Our insecurities about ageing have long been exploited by brands looking to push their expensive products.
Which is why it has been wonderful that the past decade or so has seen such a massive rise in the awareness of positive ageing.
There are now tonnes of older celebrities, models, influencers, and bloggers out there espousing the joys of embracing your years, rather than trying to hide them.1
Nevertheless, many of us feel our best on the inside when we put effort into our appearance. And, as skin starts to age, it can get uncomfortably dry, meaning that creams targeted at our age group can be effective in improving the quality and condition of our skin.
So perhaps it is time to think of our lotions and potions as pro-ageing, rather than anti-ageing, as the best ones are developed to care for us as we get older.
How does the skin age?
An important fact to remember is that everybody’s skin ages!
Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and one of the most amazing. It protects our internal organs from all kinds of damage, helps us regulate our body temperature and keeps out infection.
Perhaps it is time to think of our skincare routine as giving our skin some gratitude, rather than using it to try to erase so-called imperfections, like wrinkles and fine lines, age spots, and sagging.
When does the skin ageing process begin?
Our skin’s journey starts at birth, but the real signs of ageing usually – often fine lines around the eyes and mouth – start to show in our twenties or thirties.
It is important to remember that this varies hugely person-to-person.
It is dependent on a number of factors, including genetics, lifestyle and environment, which can cause the natural defences of our cells to start to weaken and cell renewal to slow.
It is also thought that not only cell health but bone density plays a big part in why our skin starts to sag.
One study looked at white vs black bones in the ageing process and it was found that black skin looks younger for longer because of better bone density. As white people’s bones tend to get weaker sooner, the skin covering them starts to look different too.2
That is not to say that there is not a reduction over time in some of the nutrients and structures that keep our cells plump.
As we age, collagen and elastin start to degrade. This can lead to the appearance of thinner skin, and dehydration can become an issue, as it hampers skin recovery, leading to lasting marks.3
This is where skin cream can really help.
When should I use anti-ageing cream?
Rather than being about anti-ageing or vanity, it is important to look at skincare as part of a general self-care routine.
In this sense, it is wise to start as you mean to go on and take the time for yourself today! Your skin will always benefit from care and good ingredients, so it is never the wrong time to start using these products.
Getting the “right” skincare routine for your age can be a fun journey of experimentation, but if the thought of wading through the millions of products available puts you off simply go for something achievable.
This might just mean buying a day and night cream from your local supermarket rather than a 30-step routine at the cosmetics counter!
What anti-ageing products should I use?
There is no one product that does it all. And there is no such thing as a foolproof anti-wrinkle cream.
However, there are certain ingredients that have been proven to help minimise the signs of ageing.
The products you use for your face will probably be different to those for the eyes, neck and décolletage, for example.
There is also anti-ageing hand cream, specifically designed for the skin on the hands.
There is a booming market of anti-aging cream for men, too. Men have traditionally worked in jobs that are harsher on the skin and have tended to avoid self-care. So it is great that more men are switching on to the idea of taking better care of themselves.
The best eye creams
The skin around your eyes is very delicate and is one of the first places to develop fine lines, which is why anti-ageing eye cream has become increasingly popular. Look out for eye creams with sunscreen, while avoiding anything that is harsh or strips the skin.
There are several ingredients that everyone wants in their skincare now.
Glycolic acid helps to reduce breakouts, as well as helping to improve the appearance of the skin.4
Retinol is another big buzzword in the world of skincare. But it needs to be used carefully, building up the dosage gradually over time.
Vitamins E and C are good to look out for, especially when it comes to eye cream for dark circles.
For further information, you might like to read our Health Hub article, ‘The anti-ageing nutrients you need right now.’
Applying eye wrinkle cream
Unlike face cream, which most people smooth over their skin, when it comes to anti-wrinkle eye cream (this goes for anti-aging serum, too), simply pat it on gently with one finger.
Last updated: 12 November 2020