Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist - Written by Sritama Dutta (Medical Science) on 10th Feb 2021
When and How to Take Care of Aging Skin
Aging is a beautiful process. But the wrinkles and age spots that come with this process are not usually welcome in our lives. Everyone wants to retain their radiant, youthful-looking skin for the longest time possible. But sadly, nature doesn't pay heed to anyone's desire. It takes its course.
However, over the years, people have discovered different ingredients that might help delay the appearance of aging signs, and they have been popular ever since. But choosing the right anti-aging products for your skin and creating a proper skincare regimen for aging skin can be confusing. Thus, this time, we have taken up the task to make things easier for you.
In this article, we would discuss the proper way of taking care of your aging skin and the right ingredients you might include in your skincare routine.
Understanding the aging process
Before we proceed to know the details of the perfect anti-aging ingredient and skincare regime for your skin, we must have a little idea about the process of aging. So, let's look into what the process of aging entails, how it looks like and what you should be expecting as you grow older.
What happens when we age?
Growth is a natural process, and so are the changes in our body that happen with advancing age. As we age, the body cells gradually fail to generate the required amount of nutrients that weaken the skin cells. The skin cells' moisture content also dries up, leaving the integrity of the skin cells hampered. The subcutaneous fat layer that acts as an insulator to protect our skin from extremities of temperature also wears off, leaving the skin vulnerable to harsh weather conditions.
Growing old makes the epidermis frail, and the skin now looks pale, thin, and wrinkly. Our body also loses its capability to repair the damage caused to our skin due to wear and tear. The elastin fibers, which provide the skin with its firmness and resilience, also breaks down with time, causing the skin to wrinkle and sag. The fine lines caused by the movement of our facial muscles become more prominent.
When do the first signs of aging show up?
Many factors play a role in determining when an individual will show the first signs of aging. Our lifestyle, eating habits, even our physical and psychological well-being play a major role. In the olden days, with lesser pollutants around us and a better quality diet and lifestyle, people showed their first signs of aging much later in life.
However, with increased pollution and degraded quality of living, stress and internal and external exhaustion have preponed the first appearance of aging signs in today's life. Now you can expect to observe the first signs of aging even in your early or mid-twenties.
When is the right time to start using anti-aging products?
People nowadays are becoming increasingly concerned about signs of aging and trying to do something about it at an early stage. You can start at your mid-twenties with a preventive skincare regime that will help delay the signs of aging from appearing. For this, you can include antioxidant-rich products that will neutralize the free radicals in the skin, the main culprit in promoting the age signs.
Bring in a moisturizing product as early as you can in your skincare regime. Moisturizing ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid ensures that your skin remains optimally hydrated. This will make your skin look plumper, firmer, and younger by delaying the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
If you have already passed that age and reached your 30s or 40s and not yet ready to embrace the signs of aging on your skin, you will have many other anti-aging products to choose from. Niacinamide can be a versatile solution for your skin. It can hydrate the skin and promote collagen production that will make your skin healthier and prevent sagging.
Retinoids and peptides are also great remedies for the wrinkles and age spots that keep emerging.
What is the ideal way of taking care of aging skin?
Aging skin requires a little more special attention to retaining its youthfulness and vibrancy. Along with choosing the right anti-aging ingredient, you need to follow a simple routine to take care of your aging skin.
So, here is what experts have to say:
Our lifestyle and diet have a major role to play in the aging process. Eating and staying healthy can significantly delay the appearance of the signs of aging. Drinking plenty of water can do wonders for your skin! It can help in flushing out the toxins from the skin, which can make the aging faster. It will also keep your skin well-hydrated and make your skin plump and youthful.
Eat a lot of colored fruits and vegetables too, especially the green leafy vegetables. That will supply you with all the required nutrients that will ensure the well-being of your aging skin.
Cleansing the skin thoroughly is the foremost step of taking care of your skin at any age. Thus, while beginning with any anti-aging skincare regime, make sure your skin is absolutely clean. Using a mild cleanser will help clear out the excess sebum, dirt, grime, and microbes from the dermal layers.
We understand that anti-aging products can be alluring to you, we suggest that you should be using only one potent anti-aging product at a time. Using multiple serums and products together will not do any good to your skin's health.
A well-moisturized skin is a sign of healthy skin. It can make your skin look at least ten years younger. So, investing in a good quality moisturizer having a combination of humectants and emollients is what you need.
Never skip sunscreen! Exposure to the harsh UV/sun rays can cause premature aging. Thus, sunscreen is indispensable before you step out of your house.
Ingredients that can help you turn back time for your skin:
Ingredients like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, or Resveratrol are rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants act by reducing and neutralizing the free radicals that are responsible for the process of aging. Vitamin C can help in repairing damage on the skin and reducing oxidative stress. It also helps in diminishing the age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Retinoids or retinol are known for their ability to promote cell differential and regeneration. They can help in increasing collagen production and make the skin firmer. Retinoids can also exfoliate the skin at a cellular level that helps eliminate aging signs and give you a brighter, vibrant complexion.
Peptides are chains of amino acids that help build up the proteins such as collagen, elastin, and keratin required to maintain your skin's elasticity and firmness. Peptides can rejuvenate the skin and make your skin look like you have turned back the clock.
These also help in repairing damaged skin cells and make the skin barrier stronger.
Ceramides are made up of long-chain fatty acids that are responsible for promoting cellular functions. They also create a barrier on the skin surface that helps seal the moisture into your skin, which prevents the skin from getting too dry and wrinkly. It minimizes the appearance of fine lines and other signs of aging. Ceramics can also condition and smoothen the skin and soothe skin irritation.
NADH and NADPH production in our skin decreases with age, making skin more prone to show the signs of photo-induced aging and oxidative stress. Niacinamide, a derivative of Vitamin B3 (Niacin), is a precursor of the co-factors NAD(H) and NADP(H). It helps mitigate the signs of aging by counteracting the free radicals in our skin by its antioxidant properties.
Niacinamide can also help promote the generation of collagen, making the skin appear firmer, resilient, and youthful. It also enhances the cell turnover rate, reduces the age spots, and brings out the radiant skin beneath the dull, older skin layer.
6. Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a potent humectant that can hydrate the deepest layers of the skin. Its small molecules can penetrate the skin and help in drawing moisture from the surroundings. This active ingredient keeps the skin sufficiently hydrated, but it also helps repair the skin's damage.
A well-hydrated skin also has a more robust immune system. Optimal hydration helps erase the fine lines and wrinkles on the skin and make your skin appear ten times younger.
How to choose the right anti-aging product for your skin?
Listen to your skin
Every skin type requires a different approach to ensure proper health. Dry and sensitive skin might need something soothing. Oily skin individuals seem to show signs of aging quite later. It will help if you are looking for product labels catering to a different skin type.
Look for active ingredients
Active ingredients can be very potent anti-aging agents. They can help repair skin, incorporate antioxidants in your skincare regime, visibly reduce wrinkles & fine lines and make your skin appear glowing and youthful.
Avoid strong and harsh chemicals
As we grow old, the integrity of the skin's immune barrier gets weakened. Applying harsh and strong chemicals can be very harmful to the skin cells because they cannot endure them. They can worsen your skin's texture and make your skin appear dull and lifeless.
Bring in Some SPF!
Exposure to harmful sun rays can accelerate the skin's aging process and make fine lines and wrinkles appear prematurely. While sunscreens are necessary, some SPF in your anti-aging creams will also do your skin a lot of good.
Above all, Moisturize.
Dry skin shows signs of aging faster as lack of moisture makes the skin wrinkly. Moisturizing ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid and glycerin in the anti-aging creams or other products help keep the skin firmer and plumper.
The Bottom Line:
Embracing the signs of aging is not so easy. Now that the first signs of aging appear so early in life, taking care of your skin from an early stage becomes very important.
We hope this article has helped you understand how and what to do to take care of your aging skin the right way.