Anti-Aging Skincare Routines That Work


Anti-aging skincare routines are frequently asked about in today’s world. Some practices may work better than others. We are here to help you discover your ideal routine for healthy, young-looking skin.

Using anti-aging cleansers, exfoliants, serums, moisturizers, and sunscreen is the first line of defense to maintain a healthy and younger-looking appearance. As we age, our skin loses collagen, and signs of aging will begin. Incorporating the right anti-aging products into your daily routine will help reduce premature aging and enhance your natural beauty with healthy, younger-looking skin.

Using a general knowledge of your skin type and age, you can create a personalized anti-aging skincare regimen that will work for you. Always consult a dermatologist first if there are allergies, skin conditions, or concerns that need to be addressed.

Choosing Anti-Aging Skin Care Products

To find products that work for you rather than against, you need to start by knowing your skin type. For example, if you have dry skin, oily skin focused products will not be your best option. Take this quick quiz to discover what your skin type is. Even if you think you know your skin type, it is always reassuring to see if your answers and ideas line up to ensure your skin is getting the proper care it needs.

There are anti-aging cleansers, exfoliators, and moisturizers that will work with your skin type. Try your best to stick with one brand for your skincare products since each line is typically formulated to work together. Different brand names are prepared for that specific product line and could potentially cause more problems for you.

Moisturizers and sunscreens are a vital part of age minimizing and anti-aging routines. Even on cloudy days, moisturizer and sunscreen or a moisturizer with sunscreen already included will protect from free radicals that are often not thought about, such as trapped sunlight. While the sun has many benefits to the human body, it is also known to dehydrate, burn, and cause the skin to feel rough. Sunscreens and moisturizers with an SPF of 30 or higher, work on a broad spectrum, and are water-resistant are recommended.

Before you buy a whole skincare system, focus on one area at a time. Try starting with either a cleanser and exfoliator to maintain cleanliness or a moisturizer and sunscreen to rehydrate and protect. Use the products you have chosen for a week or more before adding in other products. This will allow you time to see if any product is working to your liking.

It is essential to read product labels when switching brands or skincare lines. Always look for ingredients and substances that you are known to be allergic to or purposefully staying away from. If a product is labeled hypoallergenic, an allergic reaction’s chances are much less, but it is still possible. If you plan on using a natural or organic product, read the ingredients and check for the certification label on the packaging. Any product that claims to have overnight results or look five years younger in two days is most likely a product you want to avoid. Results will vary from person to person, but it is a gradual process that takes time to reverse and slow the signs of aging.

Do not be afraid to stay within your budget when purchasing anti-aging skincare products. The more expensive a product is, it does not guarantee that it will work any better than a less expensive one. There are plenty of products on all price levels that will work just as well as others. Remember, skin is as unique and individual as every person is.

Easy Ways to Slow Down Early Skin Aging

There are several ways to slow down the appearance of aging skin that does not have to include a rigorous routine.

Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet is not only good for the inside but outside as well. Fresh produce has been suggested to prevent cellular damage that leads to prematurely aging skin. Staying away from large amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates are also beneficial to the body as a whole.

Protect your skin from the sun. Your skin will appreciate it when you take the time to apply an SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen before leaving the house. Whether you are running errands, grocery shopping, spending a day on the beach, or adventuring on a hiking trail in the hills, sunscreen is vital to maintaining younger-looking skin. Along with sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats and staying in shaded areas will add to your layer of protection.

To keep your skin hydrated, it is best to avoid large or frequent amounts of alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates the skin and creates a rough exterior. If you know you will be drinking alcohol at any point in the day, week, or month, plan to rehydrate with water between drinks to keep your body hydrated.

Cleansing with a gentle cleanser will avoid skin irritation and feeling raw from scrubbing. Staying clean is crucial to limiting the number of free radicals, pollutions, and other particle debris that attaches to our skin throughout the day. Avoid using any products that burn or sting when cleansing. Gentle cleansers should not irritate, burn, sting, or hurt in any way.

Daily moisturizers are at the top of the list, along with drinking plenty of water when it comes to having healthy, young-looking skin. Moisturizers work to trap the water in our skin and keep it from looking dry or flaky. The body depends on water to survive. Up to 60% of the adult human body is made of water. The brain and heart are 73% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, lungs are around 83%, bones are 31%, and skin is composed of 64% water. Looking at those percentages, it is easy to see why our bodies and skin do not look or perform well when dehydrated.

Moderately exercising a few days a week has multiple benefits for the body and skin. When we are actively using our body to keep our organs healthy, muscles strong, and circulation on point, there is a boost to our immune system. The boost to our immune system works as a protector to keep us healthy and ultimately aids in a youthful appearance

It may not be an easy task to accomplish in a short amount of time, but if you smoke, it is time to stop. Just like alcohol dehydrates and causes a rougher outer appearance, smoking too will significantly speed up the aging process our skin goes through. Smoking is known to cause wrinkles, dullness, and yellow or brown-like color to facial complexions.

Dermatologists Reveal the Top Skincare Routines

One thing that is agreed upon is a basic routine of cleanse, treat, and moisturize. The products that are used vary depending on preference, skin type, individual age, and the final goal of each person and their anti-aging desires. Take note that you will have a morning and nightly routine.

Morning Routine

Step One: Cleanse

Finding a gentle cleanser that you can use day and night is a vital step to healthy skin. Unless there is a present skin condition that requires a gel or foaming cleanser, cream cleansers are ideal for anti-aging. There is nothing wrong with gel and foaming cleansers, but cream cleansers are better at locking in the moisture that your skin will need to look fresh. Oil-based cleansers will have the same moisture-locking effect as cream cleansers and will leave a soft, silky feeling without leaving skin looking or feeling dry.

Step Two: Tone

This step is optional and might already be incorporated in your cleansing step if the cleanser you have chosen is multiple steps in one. Toner is usually used among those who experience oily skin or are acne-prone. Toner will balance your skin’s pH, salicylic acid toners help calm acne breakouts, and hydrating toners can soothe sensitive skin.

Step Three: Serum

There are numerous serums available on the market for cellular renewal, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C. Cell regeneration starts to slow down as we age. A cell renewal serum will help the face feel more firm yet still soft. Hyaluronic acid helps to replenish moisture and leaves skin feeling smooth. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant found naturally in the skin but will be produced less and less over time. Vitamin C works to protect the skin from sun damage and other free radicals that are encountered daily.

Step Four: Eye Cream

Step four is considered part of the treatment phase of a skincare routine. Choose an eye cream that targets the area you want to focus on, dark circles, fine lines, wrinkles, or under-eye bags. Using your weakest finger, usually, the ring finger, apply a small amount of eye cream all around your eye area in a gentle patting motion until absorbed. Using your weakest finger will help avoid unintentional damage to the eye area.

Step Five: Facial Oil

Facial oil is another optional step but will offer an extra layer of moisturization to those with super-dry skin. Applying a small amount in the morning will rebuild elasticity and firmness while maintaining hydration.

Step Six: Moisturizer

After you have cleansed, toned, and applied eye creams and serums, it is now time to moisturize. This step is crucial for anti-aging. Moisturizers keep your skin stay hydrated, looking fresh, and help strengthen the skin barrier. When applying a moisturizer, do not stop at your jawline; continue down your neck and upper chest area as well. The neck and upper chest are prone to premature aging from sun damage and dehydration just as much as your facial skin.

Step Seven: Sunscreen and SPF

After moisturizing, sunscreen is the next vital step to not skip. The UV rays of the sun do not stop at the front door. Sunshine will find us through windows at home, in the car, at the beach, hiking in the hills, grocery shopping, gardening, and running errands around town. Not only can skin burn from over-exposure, but it depletes collagen levels that result in pigmentation issues. If you are concerned about the sunscreens containing chemicals, look for oxybenzone free sunscreens.

Night Routine

Step One: Cleanse

Using a gentle cleanser, you will want to wash your face at night to remove all the makeup and daily pollution. Do not rely on makeup removing cloths to replace your nightly routine wash. Makeup removing cloths are handy to have on hand for backup, but they will not clean as gently or well as other cleaning products. Micellar water is excellent at removing makeup. If you want to get extra clean, an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser will get deep into the pores and remove any missed dirt or lingering oils.

Weekly Step: Face Masks

Face masks are not an everyday step to take, but rather once a week. They can be used in the morning or evening but are more common to be used in the evening when the day’s busyness has ended. Masks hydrate, support collagen production, and are full of other antioxidants, nutrients, and hyaluronic acid to help healthy skin.

Step Two: Tone

If you have chosen to use a toner in your routine, you will want to follow the same process in the evening as you do in the morning for this step.

Step Three: Serums

Nightly serums will be different than in the morning. Alpha hydroxy acid will slough off dead skin cells and help rebuild collagen, which helps brighten the skin. Retinol is a form of vitamin A. It can be used as early as your 20s but should become a regular part of your routine in your 40s and 50s. Retinol decreases wrinkles, pores and minimizes bright spots on your skin.

Step Four: Eye Cream

The skin around the eyes is thinner than the rest of the skin on our faces. Keeping this area hydrated will help reduce and stop premature fine lines and wrinkles while keeping the skin firm. Retinol can slowly be introduced to the eye area in minimal amounts. After retinol, continue with the eye cream or serum of your choice.

Step Five: Acne

If you notice a new blemish starting to form or have acne spots to treat, this is your time. Acne spot treatments are available specifically to stop a breakout before it happens and reduce the blemishes that were not caught quickly enough.

Step Six: Moisturize

Use a night moisturizer or facial oil as your final step in your nightly routine. This step is just as important as your morning moisturizing step. Remember, moisturizers and facial oils work to lock in the moisture that keeps your skin hydrated, soft, smooth, and fresh. When you wake up, you will see the difference a nightly moisturizer can make.

What Is Collagen and How Do I Restore It?

What is collagen? Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the body. It provides structure to the skin and supports blood clotting. It is an integral part of our system that makes up about one-third of all protein in the body and operates as a building block for skin, muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and is also found in teeth, blood vessels, and corneas. It is vital to hold us together.

As we age, our body produces less collagen at lower quality levels. Skin is the first to see the signs of less collagen as it becomes less firm. Eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates, excessive sun exposure, and smoking also damage and reduce the amount of collagen our body will produce. Sugar interferes with self-repair, UV radiation reduces production, and smoking leads to increased wrinkles and impaired wound healing.

Collagen enhancing skincare products are not the only way to restore collagen levels. Collagen supplements are rising in popularity. Supplements may have more benefits than just helping with anti-aging, but also with muscle mass and having a protective role against arthritis. As a safety measure, consult with your physician before starting any new supplements.

If supplements are not appealing to you, try adding a collagen-rich diet into your daily routine. There are a variety of foods to cook and experiment with. While there is evidence that these foods improve skin elasticity, help with joint pain, and offer anti-aging effects, there is still not enough proof that shows eating these foods will create new collagen in the body. As studies continue the subject, we will learn more about collagen restoration alongside a healthy diet. However, consuming the following collagen-rich foods and maintaining a healthy diet is beneficial on its own.  

Egg Whites

Egg whites do not contain direct collagen, but they do have a large amount of proline. Proline is an amino acid necessary for collagen production.

Berries

Oranges tend to get all the glory for being rich in Vitamin C, but strawberries contain more than your average orange. Raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries are also vitamin C rich too. Vitamin C is a vital part of combining glycine and proline to create procollagen.

Leafy Greens

As studies continue, some have shown that chlorophyll increases the precursor to collagen, specifically collagen in the skin. Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and other leafy greens get their color from chlorophyll. Adding in more leafy greens to your diet can help with antioxidants as well as potential collagen properties.

Bone Broth

Shared from person to person, this is the most popular way to get collagen in a diet. Bone broth is made by boiling and simmering animal bones in water. The process is believed to extract the collagen from the bones and turned into a broth for human consumption. If you are going to make your bone broth, make sure to get your bones from a reputable local butcher to guarantee high quality. Adding spices and seasonings to the broth will give it a more favorable flavor.

Bell Peppers

Red and yellow bell peppers are high in vitamin C and capsaicin. Vitamin C is necessary to create collagen, and capsaicin is an anti-inflammatory compound that fights signs of aging.

Chicken

Chicken contains large amounts of collagen. The connective tissue found when cutting up raw chicken meat is packed full of collagen.

Garlic

It might be time to start doubling the garlic in your recipes. Garlic contains sulfur. Sulfur is a mineral that helps prevent the breakdown of collagen. While garlic may not be known for its collagen-rich properties, it could help maintain the amount already in the body. While garlic has many benefits, be careful not to overdo your garlic consumption. Too much garlic, especially raw, can cause heartburn and other uncomfortable situations.   

Fish

Fish and shellfish are a great source of collagen; however, the parts of the fish that contain the most collagen are the parts we do not eat. There is still collagen in the tuna sandwich you make or the salmon fillet, but most of the collagen is found in the fish’s head and scales.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are well-known for the high amount of vitamin C they contain. Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes are a few citrus fruits ready to be added to the menu.

Tropical Fruits

More vitamin C fruits fall in the tropical fruit category. Mango, kiwi, guava, and pineapple are among this list.

Beans

Beans are high in protein and contain amino acids used in collagen production.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes have an antioxidant used in skin support, lycopene. Tomatoes are also a source of vitamin C.

Herbs

Herbs high in collagen include Chinese knotweed, horsetail, and gynostemma. Herbs that help to produce collagen are gotukola, bala, and ashwagandha.   

If you are unsure about adding in any new foods or if a diet change is right for you, consult your physician before making any changes.

Anti-Aging Skin Care in Your 20s

Taking care of your skin in your 20s will lead to a more comfortable skincare routine in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. Creating and maintaining good habits at a young age will protect your skin for future years to come. Areas to focus on at this young age are sunscreen and moisturizers. Acne-prone skin may start to clear up at this age as the skin begins to dry out, or acne breakouts may change from one area to another. The key to remember is to not over-dry your skin. Stay hydrated internally and externally.

Use a gentle cleanser in the morning and evening. Moisturize throughout the day as needed, but especially in the morning and at night. Using hydrating serums at night will also add an extra layer of hydration while you sleep.

Anti-Aging Skin Care in Your 30s

In your 30s, you will start to notice signs of environmental and genetic aging. Facial skin may begin to appear tired; fine lines form, and maybe even a gradual decline in supportive tissue creates a volume loss. It is not time to start worrying, though. A simple routine will still work wonders for your skin.

Start with a gentle cleanser in the morning. Follow up with an eye cream if needed and moisturize. After moisturizing, apply your sunscreen, and you are good to go. In the evening, cleanse with a gentle cleanser and follow with a moisturizer.

If you feel you need a little more help than a simple routine can offer, take your practice to the next level with some additional products.

Use an oil-based cleanser to add a layer of hydration while washing. Next, use an alcohol-free toner to remove any lingering dirt or residue. Using an alcohol-free toner will keep your skin from drying out. If you have acne-prone skin, use a salicylic wipe after cleansing. This will kill acne-causing bacteria that might have been missed in the cleaning step. Apply your eye cream if you have one, followed by a vitamin C serum and moisturizer.

A face mask will help keep your skin hydrated and restore nutrients and antioxidants for either routine once a week.

If you experience increased fine lines and onset wrinkles, a retinol cream can help reduce the appearance.

Anti-Aging Skin Care in Your 40s

If you have not already started using vitamin C products, this is the time to start. Vitamin C brightens the skin, boosts collagen, is an antioxidant, and provides UV protection. Sunscreen should be a daily normal from your 20s and 30s, but if it is not, it is now a vital time to add it to your routine as a staple product.

Find a gentle cleanser that is suitable for day and night. A cream formula will be best to ensure hydration and gentle cleansing without stripping the facial skin of natural oils. Use an eye cream to target fine lines, dark circles, and under-eye bags. An antioxidant serum will help fight free radicals, while a hydrating serum is essential for healthy building blocks. Both are beneficial for the skin and can be used based on preference and need. Follow up with a moisturizer and sunscreen for more hydration and protection.

In the evening, cleanse, exfoliate twice a week with a gentle or acid-based exfoliator, apply retinol or an anti-aging serum, and finish with a night-time moisturizer.

Anti-Aging Skin Care in Your 50s

Entering a new decade requires a new routine to care for your skin. As hormones change, so will the skin. The steps will stay relatively similar to previous years but take caution to what you are doing and using to avoid unintentional damage.

Use a mild face wash that does not irritate or dry your skin. In the morning, use an antioxidant serum or cream to fight inflammation and add a layer of hydration. If you have not started yet, find an eye cream that contains collagen boosters to reduce dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles. After the eye cream has been absorbed, apply a hydrating sunscreen or a moisturizer with a minimum SPF of 30. Protection and hydration are vital to a skincare routine.

A night routine will consist of a gentle or mild cleanser, antioxidant serum or cream, and an occasional gentle exfoliating treatment that uses a cream base to prevent skin irritation or damage.

Do not be afraid to see a dermatologist, as this is a time most dramatic changes will start to occur with your skin’s appearance and health. A dermatologist can help you create a customized skincare routine with specified products if you are hesitant to choose yourself.  

When Is It Too Late to Start an Anti-Aging Skincare Routine?

There is never a time that is too late to start an anti-aging skincare routine, but the sooner you start, the easier it will be to transition from anti-aging to age minimizing to repairing. With every birthday we have moving us up on the number line, our skin follows with us. There are good habits and fantastic products available to make us appear younger than we are, though. Following good habits of daily sunscreen, moisturizing, avoiding over-exposure from the sun, staying hydrated, and maintaining a healthy diet are the foundation of a healthy body and healthy skin. The products we use to enhance what we start with good habits are simply the icing on the cake. Whether you are 20, 25, 30, 40, or even 55 years old, there is a skincare routine that will work for you and your skin.

To Your Success,

Heather Hanrahan

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