Have you ever walked into the bathroom in the middle of the day to completely scare yourself by your own reflection? What happened to all my makeup? I swear I put it on this morning. Why does my skin look dull and bumpy? And why do my wrinkles look extra deep today?
After countless moments worrying about my wrinkles and how much worse they will be in a few decades, I decided to ask a professional about the use of anti-aging creams and at what age a person should begin using them. I just didn’t want to go buy every brand the drug store offers.
I visited with Rachel Brecht, a Banner Health aesthetician, who cautioned me that buying different types of over-the-counter anti-aging creams was in fact the wrong thing to do to my skin.
Much like the setting at the make-up counters at the mall, I was ready to sit on the black chair and get the skinny on what exactly I need to do now to care for my skin long-term.
After removing my makeup and listening to me vent about all of my skin issues, Brecht took a good look and walked me through a good process for my skin.
“Most people don’t realize that some of the same active ingredients in acne products for teens are also used for anti-aging after our teen years,” explains Brecht. “The key at any age is finding the right products for your skin needs. There is no one-size-fits-all skin care or anti-aging cream.”
She gave me these excellent tips on what to use for my skin to slow down the aging process:
- Facial cleansers: To lift away make-up, impurities and the day’s grime. Cleansing regularly with a cleanser designed for the sensitive skin on your face will help keep your pores clean and small, as well as help absorb the product for more hydrated, smooth and fresh skin.
- Moisturizers: All skin needs to be moisturized whether you’re oily or dry. The environment takes a lot from our skin, it’s important to give back to it what we lose throughout the day.
- Sunscreens and Sun Blocks: To prevent sun damage.. Hats and tinted windows do not offer complete protection and shouldn’t replace the need for a topical SPF to help prevent sun damage (pigment, lines and wrinkles), or even skin cancer.
- Serums: Serums are boosters and always go on first right after cleansing, and always require a cream to seal it in.
- Eye Creams: To hydrate, anti-age and nourish the extra sensitive skin around the eyes, which is the thinnest skin on your body.
- Night Creams: The morning is about protection and the night is about rejuvenation. That’s because many anti-aging products work better at night when your body’s at rest.
- Exfoliation: This commonly skipped step is so important in supporting all of the above products. Exfoliation should be done two to three times a week, no more no less. As we age, our skin slows down in how fast it sheds off our dead cells on the surface and it needs help in doing this process, or the surface can feel dry, rough, even peel because it builds up. This is especially necessary in dry or cold weather conditions.
“It is also important to remember that just the act of regular facial cleaning (twice daily), exfoliation (two to three times a week), daily moisturizer and sunscreen usage – just the basics, will dramatically prevent aging,” Brecht notes. “Taking good care of your skin regularly will give you a better result than just using a cream a commercial told you worked for a celebrity.”
After looking at my skin, Brecht explained to me that choosing the wrong products can have adverse effects and she recommends speaking with a professional who can help you choose which product contain the correct active ingredients for your individual needs.
“Prevention is best done with sunscreen and if you’re going to spend money on anti-aging products, a good sunscreen for the daytime gives you 24 hours of protection and prevention when coupled with anti-aging products at night,” Brecht says.
She recommends sunscreen coupled with anti-aging cream to help prevent lines, but it also prevents skin cancer, and, in the long run can possibly save your life.
After receiving two weeks worth of samples from Brecht with a skin care line that was fitted for my skin. I was sold. My skin felt healthier, brighter and even younger.
Moral of the story – save yourself some time and money, skip the drug store, ignore the commercials, and go speak to a professional about what products will work for you and your skin.