It seems people have always been looking for the fountain of youth. Whether its expensive plastic surgery or Botox treatments, there is no shortage of procedures and treatments that promise to take years off your appearance.
You can spend a lot of money trying to look younger, or you can spend a little. If you decide on the latter course, here are some tips from dermatologists to get the best results.
"People often think that the more expensive a product is, the more effective it will be," said board-certified dermatologist Susan C. Taylor, MD, FAAD, founding director of the Skin of Color Center at St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals in New York. "That's not always the case. People need to shop smart since there are some very effective, affordable products in the skin care aisles of their local stores."
Sunscreen for everyday use
For example, Taylor suggests wearing sunscreen every day, not just when you go to the beach. The sun can accelerate signs of aging, no matter where you are exposed to it.
Taylor recommends a sunscreen or facial moisturizer that offers broad-spectrum protection and has an SPF of at least 30. Be sure to apply sunscreen to all skin that is not covered by clothing.
Obviously if you are wearing sunscreen every day, you're trying to avoid getting a tan. Tan people do not age well. Getting a tan from the sun or a tanning bed exposes you to harmful UV rays that can accelerate aging, causing wrinkles, age spots, a blotchy complexion and even skin cancer.
Dollar for dollar, perhaps the most efficient anti-aging product is moisturizer. Moisturizing traps water in the skin, which can help reduce the appearance of some fine lines and make your complexion look brighter and younger.
Be careful with new products
Don't be a guinea pig for new products. Test them on a small part of your body, like your inner forearm, twice a day for four or five days. If you do not have a reaction, it is likely safe for you to apply to your face.
When you do use an anti-aging product, use it as directed. Sometimes active ingredients 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.
Be sensitive to reactions. If you use a product and it stings or burns, stop using it until you consult with a dermatologist. Some products prescribed by a dermatologist may cause stinging or burning. When under a dermatologist's care, this can be safe and effective. Ordinarily, however, you want to avoid products that sting, since irritating the skin makes signs of aging more noticeable.
Finally, don't go overboard on anti-aging products. Using too many products on your skin, especially more than one anti-aging product, tends to cause irritation. This often makes signs of aging more noticeable.
"It's very important that people allow time for the product to work. While a moisturizer can immediately plump up fine lines, most products take at least six weeks to work and sometimes it can take three months," said Dr. Taylor. "See a dermatologist if after following these tips you still do not see the expected results," Taylor said.