What is the science of aging? We all know the effect – dry, wrinkly, flaky skin. But the causes are also more straight-forward than you think. On a basic level, skin dries out as we age due to decreased efficacy in oil-producing glands. Damage from sun and wind exacerbates the damage, and pretty soon we’re comparing expensive night creams made by manufacturers whose names we can’t pronounce.
How do you know which products will actually work? Is there any relationship between cost and effectiveness? Which cosmetics could cause harmful side effects? We’ve curated some simple answers about the benefits and risk of common product categories you may find behind an anti-aging counter at the mall:
Of course, as skin ages, it becomes dryer. Dry skin will look dull and lifeless. As you grow older, moisturizer becomes very important.
One popular anti-aging moisturizer is Chanel Ultra Correction Lift Lifting Firming Day Cream. While this product comes with a high price tag (up to $150 at amazon.com), it has provided proven efficacy in both subjective and independent research analyses.
For those looking for a lower cost alternative, Oil of Olay offers a number of different moisturizers and facial cleanser products:
Another common sign of aging is wrinkles or fine lines on the face. Night cream has long been used to help remedy these problems while you sleep. A popular line of night cream from L’Oreal Paris can be found at any department store, grocery store, or pharmacy and can be used on sensitive skin without irritation.
- Popular: L’Oreal Paris Advanced RevitaLift Complete Night Cream ($50 at amazon.com).
Dark Circle Relief
Another type of anti-aging product helps treat the dark circles and puffiness that can appear under the eyes. Oil of Olay once again makes an appearance, providing a popular eye cream product called Olay Professional Pro-X Eye Restoration Complex.
- Low-Cost Alternative: Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Eye Contour Care SPF 30 (found online for $30).
One final category of anti-aging products is serums, which are used to firm the skin and make it smoother and more even-toned. A Good Housekeeping study highly rated the Mary Kay TimeWise line of serums for makeup primers and skin toners.
- Low-Cost Alternative: Boots No. 7 Protect and Perfect Intense Beauty Serum (found online for $25).
Notes: As with any cosmetic product, it is vital to ensure that the items chosen include as few chemicals as possible for less skin irritation.