The truth behind anti-aging products: When to get a jump-start on Father Time

The truth behind anti-aging products: When to get a jump-start on Father Time


Starting the right anti-aging skin care regimen is about as confusing as figuring out how to set up your 401K.

With complex-sounding ingredients like ceramides or hyaluronic acid, the abundance of choices is enough to cause stress-induced frown lines. Throw in the question of when – and how – we are actually supposed to start using these products, and we’re totally lost.

To simplify things, the Powder Room surveyed three of New York’s top dermatologists about easy steps women should take to get a jump-start on Father Time.

  1. Start sun care early

With ninety percent of wrinkles stemming from sun exposure, anti-aging skin care should begin at birth, according to Dr. Doris Day, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University Langone Medical Center.

Anti-aging “means different things at different ages,” Day said. “As a young child, it’s about proper sun care, rest and diet. And that continues throughout your years.”

Day said you should go beyond sunscreen when you’re in your teens. She recommended treating acne with retinoids, Vitamin A products that unclog pores and smooth skin.

  1. Prevention in your early 20s is ‘key’

When you’re in your early 20s, washing your face is “critical,” said Dr. Dennis Gross, founder of 900 5th Dermatology and creator of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare.

“Never go to sleep with your makeup on.” Gross added. “Doing so can block pores, leaving oil trapped inside. This leads to bacteria buildup and, yes, breakouts.”

The early 20s are also when you should start thinking about where wrinkles will appear.

“Your mother is a genetic blueprint of how you will age,” said Gross, who advised studying photos of both your mom and her mom. “If they both suffer from forehead wrinkles, you are more than likely to as well.”

  1. Reach for the eye cream in your late 20s

It’s time to hit your local drug store for products that actively target the area around your eye in your late 20s, according to Dr. Debra Jaliman, dermatologist and author of “Skin Rules.”

“Sad as it may seem, the late 20s is when collagen starts to break down,” said Jaliman. “It’s really young.”

Jaliman said she’s a “big fan” of antioxidant ingredients, like pomegranate and green tea, which protect skin while fighting wrinkles, as well as products with retinols and peptides that stimulate collagen production.

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