Help for Aging Skin
What brings on wrinkles? First, think of a baby's skin, so firm and smooth and simply perfect; what you're seeing is an abundance of collagen and elastin, the fibers in the skin that control its firmness and smoothness. Yet by the time we hit our 30s, our bodies stop producing as much of this good stuff and we even start to naturally lose our supply. External factors, such as sunlight and pollution, accelerate this breakdown. The end result: the appearance of that little line on your face.
So, what to do? For starters, it's crucial to protect your skin from the sun and its wrinkle-inducing ways. Use a sunscreen every day, even in the winter and even when you're indoors or in the car, as the sun's rays can penetrate through glass. Bear in mind that preventing damage is always easier than repairing it. "It has been shown that by using sunscreen every day," says Dr. Brandt, "already sun-damaged skin can improve significantly." This isn't to say that sunscreen is a cure for wrinkles. Instead, when your skin doesn't have to work so hard to defend itself, it can instead concentrate on repairing itself, which is does naturally. Boost this protective effect with a moisturizer that contains antioxidants, as they help fight off the damage brought on by the sun; some powerful ones are vitamin C, green tea, and olive leaf concentrate, among others.
Next, include a retinoid, the only ingredient clinically proven to increase your skin's collagen production, into your daily regimen. You can either ask your dermatologist for a prescription-strength formula, such as Renova, or choose from the many over-the-counter products that contain retinol.
As for the slew of "Botox creams" that have been launched recently, they're also worth a try, as long as you realize that they're not nearly as potent as the original injection. "Like Botox treatments, these creams relax the facial muscles; but the effect is more mild," says Dr. Brandt. Look for products containing Argireline, a peptide molecule, and gamma amino butyric acid complex, an acid that claims to show results as quickly as 30 minutes (yet this is a temporary effect). Over time, they can significantly soften the appearance of most fine lines.Ingredients to Look For
Retinoid: This vitamin A derivative is clinically proven to improve aged skin, including around the eyes. Since retinoids can cause redness and irritation, start by using them just a few times a week.
Argireline and GABA complex: Both relax your facial muscles, thereby lessening the appearance of wrinkles. They are also said to stimulate collagen production.
Antioxidants: These are cell-protecting ingredients, usually vitamins that help skin defend itself from sun damage.Our Favorites
- Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel ($30) contains a medley of skin-sloughing acids. It's a quick and effective first step for your skincare routine.
- Dior Capture R60/80 Enriched Wrinkle Night Creme ($76.50) uses a lipopeptide to strengthen the skin. Since you need only a dab at night, one jar should last you a few months.
- Avon Anew Clinical Deep Crease Concentrate with Bo-Hylurox ($32) contains wrinkle-relaxing Argireline, plus hyaluronic acid for intense hydration.
- RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream ($19.99) features retinol (which is a retinoid) as well as an essential mineral complex for skin.
- Nu Skin Tru Face Skin Perfecting Gel ($52) features kelpadelie, an antioxidant algae said to boost collagen and elastin without any irritation.
- Dr. Brandt Crease Release ($150) employs gamma amino butyric acid complex, for softening facial muscles.
- Biotherm Age Fitness Superactivated Revitalizing Essence ($40) is chock-full of olive leaf concentrate, a protective antioxidant, as well as exfoliating beta-hydroxy acids.
SAVE EVEN MORE! Say “Yes” to Ladies' Home Journal® Magazine today and get a second year for HALF PRICE - 2 full years (22 issues) for just $15. You also get our new Ladies' Home Journal® Family Favorites Cookbook ABSOLUTELY FREE!