Our bodies go through changes as we age, which can be seen in our skin, hair, and body composition. In this article we look at aging in the skin and we outline a foundational anti-aging skin care routine that works best for those us living in Australia.
There are many treatments to address the signs of aging, however, picking the best cream or serum can be difficult. The beauty and skin care industries are mine fields of products, with many brands touting their “best anti-aging” cream/serum, and beauty gurus coming up with time consuming 12 step routines that are sometimes wholly unnecessary!
Why does our skin age?
Aging in your skin is a result of two different kinds of wear. The first is due to intrinsic aging, which refers to the rate at which the body's cells renew themselves, while the other is exogenous aging, which is damage from external sources.
Our skin loses its elasticity, firmness and even tone as it ages, leading to fine and coarse wrinkles appearing. The surface of the skin can become rough and dry, the outer layer also thins, which gives it a transparent appearance and reveals small underlying blood vessels. Sun exposure in your lifetime will eventually cause freckles, sunspots, and pigmentation changes.
The effects of age on each skin layer
As hyaluronic acid content decreases, cell turnover slows, and reduced sebum production increases the chance of roughness and dryness on the surface.
From the age of 25, the amount of collagen produced in the skin decreases by 1% each year. When coupled with a decline in functional elastin, you are likely to see fine lines and wrinkles appear. As our skin matures, elasticity will continue to reduce, and deeper wrinkles start forming. Hyaluronic acid production continues to slow down, resulting in our cells being less effective at binding water, making the skin prone to dryness, damage, and broken capillaries. A reduction in micro-circulation hampers the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the surface of the skin, leading to a decrease in its radiance.
With a continued reduction in the size and number of lipid-storing cells throughout the body, we all begin to see the resulting sagging and a loss of volume into our late 30s onwards. This loss of volume can lead to even deeper wrinkles and a hollowing of the temples and cheeks.
Let’s talk about the sun
Not surprisingly, ultra-violet (UV) exposure (which is often referred to as ‘photodamage’ or ‘photoaging’ in the skin care industry) is a major cause of wrinkles and fine lines. Around 90% of the changes seen in aged skin (rough, dry, deeply wrinkled, saggy skin with uneven texture and tone, depigmented white spots called ‘guttate hypomelanosis’ and broken vessels) are caused by exposure to the sun.
The UV rays cause direct damage to collagen and lead to premature aging - as well as skin cancer. Smoking also causes this damage due to nicotine altering how your body repairs itself.
The best anti-aging products for a simple skin care
Usually, cosmetic anti-wrinkle moisturisers, serums, and eye creams plump the skin with added moisture to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Which is at best, a temporary fix. Consulting a dermatologist or a telemedicine prescription anti-aging skin care provider can ensure you maximise the benefits and efficacy of powerful active ingredients.
Cleansing rids the skin of potentially damaging impurities, such a dirt and pollution, that can find their way onto your face over the course of the day. However, washing your face improperly or too often can damage the skin by stripping it of essential oils and drying out the skin barrier. Effective anti-aging cleansers should use gentle ingredients that preserve your skin's PH balance and moisture. It’s especially important to keep your skin hydrated as you mature, so it stays plump with fewer fine lines and wrinkles.
Custom ‘all in one’ prescription anti-aging treatment cream
The best anti-aging creams include a retinoid – the only anti-aging ingredient backed by 100% of dermatologists, with scientific evidence that retinoids works to reduce lines and wrinkles, improve sun damage, increase skin cell turnover, and restore collagen production.
An overwhelming number of studies show that 0.05% of a prescription retinoid applied daily produces significant reductions in signs of photoaging like fine wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and roughness when compared to a cream that doesn’t contain a prescription retinoid.
When it comes to getting the right cream for you, a telemedicine provider can custom blend an anti-aging treatment cream full of active ingredients that tackle all your skin concerns in an all-in-one day/night cream or serum. For example, should you wish to fade pigmentated age spots at the same time, fading ingredients like hydroquinone can also be added to target anti-aging and hyperpigmentation in the same cream. They are often designed to work with a cleanser, moisturiser, and sunscreen. Simple!
When combatting signs of aging skin, moisture is the be all and end all. Finding a frangrance-free moisturiser that works with your skin type is essential. Ones like Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream can provide hydration around the clock and protect the skin barrier without feeling oily or heavy.
It’s no surprise that the best anti-aging skincare product in Australia is sunscreen! It protects your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays which play a role in premature aging.
A broad-spectrum SPF of 30 and above is a vital part of your daily routine. Apply sunscreen all year round – UVA and UVB light cuts through cloud cover, and UBV penetrates water. There is no sunscreen on the market that can give you total protection, making sunglasses, hats, umbrellas, and protective clothing like rash guards necessary when the sun is harsh. You can also minimise your time spent in the sun where possible.
The best anti-aging routine for your skin
When you are looking for anti-aging treatments to add to your skin care routine, think about your what your main concerns are and how well your skin reacts. Some of the most effective ingredients can irritate sensitive skin leading you to ask, do anti aging creams really work? Being prescribed clinically formulated treatments is the best way to achieve the best results safely, under the guidance of a doctor or dermatologist.