10 Tips: Getting the Best Results from Age-Fighting Topicals
Dermatologists say that you will see
the most desirable results from an age-fighting gel, cream, or
lotion when you follow these guidelines:
Wear sunscreen every day. To
prevent further damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays,
which can accelerate signs of aging, sunscreen is essential.
Sunscreen should be applied to all skin that will be exposed
such as the face and hands.
A facial moisturizer that offers broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB
protection) coverage and has an SPF of at least 30 can be worn
on days that you are not spending a lot of time outdoors.
Do not tan. Getting a tan
from the sun, a tanning bed, or sun lamp exposes you to harmful
UV rays that can accelerate aging, causing wrinkles, age spots,
and a blotchy complexion.
moisturize. This traps water in the skin, which can help
reduce the appearance of some fine lines (not deep lines) and
make a complexion look brighter and younger.
Test products, even those
labeled “hypoallergenic.” People often interpret
“hypoallergenic” to mean that an allergic reaction cannot occur.
Hypoallergenic actually means that there is a reduced chance of
developing an allergic reaction. Dermatologists recommend
testing products before applying them to your face.
To test, dab a small amount on your inner forearm twice a day
for 4 to 5 days. If you do not have a reaction, it is likely
that you will not have a reaction when you apply it to your
Limit the number of products.
Using many products on your skin, especially more than 1
anti-aging products, tends to irritate the skin. This often
makes signs of aging more noticeable. For best results, test 1
or 2 products and give them time to work.
Give the product time to work.
Despite the claims, most age-fighting products do not work
overnight. While a moisturizer can plump up fine lines in a few
days, most products take at least 6 weeks to work. Sometimes it
can take 3 months.
Use the product as directed.
Some products contain active ingredients that can do more harm
than good when too much is used. Applying more than directed can
cause clogged pores, a blotchy complexion, or other unwanted
Avoid products that sting.
Tingling and stinging do not mean the active ingredients are
working. Burning, tingling, or stinging often means that the
product irritates your skin. Irritation tends to make signs of
aging more noticeable.
Note: Some products prescribed by a dermatologist
may cause stinging or burning. In fact, to get more noticeable
results, the skin may be injured in order to reveal fresher,
more youthful skin. When supervised by a dermatologist, this can
be safe and effective. Pain and stinging should not occur when
using an over-the-counter product.
Continue using, if you want to
continue seeing results. People often believe that once they
get the results they want, they can stop using the product. To
continue seeing results, you must continue using the product.
Do not supplement with
do-it-yourself procedures. Consumers occasionally find that
they can buy lasers and kits for performing a cosmetic procedure
(such as injecting botulinum toxin A) online. Such purchases can
be extremely dangerous. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) cautions consumers to “be vigilant about your purchases
and steer clear of lower-priced cosmetic treatments.”
If after following these guidelines,
you still do not see the results you envisioned, you may want to
consult a dermatologist. Today, there are many non-surgical options
to rejuvenate the skin.
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Last accessed May 15, 2009.
ZD. (editor) 2005. “Cosmeceuticals.” 1st ed.
All content solely
developed by the American Academy of Dermatology
Sunscreen is by far the most beneficial anti-aging
topical on the market.