I love anti-aging products because I hope to do just that: anti-age and keep the skin I have now for as long as possible. Here’s to hoping that having a great skin care routine in my 20’s pays off when I’m 60. There are so many products on the market that promise to lift, banish fine lines and wrinkles, reduce pore size, firm, restore elasticity; there are even creams that promise to lift your bust and booty. Famed plastic surgeon Robert Rey from Dr. 90210 even has his own line of skin and body care.   

So do these “miracle” elixirs really work? Some can help a bit and can be great alternatives to plastic surgery. While you won’t see the same results as you would from surgical procedures, they can help soften the appearance of aging, though the only thing that will give you the effects of a facelift is an actual facelift.

When it comes to the various brands available, there isn’t one that’s “best” because each and every line has its own unique variables and you should take into account your skin type, your needs, any allergies to specific ingredients, your budget, and the amount of time you have in your daily routine. Skin care products, whether for acne, aging, or general upkeep require time and consistency; you need to use products as directed to see optimal results. 

Some scientifically proven active ingredients to look for when choosing anti-aging skin care include: 

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA): Exfoliates the skin’s surface and can improve texture. Common types to look for include lactic, glycolic, lactic, malic, citric, and  tartaric. 
  • Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA): Exfoliates and, unlike AHA’s, can penetrate pores due to their oil solubility, giving you deeper benefits. BHA’s can help with rough skin texture, wrinkles, acne and minor sun damage. Salicylic acid is BHA. Also look for willow bark as it’s a naturally derived form of Salicylic.
  • Coenzyme Q10: Helps to reduce free radical damage.
  • Retinol (vitamin A): Smoothes wrinkles, skin texture, and helps to create healthier skin cells. Presceription strength retinol products include Retin-A and Renova. OTC formulations are available in both high-end brands and drugstore brands.
  • Neuropeptides: Aids in anti-inflammation relief and helps to boost collagen and elastin.
  • Vitamin C/L-ascorbic acid: antioxidant properties, helps reduce  discoloration.
  • Amino Acid: Helps with plumping lines, discoloration.
  • There are several more out there so I recommend if you’re curious, do some homework based on ingredient, your budget, and skin type.

IMPORTANT info about active ingredient listed above: 

Please note that when using the above products, you MUST religiously use a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen of at least 15 or higher (my old derm insisted that everyone must use at least a 30). This is because these active ingredients can make your skin more susceptible to sun damage. I know you’re probably saying, “But I’m never in the sun and I don’t burn so I don’t need it!” Oh yes you do, indeed. While you can see what’s happening on the surface of your skin, the deeper layers can hide what you don’t see and often times these active ingredients can magnify the sun’s effects up to 50%. What does this mean? Basically that you’re wasting money on product because the “good” you are doing is being undone and can surface in more wrinkles, age spots, sun spots, and other surface imperfections later on. UV rays are still present on cloudy and rainy days and can still effect the skin, so use your SPF every day.

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Get the Look: Pink & Plum

February 2, 2010

Meghan was going to a special event and wanted a pink and plum eye look with an almost “nude” lip. Her specifications were to concentrate color mostly on her lid and give some definition in the crease without going too dark.

Products used:

 Top row, complexion: Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation primer, Stila Oil Free Natural Finish Foundation in Shade “C”, Smashbox Photofinish Concealer in #2 (applied under the eye and mixed with Smashbox Photo-Op Under Eye Brightener, not pictured), Benefit High Beam (lightly applied as highlight on cheeks, Nars Loose Powder in “Eden” to set makeup, and Nars Loose Powder in “Mountain” to lightly contour.

Middle Row, eye: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, Christian Dior 5-Colour Designer Eyeshadow “Nude Pink # 508”, Laura Mercier Eye Liner “Caviar”, Ardell Faux Lashes #120 Demi

Bottom row, cheek and lip: **Nars Blush in “sin”, Duwop Reverse Lip Liner, MAC Lipstick in “Politely Pink”, Nars Lipstick in “Belle Du Jour”

**Meghan has a natural flush and wanted to embrace it so I applied foundation with a lighter hand on her cheeks and did a light dusting of Nars Sin on the apples of her cheeks.

We also used these exact products to create a more natural look for her Holiday CD cover, with the exception of switching the blush from NARS to TheBalm in Hot Mama, and applying a bit more foundation to her cheeks. Meghan also is prone to dark circles so I added a bit more under eye concealer and used an apricot corrector underneath to cancel out blueness. For her eyes, we used the lighter hues from the Dior Palette and nixed the faux lashes.