Diane Von Furstenberg said that the key to aging is to not to let oneself go, and to make an effort to preserve and maintain what you've got. I could not agree more. DVF famously does not do any cosmetically altering procedures (like fillers or Botox), but she does have weekly facials, use plant potent products like the serum from Tracie Martyn that she's obsessed with, and drink tons of water. She is doing everything right, and I would add a few other treatments and products for a well rounded approach. I recently had a reader write in asking what are the best ways to age naturally and gracefully. Below are some products I would suggest incorporating into your routine for an at home anti-aging regimen to start using in your late twenties and definitely by your early thirties. From there, you will likely find the need to adopt thicker night and day creams as well as a weekly hydrating mask to help keep your skin hydrated.
I will be writing a part two to this post (and question) after I see my skincare guru in California in the middle of December. That post will cover more of the medi-spa treatments you may want to look into (laser, micro dermabrasion, etc) and I will be sharing the low down on those soon. In the meantime, feel free to share what you are using and loving in the comments to everyone can benefit.
These potent moisture boosters are usually packed with antioxidants and other natural ingredients that help to protect skin from external irritants and polutants. Use under a moisturizer to draw the hydration of your cream deeper into your skin. I suggest using a Vitamin C serum, I'm dying to try Ole Henriksen's Truth Serum, in the morning to help protect the skin naturally from damaging sun rays. Vit C also imparts a brightening glow over time and helps to even skin tone. Yes please!
At night, it is all about hydration. Your body heats up while you sleep so it is the perfect time tim layer on the products and awake with the fully absorbed into the skin. For nighttime, it is all about treating the skin and helping it recover. I like to use Renewing Oil Serum from Intelligent Nutrients or the Firming Serum from Tracie Martyn which literally lifts before your eyes. Both boost collagen and our skin's natural elasticity.
Peels & Exfoliators
Glycolic peels have been around for years and you may recall that super scary scene in Sex and The City where Samantha had a peel earlier in the day and doesn't want to attend Carrie's book launch party because her skin looks like it's been torched and is melting off. Why would women put themselves through that?! Well, done properly and with the right ratio of active ingredients, peels can help to remove an outer dermal layer- revealing smoother, younger looking skin. They are also great for lifting hyperpigmentation (those age or sun spots that start to show as you get older). Personally, I opt out of the peel issued at the dermatologist and instead use an at home treatment from Juice Beauty. Their Green Apple Peel is amazing. Use it once weekly and be prepared to see a difference. I often recommend this to brides or clients who have an upcoming event where they want to truly glow. If you are scared of peels being too powerful for your skin, start with the sensitive skin formula and less time (ie: leave on for 5 minutes instead of 10 or 15).
Non-abrasive exfoliators are also a good idea. They help to break up anything that is sitting on the skin's surface- namely your skin cells that are dead or dying and need to be removed. Our cells renew all the time, and using products that help that process of regeneration is the key to younger looking skin. Use a scrub once weekly (a few days a part from your weekly Green Apple peel) and follow with a nourishing serum and cream. I'm loving the Enzyme Exfoliator from Tracie Martyn, which I also use as a seriously effective spot treatment overnight to shrink pimples that pop up.
Commonly knows as Retin-A, the prescription product dermatologists love to push, retinols are essentially concentrated forms of Vitamin A. Our skin cells contain retinoid receptors which regulate normal cell functions. As we age, our skin behaves more abnormally. Retinols restore the regular functioning of cells. They cause cells to turn over more quickly, and produces smoother, younger skin with less wrinkles (or lighter lines) and reduce freckles and age spots. They also help to retain and boost collagen.
Yet, retinols get a bad rap because they do take time to adjust to. Just go slow and use a small amount at night every three days and build up to every other night and then every night. They may make you break out for the first few weeks, and will for sure make you more photo sensitive (wear sunscreen on the regular!). They may also prompt some dry skin and flaking while your skin adapts, but it is worth it. Retinols are a standout beauty treatment effectively proven at reducing signs of aging with a 25 year history.
I use a retinol oil from Sunday Riley. I find it is much easier on my skin (especially because I live in such a dry climate). The oil helps keep my skin hydrated while the retinols sink in and work their magic. If you want the best results, you may want to look into prescription Retin- A.