By Dr. Annie Bowles-Welch, Director of Research and Development at FACTORFIVE Skincare
While we’re young, many of us don’t consider the consequences of not taking care of our skin. From lathering ourselves in baby oil to get the perfect tan, skipping our skincare routine for weeks in a row and never moisturizing. We’ve all likely committed a few skincare crimes. But years later, when we start to notice the damage done, we try to reverse years of harm to our complexion in a short amount of time, often ending in frustration. But it’s not impossible to turn back time or even teach old skin new tricks.
Start a skincare routine
It’s never too late to start! It may be intimidating at first, but slowly adding products to your routine can ease you into a skincare regimen that works for you, and you’ll begin to see improvements. Use products such as a face wash, moisturizer, eye cream, serum, face masks and a strong SPF. These can all help nourish and heal your complexion, while preventing it from being damaged any further. Whether you’re just starting to see a few fine lines and wrinkles, or they’ve been around for years, starting a cleansing and moisturizing routine at any age can make a difference.
Look at the ingredient list
Unfortunately, buying just any face wash, moisturizer or other skincare products at the store won’t cut it. Look for specific ingredients that can help reverse the signs of aging and prevent it from happening further. Vitamin C, ferulic acid, retinoids, hyaluronic acid, peptides and more are all common ingredients you’ll want to see in your products. Stem cell derived growth factors are also an amazing skincare ingredient found in some products that can actually teach your skin to repair itself, and repair damage. It’s important, however, to use human stem cells, which will be effective unlike many plant stem cell based products on the market.
Go to the pros
If you’re really looking to invest in the reversal of an aging complexion, going to a dermatologist or other skincare professional that can perform treatments such as laser resurfacing, chemical peels and other procedures that will help. Laser skin resurfacing can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, tighten skin and even out pigmentation. Chemical peels remove age spots and wrinkles, and smoother, healthy skin heals and grows underneath. Both of these treatments will take a few days to a few weeks to fully heal, meaning it’s a process you’ll need to be dedicated to.
Catch some z’s
A lack of sleep can make your eyes appear swollen, give you darker under eye circles, cause more wrinkles or fine lines, and more. Contrary to what you may have heard, older adults need just as much sleep as younger adults (around 7-9 hours a night) to be fully rested! However, as we age it can be harder to fall asleep and stay asleep due to health issues, restlessness, etc.
And unfortunately, your skin does most of its repairing and rebuilding while you’re asleep. Ensure you’re getting a proper night of sleep by visiting a doctor, letting your body rest before getting into bed, and limiting pre-sleep screen time. Not only will you have more energy for your day, but your complexion will also show it.
Consider environmental factors
Not every skincare routine will be the same, and if you live in a place that actually has four seasons throughout the year, be prepared to adjust your routine to the weather every few months. Colder temperatures require more moisturizing because of the dry air and chilling temps. Hotter weather means a lighter routine with a facial oil can protect your skin without making it greasy. No matter the weather, SPF is a crucial part of your skincare routine. In the summer, opt for a higher SPF, but don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun’s rays, even if it’s snowing.
Be mindful of what you eat
It’s not just topical treatments that can help your complexion, but also what you put into your body. Be mindful of the foods you’re eating. If your meals are full of processed foods that are high in sugar and don’t provide much nourishment to your body, your skin will likely reflect that. Try adding in healthy options that are great for your complexion:
- Fish has omega-3 fatty acids can help your skin seal in moisture, which is important for aging.
- Fruits and veggies high in water like cucumbers, watermelon, zucchini, strawberries, etc. can be a great way to get in extra hydration with anti-aging antioxidants.
Dr. Annie Bowles-Welch is a cell and molecular biologist with over 10 years of experience researching adult stem cells and how they can be used as therapies Dr. Bowles-Welch is from Louisiana where she earned her degree at Tulane University in New Orleans in 2017. She loves science and in her free time enjoys painting, cooking, gardening, and spending time with family and friends. Dr. Bowles-Welch is currently the Director of Research and Development at FACTORFIVE Skincare and a Senior Research Scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology.