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Anti Aging Skin Care Products, Problems and Solutions

What Works to Help Your Skin Stay Young?


Updated May 13, 2009

Anti Aging Skin Care

Anti Aging Skin Care

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Anti aging skin care involves products, lots of products. These Anti aging skin care products sell like hotcakes these days (that’s a weird expression and I am not entirely sure where it came from, but you get the idea). We all want to look younger and hide the effects of aging on our skin. But which of the techniques and methods really work? How effective are anti aging skin care products? Is it worth it to pay extra for products that claim to help reverse aging through antioxidants, mushrooms, enzymes and other scientifically sound approaches?

The Facts on Anti Aging Skin Care Products

First off, it is hard to find information on anti aging skin care that isn’t involved in trying to sell you something. I decided to start my search for information at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging (the U.S.’s premier institution for the scientific study of aging). What I found was information on why skin ages and which products have been FDA approved for things like reversing wrinkles or treating age spots (these are usually prescription anti aging skin care products). Here’s what I found:

Why Skin Ages - The Basics of Anti Aging Skin Care

Our skin ages primarily from exposure to UV light from the sun. UV light batters our skin’s cells with energy that can penetrate the cell walls and causes changes in cellular structure (and even in the DNA). Over time, this adds up to wrinkles, age spots, dry skin and more. Basically, exposure to sunlight over years and years makes the skin thinner and creates in skin appearance that we link to aging. Just think about it, most of the places where we are concerned about skin aging (face and hands) are the places that are most exposed to sunlight during our lives.

Anti Aging Skin Care Problems (and What Really Works to Help Them)

As we age, we all face the same problems with our skin. There are thousands of products on the market that claim to help. In fact, most anti aging skin care problems really don't do anything to "make your skin younger," they just cover up the damage done. These anti aging skin care products are expensive but most are harmless (and do not work as they claim). Here’s an overview of some of the common anti aging skin care problems and what to do about them:
  • Wrinkles: Wrinkles are a major target of anti aging skin care products. Wrinkles are caused by primarily two things: UV light from the sun and smoking. Both these things you can avoid. UV light exposure can be avoided (or greatly lessened) by avoiding spending lots of time in the sun and being sure to use sunscreen. Smoking can be avoiding by quitting smoking and making sure you are not exposed to second-hand smoke (for help quitting smoking, see our excellent site on smoking cessation).
  • Dry Skin and Itching: Dry skin and itching is a problem that many increases with age. Part of the reason that dry skin and itching are problems for older people is that, as you age, sweat and oil glands in your skin are lost. This results in dry skin and all the problems (like itching) linked with it. Creams, ointments and lotions can all help relieve dry and itching skin. You should also avoid using too much soap, taking too many baths and using too much perfume. All these things can dry the skin more. Anti aging skin care here mostly alleviates the symptoms, but does not "fix" the problem of dry skin.
  • Age Spots: These flat, brown spots are caused by exposure to the sun. They appear on areas of the body most exposed to sunlight like the face, arms and hands. The chances of getting age spots increase with age. Some anti aging skin care treatments exist to fade the age spots. Most important, sunscreen can help prevent further damage or increase in age spots.
  • Bruising: Another common skin problem linked to increased age is bruising easily. This is because the skin becomes thinner with age (again due to exposure to UV light and sun damage). In addition, some medications can cause the skin to bruise more easily.
  • Skin Cancer: Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Almost 50% of Americans older than 65 develop have skin cancer at least once in their life. To me, that number is rather shocking. It is critically important to routinely check your skin for skin cancer and have your skin checked by a dermatologist on a regular basis. Luckily, most skin cancer is easily treated, especially if caught early.

Must Read: Best Anti Aging Skin Care Product


National Institute on Aging. National Institutes of Health. Age Page: Skin Care and Aging.

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