Make Your Anti-Aging Skin Care Work for You

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A good anti-aging regimen is sometimes a hefty investment. That’s why after the research and money spent, you should get the most out of your skin care and get the results you want. But make sure to give your products enough time to deliver. “It’s very important that people allow time for the product to work. While a moisturizer can immediately plump up fine lines, most products take at least six weeks to work and sometimes it can take three months,” says New York dermatologist Susan C. Taylor, MD.

To get the most from your age-fighting products, Dr. Taylor recommends following these tips:

1. Wear sunscreen every day because the sun’s rays can accelerate signs of aging. Use a sunscreen or facial moisturizer that offers broad-spectrum protection and has an SPF of at least 30. Be sure to apply sunscreen to all skin that is not covered by clothing.

2. Do not tan. Getting a tan from the sun or a tanning bed exposes you to harmful UV rays that can hasten aging, causing wrinkles, age spots, a blotchy complexion and even skin cancer.

3. Moisturize. Moisturizing traps water in the skin, which can help reduce the appearance of some fine lines and make your complexion look brighter and younger.

4. Test products, even those labeled “hypoallergenic.” To test, dab a small amount of the product on your inner forearm twice a day for four to five days. If you do not have a reaction, it is likely safe for you to apply to your face.

5. Use the product as directed. Active ingredients can do more harm than good when too much is used. Applying more than directed can cause clogged pores, a blotchy complexion or other unwanted effects.

6. Stop using products that sting or burn unless prescribed by a dermatologist. Irritating the skin makes signs of aging more noticeable. Some products prescribed by a dermatologist may cause stinging or burning. When under a dermatologist’s care, this can be safe and effective.

7. Limit the number of products. Using too many products on your skin, especially more than one anti-aging product, tends to irritate the skin. This often makes signs of aging more noticeable.

“See a dermatologist if after following these tips you still do not see the expected results,” says Dr. Taylor.