Remember the day when you looked into the mirror and realized that you are no longer ‘wrinkle-free’? Aging gracefully sounds decent, but I’d rather not aging at all, well, not yet. Wrinkles and fine lines are extremely stubborn – without using the right product and techniques, chances are small that you can reduce or soften them. As someone who is obsessed with perfect skin, I have zero tolerance with wrinkles and have been looking for every non-surgical way to minimize them for years. The result turned out great – I managed to soften the wrinkles I had so far and prevent them from getting more obvious over the years (they are almost invisible right now). In this blog, I will explain to you what I have done and what you should not be doing:
(For those of you who prefer reading about it, scroll down. However, I’d recommend you to watch the video as well since there are some details I couldn’t explain in words)
Serum: stick with Retinoid!
First of all… do you use any skin serum? If not, please do! Serum product is absolutely essential as it consists of smaller molecules and contains more concentrated ingredients which can penetrate deeply into the skin and deliver a better result than any cream. That is why I will only be introducing serum products in this blog, because it is the best for specific skincare purposes, for instance, anti-aging, acne treatment.etc.
The rich ingredients in serum products make them also way more expensive than regular cream, so choose wisely. There were days when I was desperate and look for all those serum products with the word ‘anti-age’ and ‘anti-wrinkle’ on them. Strangely, I feel that they hardly have any effect on me. After some in-depth research into the marketing tricks of the skincare industry, I had given up on believing the taglines like ‘reduce your wrinkle in just 2 weeks (with just our product) !’. Trust me, it’s not that easy. If it is, I’m sure all these Hollywood hotties in their 60s should still look fresh and absolutely wrinkle-free. So before I actually recommend anything, I want to be sure that you know: skincare products that you put on your face can do just as much as they can. They are not magic. So if you take up your courage and pay for some cream worth up to $150, hoping that it will bring youth back to you, don’t do it!
The only proven ingredient which can be used to reduce wrinkles is retinol. It is nothing fancy or expensive, just a simple antioxidant derivative of vitamin A. BBC has a documentary explaining how skincare companies are using marketing manipulation to make people believe that their products work like magic, but retinol is the only ingredient that is scientifically proven to be effective in terms of reducing wrinkles and fine lines. It is also nice to mention that it was initially used to get rid of acne, blackheads, and dead cell buildup in pores as well!
After knowing this, I immediately ditched my expensive anti-age serums and jumped right into products that contain a lot, a lot of retinol. I have to say my choice is brilliant – my skin had a lot of improvement after I started using them. Still, they are not capable of entirely ‘wiping out’ your wrinkles, but they do soften them and your whole face just also looks brighter and pores become smaller. I myself have relatively dry skin, and both of these products are also oil-based, so they were perfect for me in terms of moisturizing my skin as well:
1. Ceramide Capsules Youth Restoring Serum | Elizabeth Arden
This was my first oil-based product which I kept using for 3 years until now. It comes in the form of separate capsules, which are very clean and easy to carry for travel. It contains a rich amount of vitamin A palmitate, which is a type of retinoid (retinol). It does not drastically improve your wrinkle conditions over a week or so, but after the first night, I could already see the pores disappeared from my face and the whole skin was just covered with a healthy glow. The result was satisfying,
But what is the difference between retinoid and retinol? Retinol is an advanced type of retinoid, which is more effective when it comes to wrinkle reduction. However, it can be potentially irritating for sensitive skins, or anyone who just start using retinol-based products. So choose wisely, start light with retinoid, and gradually move to retinol when you believe that your skin already adapts to it. For those of you who want to try retinol-based products already, you can try the Retinol Ceramide Capsules Serum instead of the one I just recommended above.
2. Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane | The Ordinary
Another oil-based product that I recently discovered! If Elizabeth Arden was the old money, this is definitely the new money in the world of retinol products. The most amazing thing is that it is extremely cheap compared to any other anti-age serums – €13.90 (around $15) for 30 ml. As I said before, I am still at the phase of trying Retinoid, but the 5% one is already the strongest in this product line. After around 1 month of using it, I could obviously see the wrinkles on my forehead and around my eyes were softened. I had some crazy game nights a few weeks ago when I did not apply this and the EA capsule, and I noticed that wrinkles around my eyes became more obvious. Comparing to the product I recommend above, it is more effective in terms of wrinkle reduction. However, the oil used for this product is squalane, which is kind of greasy – a nightmare for oily skin type! But of course, there is always an alternative: Buffet Serum from the Ordinary, which is also a popular product for anti-age but has a water base.
I really like the brand itself, as they try to provide products in their most effective, true form (treatment level) at the most affordable price. Take this: the other expensive and useless serums you purchased were overpriced, overrated bottles of sparkling wine, and this is Vodka: strong, direct, and effective, no bullshit. However, because of that, I recommend you to read the description of each product carefully because as a customer of the Ordinary, they expect you to know what you are buying. So, as I already mentioned, if you have sensitive skin, try to start with Granactive Retinoid 1% or Granactive Retinoid 2%, which is lighter and can be less irritating.
NOTE: Only use retinoid/retinol products during the night as it is photosensitive!
Say NO to sun damage
I myself is not a fan of any type of tanning bed. I almost never expose my face too long under the sun, and I ALWAYS wear a hat or sunglasses even if I am tanning outdoor. The reason is something we all know – UV (Ultraviolet radiation), the worst enemy on our anti-aging journey. I know it is hard to resist having beautiful, shining brown skin, but really, try to just tan your body without exposing your face and neck. The sun damage on skin is permanent and severe, it drastically increases the wrinkle, fine lines, and even the size of the pores. Avoid UV is the best way for wrinkle prevention or any sign of aging – I had a friend whose mother was allergic to sunshine, so she had to wear sunscreen almost all the time. She is now 60, and has skin like a teenager – I couldn’t hardly see any wrinkles on her!
Besides, it also saves you the risk of getting skin cancer. My suggestions are:
1. Wear sunscreen anytime you go outdoor. 50 SPF for the beach and hot summer day, 30 SPF for regular sunny days, and 15 SPF for any other occasions (including cloudy days). I usually use an anti-aging day cream which already contains sunscreen ingredients, for instance, Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Day Cream SPF 15 | SHISEIDO
2. Wear protective clothing while you are exposed under very strong sunlight. It was proven in multiple experiments that this is a better way than wearing sunscreen;
This may seem a little extreme, but it will do no harm to you if you are truly dedicated to taking good care of your skin, and you will thank me in 10 years for doing this!
Be gentle to your face
I have seen a lot of videos where they teach you how to apply eye cream but in a completely wrong way – I am absolutely against pulling and rubbing the skin around my eyes like crazy! The skin around our eyes is extremely sensitive and thin, so if you constantly try to adopt some weird massage ritual around this area, the wrinkles will only become worse. Trust me, I’ve tried it as well (laughing at myself as I talk about this). The same thing applies to your face – just imagine your skin is like a piece of precious, beautiful leather…would you rub it and scrub it super hard?
The right way to apply eye cream is: gently tap it around your eyes in a clockwise motion;
The right way to apply face cream is….very hard to describe in words, sorry! That is why I include my daily routine in the video on top of this page 😉
Also, one last thing that you should remember: do not forget about the neck! This is also a part that I do not pay attention to at the beginning, however, it will make a huge difference over time. Imagine you have the skin of a baby on your face, but a very, very saggy and wrinkled neck…so please be sure to apply cream and massage it as well!
Although these are super important tips to keep in mind, I have to be honest – I have done way more than this to be truly ‘wrinkle-free’. I really hope you will still keep reading and following my upcoming blogs, as I have come a long way on my anti-aging journey, and I hope to save you more time and energy by revealing you the secret of looking young and fresh. In the next blog, I will talk about the beauty device I use for significantly reducing my wrinkles and healthy habits you should adopt as well. These are equally important suggestions to be taken note of and I truly hope they will enlighten you. See you soon!