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We all want to look young forever if we can help it. Aging isn’t a bad thing, normally. What hurts a bit is some of the changes on the skin that comes with getting older. Obviously, no one wants loose, saggy skin.

Contrary to popular belief, anti-aging products aren’t just for old people.

When it comes to aging, in regard to fine lines and wrinkles on the face such as smile lines around the mouth, crow’s feet around the eyes, forehead wrinkles, e.t.c.; prevention is better than cure. The ideal age to start using anti-aging products and incorporate them in your skincare routine isn’t in your 30s/40s/50s. If you’re above 25 and haven’t, you should. And when is the best age to start? The early twenties.

Here’s why.

It’s better to work with ‘preventing’, not ‘fixing’ the fine lines and wrinkles. That’s the aim. To nip it in the bud. To stop the process or at least slow it down before it starts. The aging process is influenced by so many factors, both internal (intrinsic) and external (extrinsic) factors. 

The internal factor is mostly the degradation of the skin’s collagen, which starts in the twenties for women and in the thirties for men. Collagen is produced in the body, but as we age, its production starts to reduce and we now have to help the skin in producing this collagen that helps the skin stay firm, elastic, and youthful.

The skin starts to lose collagen and elastin fibers around the second and third decades of life(the 20s and 30s).

These fibers are what keeps the skin elastic and plump so that it stays young. Repeated movements of the facial muscles when there’s less collagen in the skin can lead to unwanted fine lines and wrinkles. So, before this much-needed collagen starts to diminish and make you age prematurely, it’s best to start prevention earlier. Go for key active ingredients in anti-aging products that suit the needs of YOUR skin.

External factors include the photo-damage from the sunlight on the skin and the formation of free radicals which further break down the skin tissues. Wrinkling and pigmentation changes are directly associated with premature photo-aging and are considered its most significant skin manifestations.

The strategies to prevent photo-aging include avoiding the sun, sun protection using sunscreens to block or reduce skin exposure to UV radiation, Retinoids in order to inhibit collagenase synthesis (degradation of collagen) and to promote collagen production, and Antioxidants to reduce and neutralize free radicals.

There are two main groups of agents that can be used as anti-aging creams: antioxidants and cell regulators. 

The antioxidants, such as vitamins, polyphenols, and flavonoids, reduce collagen degradation by reducing the concentration of free radicals in the tissues. The cell regulators, such as Retinols, Peptides, and Growth factors (GF), have direct effects on collagen metabolism and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin fibers. Some anti-aging agents/active ingredients to look out for in skincare products include;

Cell regulators: Vitamin A(Retinol/tretinoin), Bakuchiol (mild alternative to retinol), Peptides, Growth factors.

Antioxidants: Vitamin C(L-ascorbic acid), Vitamin B3(Niacinamide), Vitamin E, Retinol, Ginseng, Green tea extract, Chamomile, e.t.c.

Special shout out to Retinol which is a cell regulator as well as an antioxidant! It is also great for acne. An amazing active ingredient.

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