It’s easy to get totally lost in the sea of beauty and skin care products. We are constantly bombarded with new technology and cutting edge science that claims to give us our best skin. There is always some new “miracle” ingredient, like ancient kelp, found in undiscovered taverns off the coast of some island or the age defying eggs of exotic sea creatures that may or may not feed off prehistoric clay. They promise results and take off the years. There is always some new shtick, some new gimmick,some new fix promising to repair the damage and reverse the abuse. “65 and never wore a stitch of sunscreen in your life? No problem! We can fix that!”
But what if I told you that most all of this is bullshit? See, there’s big money in fixing. It’s the American way, really. Prevention on the other hand, well there’s just no money in that. Look, we are all gonna get old, if we’re lucky. So let’s just do it as gracefully as possible. You want the real secret? It’s not very sexy, but if started by your late 20s/early 30’s,you will slide into your 40s and beyond just a bit more youthfully preserved.
Three products are all you need. These are not expensive or time consuming, and there is no physical effort or pain involved in any way. Sound easy enough?
One. A daytime serum. Serums really are the heavy hitters in skin care. Most are water based and loaded with antioxidants. I like to think of antioxidant serums as invisible protective helmets that cover your entire face. The antioxidants neutralize free radicals and protect the skin from daily assaults from the environment. For example, the statue of liberty isn’t supposed to be green. The once copper beauty was ravished by time and free radicals. The poor girl got oxidized. It’s the whole apple and lemon juice visual. No lemon juice on apple and it browns (oxidizes) within a short period of time. Add lemon juice and it stays nice and fresh. This is what antioxidants are doing for your face. Prevention. Purchase an antioxidant serum specifically for daytime that will protect your skin with rich vitamins and extracts. Arcadian Winds Beauty just happens to make such a serum.
Two. A sunscreen. Technically you should start with sun protection diligently early in life. For those of us who came up in the 70s and 80s, wearing sunscreen certainly was not stressed as a daily necessity, and boy did we pay for it. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is more detrimental to your skin than prolonged sun exposure. It is the leading cause of premature aging, and the incredible damage will manifest itself in uneven tone and texture, leaving skin leathered and splotchy. It will also obliterate your collagen and elastin, so that youthful bounce will give way to laxed skin. So, by early 20s you should be using sunscreen every single day, rain or shine. Live in a place with lots of overcast? Doesn’t matter, wear sunscreen. A separate sunscreen specific product is preferred, but if you use an SPF contained within a foundation, make sure it is at least an SPF 30. I recommend SPF 50 for everybody everyday. Physical sunblock formulas today are truly brilliant. They are lightweight and easily absorbed, unlike the purple hued grease slicks I embarrassingly used professionally 15 years ago. SPF 50’s can come in CC creams, tinted moisturizers and even water based tints. Nowadays there is just no excuse not to be using this stuff. Always look for zinc and titanium dioxide as these physical blocks are better for sensitive skins and less likely to cause breakouts or adverse reactions than their chemical counterparts.
Three. A dermatologist prescribed topical retinol for nighttime. Just skip the the over the counter stuff and go straight to the big guns. Your derm will determine which kind of topical is best for you depending on skin type, as there are several types of Vitamin A derived formulas. Start with the lowest concentrations and gradually work your way up. You may experience some irritation issues at the start in the way of peeling skin, sensitivity, and redness, but you must push through these reactions. They are temporary and will dissipate once your skin becomes acclimated. Once you experience no reaction from the topical and can use it up to 5 nights a week, it’s time to kick it up a notch to the next concentration level. Repeat the process with the next strength level. Retinol truly is the gold standard when it comes to age prevention. Start using this yesterday. It has been around for decades and has a great track record.
That’s it, friends. While it’s never too late to start these three products, when it comes to preventative aging the earlier the better. Just fit them into your daily routine, and like brushing teeth, it will become second nature. Obviously if you start this routine in your 20s you will not notice any “results”. You are not even remotely old yet, silly! Even by our late 20s we are still not showing much more than some super faint lines around the eyes. If started in your 30s, then you will certainly notice an improvement in tone and texture as well as softening of some fine lines. Just keep with it, and you will be leaps and bounds ahead of your peers by your 40s. While they may be years into the use of botox and fillers, you will remain virtually untouched by Father Time.
I should point out that genetics and lifestyle have quite a bit to do with the aging process. So yadda yadda don’t smoke cigarettes. Yadda yadda don’t drink too much, keep your substance abuse to a minimum. I get it, life is short and I’m not saying don’t party your face off and enjoy life, but, if I’m advocating for your best skin, I would probably suggest you avoid crystal meth indefinitely.