Have you fallen for one lately? And while we’re at it, let’s examine what anti-ageing even means? Because when you think about it, it’s actually got little to do with age and everything to do with your sun exposure history. Anti-ageing means tackling premature sun damage. Ageing in its purest form is actually a pretty graceful thing - it's what happens to the inside of your grandmother’s arm. A little thinning, a little sagging, meh….not too much to worry about. We should all be so blessed as to truly age in that fashion.
To “anti-age” means to impact on any number of the things that are directly impacted by cumulative UVA exposure. Those deeply penetrating UV rays that interact with important things like collagen, elastin, blood vessels, are affecting our skin cells’ DNA leading to changes in: skin texture, skin-tone, loss of collagen and wrinkles, sagging and even broken capillaries.
So now that we’ve focused our minds on this, let's examine those myths!
Myth #1: Ageing is determined by your genes
Wrong and this is perhaps the best piece of news I’ll share with you today. Your skin is largely within your control when it comes to ageing.
As much as 80% is determined by extrinsic factors — things you can control. The earlier you start, the better. But this plasticity in how our skin behaves means it's also never too late to start with the Holy Trinity of sunscreen, retinoids and antioxidants.
Myth #2: Ageing is just about wrinkles
No, no, no!!
This is borne out by the number of women who come to see me with Botox and fillers done but they’re just not happy with how they look. And they’re right! If the skin-tone isn’t even and bright and the surface isn’t plump and hydrated, our brains know something isn’t right and it doesn’t read as attractive - fascinatingly, we don’t experience pleasure when we perceive faces that look ‘done’. So skincare is essential to put these issues right.
Myth #3: Anti-ageing products work immediately
No! Whenever you read this in a product’s blurb, it’s an immediate red flag. The only thing that works immediately is hydration, and this is a temporary state. To “anti-age” means to impact on those key parameters we talked about above including texture, tone and wrinkles. That takes time, work and the right Actives.
Myth #4: You can DIY effective anti-ageing products
No! Nothing you can find in your kitchen will have the same impact as ingredients developed in a lab, designed to penetrate and to reach specific targets in your skin to affect those essential structural proteins in the dermis. Remember - youth lies in the dermis!
For example, retinoids are so sophisticated they have their own specific receptors that interact with your very DNA. You simply won’t get that from a banana and honey mask!
Myth #5: Moisturisers prevent ageing
I think the blurring of boundaries between products can be very confusing as a consumer. There are moisturisers enriched with Actives, moisturisers with SPF….personally I’m a splitter - I prefer not to try to multi-task with skincare products as it seems that there's always a compromise somewhere. But know that moisturiser alone will not save your skin. It has a temporary impact on your skin, largely making up for the things we do to our skin in the course of your average day. Washing, showering, cleansing - these acts alone tend to degrade the skin barrier and thus it needs to be repaired. A well-formulated moisturiser will do this, provided it has the right blend of occlusives, humectants and barrier repair ingredients.
Moisturiser is also helpful as it’s going to help you tolerate active ingredients better - ultimately, they’re a tool to help you manage your skin barrier. But they will *not* change those signs we talked about.
Myth #6: Luxury brands are better
The continued success of certain expensive (and frankly absent of any merit scientifically) brands points to the fact that some consumers still believe that you get what you pay for. Thankfully this is changing. I hope, in part, due to platforms like mine where I talk about the importance of ingredient transparency - so you know what you’re getting, how much you’re getting and can attribute benefits accordingly.
This kind of content is really at the heart of what I hope you find useful on our platform. Please let me know if there are other topics on this theme that would be beneficial to probe. Enjoyed this? Then I’d highly recommend you watch my video on 6 Surprising Truths in Skincare To Save You $$$ | Dr Sam Bunting next!
Bye for now!
Dr Sam x