HotandFlashy is about maintaining a little hotness in our hot flash years, and in order to acheive that goal, I try anti-aging creams, gadgets, and procedures and blog about my experiences with them. Now that I’m just over a year into this journey, I thought it was a good time to do a round up of the best anti-agers out of the products I’ve tried so far.
I’ve chosen 5 that are the best of the best in my opinion, the ones that are really worth the money and time. Aging is part genetics, part attitude, part environmental. So how you’re aging is greatly effected by how you treated your skin in the past and how you’re going to treat it going forward. Obviously, I’m just one person and I can’t try everything that’s available, but I’ll list everything I’ve done so far and tell you how I thought it worked.
My top 5 Anti-Agers for 2013
1. Retin-A ~ A topical cream available by prescription that helps skin generate collagen.
I asked my GP for a prescription a year ago and she gave me the generic Tretinoin 0.05% Cream. The first tube lasted over a year because I eased into it. It’s very strong stuff and many people give up after the first few weeks because of the side effects. I started by applying it only once a week for the first month, then went to 2X a week for another month, then 3X for another month, and finally every other night after 4 months. I stayed at every other month for 3 months and went to every night about 3 months ago. Doing it that way, I had virtually no redness, irritation, or peeling. Now that I’ve been on it a year, I’m really seeing the results!! It’s tightened up my eyelid skin so my hoods aren’t as saggy as they were, my jawline is firmer, my eyebags are smaller, and my one large age spot is almost invisible. If you’d like to see my 9 month results photos, click the link at the end of this post.
2. Botox ~ A toxin that’s injected into the facial muscles to cause paralysis and remove wrinkles.
Last year, botox would have been in the #1 position, but this year, it’s dropped to #2. Botox is great, and it’s one of the few non-invasive treatments that’s effective on deep wrinkles. But you can only use it on certain parts of your face, it’s expensive, and for me, it doesn’t last very long, so for those reasons it’s been replaced in the #1 spot. I’ve been getting botox injections between my eyebrows for over 5 years. In the beginning, it lasted from 4-6 months, but lately it’s only lasting between 10 and 12 weeks. Having those muscles paralyzed helps to prevent the wrinkle from deepening. See the link below for my video on Botox in greater detail.
3. Sunscreen ~ To protect skin from the damaging radiaton of the sun, prevent age spots, wrinkles, and skin cancer.
The latest research on the causes of the visible signs of aging point to sun exposure as the #1 culprit. Young people should use sunscreen every day to avoid many of the signs of aging and older people, especially those using anti-aging topicals should use sunscreen daily as well. Anti-aging creams and serums work to remove age spots, but continued sun exposure counteracts that by creating new spots, so why work against yourself? I use an spf 30 lotion every day in the winter, and an spf 70 the rest of the year and I’m happy to say I don’t see new spots forming!
4. Back Sleep ~ Eliminate chest and face wrinkles that are caused while sleeping. I learned from one of my favorite YouTube personalities, Dr. Schultz of DermTV to sleep on my back to eliminate chest wrinkles. It took me 3 months of restless nights to get comfortable sleeping on my back, but when I finally got the hang of it, I noticed that it works great for chest wrinkles, but it also works for some face wrinkles! I had been waking up with a vertical crease down each cheek from sleeping on my side. The wrinkle would take until mid-day to finally puff out and be less visible, but now that I sleep on my back, that wrinkle is gone!
5. Liquid Nitrogen ~ A freezing agent that doctors use to remove age spots from the skin. This is the easiest, quickes, most effective way to remove age spots. Every year when I visit my dermatologist for my skin check, she uses liquid nitrogen to freeze off skin tags, enlarged freckles, and age spots from face, hands and anywhere else they appear. My copay is $40, so that’s a good anti-aging bang for the buck!
Round up of all the things I tried this year, some were fun, some sad, some successful:
IPL ~ I did 4 sessions of “Intense Pulsed Light” which promised to erase age spots, freckles, broken capillaries, redness, and leave me with smoother skin. The 1st treatment was great! It was slightly painful, but bearable and afterward lots of my age spots and discolorations turned black and sloughed off. The other 3 treatments were a waste of time and money. Each one was progressively more painful and less effective. After all 4 treatments, my age spots were lighter, but not erased, my redness and broken capillaries were the same, my skin was no smoother, and I had some new tan-ish discoloration on my cheeks. Click on the link at the bottom of this post to watch my IPL video for more details.
Jenu Active Youth Skin Care System ~ This is a wand that uses ultrasound pulses on the surface of the skin to deliver anti-aging serums deeper into the skin to smooth skin. It’s clinically proven to moisturize and decrease wrinkles around the eye area and can also be used to plump the lips. I used the Jenu religiously twice a day for a month and found that it definitely was more moisturizing and did decrease wrinkles a little bit… maybe around 20%. I really enjoyed using it at first, but when the serum that came with it ran out, I didn’t re-order because I found it added too much time to my morning and evening skincare routine for the amount of results. To see the full review, click on the link at the end of this post.
Eyelid Experiments ~ It would have never occurred to me to try to tape or glue my sagging eyelids up, but I saw other people doing it on YouTube and making it look easy and effective, so I gave both a try! I was so excited when I got my box of “Eye Magic” eyelid tapes in the mail, I ran to the camera to put them on. . . I was thrilled when I finally got them in the right place and they gave me real eye lids! Then I was soooo disappointed when my kids came home and asked what the heck was on my eyelid?? Turns out everyone can see them, even when you try to disguise them with makeup. On to the experiment with glue! For a good chuckle, you can watch both videos by clicking the links at the end.
Topical Vitamin C & Glycolic Acid Serums ~ While these 2 powerhouse anti-aging serums didn’t make my top 5, they’re still favorites and very effective! Vitamin C is an antioxidant used to reverse past sun damage and protect skin from new damage caused by free radicals. I currently use Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum. It costs $25 from www.timelessha.com and is very similar to Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Serum that retails for $150. The Glycolic Acid (or alpha hydroxy acid) serum I use is Paula’s Choice Resist 5% Skin Smoothing Serum. It’s a great product that really works to dissolve the glue that holds dead skin cells onto the surface. It works so well, that I have flaking and pilling just about every time I use it, so when I finish up my current bottle, I may switch to a stronger AHA peel once a month so I don’t have flaking skin every day.
Makeup ~ I wasn’t always into makeup, but this year I discovered just how anti-aging makeup can be. I also discovered that much of what’s out there just doesn’t work on older skin, so it can be frustrating to find products that make older skin look better not worse. I tested loads of foundations, BB Creams, primers, eyeshadows, concealers, and lip glosses this year and did countless videos reviewing them. I’m happy to report that I found products that work for my skin and my requirements, and with lots of practice I’ve become better at applying makeup and it makes me feel more youthful wearing it.
Over the past year, I’ve discovered that there are quite a few ways to look younger that don’t break the bank, and don’t leave me looking artificial. There are plenty of things I haven’t tried yet, and that I’m curious about, so the experimenting will continue, because while I’m doing these things, time is marching on and I keep right on aging!