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How to Renew Aging Skin
More often than not, when we look in the mirror, it reflects back things we don’t really want to see. You could be facing rough, dry, uneven skin tone, dullness, red areas, and wrinkles. None of that is welcome, and if we could change some of it (or all of it), most people would love it!
This article shares the steps you can take now to renew and reinvigorate your skin’s appearance. With the right products and a commitment to a brilliant skincare routine, you can get and keep smoother, hydrated, younger-looking skin—really. We’ve seen the results in the mirror ourselves and we want you to see them on your skin!
Skin-Renewing Tip #1: Be Diligent About Sunscreen
It’s OK to be obsessive about some things, like eating healthy and driving safely. Daily sunscreen application with a broad-spectrum moisturizer rated SPF 30 or greater should also be on that list. It’s the crucial first step in your mission to achieving a visibly younger and even skin tone that regains and maintains a youthful complexion that will stay with you for years to come.
Paula’s Choice Skincare moisturizing sunscreens are a vital part of our skincare routine because unprotected UV exposure is the #1 cause of virtually every sign of aging you don’t want to see.
If used as directed with other sun protection measures, this decreases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by sun.
We’re frequently asked about how much and how often to apply sunscreen (we admit, it can be confusing!); in response, see the following tips:
How much to apply: Check out this article for reliable, research-based advice.
How often: SPF ratings are a measurement of the amount of time your skin can be exposed to UV light before it turns color, which is a visible signal of damage. If your skin turns color after 15 minutes of unprotected exposure, a sunscreen rated SPF 30 would protect you for 15 x 30, which is 450 minutes, or 7.5 hours. This does not count the time indoors when your skin isn’t exposed to UV light.
From the example above, applying SPF 30 liberally each morning will keep you protected for a normal workday (indoors) and the drive home.
If you will be outdoors all day and in direct sunlight (especially if you’re not wearing protective clothing, a hat, or sunglasses, and not seeking shade), you will have to reapply as indicated on the sunscreen’s label. We can’t do anything about this, sunscreens have limitations when skin is continuously exposed to sunlight.
Layer your protection: Your moisturizer with sunscreen can be worn under your foundation with sunscreen and your pressed powder with SPF or even a primer with sunscreen! Together, these will provide you with extra insurance against the unwanted effects of exposure to UV light.
Skin-Renewing Tip #2: Use an AHA or BHA Exfoliant
We want to change how you think about exfoliating your skin because we want you to stop aggravating your skin with harsh scrubs that are abrasive and truly have a negative impact on skin. These scrubs are everywhere but most are just too rough on skin. Being gentle is paramount if you want to maintain healthy-looking skin.
That’s where a leave-on, exceptionally gentle AHA or BHA exfoliant comes in, to help your skin exfoliate imperceptibly and naturally, just like it did when you were young (of course, we’d love for you to consider one of our Paula’s Choice Skincare AHA or BHA exfoliants). Exfoliating with a leave-on exfoliant is one of the major skincare steps that really can seem to turn back the hands of time, virtually overnight.
Scrubs aren’t terrible for extra cleansing (assuming you use them very gently and they have soft beads as opposed to rough grains, shells, or ground-up nuts), but for exfoliating dead skin naturally, banishing dullness, and improving the look of pores, skin tone, and wrinkles, scrubs don’t hold a candle to the results you can get from a non-abrasive, leave-on exfoliant.
Note: AHA or BHA cleansers have limited ability to exfoliate skin because they are rinsed off before they can really have exfoliating benefits. AHA and BHA exfoliants work their magic when they are left on the skin overnight or during the day
Find out how to shop for an AHA or BHA exfoliant, and find the one that’s perfect for you with this handy guide on AHA & BHA exfoliants!
Skin-Renewing Tip #3: Use Anti-Aging Ingredients
Be skeptical of trendy anti-aging ingredients that don’t have legitimate scientific research behind them proving their benefits when applied to skin.
Instead, recharge and nourish your skin’s appearance by using products loaded with research-proven ingredients that can slow the appearance of older-looking skin. Such ingredients include potent, stable antioxidants (like vitamin C, green tea, grape extract, and resveratrol), skin-restoring ingredients (like retinol, peptides, and niacinamide), and skin-replenishing ingredients (glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid).
We are proud to say that these are exactly the types of ingredients we add to every Paula’s Choice Skincare toner, serum, moisturizer, and targeted solution, so that those with every skin type and concern have expertly formulated options to help their skin look renewed and beautifully even, day after day.
Skin-Renewing Tip #4: Avoid Sensitizing Ingredients
So far we’ve offered tips on what to use to revive skin from the look of advancing years, but this list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention what to avoid. Lots of skincare products contain problematic ingredients research has shown pose a risk of causing a sensitized reaction.
Surprisingly, fragrance—both natural and synthetic—tops this list. A product that smells nice has strong nose appeal, but what makes your nose happy doesn’t always please your skin!
The same goes for products that contain denatured alcohol, lemon, citrus, eucalyptus, and witch hazel, to name a few. Yes, some people might say that such products are fine if “they don’t bother you,” but the sneaky thing about skin sensitization is that even if it’s not apparent to you (doesn’t hurt, doesn’t sting, doesn’t cause redness), it’s still causing cumulative problems, although silently.
You might even like how these ingredients cause a cool tingling sensation, making you think they’re working, but that sensation is actually your skin telling you it’s being bothered, not helped (men, we’re talking to you, too). You’ll be shocked at how quickly your skin will rebound once you stop using products that contain these troublesome ingredients!
Summing It Up
For optimal renewal, your skin needs products loaded with skin-replenishing and skin-restoring ingredients, an array of soothing antioxidants, daily sun protection with a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater, and a reliable AHA or BHA exfoliant. Adding these to your daily skincare routine will have you loving your image in the mirror!
References for this information:
Dermatology Research and Practice, February 2015, ePublication
JAMA Dermatology, February 2014, pages 154–163
Annals of Internal Medicine, June 2013, pages 781–790
Journal of the German Society of Dermatology, July 2012, pages 488–491
Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, pages 252–259
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
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About the Experts
Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:
The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!