Currently, the anti-ageing market is estimated to be worth around US$150 billion. With this sort of money up for grabs it’s no wonder every man and his dog wants a piece of the pie. Sadly, what the ageing population, desperate to hold on to their looks while simultaneously needing to age “gracefully'” forget, is that ageing is a biological process. Therefore, unless you look at anti-ageing and preventative treatments scientifically, you’re wasting your money!
Every time I see the latest miracle cure for ageing, whether it be an exotic fruit from deep in the amazon jungle; or a cream as generic as Sorbolene, but served up in some ridiculously gimmicky packaging (I recently saw a moisturizer packaged in a syringe that you take home and fake-inject, claiming it will work like a dermal filler!); I cringe and want to warn the world not to fall for such absurdity. It actually reminds me of those old-school travelling medicine shows where lotions and potions were peddled by poorly educated “doctors”. “Miracle elixirs” were promoted as the cure for any disease! including smoothing wrinkles! Yes, even back in the 19th century, when we weren’t even living long enough to age that significantly, we were lining up for the promise of youth. Here’s a tip for the people of the 1800 if your “doctor” arrives with a traveling freak-show, question his reputability!!
Thankfully, here in 2016 we know a little more. So here’s my tip for the people of today – choose science, not marketing! Today we know without a shadow of doubt what ages us in the first place, so this is not rocket-science, just standard science.
So what does age our skin and what should we do? Obviously the way in which we age is dictated by time itself and genetics. As a result, we are never going to be able to completely stop or reverse the effects of chronological ageing on our skin. There are, however, a few things we can do to ensure our skin looks amazing well into middle (and old) age.
Firstly, start by avoiding the 3 most damaging things to our skin:
- The sun – mitigating this couldn’t be easier, wear sunscreen every day! Done.
- Smoking – if number 1 is easy, then this is a no-brainer – don’t smoke! Der.
- Alcohol and Sugar – Ok, so even I’m guilty of indulging here from time to time, but the key is MODERATION (and lots of water in between drinks!).
Secondly, and importantly – stop wasting money on skincare that has a pretty bottle but no scientific merit. If, after the age of about 30, your skin care is not medical-grade and scientifically formulated to have an impact at a cellular level, you may as well be using the no-name moisturiser you find at Coles. We all need an at-home regime that includes crucial ingredients like Vitamin A and C, that also helps to accelerate the cell-cycle. The cell-cycle slows dramatically with age, so anything that speeds this up helps to keep the skin looking radiant! Your cosmetic physician should be able to assess your skin, determine what products are best for your individual needs and explain the science behind why these products will work. Don’t be afraid to ask!and if you’re not seeing results, tell them and ask why – because science doesn’t lie.