Monday, January 20, 2014

Rewind The Clock: Anti-Aging Serums

I can feel your skepticism as you read the title of this post. "Poonam, you're 26, what on earth do you know about aging, let alone anti-aging?" Well, to you, I must dryling exclaim, "Probably more than you do!!"

Okay, snark aside, anti-aging skincare is something I take fairly seriously. If you know me, you know I never, ever, EVER sleep in my makeup, because that would mean foregoing my nighttime ritual of applying skincare products galore in the everlasting hope that I will outsmart or marginally disrupt the natural aging process. [Note: I also never sleep in my makeup because it's an awfully unhealthy habit to have that can lead to breakouts. At least have some cleansing wipes -- these'll do -- bedside if you're really lazy/tired/intoxicated]

For anyone who is unclear on the function of serum, consider it booster for your skin, delivering a high dose of beneficial ingredients directly to your skin. Serums are generally applied first, before a moisturizers, sunscreen or anything else you may want to slap on your skin. Here are three I've used and enjoyed immensely:

Gone are the days of product names that are even remotely concise, I guess. Lengthy name aside, this serum is actually two fluids housed in separate chambers that mix upon dispensing the product into the palm of your hand. Clarins has a whole method of application that comes specified on paper in the little pamphlet in the product box, but I prefer just ensuring the fluids are combined and dabbing it on all over and gently smoothing it over the skin's surface. It contains green banana, kiwi extract, and katafray extract. These ingredients increase firmness, make skin supple and maintain moisture levels in skin, respectively. It's steep for the results, but it's a nice texture and smells fantastic.

My first proper foray into anti-aging serums started with this product right here. I was curious about retinols, but had read too many horror stories about itching, burning, peeling and other hellish tales, so when Origins launched this serum, I was drawn to it immediately upon reading that it had the effect of a retinol without the irritation because it was plant-based! I tried it and actually loved it. It smells kind of terrible, but who cares! You can use it every night and your skin will look better in about a month's time! It uses Anogeissus extract (I'll spare you the googling - it's a tree native to the India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Myanmar -- formerly known as Burma, of course) to block enzymes that weaken skin's elasticity. While doing skin such a huge favour, it also increases the production of fibrillin, which increases elasticity. So there's your mini science lesson for the day. Honestly, if you're hesistant about trying anything more chemical, give this a try. Smells awful, works great!

Drugstore skincare picks are plentiful these days, so it's not entirely shocking that I'm gladly recommending an Olay product to you! Excellent at plumping, brightening and hydrating skin, this serum is a multitasker that ultimately works to lift skin for a more sculpted appearance. It contains allantoin (an anti-inflammatory), vitamin B3, glycerin, panthenol, hyaluronic acid (all to moisturize)... the list goes on and on. This one is definitely sufficient for most skincare concerns out there, and is more budget-friendly than not. 

And now for a bonus product, because I suppose it doesn't totally qualify as a serum, but boy oh boy, it's an anti-ager...

 La Roche-Posay Redermic [R]

Oh god, I have harped on and on about this product, but with good reason. I first nabbed this silver tube of magic when I was in a pharmacy in Paris this summer (I know, I know, what a quaint story). I started using it immediately and actually haven't touched my Clarisonic since. That was June 6th, 2013. I use this stuff every. single. night. The product tagline on LRP's site really says it all regarding the concerns it addresses: accentuated wrinkles, irregular complexion, premature age spots. My skin's surface has completely changed for the better, and too often, I'm stopped in public places (mostly the subway, oddly enough) by strangers, asking if I've had Botox or what I use because my skin is in good condition. The formula contains 0.1% pure retinol (to boost collagen production and reverse fine lines), retinyl linoleate combined with adenosine (to reduce skin irritation and improve retinol efficacy) and 0.3% lipo-hydroxy acid (to increase cell turnover and exfoliation).

While genetics play an obviously huge part in skincare, I do feel I owe a large part of my relatively line-free face to this product. They're launching an eye counterpart soon, and I cannot wait to get my paws on it, as Redermic [R] is not safe for use in the eye area. This retinol treatment was created with sensitive skin in mind, but if you try it and it somehow doesn't sit well with your skin, try slowly introducing it into your routine gradually, either applying it every other night at first, or cutting it with moisturizer (this will obviously impede results, but being quite literally comfortable with skincare is important).

Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent from the company or their PR team for editorial consideration. For more information, please click here. 

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