We sat down with Dr. Lori Shapiro, a dermatologist at Thornhill Dermatology Centre, to discuss the latest and greatest in anti-aging innovations. How does your skin-care routine stack up?
20s to 30s
If you're in your 20s or 30s, take a good look in the mirror: Your skin is in its most perfect state. To preserve lustre and elasticity, avoid chemical active ingredients—which can do more harm than good if applied to wrinkle-free skin—and focus on prevention.
"Sunscreen should be the starting point to protect skin from the biggest culprit in aging: the sun," says Dr. Shapiro. Every morning, even in winter, apply sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30.
To protect against free radical damaged caused by pollution and smoke, look for a sunscreen that's chock-full of antioxidants, like Supergoop SPF 50 Antioxidant-Infused Sunscreen Day Cream ($33.50, canadabeautysupply.ca). This light, ultra-absorptive formula offers broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection, and leaves skin healthy-looking and shine-free.
After applying a sunscreen, Dr. Shapiro recommends layering it with additional protection. "I would add in a vitamin C serum like SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic ($159, skinceuticals.com/canada), a product with 15 percent L-ascorbic acid, a potent antioxidant designed to prevent skin damage caused by environmentally induced free radicals."
Meanwhile, the vitamin C and antioxidants in CE Ferulic help repair sun damage. That means no one ever needs to know about time spent tanning as a teen. The best part of all? Once absorbed, this serum remains effective for 72 hours.
40s to 50s
As with younger women, those with fine lines and some wrinkles should apply sunscreen and SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic daily—but your skin-care routine shouldn't end there, says Dr. Shapiro. "At this point it's time to add in a topical vitamin A product at night." Vitamin A—whether over the counter or in a prescription-grade product like tretinoin or Retin-A—has been shown to "smooth the skin's texture, lighten brown spots and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin fibres to help reduce wrinkles and fine lines," she says.
In a double-blind three-month trial, one drugstore anti-aging product proved to be equally as effective as tretinoin and less harsh on skin. The newest anti-aging innovation from skin-care giant Vichy, LiftActiv Advanced Concentrate ($49.50, vichy.ca) contains the "highest concentration of pure retinol ever formulated in a Vichy product," says Sarah Gora, medical and scientific relations leader for Vichy Canada. Combined with LR2412, a new molecule that targets even the deepest layers of the skin, this vitamin A–rich serum counteracts the physical signs of aging and hydrates, and is safe even on sensitive skin.
60s and beyond
Dr. Shapiro recommends a three-prong approach for women over 60 who have visible wrinkles. To combat deep lines, women can supplement sunscreen and serum with dermatological procedures such as Botox or hyaluronic acid–based fillers. Injections "temporarily relieve the skin of unwanted frown lines, crow's feet and eye wrinkles," and plump skin where volume has diminished without the risks associated with surgical procedures, says Dr. Shapiro.
Those who prefer to forgo the needle can opt for a multitasking anti-aging product, instead. While most anti-aging products contain a single active ingredient that works on a single pathway—say, a cream with hyaluronic acid to plump the look of skin—Canadian company Jouviance's Age Spot Corrector Serum ($50, jouviance.com) contains five patented anti-aging ingredients that work on four separate pathways to fade and prevent dark spots and acne scars, increase cell turnover in the skin and boost radiance. Plus, daily use of this serum can extend the time between cosmetic treatments, like injections and microdermabrasion. Save money and reduce pain? Now, that's aging gracefully.
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