Categorized | Anti-Aging

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Are Any Anti Aging Skin Creams Effective?

Faced with the bewildering variety of anti aging products on the market, not to mention the accompanying hype, it’s not at all unreasonable, in fact it’s downright commonsense, to maintain an attitude of some scepticism. Believe all that you’re told about them, and the damage to your bank balance, morale, and perhaps even your health may be little short of disastrous. But that’s not to say that none of these products can have any positive effects on your appearance, or that all must be over-priced, over-hyped or both.

The first essential point to understand is that the skin is an organ of the body like any other, the health of which depends primarily on proper nutrition and the avoidance of those things which may be damaging, either internally or externally. It’s no use expecting the skin to respond to a “magic” cream, when the general health of the organ has been neglected or abused, any more than the other organs of the body can be restored to health and proper function by means of a “magic” vitamin or mineral pill in the face of inadequate nutrition.

This being so, the first step in preparing a holistic program for slowing down or even apparently reversing the aging process, as it becomes all too visibly reflected in the skin, is to embark on a proper regime of nutrition and exercise. In terms of nutrition, the skin’s basic requirements are no different from those of any other organ; an adequate supply of protein for the essential maintenance, repair and regeneration of the cells and supporting structures, blood capillaries included, and a generous intake of essential vitamins and minerals. But for the protection of the delicate and highly vulnerable (and visible) cells of the skin, a good intake of the antioxidant vitamins is particularly important. Water-soluble vitamin C and fat-soluble vitamin E, are the most important antioxidant vitamins, although vitamin A is also of course well known as a skin protector. Vitamins and minerals, however, do not operate in isolation, and always function best when all of those required by the body are present in adequate quantities.

Given a good supply of these essential nutrients from food, supported by sensible supplementation where appropriate, the most important factor in the health and appearance of skin will be adequate hydration. It is a commonplace observation that nothing is so damaging to the appearance of this most delicate of organs as the dehydration which is so often the result of our modern lifestyles. As well as ensuring a generous intake of pure water, the avoidance of alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and other dehydrators are therefore essential steps in revitalising the skin, and it goes without saying that a sensible approach towards exposure to the sun is also vital.

Whilst these simple, natural steps – the hydration of the skin from within, and the avoidance of damaging external stresses – are the essential starting point for any skin improvement program, it does not follow that the many skin products on the market cannot also be useful.

The principal function of most skin creams is to protect the skin’s natural moisture. Whilst hydration of the skin must begin from within, there’s no doubt that the skin can also absorb moisture from the outside, and good quality creams can also act as a barrier against the external damage which may result from sun, wind, rain or even more potent environmental stresses. Likewise, whilst the nutrition of the skin must be principally derived internally – from the blood, it may also absorb some benefit from vitamins and minerals contained in externally applied creams.

The choice of anti aging cream is largely a matter of individual preference and budget, as no two person’s skins are identical. In general, the fewer the active chemical ingredients, the better and the more focus on natural nutrients the better, as these will be less likely to aggravate existing sensitivities or dry skin conditions. A period of experimentation with small applications of a new product may well be required before arriving at the formulation which suits a particular individual. In all cases, however, it needs to be remembered that no skin cream, however expensive or technologically advanced, can be a substitute for sound nutrition and general health.

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