Anti-Ageing is a skin label that we dislike (to put it lightly). Our skin will age no matter what serum or cream we use. Yes, even if you pay £500. Let’s remember that ageing is a privilege, and those smile and laugh lines should be worn with pride. That said, we all want to age with grace and look healthy, but that doesn’t mean spending hundreds and thousands on skincare products that make big claims. We want to see more brands that are honest about the impact their products will have on ageing, because at the moment they are tapping into insecurities, ageism in the beauty industry, and preying on those that do not understand the science of skincare or may not have done their research. So, we are calling bs!
Premature ageing is definitely something that lifestyle, genetics, and skincare play a major part in, but we must know the limits and be transparent. This leads us to the term “anti-ageing.”. As mentioned before, this label is not one we like, but something many of us encounter frequently. According to The Cambridge Dictionary, this term is defined as, “substances intended to prevent or limit the process of becoming old.” There is NO regulation around what can or cannot be labeled as “anti-ageing,” and when you really think about it, if we are going by this definition, it isn’t possible for a product to prevent or limit us from getting older!
Beauty brands throw this term around ALL THE TIME to make you believe that those lines and wrinkles can be erased by their magical topical products. For example, we recently had a brand representative try to convince us (on a mystery shop) that one of their products, which retails for £450, would take of 3.9 years (yes, this was really the number she used) off of the face after just ONE WEEK of use. Other claims we saw just from a quick google search were the following, we won’t out the brands;
Claims like this are 1. Not backed by reliable clinical studies, this is often noted in the fine print 2. Not possible for high street products, or really any topical product for that matter! Remember, that for a product to be able to penetrate through the top layers of the skin, it will be labelled a drug and cannot be sold on the high street. So, many of the creams that we put on our skin, are just fluffing up the dead skin cells. This can temporarily make us look more glowing, but the truth is, once the damage is done, there is little we can do with topical products. What we can do is protect the skin from further damage, make sure the skin barrier is intact, and stimulate skin cell turnover.
The focus to prevent premature ageing shouldn’t be on the label “anti-ageing,” but on the ingredients that you want to include in your skincare regime at any age! For example, although a Vitamin C serum may not contain the word “anti-ageing,” we know that it stimulates the skin and can help to fight free radical damage. So focus less on the labels, and more on the ingredients! Anytime there is a BIG claim just remember, “If it sounds too good to be true, it is!”
“Help! What do I do if I want to prevent premature ageing?”
You should not shop for skincare based on your age. You must listen to the signs that your skin is giving you first, and make sure you are giving your skin what it is craving! Just because you are entering your 30s or 40s, does not mean that you need to be shopping only in the “anti-ageing” aisle. We believe that we all should embrace our age, as the pro-ageing movement suggests. It’s about looking healthy, not wanting to look like we did 20 years ago. Make sure you are not overdoing it with the retinols and other actives, as you will strip the skin barrier back and do more harm than good.
A quote by one of our favourite skincare gurus Paula Begon is, “What’s 100% true, is that only your skin type and skin concerns should dictate what products you use. Some people in their 20s and 30s often have the exact same skincare needs as people in their 50s and 60s.”
Ingredients to look for are:
Antioxidants (Vitamin C, Vitamin E)
Broad Spectrum SPF with both UVA & UVB protection
Retinoids (Vitamin A, Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate)
For the one millionth time, the sun is the number 1 cause of premature ageing (97%). Smoking also ages our skin by reducing blood flow and by breaking down collagen that results in weaker skin with a higher risk of wrinkles. Let’s not even talk about stress, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise, which all cause free radical damage. If you want to avoid premature ageing, and ensure you age gracefully, then a healthy lifestyle is critical to keep not only your skin, but your body happy.