Tips for Perfecting Your Anti-Aging Skincare Routine
What are the key ingredients for an anti-aging skincare routine?
Certain ingredients form the building blocks of an anti-aging skincare routine, no matter what specific products that you use. Prioritizing evidence-backed ingredients instead of vague marketing claims will also ensure that the products you have chosen will actually deliver the anti-aging benefits they have promised. Here are the ingredients that you should prioritize if you are looking to prevent or treats signs of premature aging:
- Retinol: Retinol and retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that increase your skin cell turnover, which encourages cell regeneration and helps to prevent or reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It can also help to treat adult acne by unclogging pores and getting rid of dead skin cells.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to protect your skin from free radical damage that can exacerbate the signs of aging.
- Ceramides: Ceramides work to maintain and repair the skin’s natural barrier, locking in moisture and helping to prevent water loss that can dry out your skin. This is important because sebum production slows down as we age, so it’s important to keep skin hydrated.
- Hyaluronic acid: Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that attracts water, helping to keep the skin hydrated and plump looking. This also helps to counteract the lower production of sebum that we mentioned above.
- Collagen: Collagen is a protein that helps to improve skin elasticity and fill in visible wrinkles. Some people like to take collagen supplements, and you can find it as an ingredient in topical skincare products as well.
- Peptides: Peptides are amino acids that form the building blocks of important skin proteins like collagen and elastin. Having peptides in your skincare products can help to promote healthy, smooth skin.
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs): AHAs form a family of chemical exfoliators that help to dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells, allowing them to be washed away and exposing smooth, glowing skin. Dry skin worsens the appearances of wrinkles and fine lines, so regularly exfoliating with AHAs makes them less apparent.
To avoid overwhelming your skin, look for products that contain multiple ingredients at once. For instance, you can find single skin-tightening creams that contain ceramides, hyaluronic acid, collagen, and peptides for a powerful moisturizer, instead of looking for four separate products that contain each ingredient on their own.
Be sure to pay attention to the ingredient concentrations as well. Some products only put a tiny percentage of an active ingredient in the formulation so they can market it as being “made with vitamin C” and so on. Pay close attention to the labels to see how much of an ingredient a product contains; the higher the percentage, the closer it will be listed to the top of the label. Some brands are also very transparent about the concentrations that their products contain; i.e., 10% glycolic acid.
What are the steps in an anti-aging skincare routine?
Now that you know what ingredients to look for, it’s time to discuss what products to include in your anti-aging skincare routine. Here are both the required and optional steps to help you put together the ultimate routine:
Removing your makeup and sunscreen at the end of the day is an important first step in your nighttime routine. Leaving makeup residue on your face can cause dryness, clog pores, and increase the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Removing makeup and sunscreen completely also ensures that your other skincare products are applied directly to your skin, improving their penetration and making your overall skincare routine more effective.
If you wear a lot of makeup and/or a water-resistant sunscreen, look for a cleansing balm or oil cleanser that can remove heavy-duty products. If you wear a non-water-resistant sunscreen, then a micellar water might suffice for your makeup removal needs. Makeup removing wipes are also a great option especially if you’re short on time or are traveling!
In the morning, you can either rinse your face with clean water if it’s very sensitive and dry or wash it with a cleanser to remove any residue that accumulated overnight. At night, you should alway follow your makeup remover with a quality facial cleanser to wash away any last traces of dirt and debris and ensure that you start your routine with a fresh, clean face.
If you have already noticed that your skin is producing less oil as you age, then we recommend switching to a gentle cream or milk cleanser that won’t strip the skin. Foaming and gel cleansers are great for oil control, but they are often too harsh for aging skin, so you might find that they leave your face feeling dry and tight. After cleansing, your face shouldn’t feel like it still has a residue on it, but it also shouldn’t feel dried out either.
Also be careful to wash your face with lukewarm or cold water, not hot water. Hot water will further dry out the skin and exacerbate signs of aging, so try to keep the temperature down when you can.
Anti-aging face masks are an optional part of your routine, but they can be a nice addition to your routine. Some people like to do them every day, while others save them for a longer skincare routine on the weekend. Face masks can do many different things for your skin depending on the ingredients; choose from hydrating, brightening, exfoliating, or soothing depending on your needs.
Face masks also come in several different formulations, including sheet masks that you stick to your face and creams that you smear on your skin, allow to dry out, and then rinse off. Choose whichever style of masks suits your preferences, or switch between them to add some variety to your skincare routine.
Serums are the powerhouses of the skincare routine, offering strong active ingredients that can make a serious difference in the appearance of your skin when applied consistently over time. For an anti-aging skincare routine, we recommend choosing a vitamin C serum in the morning to protect against free radical damage from UV rays and dirt. At night, we suggest choosing a retinol serum to encourage skin cell turnover and reduce the appearance of fine lines.
There are plenty of other types of serums to choose from as well, but we recommend being selective of what serums you include in your routine to avoid overdoing it on active ingredients. Look for single serums that incorporate multiple ingredients for an effective and well-balanced approach to skincare.
Exfoliators come in many different forms — including cleansers, face masks, serums, and scrubs — so you can choose the ones that work best for you. Exfoliators contribute to an anti-aging skincare routine because they remove dead skin cells and dry patches that can worsen the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Most people need to exfoliate between one to three times a week depending on their skin’s individual needs and how powerful the exfoliating product is.
Moisturizers are a key part of any anti-aging skincare routine because they help to counteract the slowdown in oil production that occurs as we age. Look for skin-tightening creams that contain beneficial ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, peptides, and marula oil. Many people prefer to use a lighter cream during the day so that it won’t pill underneath their makeup, and then switch to a heavier cream at night to help prevent water loss from the skin while they sleep.
Eye creams aren’t a strictly necessary part of an anti-aging skincare routine — you can just apply your regular moisturizer around your eyes if you want. However, they are a great addition if you are starting to notice fine lines forming around your eyes. The skin around your eyes is extremely thin and delicate, which is why it’s one of the first parts of your face to show signs of aging. Eye creams that contain powerful ingredients such as retinol are also specifically formulated so that they won’t irritate your eyes, which is a big plus.
If you only do one step of your anti-aging skincare routine, then it should be applying sunscreen in the morning. That’s because exposure to UV rays is the no. 1 contributing factor to visible signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles, not to mention it increases your risk of skin cancer. Choose a sunscreen that offers protection of at least SPF 30, and higher if you’d like, and apply the recommended amount to all of your exposed skin, including your neck and ears.
Sunscreen should be worn every day, even when you are sitting indoors; windows don’t do a very good job of blocking UV rays. If you are outside, sweating, or getting in the water, then it should be reapplied every two hours. Also try to limit your sun exposure, especially when the sun is at its peak between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Seek shade whenever you can, and try to cover your exposed skin with hats, sunglasses, and clothing that offers UPF protection.
Facial oil is another optional step in your skincare routine, but it can be a beneficial addition if you have very dry skin, especially in the winter. Facial oils can be applied over your moisturizer or mixed into the cream before applying it, as you prefer. We suggest only applying facial oil at night because it can compromise the formulation of sunscreens and makeup, causing them to break down prematurely.
Ready to get started with your anti-aging skincare routine? Check out the skincare for wrinkles available from Lancer Skincare, including cleansers, creams, and more. All of our products receive free, fast shipping in the United States — no order minimum needed — and come with a 30-day money-backed guarantee so that you can shop with confidence.