Beach Perfect Skin
, and a clinical instructor of dermatology at the University of Miami and founder/director of "The Cosmetic Boot Camp", there are three key things one can do to help avoid premature aging of their skin:
- Don't smoke. It's the worst thing you can do for your skin.
- Don't sunburn. Any excessive sun exposure is bad. Tanning beds are particularly bad for the skin and should be avoided.
- Get into a good preventative skin care regime early. Find products that are anti-aging and use them everyday. See a board certified dermatologist annually to monitor for signs of skin damage and for suggestions on how to correct them. The key to younger looking skin is maintenance!
"When buying anti-aging products, women should look for ones that work for them. I like Retin A, Retinol (the over-the-counter product that is converted to Retin A by the body) and anti-oxidants such as green tea, Ingredients that renovate the skin and help make the skin look its best are also important. These may be Vitamin C or glycolic acid for some skin types or licorice extract for others," Beer says.
A sweet treat for healthy skin
Did you know that once upon a time, Cleopatra ritualistically bathed in honey and oil? As much as lotions and moisturizers may come in pretty packaging, they are not the be all, end all of healthy skin maintenance.
Honey has antiseptic or antimicrobial properties which help kill bacteria. It has a relatively high acidity, or low PH, and a low protein content which deprives the skin of the nitrogen which is needed for bacterial growth. For this reason, many doctors use honey to help heal wounds. In addition, honey's bacteria-killing properties make it an ideal acne fighter. Honey also has the ability to penetrate deep into the underlying layers of the skin's epidermis allowing for better absorption of beauty products, such as day creams and moisturizers.
Research is currently underway to develop a process using honey to create AHAs (Alpha Hydroxyl Acids). AHAs are an important ingredient in skin creams and moisturizers as they help exfoliate the skin, however, exfoliation can also cause skin irritation, so honey's moisturizing benefits make it an excellent fit for AHA products. And if you want to continue with the honey theme, Ultim.k Killtime (www.ultimkusa.com), a new skincare line from France has several potent anti-aging creams that utilize sunflower pollen extracts as part of a powerful cocktail of antioxidants, hydrators, and proteins.
Next: 10 skincare tips...