Monday, January 7th, 2008

Temptalia asked you only a week or so ago what beauty products did you not understand, and what better inspiration for this post than that?  I’m happy to introduce Beauty Discovered, where I will help you understand some of those confusing products.  If you are totally at a loss about a product, feel free to submit it as a suggestion to me.

Anti-aging cream

Anything that reverses the aging process or prevents has become the must-have beauty product in the past few years.  There are products that claim they are miracles in a jar (and it’ll take a miracle to afford most of them), like La Prairie or La Mer (which is slightly more attainable for the working woman aged 30 and over).  There are a variety of products, some targeted for the entire face, others for eyes, lips, or even the neck; companies covet certain ingredients, even though they often come down to the same basics.

Many anti-aging creams are essentially replacements for your regular, old, non-fountain-of-youth moisturizer.  Instead, picking up a moisturizer with ingredients such as retinol may help stimulate skin cell renewal and dark spot reduction.  Anti-aging creams come in a range of types that you are sure to find one appropriate for your skin type or for a specific area on the face (e.g., eyes) that you want to target when turning back the clock.  Those with sensitive skin will always want to be on the look out for creams specifically made and tested for sensitive skin.

It is imperative that with any higher grade anti-aging product that the user spot-test to ensure that they will not have an adverse reaction, preferrably on their inner forearm (we don’t want to see you ruin your face in the name of beauty!).  Higher grade anti-aging products are those such as Prevage and N.V. Perricone products; this family of products have higher concentrations of the essential ingredients that are said to prevent or reduce the signs of aging.  Cost is generally higher with these products.  Lower-grade products have smaller concentrations, and many of the anti-aging regimens found in drugstores will be in this category.  This is not to say that paying $500 for a jar of anti-aging face cream means it will have $500 worth of ingredients–it is best to look out for reviews, ask for samples, and buy within your budget.

Many anti-aging creams work using antioxidants, collagen stimulants, sunscreen, and assortments of vitamin C or E. Retinoids (Vitamin A) help rejuvenate the skin, giving it a renewed appearance, and it is often considered a wrinkle-reducing ingredient.  Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) help with the removal of dead skin cells for a fresher appearance.

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