De-aging your skin: Consistent skincare can help turn back the clock
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Skin Experts

De-aging your skin: Consistent skincare can help turn back the clock

Every decade brings more changes to our bodies, and some of the most noticeable signs of aging are seen in our skin. Many people first notice their skin beginning to change in their 30s or 40s in signs including wrinkles and fine lines, along with an uneven skin tone. The skin might have rough or dry areas and begin losing some of its elasticity.

While we cannot completely reverse the aging process, we can help visibly de-age our skin by following a skincare regimen with products that not only target these visible signs but help prevent further damage.

As Roberta Del Campo, MD, the founder of Del Campo Dermatology & Laser Institute in Miami, Florida, puts it: healthy looking skin is beautiful skin. “I'm a big believer that if you have healthy looking skin, it will be beautiful; but beautiful skin doesn't necessarily mean it is healthy. It's important we use treatments that are going to hydrate the skin, build resilience, and visibly transform it."

Nkem Ugonabo, MD, MPH, a dermatologist at Union Derm in New York City, agrees. “Skincare is imperative. I try to customize a topical treatment plan to address the concerns of my patients."

Before we delve into customizing a de-aging skincare routine for you, let's explore the causes of premature visible aging, determine when you should initiate an anti-aging routine, and empower ourselves with the knowledge that revitalizing our skin is possible.

What causes premature visible signs of aging ?

Over time, our skin appearance naturally changes from both the chronological aging process like menopause, and environment and lifestyle factors like sun and stress.

As we get older, the structural elements of our skin break down or diminish, weakening the skin and causing fine line formations. Cell turnover also slows down, which can lead to duller skin. With fewer lipids, or oils, produced in our skin as we age, it's harder for the moisture barrier to maintain the same moisture levels, leading to drier skin. Gravity can also pull the skin downward.

Environmental causes like UV light can damage collagen and elastin fibers in our skin, potentially making our skin less pliable and more susceptible to future damage. UV light and other environmental factors can also produce skin-damaging free radicals, and may lead to fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of skin elasticity.

When should you start an anti-aging skincare routine?

Many people start using anti-aging skincare products in our 20s, even before fine lines and wrinkles or other subtle signs of aging begin to show.

"I always tell my patients it's easier and more cost-effective to start taking care of your skin early," says Dr. Ugonabo. By doing so, you're getting ahead of the curve, and you'll also have the energy to start building a routine that can help slow the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, skin discoloration, and other skin aging issues.

No matter what your stage in life, "Compliance and consistency are key," adds Dr. Ugonabo. "You can have the right products, but without using them consistently, you will not achieve the same results."

So, what should an anti-aging skincare routine look like?

A home-based anti-aging skincare routine should address a number of issues. The goal is to promote a healthy look and resilience, hydrate the skin, boost collagen, address visible signs of aging, and help prevent future skin damage. This can help you to slow the visible aging process, which can have a positive impact on your skin's look and feel.

When considering products for de-aging your skin issues, it's helpful to know what to look for. Here are some key ingredients that can enhance your anti-aging regimen:

  • Retinol: This derivative of vitamin A is good for resurfacing the skin and refining it, which helps reduce the appearance of fine lines.
  • Hyaluronic acid: A moisture binder, it helps attract moisture to the skin, re-plumping it and minimizing the look of fine, dry lines.
  • Ceramides: Ceramides also help to support the moisture barrier.
  • Peptides: Peptides can help strengthen skin.
  • Vitamin C: An antioxidant, vitamin C helps brighten your skin, improving your complexion. It can also help your skin tone appear more even.

Let's break down the components of an effective anti-aging skincare routine one by one:

Visibly repair and replenish

After cleansing and exfoliating, support your skin with a product targeting the look of wrinkles and fine lines from three angles. Clinique Smart Clinical Repair Wrinkle Correcting Serum visibly repairs, resurfaces, and re-plumps fine lines and wrinkles. Dermatologist-developed, regular usage of this serum over 16 weeks can be as effective as a laser treatment in reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.1

“To get the most out of your serums, they should be used first, then layered with a cream afterwards," says Dr. Ugonabo. Also noteworthy, adds Dr. Del Campo, is that this serum contains an advanced retinoid that can be used twice a day, every day — it's that gentle and effective. "No matter what your skin type, what the weather's like, where you live, or what time of year it is," she says.

Apply one to two pumps to your clean face, avoiding the eye area. Then follow it up with an appropriate de-aging moisturizer. When used in the morning, you should also apply an SPF product to protect your skin from UV rays. At night, follow it with a moisturizer.

Target fine lines and wrinkles

Clinique offers three ideal options for this very important post-cleansing, clarifying, and serum step: Clinique Smart Clinical Repair Wrinkle Correcting Cream (for very dry to oily skin), and Smart Clinical Repair Wrinkle Correcting Rich Cream (for very dry to dry complexions), and the new — with a sun-protector bonus — Clinique Smart Clinical Repair Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Wrinkle Correcting Cream.

Clinique Smart Clinical Repair Correcting Cream works to reduce lines and wrinkles, strengthen the skin's structure, and provide long-lasting hydration for a more youthful and supple complexion. It is fortified with potent peptides that help leave skin feeling stronger and looking smoother.

Smart Clinical Repair Wrinkle Correcting Rich Cream, also powered by CL1870 Peptide Complex, takes it one step further with hyaluronic acid, soybean seed extract, and shea butter. Together, these ingredients work to help provide deep and lasting hydration, strengthen the skin's barrier, and lock in moisture.

Be delicate with your eyes

It's important to remember that the skin in our eye area is different than other facial skin, since it contains fewer oil and sweat glands. This means the eye region tends to be drier and has a thinner moisture barrier, leading more easily to skin irritation.

To address these unique challenges, Smart Clinical Repair Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream, suitable for all skin types, is an ideal solution for enhancing the appearance of crow's feet, under-eye lines, and crepe-like skin in the delicate eye area. This ophthalmologist-tested formula is safe for those who wear contact lenses or who have sensitive eyes and should be used twice a day after cleansing. Massage a pea-size amount per eye with your fingertip around the eye, including the eyelid and under-eye area. It also helps visibly reduce irritation in the eye area.

Revitalize your neck area

The neck area is another key place to focus on de-aging skin, since it's prone to a faster aging process. Like the eye area, Dr. Del Campo explains that unique products are needed here due to the skin thinness and high level of movement in the area.

She recommends Smart Clinical Repair Lifting Face + Neck Cream because it is formulated with multiple types of peptides and hyaluronic acid for visible effects. Clinical testing has shown that 100% of users experienced a visibly lifted appearance of both face and neck,2 along with a reduction in the crepey texture of the neck.3

"In the before-and- after photos from using the Smart Lifting Cream, we see the dynamic lines where there is movement on the forehead, smile lines around the eyes, and on the neck become static lines over time. This cream is actually treating and helping improve the look of dynamic lines due to peptides," says Dr. Del Campo.

She is also impressed by its texture. “I'm so used to neck products that feel thick, pasty, and are hard to spread. They make your skin feel tight," she explains. "With this product, it is soft and bouncy and can easily be massaged up to the face."

It is appropriate for all skin types, including sensitive skin. Use it twice a day, applying a dime-size amount to the face and neck twice and following it with an SPF moisturizer for daytime use.

Protect your skin from sun damage

Speaking of SPF, the best anti-aging skincare routine should lock in moisture and help prevent future sun damage. Every day, apply sunscreen with SPF to ensure your skin can block the sun's harmful UV rays. "Use sunscreen, all day every day, and reapply every two hours regardless of whether or not it's sunny outside," says Dr. Ugonabo

Clinique offers a few different options to protect your skin from the sun. Superdefense City Block Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Daily Energy + Face Protector, ideal for those all-sunshine-days, comes in a sheer, weightless, and fast-absorbing formula to energize, defend, and prime the skin with Stop Signs™ Technology to combat environmental aggressors. This combo high-SPF sunscreen with a hint of tint delivers a sheer and weightless feel and can be applied each morning under or over make-up, spread over the entire face.

And new to the de-aging toolbox, Clinique Smart Clinical Repair Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Wrinkle Correcting Cream can help you reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles while also protecting your skin from sun damage. The dermal-active SPF formula, enriched with Pro-Vitamin D to combat free radicals to help minimize environmental damage, is fast-absorbing, provides an invisible finish, and is appropriate for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

Although we cannot fully turn back the hands of time, we can certainly embark on a journey to visibly de-age our skin by adhering to a skincare routine that not only addresses existing signs of aging but also helps proactively safeguard against future damage. So, how will you tailor your skincare routine to effectively de-age the look of your skin and maintain its youthful vitality?

1 In a clinical study after 16 weeks, women who had one laser treatment showed the same improvement in the overall look of lines and wrinkles as those who used Smart Serum twice daily instead. Laser used: microablative, deka dot SmartSkin CO2™ (Cynosure, Westford, MA) with CO2 fractional tech.

2 Percentage of women in an index combining improvement in neck, jawline, and cheek sagging; clinical testing on 36 women after using product for 12 weeks.

3 Clinical testing on 36 women after using the product for 12 weeks.

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Clinique Smart Clinical Repair™ Wrinkle Correcting Serum, Clinical repair serum for derm-level results. As effective as a laser on the look of lines and wrinkles.*

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