Not so long ago, the expression "50 is the new 40" was giving many women reason to look in the mirror and assess their appearances -- their skin in particular. Now, however, the expression has morphed into "50 is the new 30," and that's a hard pill to swallow if you look like the sum total of your 50 years. Best bet? Head to the nearest beauty aisle in the drugstore, department store or spa for effective skin-care products that will help you achieve younger-looking skin.
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Your First Defense
While we may love to bask in the sun or even get a little sun exposure while taking a walk, the sun is a major culprit for not only skin cancer, but prematurely aged skin. UV rays, in particular UVA rays -- think "A" for aging wrinkles -- cause damage to the skin. That's why using a sunscreen on a daily basis is your first and best defense for younger-looking skin. The best sunscreens are "broad spectrum," meaning that they protect against both UVB and UVA. Additionally, the higher the SPF, the longer the sunscreen blocks rays. So, choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to prevent sun damage and to maintain youthful-looking skin.
Exfoliate Off The Age
Children's skin looks fresh and dewy because their skin cells shed and regenerate much faster than those of an adult. As we age, skin-cell regeneration starts to slow at an exponential rate. Manual exfoliation with a scrub a few times a week will help to speed up the regeneration process. The best exfoliants combine granules, like jojoba beads or ground seeds, with an alpha- or beta-hydroxy acid. This deeper exfoliation method unclogs pores and reveals glowing skin. Exfoliating pads are also excellent for this purpose, being soaked with alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids, and usually containing other anti-aging ingredients like antioxidants and vitamins.
Moisturize Your Life
Moisturizing morning and night after cleansing is also essential for younger-looking skin, as the extra hydration plumps up the skin, temporarily filling in wrinkles for a more youthful appearance. For maximum moisture retention, the best moisturizer will contain a humectant like glycerin, hyaluronic acid or propylene glycol, and an emollient like dimethicone, petrolatum or coconut oil. Other helpful ingredients are antioxidants like white tea, vitamins A, C and E, and minerals that fight the free radicals which are a source of premature aging.
Vitamin A? Absolutely!
When shopping for your skin-care products, look for ingredients that help turn back the hands of time. Vitamin A, also known as retinoid, is widely considered to be one of the best non-surgical products for decreasing lines and wrinkles, improving texture, and restoring an overall radiance to the skin. Vitamin A comes in prescription forms, like Retin A, and is found in over-the-counter creams and lotions. While some brands make retinoid formulas for day use, it is best to use your vitamin A products at night while your skin rests.
Don't Forget Your Eyes
The fragile skin around the eye is often the first area of the face to manifest signs of aging. For lines and wrinkles in the eye area, an eye cream that contains an alpha-hydroxy acid, or retinoid, is best, as those ingredients help to diminish the appearance of lines. The best eye cream to help you with dark under-eye circles is also one with a retinoid, which will help the skin "thicken" and decrease the appearance of dark veins under the surface of the skin. For hereditary dark circles, try an eye cream with SPF, which will help lighten and brighten the area, leading to a more youthful appearance.