Your bathroom cabinet may be crowded with anti-aging skincare products, but some you really, truly need to fight back against time and some you can ignore. Skip over the items that won’t stay on your face for more than six seconds during your morning cleansing. Head straight for the only product that will prevent your skin from aging before its time: sunscreen. These are three you must have and three skip-its:
Must-have #1: Sunscreen
The one and only product that will shield your skin against aging before the damage is done is sunscreen. Apply sunscreen to all areas, including your neck, that are exposed to the sun. Look for tinted sunscreens that you can use as makeup, Find sunscreen in many moisturizers. Reapply every two hours when you are spending the day at the beach.
Must-have #2: Moisturizer
Look for a basic moisturizer that contains at least one of each of these two hydrating ingredients: a humectant and an emollient. The first will attract moisture and the second will hold it. The label should list any of these humectants: glycerin, hyaluronic acid and propylene glycol. The emollients you want are dimethicone, petrolatum and coconut oil. Lavish moisturizer on top of your retinoid at night unless you have oily skin.
Must-have #3: Retinoid
Your best bet at repairing the sun’s damage to your skin is the vitamin A derivative retinoid. Shop for creams and lotions that have high on their list of ingredients the word “retinol” if you want to repair wrinkles and discoloration. See your dermatologist if you are ready to try a stronger prescription-only retinoid cream such as Retin-A or Tazorac.
You can save money that is better spent on sunscreen and a retinoid if you abandon these three products:
Skip-it #1: Moisturizers with Hefty Price Tags
Any moisturizer – whether the price is $20 or $200 –smooths your skin by locking in moisture. Their formulas all contain the same basic ingredients. Fancy packaging won’t make your skin any more supple, so stick with the basic drugstore offerings.
Skip-it #2:Anti-aging Cleansers
Cleansers wash down the drain as soon as you put them on your face. Spend your cash on antiaging products that remain on your skin longer than six seconds. A simple, inexpensive drugstore cleansers will do just fine.
Skip-it #3: Neck Cream
Your nightly face cream will do the same great job of softening your neck. If you use a very lightweight moisturizer because your skin is oily, however, you may want to invest in a different version for your neck. With fewer oil glands, your neck needs more moisturizer than your face.
For recommendations on products to aid in your anti-aging efforts, check out Which Anti-Aging Products Do You Really Need.