With so many skin care products on the market it can be overwhelming and frankly intimidating to know which products are worth your time and money. Here are my tips that are absolutely essential for an anti-aging regimen.
- Daily moisturizer with sunscreen. This cannot be emphasized enough! The sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can damage the skin year around leading to accelerated photoaging and skin cancer development. Ideally, the sunscreen component should cover a broad spectrum and have an SPF of at least 30. If you tend to have more sensitive skin, look for products containing mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide or titatnium oxide. These minerals form a physical barrier to the sun reflecting the sun’s rays instead of absorbing them. Mineral based sunscreens tend to be less irritating then chemical blockers. I like Skin Medica’s Total Defense and Repair and Elta MD’s UV Clear. These are not too thick and apply elegantly under make up.
- Antioxidants. This is a vital component to any anti-aging regimen because it helps to protect against free radical damage to the skin. When DNA becomes damaged and unable to repair itself, accelerated skin aging and skin cancers can develop. One of the most effective and potent antioxidants is Vitamin C. Vitamin C has been shown to increase collagen synthesis and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, as well as decrease the DNA damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. Not all Vitamin C products are created equal. While there are multiple forms of Vitamin C, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is the most effective and most stable, non-acidic form of Vitamin C. In addition to Vitamin C, Vitamin E, green tea, blueberries, coffeeberry and coenzyme Q10 are other great antioxidants to look for in skin care products.
- Growth Factors. These are signaling molecules that promote skin repair and rejuvenation. By supplementing the skin’s endogenous growth factors with topically applied serums we can accelerate the reversal of damage caused by photoaging. With consistent use, we can even see stimulation of collagen production and improvement of fine lines and wrinkles. Skin Medica’s TNS essential serum combines growth factors with a blend of antioxidants, alpha arbutin for skin brightening, and hyaluronic acid for maximal rejuvenation.
- Retinols. These are vitamin A derived creams that promote collagen synthesis, encourages faster turnover of cells, evens out skin tone, and improves the overall texture of the skin. Retinols have been around for decades with loads of scientific evidence to support their use. Comparison studies to prescription retinoids have shown the same efficacy, and have the added benefit of increased tolerability.
- Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic Acid is a natural component of the dermis that can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water. When applied topically, it helps to pull water into the skin. This leads to a slight swelling of the top layer of the skin giving the skin a smoother, more youthful appearance with fewer fine lines and wrinkles. Suggested product: Skin Medica’s HA5.
- Exfoliating Agents. A combination of beta hydroxy (salicylic acid) and alpha hydroxyl (ie glycolic and lactic) acids help to decrease acne bre
akouts, even out skin tone, and reduce fine lines by exfoliating dead skin cells. These can be used as exfoliating pads, creams, or cleansers. Be careful not to use these products too frequently as this can often lead to redness and irritation of the skin. Depending on your skin type and tolerability, these agents s
hould be used anywhere from 1-5 times per week.
For more information, call the Skin and Laser Center of Grosse Pointe for a free consultation and discussion of the optimal skin care regimen for your skin type.