When it comes to information about anti-ageing , it can often be difficult to decipher fact from fiction.
Some say a daily green juice is sacrosanct to ensuring a glowing, youthful radiance, while others have all but stopped smiling to prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, and, before you know it, our complexion concerns have become a serious case of who said what hearsay.
So, to help us set the record straight about what rules we should and shouldn’t be living by we reached out to Cosmetic Dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting who’s helped us debunk the top 10 most agonising anti-ageing theories.
Myth: Water is the fountain of youth
FALSE: “Alas, if skin isn’t well-constructed with the right water-retaining elements (think ceramides, essential fatty acids and Natural Moisturising Factor), it won’t stay hydrated – much like water isn’t retained in a sieve, however much you pour into it.”
Myth: Moisturisers lessen wrinkles
FALSE: “A truer statement would be that water lessens the appearance of wrinkles, rather than moisturisers do.”
Myth: The earlier you start using anti-ageing products, the better
TRUE: “This is absolutely the case when it comes to prevention, i.e. wearing sunscreen. There is a strong argument for getting early teen girls into the habit of wearing sunscreen – a big part of it is sending the right message that tanning is bad for the skin. Bear in mind that 25% of our lifetime sun exposure occurs before age 18 and melanoma is one of the most common cancers in young adults. Therefore, if teens are tanning (and even scarier, using sunbeds) serious re-education needs to occur.”
Myth: You don't need suncream on a cloudy day
FALSE: “UVA is present all year-round, and passes through clouds (and glass). It drives collagen and elastin breakdown, plus it triggers hyperpigmentation . So we need protection 365 days a year.”
Myth: The rate at which we age is based on our genes
TRUE: “Genes do play a role in ageing – but the likelihood is that our behaviour has a far greater influence, given that as much as 90% of ageing is due to extrinsic factors such as sun, smoking and pollution.”
Myth: Lasers can get rid of any form of ageing on the skin
FALSE: “Hmm. Lasers are a hugely broad category – there is one for most anti-ageing concerns relating to skin (acne, redness, brown spots, wrinkles) etc. But one thing they won’t do is re-volumize the face – so I’m going to say false.
Myth: The more expensive an anti-ageing product is, the more effective it is
FALSE: “When you look at how many products fall into the +£100 price point but don't actually contain significant levels of proven actives, you realise that price has very little bearing on efficacy. Many effective ingredients with good quality data to support their mechanism of action can be found in reasonably-priced pharmacy brands - look out for niacinamide, lactic and glycolic acid, soy, retinol and retinaldehyde in the top 1 or 3 of the ingredients list, suggesting tangible amounts present in the product.”
Myth: Wrinkles are formed by frowning and smiling
TRUE: “Animating the face does lead to wrinkles, especially in the upper 1/3 of the face. That’s why Botox is so successful at treating the lines we get from frowning, smiling and raising our eyebrows – because it takes the oomph out of the force of the muscle contraction.”
Myth: Once the signs of ageing have started to show, it's too late to change it
FALSE: “We can always improve things – the skin has fantastic powers of recovery, provided the right skincare routine and treatments are adopted.”
Myth: Diet has nothing to do with the rate at which our skin ages
FALSE: “Eating foods with a high glycemic index like white bread, pasta and potatoes cause the formation of AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products), because they are quickly converted to sugar in the bloodstream. We know that the formation of AGEPs (Advanced Glycation End Products) are associated with collagen and elastin becoming stiff and less springy, which we see clinically as sagging skin. To make matters worse, AGEs also make the skin more susceptible to sun damage. The changes associated with this process tend to manifest in the mid-30s – a great reason to start eating clean.”
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