Anti-ageing skincare: What actually works?
Whether it’s preserving your plumpness or doing damage control on deeper-set lines, one Google search brings up an un-ending list of answers to our anti-ageing skincare questions. From serums and creams to oils and elixirs, the claims of anti-ageing products are big and the range more than a little overwhelming.
To help you filter the barrage of advice – and invest in products that actually work – we sat down with holistic facialist Antonia Burrell. Beloved by everyone from Victoria Secret models like Jessica Stam to members of the Qatari and Greek royal families and about every glossy magazine beauty editor going, she’s well worth listening to.
Prepare for some clarity and a vital, smoother, ‘Oh hello reflection, I’ll take an extra three seconds admiring you today’ face.
healthy: When should we start thinking about an anti-ageing regime?
Antonia Burrell: If you invest in your skin while you’re young, it will thank you for it later. Around your late 20s is a good time to start looking at what products you are using – and your lifestyle. But be careful what you use; products can accelerate the ageing process if they’re wrong for your skin type and can bring on issues like breakouts, dryness and make the skin sensitive.Read more: A dermatologist’s guide to caring for sensitive skin
h: What are the anti-ageing ingredients worth my money?
AB: Over 90 per cent of the signs of ageing are caused by free radical damage, so it’s important to incorporate as many topical antioxidants into your body as possible. Always look for products that contain vitamins A, C and E. Other great ingredients include olive fruit extract – it has 15 times the antioxidant power of green tea – and acai berries that are packed with antioxidants like anthocyanins, photosterols and phenols.
Another clinically proven bio-active that helps to keep the skin plump over time is fucose, a polysaccharide. Studies have indicated that this hydrates and plumps the epidermis over a longer time period than hyaluronic acid, and that hydration may increase up to 85 per cent after 4 hours.
h: Do I really need to buy an eye cream as well as my moisturiser?
AB: The area around our eyes is very delicate and requires extra care, so it’s important to use a targeted eye cream, ideally before you have fine lines and wrinkles to keep them at bay in later life. Once you have fine lines, it can’t reverse them – but will make them less visible.Read more: Ditch these old beauty habits ASAP
h: What else can we do to sort out our under-eye bags?
AB: Gently massaging the eye area while you apply cream can work wonders in helping to reduce puffiness, promote lymphatic drainage and increase circulation to the eye area. You can also use cold cucumber slices on the eyes to really wake them up, or even use green, liquorice or black tea bags that have been chilled in the fridge. If you do this for 10 minutes every day, you’ll definitely see a reduction in puffiness and brighter, more radiant eyes.
h: We’ve already got fine lines – how can we smooth them?
AB: Facial massage is the best way to smooth fine lines, and my favourite is called ‘tapotement’. This technique instantly lifts and rejuvenates the skin and leaves a tingly and refreshing sensation. To do it, simply tap gently on your skin when applying your serum or oil, focusing on areas that show signs premature ageing like the forehead, for 30 to 60 seconds. This stimulates the blood circulation to to the skin, leaving it firmer and plumper.Read more: DIY anti-ageing facial massage
h: Can anything actually restore my skin’s elasticity?
AB: Toners and beauty waters are a great way of increasing the skin’s hydration levels, leaving it firmer and plumper. I think they are a key step in any skincare routine and I’ve had lots of clients who comment that the quality of their skin has improved since using one regularly.
Check the ingredients for hyaluronic acid: it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. It’s found naturally in our bodies, but the amount decreases over time, and when we reach our 40s we only have 50 per cent of our required amount, so make incorporating it into your skincare routine a priority.Read more: The 7 new skincare rules to live by
h: Anything else we can do to keep our skin looking younger?
AB: If we’re stressed or unhappy in our lives it can really begin to show in our skin, so it’s important to temporarily take some of the stress out from our lives. Whether this is by exercising, taking a long bath, seeing friends, or yoga – just do something you enjoy and that makes you feel good. And not just once, but regularly!