A primer on anti-aging
Since I've been fortunate enough to have had pretty good skin all throughout my teenage years, I kind of took my skin for granted. I never did much besides wash my face with Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash (this is great, btw) and apply some sort of moisturizer/sunscreen combo.
Then, in my late twenties my skin started to change. If I hadn't slept much the night before, it showed. My decidedly "normal" skin developed multiple personality disorder and would range from being uncomfortably tight and dry to super shiny. So, I decided to start focusing more on my skincare (you can check out some of my favorites here).
I hunted for the best exfoliators and eye creams and masks. I added cleansing waters and oil cleansers to my skincare routine. I tested acne washes and spot treatments. But, in this search, I never really thought to add anti-aging products. I mean, I was just focused with the tasks at hand, which were balancing my skin, fighting hormonal acne, and erasing the annoying dark marks they left behind. That was enough already.
However, at 32, I need to focus on anti-aging. My skin is finally behaving so now my attention has turned to identifying the best anti-aging skincare products and figuring out how to incorporate them into my routine without disrupting everything. No small feat.
Here are the products that I've found that are known for anti-aging properties that I've really enjoyed using.
The Hada Labo Tokyo Anti-Aging Hydrator is such a great hydrating serum. It has a few anti-aging powerhouses - hyaluronic acid, collagen, and a retinol complex. I like to use this in the morning when my skin just needs a little moisture. Of course I follow it with sunscreen (probably the best anti-aging ever). I love how it soaks into my skin and plumps it up. It's not heavy or greasy at all.
Retinol is a clinically proven anti-aging ingredient. It reduces fine lines, evens skin tone, and can even help with acne. At night, I've really been enjoying using The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%. Since retinol is such a powerful anti-aging ingredient, you should only use one at a time, so I'd never layer this one with the Hada Labo serum. The Advanced Retinoid 2% is really gentle and I haven't had any allergic reactions, so I definitely recommend this if you're looking to add some anti-aging elements to your skincare routine.
Next up I have the cult-favorite Pixi Glow Tonic. While this isn't exactly a straight-up anti-aging product, I think this helps keep your skin glowy and even-toned. So that counts, right? This has glycolic acid, which helps remove dead skin cells, making your skin more radiant and even. I think that as I age, my skin can get dull sometimes, so this really helps to counter that.
The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F. Ok, this is a mouthful but basically it's Vitamin C in an oil. Vitamin C fights fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone (all major signs of aging). I've really enjoyed putting this on at night after my water-based serums. I definitely notice that my skin looks a bit more glowy in the morning after using this oil/serum.
Last, I have probably one of my favorite skincare products (at the moment) - The Ordinary Buffet. It's a water-based serum with peptides, probiotics, and amino acids that really does it all. This is usually the first step after I cleanse and tone my skin. It addresses fine lines and wrinkles, fades dark spots, hydrates and brightens the skin. Plus it's super gentle and just soaks into the skin and plumps it right up. I use it day and night.
If I had to recommend just two products to incorporate anti-aging into your skincare routine, I'd say add in the Retinoid 2% at night and the Buffet day and night. And sunscreen. Definitely sunscreen.