With time, skin shows signs of aging. Wrinkles and sun spots are common — the results of exposure to sunlight, which breaks down the tissues (collagen and elastin) that give skin its elasticity and strength.
A number of steps can help you fight against these age-related skin changes, including drinking an adequate amount of water each day, taking steps to protect yourself from the sun and not smoking. In addition, certain products can help skin resist age-related changes. A few tips for choosing skin care products:
- Look for key active ingredients — Only a few ingredients have been shown to diminish wrinkles. Retinol (vitamin A) and its derivatives have many positive effects, including increasing collagen and decreasing pigmentation. Alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid and lactic acid, help remove the upper layer of dead skin and stimulate growth of smooth, evenly pigmented skin. Keep in mind that nonprescription creams have lower concentrations of active ingredients than do prescription products.
- Consider antioxidants — A morning application of a product containing an antioxidant such as vitamin C may provide some protection.
- Look for built-in sunscreen — Choose products with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Also, use broad spectrum products that block both UVA and UVB rays. Water-resistant products are preferred, especially if you may perspire. When using a separate sunscreen, remember to apply it generously and reapply it every two hours — more...
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