Tested anti-aging tips from the experts

Author: Canadian Living


Tested anti-aging tips from the experts

The buzz from the beauty editor
I've been obsessed with the fight against aging since the tender age of 21. My mother, on the other hand, considers each birthday a blessing, and subsequently, her skin-care routine is of the soap-and-water variety. Somewhere in the middle is a happy medium. Combine the courage to grow old gracefully with some simple, skin-saving anti-aging strategies, and you'll age happily and beautifully.

Insider information from the beauty bunch
"I believe all anti-aging products should combine multiple anti-aging ingredients so that the product/formula has the ability to: combat and protect against free-radical damage; soothe stressed skin to avoid free-radical damage; nourish and strengthen the skin; reduce the visible signs of aging through stimulating collagen production and the growth of healthy young cells -- without causing irritation and/or inflammation. When irritation or inflammation is present, free radicals run rampant and this can lead to premature aging. Ideally, the products should contain chirally correct ingredients, since [they] increase the effectiveness of the ingredients while reducing the chance of inflammation/irritation."
-- Shan Albert

Anti-aging essentials
"Everyone in my office, male or female, regardless of age, is advised to use sunscreen with zinc oxide in the morning and a retinoid in the evening. The retinoid I choose depends on the skin they have. With acne, it's Retin-A, which kills two birds with one stone. It addresses acne and stimulates collagen. If a patient is in her 30s, then maybe it will be a retinol, which is less irritating. For a more mature woman in her 50s, with drier skin, I might prescribe Renova, which has mineral oil."
-- Jessica Wu, MD

Miracle workers
"I tend to dismiss any ingredient that promises, by itself, to rejuvenate the skin (what I call 'miracle ingredients') because skin aging is multi-factorial. Look, for example, at the news release that claimed a scientist at Clarkson University has discovered why older skin feels 'leathery': the cytoskeleton of epithelial cells becomes more rigid. I have no problem in accepting that the cytoskeleton, the protein net that helps the cell keep its shape, changes with the skin's age. But what about all the other changes we know happen in skin cells and in the dermis? Collagen and elastin, deep in the dermis, are modified in ways that affect their elasticity, and so the epidermis changes in many other ways in addition to whatever happens to the cytoskeleton. This miracle ingredient won't work for the other factors that make a skin look old. In short, miracle ingredients (the 'one" that will make you young again) work only for marketing."
-- Shan Albert

Peel appeal
"Home peels are essential, and they're gentle enough to use every day. The pH fluctuation from step one to step two [in MD Skincare's Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel] is a mechanism that allows the skin to produce more collagen and makes existing collagen resort to a more pristine structure."
-- Dennis Gross, MD

Triple threat
To prevent aging: "Protect the skin from inflammation and keep it calm, because inflammation results in the overproduction of destructive free radicals; protect the skin wtih antioxidants to keep destructive free radicals under control, and provide the skin with the nourishment it needs."
-- Shan Albert

Page 1 of 2 — Discover four essential anti-agers on page 2.


Excerpted from Secrets of the Beauty Insiders by Nada Guirgis Manley. Copyright 2006 by Nada Guirgis Manley. Excerpted with permission from Sourcebooks. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.


4 essential anti-agers
"I think that the consumer today should look at product ingredients. There are four categories that help revive and preserve collagen. Collagen is the key structural protein in the skin that gives it firmness. Collagen is to skin what calcium is to bones. When it starts to break down, it will lead to fine lines, wrinkles and laxity. But we cannot put collagen into a cream and put it onto the skin. It will not penetrate, because it's too large a protein. So we need to boost our skin's ability to produce it, and preserve the existing collagen. You need to look for ingredients that target that one specific protein.

"The first thing you need to do is boost collagen, and the best way to do this is through vitamin C, topically applied. It is more important to apply it than to consume it, because it's more direct. You would have to consume 100 vitamin C tablets a day to get the same benefit to your skin as you would in a vitamin C gel. When you take a vitamin C tablet, it goes into your bloodstream and goes through your whole body; it's diluted so much. I'm not saying to not take vitamin C. I'm not an opponent of good nutrition or supplementation. I am simply saying that your skin needs it in a more direct form. Other collagen boosters include lasers and soy isoflavones like genestein.

Click here to learn about the top 10 anti-aging superfoods

The second group of ingredients you need to look for are peptides.

"The third group is antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce free radicals, which destroy collagen. There's a different mechanism involved in losing collagen than in losing the ability to produce collagen. Antioxidants all work under different conditions. Use a host of antioxidants. Don't buy a product with just one ingredient in it; you'll be missing out on half a dozen others. That's why I consolidate them. I like products that contain multiactive ingredients. The antioxidants to look for are green tea, vitamin C (which also serves as an antioxidant), coenzyme Q10, emblica (used in ayurvedic medicine), grape-seed extract, selenium, and lycopene. I put all of these in my products, in the same concentrations that you would find in a single-ingredient product.

"And finally, there are enzymes in the skin that break down collagen. Retinol helps block this degradation, so it's the final key ingredient to look for. Genestein also has this effect."
-- Dennis Gross, MD

Anti-age regimen
"The most common mistake women make with their skin is to assume that just washing their face once or twice a day and applying a moisturizer is enough to 'age gracefully.' An anti-aging regimen is the most important aspect in trying to reverse and prevent aging. For the daily regimen, cleanse every morning and every night, preferably with a gentle foaming cleanser one of those times and a slightly more abrasive but non-irritating cleanser perhaps once every night or every second or third night, depending on skin sensitivity.

"Sunscreen is essential and should be applied year-round. Then, I recommend a retinoid, and a botanical such as green tea extract or another antioxidantt such as vitamin C. Please note that no twelve-hour period should pass without an active ingredient being applied to the face. If sunscreens are used, then a combination sunscreen and anti-aging product is appropriate, or an anti-aging product may be applied under the sunscreen so that during the day, the individual has both sunscreen on and something that is helping to reverse the aging process. At night, of course, after cleansing, at least one anti-aging product should be applied.

"The regimen described above is essential for all women to maintain the appearance of the skin and to enhance its beauty. The best way to avoid the need for cosmetic surgical procedures is to take care of one's skin from early childhood by avoiding sun, by using sun protection, and [by] having a daily regimen that one sticks to. The most common complaint that my patients have about their skin is that they look older than they feel. [The solution is the regimen described above.]"
-- Jeffrey Dover, MD

Page 2 of 2


Excerpted from Secrets of the Beauty Insiders by Nada Guirgis Manley. Copyright 2006 by Nada Guirgis Manley. Excerpted with permission from Sourcebooks. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.



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Tested anti-aging tips from the experts