You’ve seen the before-and-after photos – they’re amazing!
On the left, a lady who looks like she’s 95 years old… on the right, though, magic happens: that sad, tired face becomes radiant and joyful. Years drop off like melted butter.
We’ve all seen the photos, and many of us have ordered the concoctions they tout.
But… do they work?
You run to the store or order online and wait expectantly for the Fountain of Youth in a jar. Anxiously, you get in front of the bathroom mirror and apply it for the first time. Your skin DOES look better.
In the morning, you compare age lines and wonder if there are any fewer today. You do the same tomorrow and the next day.
Most of us stop after a week or so, and the bottle gathers dust. We’ll be nagged by the thought that maybe we didn’t give it a long enough try – until we see the next ad, then next potent mixture and we repeat the process again.
Advocates of anti-aging products say they’re a whole lot safer than surgery or injections, but can provide the same or better results – naturally.
And while science doesn’t throw its weight behind ANY specific product, there are plenty of studies showing positive effects of certain substances on cell health.
So the best answer to “Do anti-aging products work” is probably “It depends.” And what it depends on is not the brand name or the label or the price. More than anything, effectiveness depends on the ingredients.
87 year-old ballerina, Olga Suarez, says she tried one product after another before finding one that worked for her. (That’s Olga in the before/after photo above.)
Let’s take a look at some of the substances SCIENCE says are good for the skin. That will give you a base to work from when comparing products.
It is important to remember that skin care products are classified as cosmetics. None can claim status as skin care medicines. As with many other physical applications, though, nature is often the best doctor and naturally occurring ingredients often provide surprising benefits.
When you shop for anti-aging products, pay more attention to the list of ingredients than to the price tag or marketing hype. If you don’t see many or most of the products we’ve listed here, something’s wrong.
Of course, the best cure is prevention. You can reduce you need for anti-aging products by protecting your skin from the sun, by not smoking, and by eating a balanced, nutritious diet.
Whichever product you choose, be sure to go lightly at first – apply just a little and look for any allergic reactions.
Once you are sure your skin not react adversely, be sure to be consistent with the application. Don’t miss days and don’t stop if you don’t immediately see results.
Take a before picture. Wait a month and take another. It may take some experimentation, but a little patience and perseverance will help you find the combination of ingredients that works best for your skin.
Remember: It’s not just beauty you are seeking… the main reward of taking care of yourself is improved health!
Abel Cane writes from the Pacific Northwest. He focuses on health and environmental topics. Look for Abel’s work on Braineebook or get a message to him via @braineebook.