Let’s get one thing straight: aging is inevitable. You cannot stop growing older and it happens to everyone. However, with the right skin care products, tools, and lifestyle habits, you can promote healthy, natural aging. “The key is being proactive and consistent,” says Dr. Corey L. Hartman, founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology. “Sun protection, your skin care routine, and seeing your dermatologist regularly will be essential to prevent premature aging.” That’s why it’s so crucial to listen to the best anti-aging skin care tips from your dermatologist and other vetted skin care experts.
And since treating fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, hyperpigmentation, and other forms of aging starts long before you develop them, it’s especially important to have all the information on the products you are using. After all, preventative skin care measures are paramount in combating hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles.
By now you probably have a few things in your routine: sunscreen protection, washing your face, and proper hydration, there are a few other tips and tricks go unnoticed that could help to prevent premature aging. Did you know ingredients like vitamin C, retinol, and other actives can help boost your skin’s overall health and improve its elasticity?
Because there are new product launches every hour and too much non-professional advice floating around the Internet, below, TZR rounded up the 10 best dermatologist-approved pieces of advice to achieve your best-looking (and healthiest) skin yet. Plus, the experts even drop some of their favorite products for a full DIY anti-aging routine. And remember — the sooner you develop a quality skin care routine, the better your skin will look in the next 10 years (and throughout you life). So don’t wait to jump start your anti-aging regimen!
1. Whatever You Do, Wash Your Face
Hopefully this has become second nature to you, but if you don’t believe in a multiple step skin care routine, at the very least you should be washing your face twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. All the experts encourage twice a day but especially in the evening to rid the face of makeup, dirt, oil, debris and pollution (common culprits of aging) that accumulated throughout the day.
According to Dr. Ramirez Garcia, lead dermatologist for Nava MD™, leaving your makeup on can not only clog pores and cause breakouts, but block the skin's natural repair process as well – leading to dull, rough, and weathered-looking skin. When selecting a cleanser, Dr. Garcia advises on one free of sulfates and detergents that could disrupt your skin’s delicate moisture balance. Her favorite one: Nava MD™ Daily Cleanser, packed with songyi mushroom and brown algae extract that work together to brighten, soothe, and hydrate the skin.
2. Moisturize Daily
“Dry skin tends to appear older than hydrated skin,” Dr. Hartman continues. By using a moisturizer twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, you will keep your skin hydrated and therefore the appearance of fine lines at bay. Dr. Hartman recommends a moisturizer with proven hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or ceramides. “Hyaluronic acid protects the skin’s natural moisture, supporting the skin barrier and making it more resilient to the drying and damaging effects of the environment,” Dr. Simran Sethi, MD, MBA founder of RenewMD Beauty & Wellness tells TZR.
3. Apply Products In An Upward Motion
“Aging skin tends to droop, and any tugging at the skin downward can accelerate droopy skin,” Dr. Hartman tells TZR. By applying your skin care products upwards you will work against gravity and improve elasticity to prevent premature aging. It’s also a great way to give yourself a face massage in the morning and move stagnant lymphatic fluid towards your lymph nodes — leaving you with a sculpted face.
4. Pay Attention To The Under-Eye Area
Dr. Sethi encourages all his clients to focus on strengthening the skin barrier so that skin is more resilient to inflammation, which can cause uneven complexion and wrinkles. And since the skin around the eyes is the most delicate of the face, it’s crucial that you have an anti-aging eye care routine. “Always apply a separate serum for your eyes as the skin around your eyes is the thinnest and first to show signs of aging,” says Dr. Sethi. A hydrating eye cream will also help to prevent dryness and exacerbate fine lines.
5. Exfoliate Weekly
When you exfoliate weekly (or up to 3 times a week) you will slough away the dead, dull skin cells and reveal brighter, new skin underneath. Exfoliating also increases cellular turnover while softening and minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Just be sure to not overdo it as that can cause irritation and damage to the skin, and alternate the days that you’re using a retinol (with a few rest days in between).
6. Don’t Forget About Your Neck
To keep up with your youthful-appearance goals, make sure to drag product from your face to your neck, chest, and hands. These three areas are just as impacted by environmental stressors and sun damage as the skin on the face. And because the neck and chest have thinner skin, they are more sensitive to rapid decrease of collagen — affecting the skin’s overall elasticity.
7. Sunscreen Is Your Best Friend
According to Dr. Hartman, sun exposure is the leading cause of premature skin aging — making daily sunscreen application essential in every routine. “Ultraviolet A-rays (UVA) are aging rays,” says Dr. Hartman. “They cause signs of aging like sun spots, wrinkles and fine lines.” Ultraviolet B-rays (UVB) burn the skin and give it a red, raw appearance — also leading to aging.
In terms of what sunscreen to look for, the expert recommends at least SPF 30 for your face, and reapplying every two hours. Make sure to look for formulas that don’t contain alcohol as this will dry out your skin. Dr. Hartman always recommends La Roche Posay Toleraine Double Repair Face Moisturizer with SPF and Supergoop! Daily Moisturizer SPF 40.
8. Apply Retinol At Night
One of the most powerful skin care ingredients out there, retinol, will help speed up cell turnover on the skin and help to remove dirt, oil, and debris that can clog the pores. According to Dr. Sethi, “our ability to renew skin decreases as we age and retinol accelerates this renewal process, making your skin renew and repair damage around the same rate as it did in your twenties.”
And Dr. Hartman agrees. “Retinol helps boost collagen production in the skin, making skin more supple and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” shares Dr. Hartman who recommends Paula’s choice 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment.
If you’re able to go see a dermatologist regularly, you can ask for a formula containing tretinoin, a prescription-only retinoid that is even more powerful than retinol. “Tretinoin is a topical vitamin A derivative that’s been clinically proven to help delay and diminish the appearance of fine lines, brown spots, and other signs of aging,” Dr. Garcia tells TZR.
9. Fuel Your Body Properly
The old adage, ‘You are what you eat’ couldn’t be more true when it comes to aging. Aka, what you put in your body has a direct impact on how you look. Dr. Garcia suggests a diet high in dark leafy greens, berries, and omega-3 fatty acids so you have all the vitamins and nutrients you need. Coupled with, of course, plenty of water, your skin will have everything it needs to look and feel healthy and vibrant.
10. Drift To Dreamland
All the experts recommend at least seven hours of sleep each night. “Studies have shown that skin has a circadian rhythm and actively regenerates at night,” Dr. Sethi tells TZR. “A healthy amount of sleep is essential to promoting skin renewal and anti-aging.” As a bonus tip, Dr. Hartman also recommends sleeping on a satin pillowcase. “Your skin is less likely to be pulled when you roll around in your sleep on a satin pillowcase, compared to a cotton one.” Consider it the final step in a well-rounded anti-aging skin care routine.
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