To know what to look for in an anti-aging skin care product, it’s important to understand what causes deterioration in the skin over time. All aspects of aging, including slack skin, wrinkle, and uneven skin tone are the result of free radical damage at the molecular level.
Oxygen molecules are the bad boys of the anti-aging world. When involved in a chemical reaction, they frequently lose one of their electrons and then dash madly about trying to steal an electron from another molecule. This can start a destructive chain reaction of unstable molecules, called free radicals, dashing around creating more unstable molecules.
Think of it as a radical mob building to riot force. Free radical damage is also known as oxidation. On metal, it appears in the form of rust. So when we say we are getting rusty, it’s not really far from the truth!
Fortunately, the skin has amazing regenerative abilities that help it repair damage up to a point. As well, nature has provided an anti-riot squad called The Antioxidants. Antioxidants are found in the human body and elsewhere in nature. They effectively block free radicals from getting to other healthy stable molecules.
But there are factors that can accelerate free radical damage to the point that the balance of power shifts in favor of the free radical mob. Current thinking categorizes the factors into a lifestyle (meaning where and how you live); the natural aging process; and genetics.
Some of these skin risk factors can be changed and some can’t. As time and science march on, the list of factors that can be mitigated grows longer and longer. Lifestyle changes are frequently possible if you know what to do and are motivated to make the changes.
Thanks to fairly recent scientific findings, the natural aging process of skin can be slowed and even reversed to some extent. That leaves only the genetic factors of skin aging that we are stuck with. At least for now.
UV protection, in the form of SPF creams, is the first topical step to take for your skin’s health. The second is moisturizing. The third step is assisting the fight against free radical damage with antioxidants. Steps four and five are skincare products that help remove old/dead/abnormal skin cells and those that promote normal skin regeneration. Many ingredients shown to accomplish this demolition and renovation are found in the latest generation of face creams.
In addition to antiaging treatments that support physical health and beauty, there are also anti-aging skincare creams that address cosmetic concerns like adult acne, uneven skin pigmentation, and lines of expression.
While no one dies from these conditions, it is widely accepted that if we look better, we feel better. So though treatments for these skin conditions are termed cosmetic, they frequently have a mental health benefit in that they support a healthy self-image and increased self-confidence.
This article is for informational purposes only. It does not purport to offer medical advice. Consult a qualified physician before using any of these products.