What Causes Skin to Age?Before you learn how anti-aging serums help reduce the symptoms of aging skin, it's important to understand why skin ages in the first place. We all know that skin sags and loses its firmness as we age, but many people don't understand the exact mechanics behind why these effects occur. As it so happens, there are a number of environmental and biological factors that have been discovered as instigators of the aging process in your skin.
Collagen DeficiencyAs your DNA ages, your body stops producing as much collagen. Collagen is the most prevalent protein in the human body, and it also is responsible for keeping your skin looking firm and supple. As collagen levels decrease in your skin, you become more susceptible to wrinkles and saggy skin.
Chronic stress has an undeniable effect on your emotions, but it can also harm you on a bodily level. Unabating levels of high stress can compromise your immune system, increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, and even make it more likely that you will develop diabetes.
Poor SleepAccording to the American Psychological Association (APA), 45 percent of Americans lie awake at night or experience trouble sleeping. Not only does lack of sleep make you drowsy and less engaged the following day, but it can also have profoundly negative effects on your health. Among other issues, not getting enough sleep makes you age faster.
Exercise and Diet
Not getting enough exercise is bad for you, but getting too much exercise can also harm your skin. When you engage in strenuous exercise, your body draws increased levels of antioxidants from your tissues to counteract the presence of reactive oxygen species (ROS). If your body can't produce enough antioxidants, free radicals will damage your skin, so observing a diet that is high in antioxidants is key to protecting your skin from the damage that can be caused by excessive exercise.
SmokingSmoking is one of the worst things that you can do for your skin. Some experts estimate that at least 40,000 free radicals are emitted with each puff of cigarette smoke, and these dangerous toxins immediately begin their work of damaging their skin once they enter your body. If you want to keep your skin healthier for longer, don't smoke.
While everyone likes the look of an even suntan, excessive exposure to the sun can cause your skin to age faster. Since the majority of premature skin aging due to sun exposure happens in the first 20 years of life, there might not be much that you can do about this type of skin degeneration now, but staying out of the sun or using a safe and natural sunblock may reduce your skin's dryness, sagging, and wrinkles.
Free RadicalsPretty much every type of cellular damage that results in skin aging is caused by free radicals. When oxygen molecules split into unpaired atoms, they steal electrons from other atoms, which causes your body's tissues to break down. Antioxidants eliminate the threat that free radicals pose to your cellular integrity.
How to Anti-Aging Serums Reverse the Effects of Aging?Out of the factors that we just discussed, some, like collagen deficiency, are what are known as intrinsic, which means that they are natural parts of the aging process. Other factors, however, are called extrinsic, which means that they are a result of your environment or your choices.
Anti-aging serums can alleviate the issues associated with intrinsic aging factors, but they don't have any direct influence on aging factors that are extrinsic. To protect your skin against extrinsic aging factors, you'll need to change your habits or alter your environment. However, once extrinsic factors have taken a toll on your skin health, anti-aging serums can help clean up the free radicals that harm your tissues and help restore lost collagen.
What Are the Attributes of Anti-Aging Serums?Serums are unlike other types of topical products. Unlike creams and lotions, serums are designed to absorb as quickly as possible, and they are usually lighter than other skin care products. Serums go light on oils, which sets them apart with other types of topicals that commonly use mineral oil, petrolatum, or seed oils.
To provide the best absorption rates possible, serums are usually water-based, and they may be practically clear when applied. The fluid in serums absorbs into the skin or evaporates quickly, which makes these topical formulations ideal for delivering high concentrations of active ingredients. An effective anti-aging topical is characterized by the potency of its active ingredients, which makes serums ideal delivery systems for skin care remedies that combat the effects of aging.
What Are the Best Topical Ingredients for Anti-Aging?A good anti-aging serum is packed full of active ingredients, but the true measure of a serum is the potency and safety of its ingredients. Here are some of the best ingredients that you can apply topically to combat the effects of aging:
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the most promising anti-aging ingredients. This natural substance is found in a variety of different fruits and vegetables, and it is tolerated in remarkably high doses. Vitamin C doesn't have any notable side effects, and it is easy to mix with a variety of different topical bases.
The most remarkable attribute of vitamin C is its high antioxidant concentration. This vitamin is one of the richest sources of antioxidants, and these free-radical-fighting compounds get to work staving off the effects of aging as soon as they are released into your skin.
Among other effects, vitamin C promotes the formation of new blood vessels under your skin's surface. As you age, the capillaries in your face and other parts of your skin constrict and stop delivering adequate amounts of oxygen and other nutrients to your dermal cells, but vitamin C counters this effect while also healing scar tissue and contributing to increased collagen production.
2. Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring substance that lubricates your joints and your eye sockets. It is also one of the most prevalent compounds in your skin, but your hyaluronic acid levels go down as you age. Hyaluronic acid makes your skin feel supple and elastic, and applying this substance topically can help reduce the prevalence of wrinkles and saggy skin. As you sift through products that contain hyaluronic acid, make sure that this ingredient is derived from botanical rather than animal sources.
3. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)MSM is a type of sulfur that is biologically active. While scientific research into the health claims surrounding MSM is inconclusive, anecdotal testimony paints this type of sulfur as a potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic substance. If you reduce inflammation in your skin, it will heal faster, and the effects of aging caused by free radicals will also be reduced.
4. Aloe BarbadensisSince aloe protects your skin from the sun, it serves as a potent defensive tool against UV damage. Aloe is also known the world over as a potent healing and anti-inflammatory tool.
5. Cannabidiol (CBD)
CBD is usually extracted in oil form, which means that it might not be the best pick for a serum ingredient. However, studies have shown that CBD is an incredibly effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and it is unlike its cousin THC in that it doesn't cause any psychoactive effects or major side effects.
6. Vitamin B7 (Biotin)Vitamin B7, which is also known as biotin, has been known to have beneficial effects on skin health. In particular, biotin combats skin dryness, which is one of the most common effects of aging on your skin. Skin that is properly moisturized is healthier in many ways, and biotin may also reduce the redness caused by rosacea and other skin conditions.
What Are the Characteristics of an Unsafe Anti-Aging Serum?Since mitigating the effects of aging is so hotly desired by so many people, there is a large market for anti-aging products. However, not every product that fills this demand is scrupulous, and some anti-aging serums may do more harm than good.
In general, it's important to avoid products that have been tested on animals. Animal cruelty is certainly a practice that you don't want to support with your purchase. Also, try to avoid serums that contain lots of artificial ingredients. While these synthetic chemicals may be benign, it's possible that they pose a danger to your body.
Stay far away from any products that contain parabens, which are a type of toxic preservative. Products that contain formaldehyde are also dangerous, and any serum that lists "fragrance" as one of its ingredients may be unsafe to use.
Do Anti-Aging Serums Work?
Opinions on the efficacy of anti-aging serums vary. Some people swear by these products, and they assert that anti-aging serums have helped their skin look younger and feel better. Others have had less-than-ideal results with serums, and they are unsure as to whether or not these skin care products are effective. What does the science say on this matter?
Since the 1950s, it has been understood that free radicals contribute to the aging process in body tissues. While some researchers went so far as to assume that free radicals were the only factor in aging, this simplistic hypothesis doesn't appear to be grounded in fact. However, it's widely agreed that antioxidants do fight back against aging, and this effect is just as notable in skin tissues as it is anywhere else in the body.
This finding means that anti-aging serums that contain antioxidants have the potential to curb the effects of aging in skin. However, the delivery mechanism is a key factor in the effectiveness of anti-aging serums since water-based topicals absorb best through the skin. It should also be noted that ingredients that contain antioxidants vary in potency.
While there are certain subtleties to this line of inquiry that shouldn't be understated, it's abundantly clear in the scientific literature that increasing the antioxidant levels in your skin helps protect you from the effects of aging. As long as an anti-aging serum contains quality antioxidant ingredients, it should help you reduce the symptoms of aging skin.
How Do You Apply Anti-Aging Serums?
The recommended application method varies from serum to serum, but there are some basic guidelines for applying these topicals that remain constant for each product:
- Anti-aging serum should only be applied to clean and dry skin. Wash your skin gently and thoroughly, and then wait for it to dry.
- Use your fingertips or a cotton pad to apply the serum to your face, neck, and upper chest. Avoid contact with your eyes as you apply the serum.
- Allow the serum to dry on your skin. Once it is dry, you can go on to apply other products that are a part of your nightly routine.