AgingSkinNet Article
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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Moisturize, moisturize, 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.

  4. 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 face.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 effects.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

More Information
10 Tips: Selecting Age-Fighting Topicals
Dermatologists say it pays to be an educated consumer

Buying Botox Online Poses Serious Health Risks

Dermatologists Dispel Common Myths About Age-Fighting Topicals

Cosmetic Surgery Today. “Experts Warn Against DIY Botox Products on eBay.” Posted May 9, 2009. Last accessed May 15, 2009.

Draelos, ZD. (editor) 2005. “Cosmeceuticals.” 1st ed. China:Elsevier Saunders.

All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

Woman applying sunscreen
Sunscreen is by far the most beneficial anti-aging topical on the market.





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Page last updated 6/17/09

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