“It’s never too early to start taking care of your skin,” says Jessica Wu, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist in Los Angeles. “The more you do now to prevent the signs of aging, the less you’ll have to do down the road.” You want to start early, making contributions that will pay off decades later. Of course, you can invest in your skin at any time, but the sooner you start, the less expensive it’ll be to undo the damage later.
Sun protection can be very inexpensive but do a great deal to prevent ageing skin. UV rays have been linked to decreasing collagen production in the skin as we age. This does happen naturally, however UV rays cause it to happen at an increased rate. UV rays also result in pigmentation - Biologists Drs Bernhard Fink and Karl Grammer found that discolouration can visually add up to 12 years to our perceived age. “Normal aging processes aside, harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun are the number-one cause of skin aging,” says Jeremy Green, MD, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at University of Miami.
Introducing a night treatment to your skin care regime, that includes peptides or hyaluronic acid to stimulate the production of collagen will also help in keeping your skin plump and wrinkle-free.
Retinols are key as their regular use can result in tighter, smoother, brighter and blemish-free skin. Retinoids encourage the cells to communicate and function normally – ageing usually disrupts their normal processes. For younger users getting a head-start on their anti-ageing programs, topical retinoids can keep pores clear resulting in less-noticeable pores and less breakouts. Retinoids can also stimulate collagen production, reducing pigmentation and fine lines.
Performing regular peels can assist in preventing the signs of ageing. They work by deliberately damaging the skin, in a controlled way, resulting in the old and damaged layers of skin to peel off. This also causes new skin to produce more collagen and elastin – meaning you will see immediate results, and results increasing over time. There are peels that can be performed in-clinic or at home, and of different severity. Any peel, whether it be in-clinic or at home, using Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) such as Glycoilic Acid will be beneficial.
Antioxidants have the ability to fight ‘free radicals’ – molecules which damage our skin and cause serious ageing – and help boost sun protection. Vitamin E can help with sun protection, and Vitamin C is great for sun spots and fading pigmentation. These antioxidants can be used in moisturisers or in concentrated serums.
Don’t forget about your neck
Your neck is almost as important as your face in regard to anti ageing and sun protection. Your neck can show signs of ageing long before your face. Most women are excellent at keeping up with their SPF for their faces, but forgetting their necks. Treatment is as simple and applying your SPF moisturiser to your neck when applying it to your face.