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We don’t know how to stop the clock, but we can help you fool the cameras and mirrors into thinking you’re a younger you. Here’s some essential tips to get the skin care routine you need.
Wash with a gentle cleanser
Cleansing is important for removing any skin care product or makeup that you’ve applied during the day, as well as natural skin oils, pollutants, and bacteria that’s accumulated. It also means your skin care products will be able to enter your skin and work more effectively!
You’ll want to use a gentle cleanser to preserve your skin barrierTrusted Source and keep it resistant to dehydration and damage. Cleansers with a high pH like natural soaps are very harsh and can leave your skin vulnerable to irritation and infection. Cleansers with a low pH, such as this one by Cosrx ($10.75 on Amazon), work to maintain optimal skin balance.
Another ingredient to avoid is sodium lauryl sulfate, as it’s very harsh. You also don’t need to buy cleansers with fancy, active ingredients. Cleanser’s aren’t on your skin for very long. Those active ingredients are far more useful in later steps, like when you apply serum.
Do you need a toner?
Toners were developed in the past to restore the low pH of the skin after washing with a high-pH cleanser. If you’re using a cleanser with a low pH, then a toner is unnecessary. It’s much better to avoid damage in the first place than to undo it later!
Use a physical or chemical exfoliant
As you age, your skin slows down Trusted Source replenishing itself. Dead skin cells aren’t replaced by fresh cells as quickly, which means your skin starts to look dull and uneven, and may even crack. Exfoliants are a great way to help get dead cells off your skin.
There are two main categories of exfoliants: physical and chemical. It’s best to avoid harsh physical exfoliants, such as sugar scrubs and cleansers with beads, because it makes your skin more susceptible to sagging. Instead, choose a washcloth or a soft sponge, like this Konjac sponge with activated charcoal ($9.57 on Amazon), that can handle your skin’s needs.
Chemical exfoliants gradually dissolve the bonds between skin cells and allow them to detach. They’re also suitable for skin of any age! The best exfoliants for maturing skin are alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs)Trusted Source like glycolic acid and lactic acid. You can also find these acids in toners, serums, and at-home peels.
Bonus tip: AHAs are also great for fading uneven pigmentation, and will help hydrate your skin as well! One great product is this Gylo-Luronic Acid serum ($5.00 on Makeup Artist’s Choice), that has a mix of glycolic acid and hyaluronic acid. It has properties to exfoliate and moisturize your skin.
Pat, don’t rub, on your anti-aging serums
In general, serums contain a higher concentration of active ingredients than a moisturizer. The best anti-aging ingredients to look out for are vitamin A derivatives known as retinoidsTrusted Source (retinol, tretinoin, and tazarotene) and vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate). As well as increasing collagen in your skin, they also act as antioxidants to soak up the biological and environmental oxidative stress that builds up to cause aging.