The skincare market is saturated with products promising to undo years of damage caused by the passing of time. There are moisturizers claiming to plump skin back up to teenage levels of suppleness and dewiness. Serums aim to target specific problems with high concentrations of active ingredients. Even toners are marketed as being able to further draw potent anti-aging components into the pores.
It might disappoint you to learn that most skincare brands are majorly exaggerating what their products can realistically do for you. It is certainly possible to clear up break outs and make pores look temporarily smaller. You can use products containing glycolic or lactic acid to remove surface-level discoloration and textural issues. Retinoids are generally effective at slowing down the aging process if you start using them early enough. However, nothing is as effective as making sure that those signs of aging never show up in the first place.
Smoking and sun exposure are the most significant causes of preventable aging. This fact is somewhat hard to reconcile with the lifestyles of young adults; no one wants to be the only person in her social circle who has reservations about attending a day-long event in a sunny outdoor location. There is still immense peer pressure to smoke socially. By the time one decides to start taking skincare more seriously, a great deal of the underlying damage has already occurred.
Smoking deprives your skin of necessary oxygen, and the repetitive lip motions cause a very specific type of creasing around the mouth. Sun exposure is perhaps more sinister in terms of skin damage, due to the far-reaching ways it destroys everything beautiful about a youthful complexion. Superficially, skin that has seen too much sunlight will likely never have a naturally even tone to it. There’s a point at which the telltale ruddiness from past tans and sunburns becomes a permanent feature of one’s complexion. UV rays break down the collagen that plumps up the skin as well as the elastin that gives it its flexibility. This means that while the sun damages the skin on its surface, it’s also destroying it on a structural level. The best way to fend all of this off is to use a well-formulated broad spectrum sunscreen.
Smoothing on a moisturizer with SPF every morning is the easiest thing in the world! Experiment with different brands and find the product that works the best with your existing skincare and makeup routine. Your skin will thank you!