Monday, February 9, 2015

Skincare Rescue Plan: Serums and Spot Treatments

Today we'll be learning about the special creams and serums that help your face get rid of acne or scarring,  reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and just help your skin look its best.

Skincare rescue plan - Do I really need serums treatments and creams?

Remember this video that mandates the worthy discipline of ingredient checking?  While it's important in every step of your skincare routine, I think it's most important with serums, treatments, and creams, just because you can end up spending so much money on things that don't work.  It's easy to buy into the ads on television and all the fancy sounding words and pictures, but make it a habit to look beyond that fluff at what's actually going on your skin and gauging whether it's worth it or not.

To Treat Acne
An excerpt from the Skincare Addiction Blog on treating zits:
"When it comes to acne treatment for newly developing blemishes, spot treatments are the solution you seek. Spot treatments are specialized products that are used in select areas to treat acne. They can be used overnight to completely prevent an acne blemish from forming or they can drastically shorten the lifespan of a pimple. In some cases, if you’re able to successfully treat your acne with a daily topical or a prescription, you won’t even need to use a spot treatment.

"But say you get a blemish anyway and you’ve done all you could to prevent it. Now it’s time to take out your spot treatment tools and start treating this thing. The top tools to treat acne are: benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulfur, tea tree oil, neem oil, and hydrocolloid bandages."
Head down to about halfway through the source page to read about the benefits, uses, and side effects of each ingredient.  I wish I could give individual recommendations for each of you, but there are so many options out there, and I haven't really tried any of them.  The ones I did try in middle school, I don't think they worked, so this one's going to be all you.  I highly recommend reading up on reviews and even googling for before and after pictures, though.  The skincare community on Reddit most likely has a post or two on the products you're using now or are thinking of purchasing.  Go forth girded with knowledge!

To Reduce the Signs of Aging

As we age, our skin naturally loses its elasticity and collagen, and really, there's nothing you can do to stop that process.  However, you can prevent further damage from the sun by wearing sunscreen, and you can make sure you're taking good care of your skin and maintain its overall health through the years.  Beyond these key steps, there are also a few ingredients that help with signs of aging.

The only proven ingredients to help with aging are tretinoin, vitamin c serum, and sunscreen.  Full strength tretinoin is available by prescription only, but there are some weaker ingredients that can also help your skin, to a point.  If your anti-aging cream doesn't have any the ingredients I listed or any of the ingredients listed in that link, it's probably not doing anything to diminish the aging of your skin.  It may be an excellent moisturizer, though, and plumping your skin does reduce the sign of wrinkles.  So, if you like how these products affect your skin, there's no inherent problem with using them, just don't believe that they're actually turning the clock on your skinAnd honestly, I'd also recommend that you don't spend tons of money on products that don't do what they promise to do.

As for eye creams, the skin under your eye is thinner than the rest of the skin on your face, so it does need to be treated more delicately The physical makeup of the skin there isn’t any different, though, and it needs to be moisturized just the same as the rest of your face.  In fact, some say eye creams aren’t really that important (and I agree).  They can have some very good things in them, sure, but if your regular moisturizer is a good one, it should render the eye cream unnecessary.  I'd suggest investing in a quality moisturizer for your entire face instead of an overpriced tube of fancy cream for one small area.

For example.  I have about half a tube left of Mary Kay’s TimeWise Repair® Volu-Firm® Eye Renewal Cream.  The three key ingredients in this cream (plant stem cells*, tripeptide 1*, and peptide*) are good for making the skin appear more full.  They nourish and stimulate the skin and help with collagen production, but they aren’t anything that the skin under your eye needs more than the rest of your skin.  So, now that I’m trying to use up the eye cream to make more room in my skincare cabinet, I’ve been spreading this renewal cream into the creases around my eyes, mouth, and on my forehead.  I don’t want only the area under my eyes to get all the love!

The Bottom Line on "Anti-Aging"

Preventing the signs of aging is easier and more effective than trying to reverse them later.  Start wearing sunscreen today, and moisturize not just your face, but your neck, decolletage, and hands, which show aging signs very easily.  As you go forward looking for products to tend to your skin, remember these four things:
  1. Long life is a blessing, and wrinkles are a sign of many memories and lives touched.
  2. Focusing on prevention while you're young will put you miles ahead when you're older.
  3. Anti-aging skin product companies want your money, and they'll say anything to get it.  Check your ingredients!
  4. No cream can completely eliminate wrinkles

I know there's not much for product recommendations in this postLike I said, I don't have a lot of experience in this area, but I did want to pass along what I know.  If you have information to add, please leave a comment below!
Armed with the information I've found and a recipe for a tried and true DIY vitamin C serum I found, I think I'm going to play the chemist and try to make some of this stuff for myself!  I'll be sure to tell you guys how it goes, and I'd love to hear your own recommendations and regimens, too!

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