Anti-aging is a vast term used by a lot of skincare brands, usually attracting the attention of consumers in their late 30s onwards. But when a term is so broadly used, lesser truths or “myths” are bound to creep up. So, what are some of the most common myths that have little to no truth to them? Let’s find out!
MYTH #1 : USING SKINCARE ALONE CAN FIGHT SIGNS OF AGING
Possibly the most common anti-aging myth is that skincare on its own can fight signs of aging as they appear on the skin. But let us break it to you: you cannot fight aging signs by only using skincare. Skincare in itself is not powerful enough to treat wrinkles, sun spots or sagging skin that have already appeared on the skin. These conditions can only be treated with aesthetical treatment, such as fillers or botox. All skincare products do is slow down the premature aging signs, but this can only be done when skincare is used consistently, prior to any signs of aging appearing on the skin.
MYTH #2 : ANTI AGING PRODUCTS CAN ONLY BE USED AT CERTAIN AGE
Another common myth is that you should only use anti-aging products when you reach a certain age. Although it is true that using some anti-aging ingredients too early may cause your skin more harm than good, there are a few products that you can use to fight premature aging signs earlier on, so that you will appear younger than your age in the long run. In other words, you don’t have to wait till you reach a certain age to worry about using anti-aging products – you can start worrying about it, like, NOW.
MYTH #3 : GENETIC MATTERS MOST IN AGING
This is actually a myth. Although genetics is the biggest factor when we talk about skin problems in general, it actually matters less in aging. According to Charlotte Cho in ‘The Little Book of Skincare’: “80%-90% of your aging is a result of environmental factors.” This means that good skin genes account for only 10%-20% of overall aging factors. You have bad skin genes? No worries! You can still look more youthful than your age with the right practices!
Now that we’ve gotten anti-aging myths out of the way, what are some facts on the subject?
FACT #1 : SUNSCREEN IS THE BEST ANTI AGING PRODUCT
Remember when we said there are a few products you can use to fight premature aging signs, regardless of age? Well, sunscreen is one of them! To combat premature aging using sunscreen, look for sunscreens labelled “broad spectrum” and keep an eye out for PA ratings (usually labelled PA+ on sunscreens). These are reliable measurements to protect against UVA rays from the sun, which causes aging and premature aging due to sun exposure. Broad spectrum sunscreens means that the product offers better protection, which is the same for higher PA ratings (usually up to PA++++).
FACT #2 : YOU DON’T NEED SPECIFIC ANTI-AGING PRODUCTS TO FIGHT PREMATURE AGING OR SIGNS OF AGING
For this purpose, it’s better to learn about the ingredients in a product to know if it has anti- aging benefits, rather than simply rely on “anti-aging” labels on a bottle. This is because there are a lot of common ingredients that can fight premature aging and aging signs that you might not know of, such as alpha hydroxy acids, or commonly referred to in skincare as AHAs. According to an article from Jundishapur Journal of Natural Pharmaceutical Products entitled ‘Hydroxy Acids, the Most Widely Used Anti-aging Agents’: “AHAs stimulate the exfoliation of epidermal cells in the stratum corneum by interfering with the ionic bonding between these cells. This results in the sloughing off of dull and rough skin and promotes cellular renewal.” What this means is that a product does not necessarily have to be labelled “anti-aging” to deliver those benefits – it’s all in the ingredients!
FACT #3 : MAINTAINING SKIN BARRIER HEALTH IS A GOOD WAY TO SLOW DOWN PREMATURE AGING
Something as simple as making sure your natural barrier is in good condition can do wonders for overall skin health, including maintaining a youthful appearance. As licensed aesthetician Rita Lee said: “An intact barrier holds in water better and keeps out irritants. When the barrier is damaged, skin is more vulnerable to inflammation, a major source of aging.” So, just focus on maintaining a healthy skin barrier and you are already doing your skin a huge favour – including reducing the premature signs of aging! All in all, maintaining a proper skincare routine (cleanse, exfoliate, hydrate, protect) is crucial to keep signs of aging at bay. Once those signs appear, it may be harder to treat them if you have not practiced good skincare habits from the start. Skincare is an investment for today but it gives you benefit in the long run.
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