Anti-aging Skin Care in your 30s
Problem : Fine lines; uneven skin tone
Cause : three decades of sun exposure for these.
lf you aren't already using a daily moisturizer or foundation with an SPF of 15 or higher, start slathering it on. Look for a product labeled "broad-spectrum," meaning it protects you from both wrinkle-causing UVA rays and burning UVB rays. You should also incorporate a few other age-busting ingredients such as antioxidants into your routine.
Environmental assaults create free radicals - molecules that break down collagen and elastin, the supportive fibres that make your skin firm and elastic. When the fibres start to disconnect, skin wrinkles and sags. Antioxidants destroy free radicals, protecting existing collagen and elastin and stimulating the production of new collagen.
Dermatologists have been buzzing about the effectiveness of idebenone, a synthetic antioxidant, vitamins C and E, and green or white tea. Whatever product you go with, experts recommend giving it a 3-month trial period: If your skin feels softer and looks brighter, you'll know it's working.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid (from sugar) and lactic acid (from milk) can also help by sloughing off the dead cells that make skin look dull.
If after 4 to 6 weeks you're not happy with the results of a nonprescription AHA product, your dermatologist may recommend an in- office procedure that uses a blend of more-potent ingredients. The most effective combination is a solution of 20 to 70 per cent AHAs plus a prescription vitamin A derivative (Retino A), which helps the acids penetrate better.
Problem: Wrinkles around the eyes
The eyes have it - thinner, more-sensitive skin, that is.
While regular facial moisturizers can keep the skin supple, eye creams usually contain lower concentrations of active ingredients and fewer preservatives, so they are gentler.
Make sure the cream you choose includes the basics, such as sunscreen and antioxidants. If you need a little extra help, look for ingredients like caffeine and magnolia extract to reduce puffiness; coneflower to cool and soothe or vitamin K to lessen dark under-eye circles.
Upto 50 per cent of women over age 25 have adult acne. Hormones are the problem. When levels of androgens, the testosterone- like chemicals responsible for acne, rise - just before your period, for instance, or whenever you are particularly stressed your oil glands go into overdrive, causing clogged pores and sometimes leading to acne flare-ups.
If you have always been pimple-prone, you may find that the pattern of your breakouts is changing as you age (adult acne tends to appear on the lower part of the face) and that the treatments you used when you were younger don't work as well.
To target breakouts without overdrying your skin, wash your face twice daily with a gentle nonsoap lotion and avoid harsh toners that contain alcohol. Use a noncomedogenic (non-pore-clogging) moisturizer with moisture-attracting humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid, but stay away from pore blockers such as mineral oil and lanolin.
Prescription retinoid creams, such as Retino A, clear pores and fight wrinkles at the same time. If your skin doesn't respond to these chemicals, the dermatologist may decide to prescribe stronger remedy.
Oral antibiotics can kill acne-causing bacteria, while birth control pills can control breakouts by decreasing oil production.
Anti-aging Skin Care in your 40s
Problem: Blotchy skin; dark spots
A splotchy appearance stems from a combination of skin type and sun exposure. The lighter your skin, the more freckling, broken blood vessels, and blotchiness you're likely to experience as you age. If you were once prone to acne, it's likely that the dark red spots are the remnants of past blemishes.
Over-the-counter products that contain lightening ingredients such as hydroquinone can help fade dark spots on skin of every shade. You may also want to consider microdermabrasion in which tiny aluminium oxide crystals are blown onto skin and then vacuumed off along with dead cells. Microdermabrasion's exfoliating action can also help bleaching agents penetrate more effectively.
But if your skin is extremely ruddy or blothcy, a chemical peel performed in a doctor's office is a better bet. A solution containing an AHA (usually glycolic acid) or trichloroacetic acid is applied to skin, left on a few minutes, and followed by a neutralizing solution. The acid lifts off dead cells, revealing new skin underneath. These "lunchtime peels" - so called because hey take only about an hour - cause little or no redness and irritation, though your face may be flaky the floowing week.
An intense-pulsed-light (IPL) device specifically targets areas of brown or red discoloration on fair-skinned women (it's not recommended for use on dark skin, however).
You may need a series of three to six sessions to achieve the desired effect.
Problem: Dull/dry, rough skin
As you age, decreasing estrogen levels influence the production of other substances in your body. For example, the amount of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring chemical that helps keep skin firm, begins to decline, affecting your skin's ability to retain moisture. Oil production also slows down, reducing natural lubrication. To help counteract these changes, use creams that contain humectants (like glycerin, citric acid, propylene glycol, urea, and phospholipids) and emollients (such as petrolatum, shea butter, and cetyl alcohol) to seal in moisture.
Problem: Furrows; frown lines
Moisturizers or makeup with light-reflecting particles can make your expression lines look less, well, expressive. These tiny flecks create an optical illusion that puts your face into soft focus, helping camouflage imperfections.
Botox injections are an option if you've got the money and the inclination. A purified form of the botulinum toxin, Botox blocks the signals that are transmitted from nerve fibres to facial muscles, temporarily paralyzing them. Within a week or so, furrows become less noticeable and stay that way for about 3 to 6 months.
Anti-aging Skin Care in your 50s
Problem: Sagging skin
A neck lift removes excess skin, or "turkey wattle," firming the area. But if a 2-week recovery, not to mention the surgical risks involved and the huge price tag, isn't exactly what you had in mind, you still have alternatives that are less invasive and less costly, yet more subtle. Like using a combination of retinoids, AHAs, and antioxidants on the neck. These treatments can help smooth out some of the fine lines on the surface, fade brown spots, and improve skin tone, all of which help give the neck a younger look.
If you want more-dramatic and faster results, ask your dermatologist about lasers. Nonablative laser treatments can be used to tighten the muscles in the neck area, which may help give it a firmer appearance, too.
Problem: Age spots
Like the skin on your neck, the skin on the hands and chest tends to be thinner and more delicate than that on the rest of your body. For hands, a yearround lotion with sunscreen and ingredients such as retinol and AHAs is a good choice. To fade minor age spots, try a bleaching cream that contains hydroquinone.
Darker spots may call for professional help. A dermatologist could prescribe a potent bleaching agent combined with a retinoid or a cream containing vitamin C and AHAs.
Problem: Thinning lips; turned down mouth
While your lips do lose moisture and collagen over time, there is hope: Primers and balms containing ingredients like menthol and vitamin C, supposedly make lips look more luscious. There are no studies showing whether these products really work, but they may provide a subtle, temporary benefit.
The color and texture of your lipstick can also fatten a skimpy mouth. Glossy or creamy colors in light to medium shades always make your lips look fuller. Choose subtle brownbased hues, like pinky-brown or reddish brown. For definition, line lips after applying lipstick or gloss with a pencil that matches your lips exactly.
As for that grumpy look, blame gravity. Around the late 40s or early 50s, there is a noticeable loss of volume or fullness in the cheek area. This tends to make the nasolabial folds (the creases that run from the edges of your nose to the corners of your mouth) look deeper and more pronounced. The only way to significantly minimize these folds is with injections of a soft-tissue filler, like Restylane.