From retinol peels to microdermabrasion, it seems like we’re always on the lookout for new ways to remove a few years from our appearance. However, the anti-aging world is rife with rumors and misinformation, making the quest for firm, youthful skin a daunting task. You should know more about how and why your skin ages before you smear mysterious ingredients all over your face or spend half your paycheck on a tiny jar of anti-aging cream. We enlisted the help of a number of experts, ranging from dermatologists to plastic surgeons, to sort out the truth from the fiction.
1. The First Sign of Aging Wrinkles
Although most people don’t think about aging until wrinkles appear, dermatologists agree that skin laxity, fine lines, discoloration, and texture may appear first. “Dark spots and low facial volume are what people notice first,” says Jason Emer, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and surgeon in Beverly Hills, California. “A lot of people in their 20s come in with dark circles and hollow skin under their eyes, as well as folds around the mouth,” says the doctor. To summarise, it’s never too early to begin an anti-aging regimen. Getting a head start on prevention can make all the difference when your skin starts to lose collagen.
2. Your Genes Play a Role in Ageing
You might think that your genetic pool has everything to do with ageing, but your mother’s ageing timeline isn’t necessarily indicative of yours. “Both intrinsic and extrinsic factors contribute to the ageing of our skin,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “We know that some people are genetically blessed to be super agers,’ and intrinsic ageing refers to our genetic predisposition. Extrinsic ageing, on the other hand, refers to the acceleration of our natural ageing process as a result of environmental factors such as UV light and pollution. Extrinsic factors, despite our genetics, can cause poor ageing in people with good genetics.”
3. Chemical Peels Can be Harmful
Although the words ‘chemical’ and ‘peel’ may make you cringe, don’t dismiss the treatment just yet. According to Konstantin Vasyukevich, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City, “some of the older, deep chemical peels could permanently change the appearance of the skin.” “However, most of today’s peels are much gentler on the skin and, when used properly, do not cause any harm.” If you do decide to have a treatment, make sure it’s done by a board-certified plastic surgeon who is qualified and experienced, and that you ask a lot of questions about your skin type.
4. Sunscreen Should Only be Worn When it is Exposed to the Sun
You might be tempted to skip the sunscreen if your weather app predicts cloudy skies (or if you plan to spend the day indoors). But, according to Hadley King, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, skimping on SPF is a bad idea because you’re constantly bombarded by the stressors of sunlight. “UVA and UVB are the two types of UV light,” she explains. “UVA rays are commonly linked to skin cell ageing and are the source of wrinkles, sun spots, and other sun damage symptoms. Sunburn is caused by UVB rays, which damage DNA in skin cells and are linked to the majority of skin cancers. The glass used in cars, homes, and offices is designed to block most UVB rays but not all UVA rays, leaving your skin vulnerable to ageing.”
5. You Should Notice Anti-aging Effects Right Away
As much as we wish there was a miracle tonic or magical plant we could ingest to turn back the clock a few decades, anti-aging efforts often take time to bear fruit. “The most common cause of failure to prevent ageing changes is occasional or irregular use of skincare remedies,” says Dr. Vasyukevich. According to Dr. Zeichner, the average wait time for an anti-aging product is one month. “Treat ageing skin like a marathon, not a sprint,” he says, adding that “there is no silver bullet.” “Most skincare products take several weeks, if not months, to show their benefits, as I tell my patients. An exfoliator that helps remove dead cells on the surface of the skin, or hyaluronic acid, which provides an immediate hydrating and plumping effect, are the closest things you’ll get to an instant anti-aging product.”
6. Expensive Products are More Effective Than Less Expensive Ones
For thrifty shoppers, there’s good news: Yes, you can have a youthful, glowing complexion without breaking the bank. A high price tag does not guarantee that a product will be more effective, so look at the ingredients list first and the manufacturer second. According to Dr. Vasyukevich, “pricing in skincare is sometimes more a reflection of marketing and branding than of quality.” Despite the common belief that expensive anti-aging treatments are required to maintain a youthful appearance, he claims that the most basic and inexpensive skincare precautions are often more effective than the more expensive alternatives. “For example, daily use of a low-cost sunscreen and skin moisturizer is far superior to expensive, intermittent treatments later in life,” he says.
7. It’s More Important to Have An Anti-aging Routine At Night Than In The Morning
The concept of beauty sleep may lead you to believe that your nighttime routine should include your entire anti-aging arsenal, but Danné Montague-King, the botanical chemist and founder of DMK Skincare, disagrees. “Your skin has distinct requirements. You must defend yourself in the morning. Rebuild at night. As a result, you’ll want to use products in the morning that contain ingredients that protect you from pollution and harmful rays (both of which are major causes of premature ageing) “he declares
8. For Retinol to Work, You Must Use It Every Day
This is both a true and a false myth. Although retinol can be used on a daily basis, some skin types cannot tolerate it. “Your skin goes through a process called retinization (when the skin cells adjust to the retinal molecule itself) in the first two to four weeks,” says Dr. Zeichner. “In the beginning, stick to an application every other day to give your skin time to acclimate and combat redness, dryness, itching, and peeling.” It’s best to gradually increase your retinol usage as your skin becomes more tolerant, but if frequent doses still irritate your skin, take it easy. Your skin is the best judge of what it requires.
9. The More Water You Drink, the Better Off You Will Be
It’s been suggested that drinking plenty of water can help clear our skin and aid in our anti-aging efforts. Dr. Zeichner, on the other hand, claims that this is a common urban legend with no basis in fact. “I’ve heard it said that you should drink eight glasses of water per day to keep your skin hydrated. There is no evidence that this is the case “he declares “In addition, there is no evidence that drinking less than eight glasses of water is harmful.” Although it’s admirable that you want to drink water at all times, keep in mind that dehydration can have serious health consequences. When the fluid-to-electrolyte ratio in the bloodstream is thrown off, abnormally low sodium levels can result (i.e., hyponatremia).
10. If It Stings or Burns, it’s Doing Its Job
“Feeling the burn” in skincare, unlike muscle workouts, is not a good sign. This indicates that your skin is irritated, and irritated skin is more likely to develop acne. It’s also a sign that your skin’s pH balance has been thrown off due to the use of overly harsh products. A weakened barrier causes a more vulnerable complexion and ageing, so feed your skin with products that preserve rather than strip its natural protective oils.