Skincare Secrets You Can Use Right Now
Skincare can often feel like a science, and with new technology and new research constantly being updated, it is not unusual to feel behind the curve. Below, we have rounded up the newest skincare secrets so that you can get to work protecting that precious epidermis and look forward to a new year ahead with even better skin! Luckily, most of these tips are easy lifestyle changes that make a big impact on our quest for luminous, youthful skin.
Surprise! SPF is even more important than we thought. This one might come as a no-brainer, since the importance of sunscreen has been drilled into our heads for years now. Time really does reveal all, and studies have proven over and over how crucial sun protection is to anti-aging. An exciting new study sponsored by the Johnson & Johnson Skin Research Center has even shown that not only does wearing sunscreen religiously (meaning every. single. day. - rain or shine!) prevent wrinkles, sagging, and discoloration, it actually restores the skin as well by improving skin tone, texture, and clarity. The study showed an average of 40 percent younger looking skin on participants just by wearing sunscreen alone - zero other anti-aging products - for a whole year. Who doesn’t want their skin to look 40 percent younger in just a year, with just one product? A no-brainer indeed.
In other news, dermatologists are learning that overzealous exfoliation actually does more harm than good. Physical exfoliants like scrubs can throw off the skin’s pH balance, removing good bacteria and causing flare ups in the form of rosacea and eczema. Not only that, but over doing scrubs can also actually break down collagen and cause more wrinkles and sagging over time. However, mild chemical peels with glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids are gentle enough to remove dull skin cells on the surface of skin while preserving and promoting good bacteria growth. Mildly acidic peels are a great way to get that smooth, glowing skin you are after without harming it in the process. And make no mistake, you can still use physical exfoliants sparingly, but chemical peels are a much more beneficial alternative to use regularly.
You may already know how important collagen is to maintaining plump and healthy skin, but studies are showing that taking collagen peptide supplements works wonders, too! Peptides are amino acid chains that build collagen in skin, and collagen is responsible for making up the connective tissues in ligaments and skin. Basically, it is what holds the skin together, and as we age and our natural ability to produce collagen decreases we see a breakdown in the structure of the skin, leading to wrinkles and sagging. Taking collagen peptides both topically and internally can help reduce eye wrinkles and build healthy collagen and elastin for smoother, bouncier skin. Collagen peptide supplements in the form of capsules, gummies, and drink mixes are readily available at health stores.
Want another way to help your appearance from the inside out? Get moving! Regular, high intensity exercise that significantly raises your heart rate is shown to promote skin that acts and looks younger, thanks to increased blood flow and more energetic mitochondrial cells. Studies show that participants who perform high intensity exercise for four hours a week have significantly younger looking skin than those who do not work out. Even if you lead a more sedentary lifestyle, exercising even moderately twice a week gets your heart rate up enough to see changes in as little as 3 months. And speaking of exercise, if you happen to suffer from melasma (dark patches of skin discoloration), you may want to skip hot yoga as your workout of choice. Dermatologists are finding that in addition to UV rays creating hyperpigmentation, even heat can aggravate melasma and make dark patches flare up. Try finding a work out that does not add additional heat in order to maximize the youthful benefits of exercise.
As humans, we generally like when things are tailored to our specific needs and wants, and our skin is no different. Instead of applying products to your entire face, try mixing and matching depending on your skin’s areas of concern. That means applying anti-redness products to only on areas that are prone to rosacea, like the chin, nose, and cheeks, retinoids on the forehead, thicker creams around the eyes and lips, and anti-acne acids like salicylic or glycolic only on the T-zone to prevent drying out other areas of the skin. This customization helps your skin reap the maximum benefits of each, without inadvertently causing more problems. A bonus is that your products should last even longer when you are not slathering them all over your face!
Having younger looking skin doesn’t always mean you have to be using the latest and greatest products, or that you need to make massive changes to your routine. With just a few quick changes, you can treat yourself right and enjoy smoother, clearer, more even toned skin.