An expert guide to anti-ageing treatments that work
When it comes to fighting the signs of ageing, your body may not be the first thing you think of, but there's little point trying to keep your face wrinkle-free if a freckled cleavage, veiny hands and lined neck tell a different story. 'We tend to forget about our body, but with age and environmental exposure, the skin in these areas gets thinner and drier and age spots begin to show,' says Tony Vargas, vice president, gloabl research and development at Elizabeth Arden. 'Previously smooth-textured skin will begin to look rough and leathery and even start to sag.' So what body creams are best? At the super-luxe end of the scale, Methode Jeanne Piaubert Suprem' Advance is an investment at £170, but with a list of anti-ageing ingredients that includes ceramides, UV protectors and lightensyl, which encourages collagen reproduction, it goes above and beyond your usual body cream. Already a firm favourite with beauty editors, Prevage Body Total Transforming Anti-ageing Moisturiser, £95, contains idebenone, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants around - it's a variant of co-enzyme Q10, the body's natural antioxidant. Not only does it help skin look firmer, but it tackles sun damage and discoloration, and the creamy texture gives your skin a noticeable youthful glow.
You might be fixating on fine lines appearing around your eyes, but a bigger telltale sign of ageing is slackening. 'As your skin ages, collagen production and elasticity decrease,' says Nathalie Issachar, head of research and development at RoC. 'Over time, this causes skin to wrinkle and lose its snug fit, which leads to sagging.' A good, balanced diet, modest alcohol intake and not smoking will help to keep your skin youthful, but some sagging is inevitable. In the past, solutions were limited to Botox or the surgeon's knife, but now the latest tightening technology comes from skincare rather than anything invasive. It's claimed a new wonder ingredient, magnolia concentrate, can reduce the effects of androgens - male hormones that cause slackening, dryness and thinning skin as you age - and is a key component of Guerlain's Success Age Splendid range. The products aren't cheap (the Deep-Action Day Care cream costs £95), but fans say the results are worth it. RoC's Complete Lift Lifting Day Moisturiser, £29.35, combines botanical extracts with a clever 'lifting' molecule, THPE, which is said to trigger the contractions of your skin cells, tightening the surface of your skin and increasing collagen production. Testing by RoC found it could lift skin by an average of 2mm, and in some cases by as much as 6mm.
It sounds like something from a Hollywood blockbuster, but anti-ageing creams use DNA science to fight ageing. Scientists have been working on the human genome project, a £2 billion global effort to decipher DNA, for years. Now, skincare companies are studying the results to understand how youthful skin behaves in order to create products that help your skin look and act younger. 'The humane genome project has enabled us to analyse ageing right down to the hundreds of genetic changes that happen in our skin as we get older,' says Jay Tiesman, principal scientist at P&G Beauty, makers of Olay. Lancôme's Genifique Youth Activating Eye Concentrate, £35, uses ingredients that help restore proteins in the skin usually found only in younger complexions. The Biotherm's Skin Vivo range, from £37, uses pure thermal plankton and reverserol (from the leaves of the candle bush plant), for their ability to regenerate skin cells and help protect DNA.
If you're looking to battle skin-ageing free-radicals, then look no further than natural antioxidants. A recent study investigated over 50 natural antioxidants and their ability to enhance proteasome - the mechanism that protects younger skin cells and gets rid of damaged skin protein. Oak extract stood out for its impressive skin rejuvenating benefits and wrinkle-reducing abilities. Korres Quercetin & Oak anti-ageing skincare range, from £36, contains oak extract and is enriched with quercetin (derived from oak bark). It has been rigorously tested, including trials that are pitted against leading anti-ageing products, and gained results to rival any man-made ingredients. The high level of natural ingredients means it has a denser texture that might take longer to sink in than your usual cream, but, if you're after an anti-ageing range that's free from silicone, paraben and petrolatum, you can't get better than this.
The way you apply your skincare could be the key to keeping your complexion plump and peachy. Facialists and dermatologists are raving about the turn-back-the-clock benefits of facial-massage techniques - so much so, that most of their products now come with tips on how to apply them. Why? 'Facial massage boosts the circulation, firming skin and toning muscles,' says massage specialist Beata Aleksandrowicz. 'By working the muscles in your face you're exercising them, much like going to the gym. It releases tension and boosts the production of collagen, creating a toned appearance.' Dr Hauschka is one brand that advocates the benefits - visit http://www.drhauschka.co.uk/home for video clips of facial-massage tips. Endermologie's salon treatment, Liftmassage, £40, uses a device that gently pinches your skin, massaging your facial muscles to tone and stimulate collagen production (for your nearest salon call 020 87315678), while L'Oréal's Revitalift Pro Contouring System, £16.99, comes with its very own massage tool attached for you to try at home.
You slather on moisturising and toning creams morning and night, but what does your make up do for you? The inclusion of more active formulations into products means that your make-up can now work as hard as your skincare. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Skin Smoothing Concealer, £17, and Ceramide Cream Blush, £22, both contain skin-identical ceramides, the essential lipids that help maintain the skin's barrier layer, preventing dryness, uneven tone and fine lines. With added extras such as vitamins A, C and E, they have a skin-smoothing, plumping and toning effect on the areas where you tend to need it most.
Posted: 31/01/2012 at 14:37
Like us on facebook
Follow us on twitter
Other Hearst Magazines UK sites