In today's world, beauty has become everything anti-aging. If you take a stroll down the skincare aisle at any store, it seems like almost every product claims to erase wrinkles and fine lines, "lift" your face, abolishes dark spots and will make you look like your 16 again. Sadly, most of that is just a marketing technique and doesn't actually do what it says. The chase after younger looking skin is never-ending, and it doesn't help that the media makes it seem like showing signs of age is a sin. How dare we look like humans, right?!
Unfortunately, the media promotes an idea of beauty and youth that is pretty much impossible to attain: perfectly airbrushed skin that is devoid of any wrinkle, blemish or even a single pore. We all have to remember though that in real life, these women don't look like that. They have professional photographers, special lighting, and people who Photoshop the image until it looks like a new person.
When it comes to aging, there are a myriad of procedures, creams, gels, peels and many other things that can help diminish the signs of aging. Some choose to age without any interference, some choose to use the help of botox, fillers and/or laser treatments. Whichever route you decide to take is completely personal, as there is nothing wrong with aging naturally and there is also nothing wrong with choosing to use the help of treatments. It's your face after all! Everyone has their preferences, so no judgement here! Let's just all remember that we all have imperfections and insecurities that we either embrace or actively work on to get rid of!
What are the causes of aging?
Before I dive into products and ingredients to look for to combat aging, here is some information on what makes us age in the first place. There are two types of factors that cause aging, the first being intrinsic, which is the natural process our skin goes through as we get older. Unfortunately, we can't stop this process because it is largely hereditary and controlled by our genes. For example, dry skin tends to show signs of aging quicker than oilier skin types. Thankfully for us, intrinsic aging only makes up about 10% of the aging process, which means the rest of the 90% can be controlled with a healthy lifestyle! Yay! One major element to intrinsic aging is the loss of collagen. As production of collagen naturally slows down as we age, moisture is lost, meaning skin begins to wrinkle and sag.
The second type of aging is extrinsic aging which is caused by outside factors such as pollution, UV rays, stress, smoking, and sleep quality.
~Pollution: At some point, you've probably heard the term "free radical damage". To put it in simple terms, free radicals are atoms that are missing an electron, making them unstable, so they raid the body searching for an electron to make them stable again. This causes damage to cells, protein and DNA. Substances that can contain free radicals include fried food, alcohol, tobacco smoke, and air pollutants. However, sometimes it can be impossible to stay away from some of these things (looking at you, fried food), so what can we do to fight these things to reduce the effect they have on our skin? Products with Vitamin C and antioxidants. More on these in a little bit.
~UVA/UVB rays: I'm looking at you, sun bathers! That great ball of fire is absolutely
your biggest enemy when it comes to keeping wrinkles at bay. The sun's rays penetrate the skin and damage your skin cells, rendering them less productive at doing their job. Over time, the skin is unable to recover from this damage and you will start to notice wrinkles, age spots and sagging skin. The best way to keep the sun from ruining your skin is by wearing SPF every single day. It doesn't matter if it's winter and you haven't physically seen the sun in 6 months (Ohio), the rays can still penetrate through the clouds and cause damage. When you have the opportunity to be in direct sunlight, make sure you wear a hat and SPF. In the mornings during your skincare routine, put a layer of SPF over your moisturizer. If your foundation contains SPF, that is great! But it won't be enough to protect your skin. Do yourself a favor and incorporate an SPF into your everyday routine. You won't regret it!
~Repeated facial expressions: Creases from repetitive face movements, like squinting, smiling and yawning, settle in over time. This ultimately results in lines and wrinkles. Fine lines around the eyes and between the brows are usually the first lines we notice as we age, and this is due to squinting. Continued squinting will accelerate wrinkles around the eyes, so wear your sunglasses and don't forget to get your eyes checked if you can't see!