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The anti-aging industry is one of the most profitable industries in the world. And although a large proportion of that industry actually manufactures some brilliant products, a number of companies spend an awful lot of time and money on selling products to people that don't really need them - i.e. teens and girls in their twenties. Because we're led to believe that we need anti-aging products even when our skin shows absolutely no outward signs of aging, we can get lured into this mindset that we need to use products that we don't even need. Here, we tell you whether you really need to use an anti-aging cream, if there are better options - or, if you should be focusing on prevention rather than cure.
Virtually every skincare expert that we've spoken to agrees that the best anti-aging product that you can use in your teens and twenties is: you've guessed it, sunscreen. And to use it religiously. Nothing else prevents aging like it. Sun damage is absolutely one of the biggest causes of skin damage and although you might not see any damage now, just one sunburn can cause premature aging and you'll really start to notice those fine lines and wrinkles in your late thirties and forties.
But prevention is different from erasing the signs of skin damage. Do you really have fine lines around your eyes at age 20? Probably not - so instead of using an anti-aging cream, use a sunscreen. Oh and by the way - moisturizers with an SPF do not count.
What You Absolutely Don't Need
No longer is an anti-aging cream the only product used to turn back the clock and erase those signs of aging - there are a wealth of products on the market, including anti-aging cleanser, lip balms, clever moisturizers with tiny spoons that you use to apply the product and even creams specifically designed for your neck, elbows and knees. Here's what you don't need.
- An anti-aging cleanser. The job of a cleanser is simply to remove dirt, debris and oil from your face and typically, it'll only stay on the skin for six seconds - which is nowhere near long enough for any fancy ingredients to permeate the top layer of skin, which means that they won't provide any benefit. At all. A regular drugstore cleanser will do the job nicely.
- An anti-aging lip balm. In the same way that cleansers don't stay on the face for very long, lip balms don't stay on your lips for too long - we're always too tempted to lick them off and even if you don't, they wear off pretty quickly.
- Extra fancy creams or creams for specific and obscure parts of the body. A moisturizer is a moisturizer, and the job of a moisturizer is to lock in moisture. As long as you choose the right formula - oil-reducing or hydrating, a $20 jar will probably do the job.