Who doesn’t want beautiful skin? Every woman we know does. By the time we reach our sixties, however, the habits of a lifetime have probably taken a toll on our appearance. Still, we can take positive steps to help our skin look its best. The secret to achieving beautiful skin is practicing consistency and perseverance. Here are five anti-aging skincare habits that women with beautiful skin swear by.
1. They wear a mineral sunscreen every day
Yes, it adds another step and why would you do it when the sun isn’t shining? Because there are two kinds of skin-damaging ultraviolet light: UVB and UVA rays. UVB rays are from sunshine and cause immediate damage to your skin. These rays are responsible for tanning or burning your skin. On days when the sun is not shining, there are still damaging UVA rays, which are able to penetrate through clouds, smog, and glass and are responsible for aging your skin.
Mineral sunscreens are more effective than chemical ones because they block any harmful rays before they can enter your skin. One drawback, however, is that mineral sunscreens, particularly the earlier ones, tended to leave a white cast because their main ingredients were zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Science has been working on a solution. Today, many of the mineral sunscreens are flesh tinted to combat a white cast.
SunBum’s lightweight lotion glides on like butter and provides a chemical free sunscreen and primer with a matte finish. Available at ulta.com
2. They use a barrier cream at night
Barrier creams prevent water from evaporating from your skin. Because their occlusive ingredients tend to make them greasy, it’s not recommended that you use barrier creams as a day cream.
When we were young, we didn’t need a barrier cream because there was plenty of water in our skin to plump it up. But as we age, our skin dries through constant exposure to the environment and from water being depleted from our bodies. The sure test of an effective barrier cream is if you are still able to feel it on your face in the morning.
Epionce is a physician-strength skincare line that blends botanical ingredients to help improve the visible effects of aging. Available at Amazon.com
3. They use a retinol serum before applying moisturizer
Retinol is from a class of Vitamin A-based drugs called retinoids. Retinol was first used as an acne treatment in the 1970s, until researchers discovered that it evens pigmentation and speeds the turnover of superficial skin cells. It can reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen.
The higher the concentration of retinol, the more likely you will need a prescription. Still, there are some very good over-the-counter retinols that can make a big difference to your skin. There are two caveats when using retinol. First, it takes three to six months of regular use before you will see improvements in surface wrinkles. Second, since retinoids can cause skin dryness and irritation, doctors recommend that you use them only every other day at first and then gradually work up to nightly application. And back to our first point on skincare, doctors firmly recommend a sunscreen during the day because retinoids increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight.
This proprietary blend of Vitamin B3 + Retinol complex hydrates skin for 24 hours. With regular use, it will visibly improve fine lines and wrinkles, brighten and firm skin, and minimize dark spots and pores. Available at Amazon.com
4. They do a skin peel once a week
A skin peel is a cream or gel that you smooth onto your face and wait some time before rinsing it off. It works by chemically exfoliating your skin to reveal fresh skin cells underneath the old ones. (A chemical peel doesn’t necessarily use chemicals; it is called chemical to distinguish it from manual exfoliation you do with your hands and a scrub).
Why do a peel? A peel speeds up the turnover of skin cells. When we are young, skin cell turnover is typically every 28 days. But for women over sixty, the process can take as long as 84 days. This slowdown in natural skin turnover results in an excess of dead skin cells that can make skin look tired, dull and opaque. Since the strength of peels varies, you should always do a patch test first. One peel we like, PhytX Peel, peel we recommend as effective yet gentle for first time users.
This superficial skin peel removes the top layers of the epidermis to exfoliate and smooth the skin. Use it before going to bed and wake up with rejuvenated skin in the morning. Available at makeupartistchoice.com
5. They drink their collagen
The next time you are tempted by a collagen cream, put it down. Applying collagen to your face with a cream will do absolutely nothing to increase collagen production in your skin.
Collagen is a protein that serves as one of the main building blocks for our bones, skin, hair, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It’s what keeps skin from sagging. Our bodies naturally produce collagen but this production decreases as we age. Unfortunately, applying collagen directly to your face won’t help. Regular exfoliation using peels actually does more to increase collagen production. How? Exfoliation mildly damages the skin, which causes collagen production to ramp up.
Another approach could be to drink it. The science is not definitive but it’s encouraging. As we age, our skin gets duller and more wrinkled. But collagen peptides have been shown to help firm the skin and plump it up. Studies show that collagen peptides may actually slow signs of aging by keeping the skin hydrated, which prevents wrinkles. Be sure that your collagen powder contains Types I and III; these are the collagens that directly affect the skin.
Type 1 and 3 Collagen peptides provide the proteins and amino acids needed to support healthy skin, bones and nails. It also helps improve joint function and the body’s response to strenuous exercise. Find it on Amazon.com
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