The One Thing You Should Know Before Using Anti-Aging Products

I've never really been the type of gal to use anti-aging products. I didn't think they were necessary to my regimen and were only considered valuable for those who were starting to worry about wrinkles. However, after college and long late study nights, I decided to try anti-wrinkle face lotion to prevent more creases from happening on my face. While it worked out fine, I still wish someone had told me the one thing you should know before using anti-aging products: make sure you really need them.

Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in dermatology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Joshua Zeichner, MD, told WebMD, "Some skincare products claim to increase cell turnover or to repair collagen breakdown. In your 20s, you have excellent turnover without any help, and your skin is fully capable of repairing itself. The downside is that these products may irritate your skin or make it more sensitive to the sun."

Fellow Bustle writer Sienna Fantozzi also interviewed Dr. Jessica Weiser from New York Dermatology Group about using anti-aging products in your 20s. Weiser told her, "The problem with many anti-aging products is that they are formulated for older patients." In addition to your skin not needing these kinds of products, the ingredients in strong anti-aging formulas can also include ingredients like retinol, which may cause dry, flaky, and irritated skin if used too frequently.

If you're in your 20s, it's probably safe to skip the anti-aging products instead of relying heavily on them for prevention. If anything, it's best to prevent damaged skin in these three easy ways:

Use A Lot Of SPF

Banana Boat Sport Performance Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30, Target.com, $6.49

Adam Friedman, MD, the director of dermatologic research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine told WebMD, "I can’t stress enough that the No.1 thing young adults can do to limit the signs of aging is use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF 30 or higher every single day." Just ditch the retinol for some good 'ol fashioned sunscreen and you'll be good to go.

Stay Away From Smoke

According to the Mayo Clinic, "smoking can speed up the normal aging process of your skin," which can contribute to wrinkles and inhibit your body from producing collagen. Bottom line: Avoid smoking.

Limit Your Time Under The Sun

If you're going to be in the sun, definitely lather on some SPF, but if you can help it, spend the least amount of time being under the sun as possible. By the pool? Bring an umbrella. Going to a picnic? Wear a hat. As much as sunscreen can be helpful, limiting your time under the sun is key to preventing wrinkles from happening.

If you're still convinced you need to incorporate anti-aging products into your routine, be sure to consult a dermatologist before trying anything new.

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