Anti-ageing skincare is a very real possibility. Your face isn’t going to freeze in time, of course (you’ll need Botox for that) but you can definitely slow it down and plump out any fine lines you already have.
A lot of people want to know what the best anti-ageing creams or products are, but it is all to do with the ingredients. Once you understand the ingredients that will protect, hydrate and support cell renewal you will be able to easily choose a good anti-ageing skincare product.
1. How to prevent wrinkles: protect your skin with SPF and antioxidants
Without cosmetic surgery it is inevitable, of course, that our skin will age. But when you understand what causes wrinkles, it becomes much easier to slow them down.
Around 80% of ageing is due to sun damage. UVA rays are present all year round, regardless of sunshine or temperature — and they can even go through windows. While this type of UV ray isn’t responsible for tanning or burning, it is solely responsible for ageing. These rays can penetrate deep into the skin and damage cells, causing wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.
That’s why the best way to prevent wrinkles is to wear sunscreen every day. While SPF protects from burning, broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high PA rating will protect you from the ageing effects of UVA. Of course that means wearing a hat in the summer will give you even more protection.
Another key part of an anti-ageing skincare routine is including antioxidants. They fight off free radicals that make their way into skin from UV rays, pollution and smoking, causing cellular damage.
Including antioxidants in your skincare routine will correct any signs of ageing, trigger collagen production, help skin repair itself, even skin tone and brighten your complexion. They are found in vitamins, resveratrol, coenzyme Q10 and green tea extract (among others).
2. How to get rid of wrinkles: support cell renewal
As we age, skin cell turnover slows down and our skin can’t regenerate like it used to. This causes fine lines through loss of collagen and elasticity, but also a dull, lacklustre appearance of the skin. It also means that over time our skin gets thinner, which worsens wrinkles and can create a crepe-like appearance.
The best way to prevent this is to use ingredients that encourage skin cell renewal, such as retinol, bakuchiol and salicylic acid. All three can work to undo existing signs of ageing, while also preventing more and helping to keep skin thick, plump and rejuvenated. Exfoliating chemical acids, such as glycolic or lactic acid, will also work wonders for rejuvenating surface layer of skins.
Retinol is a particularly strong ingredient, so it needs to be introduced to your evening skincare routine slowly, starting at a low percentage.
3. How to look younger quickly: hydrate and moisturise
Although these terms are commonly interchanged, moisturising and hydrating your skin are completely different. Hydration is all about the amount of water in deeper skin cells, and while it is impacted by drinking water, it is also affected by external aggressors such as pollution, smoking and alcohol. Moisture levels of skin, on the other hand, is all about how much oil is present on the skin surface. To have plump, young looking skin it needs to be both hydrated and moisturised.
Hyaluronic acid is wonderful for hydration — The water-holding molecule can retain 1,000 times its weight in water within skin cells. It exists naturally in the body but as time goes by the amount decreases. This might appear on skincare products as ‘HA’ or ‘RHA’. You can even get it injected directly into your skin, a treatment I explain here.
Another amazing ingredient is polyglutamic acid, which can hold four times as much liquid as hyaluronic acid — but it cannot go deep into the skin so instead holds moisture at the surface, for a plumping effect.
For efficient oil levels on the top of the skin, everybody should use a moisturiser morning and evening. Adding oils into your routine is also great, you can add drops to your cream at night or use it last to seal all the products inside while it soaks into your skin. Some of the best anti-ageing facial oils are argan, camellia, sea buckthorn, pomegranate seed, jojoba and rose hip (the last two are my favourites).
Amino acids are another ingredient to look out for as they maintain skin’s hydration, texture, resilience, and overall appearance.
Anti-ageing skincare routine
A simple, anti-ageing routine suitable for most skin types will be as follows:
AM: Gentle face wash, Vitamin C serum, moisturiser, broad-spectrum SPF (which you will need to reapply throughout the day).
PM: Oil or balm cleanse to remove makeup and build-up of sunscreen, gentle face wash, then a chemical exfoliator followed by a hydrating serum OR a retinol serum (retinol and AHA/BHA exfoliating acids are best used on alternate nights). Finally, moisturiser and facial oil.