From smoothing out those fine lines to firming up sagging skin, anti-aging products make some very enticing promises. And each year consumers spend billions of dollars to find the perfect lotion or potion. But the question is, do anti-aging skincare products actually work? The answer depends on the product.
Aging refers to the biological process of growing older in a deleterious sense (causing harm or damage), which is scientifically referred to as senescence, or the aging of living things. Senescence is associated with many physiological changes, including loss of muscle and bone mass, a decline in memory function and vision, a decline in immune function, a lower metabolic rate, an increase in blood pressure, an increase in inflammation, and so on.
With age, we also see changes in our skin. Our skin becomes thinner and loses elasticity. Fine lines and wrinkles appear, blood vessels become more visible and sagging occurs. Our skin also becomes drier and rougher. Essentially, we lose our “youthful glow”. Which is when people start looking for help.
Anti-aging and skincare
While skincare products cannot restore the skin of our 20-year-old selves, some products can reduce the signs of aging as well as slow the aging process down – and even stimulate the skin’s natural collagen production to produce firmer, younger looking skin.
Collagen is perhaps the most important ingredient to do that. As we age, collagen and elastin fibres degrade and that results in sagging skin and wrinkles.
Unfortunately, the sun, air pollution, cigarette smoke and even household chemicals accelerate the breakdown of collagen. If you add in the fact that our bodies make far less collagen as we get older (a process of senescence), then the signs of aging rapidly set in.
So a beauty regime that protects our skin from harmful UV rays is the first step in the anti-aging process. Avoiding cigarette smoke and chemicals is the second. These small changes make a huge difference to the quality of your skin, and reduce the rapid onset of skin aging.
The next step to anti-aging is to use a product that actually renews your collagen levels. You can’t do this with a cream, as the collagen molecules are too large to penetrate the skin. You need to take a supplement. And you need to make sure you’re taking one with collagen hydrolysate, which is easier for your body to digest, thereby ensuring effectiveness where collagen is used by the body.
Also choose a topical cream that contains antioxidants, including Vitamins C and E, which stop harmful free radicals. Free radicals attack and destroy collagen, among other things. Eating nutritious foods, which contain antioxidants, are also beneficial.
Few people expect a miracle, but these days you can influence your appearance as well as slow down the aging process.