The Secret to Youth:
Collagen is the key to healthy skin that tends to age well. The change in the pH level of the skin caused by just a few uses of a retinoid product such as Retin-A or AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) can help generate collagen. "Collagen is the skin's structural fiber," dermatologist Dennis Gross said in the October 2005 issue of O Magazine. "As we get older, it breaks down, creating lines and large pores."
The best way to keep collagen from breaking down is avoiding the sun at all costs. Dermatologists warn that up to 90 percent of wrinkles, dark spots and sun damage are caused by sun exposure. This is why they're always preaching the use of sunscreen .
However, if the damage is done, you can try to recoup the gorgeous skin you once had. To find out your best option, read on.
Vitamin A really cuts down on the wrinkles, perhaps better than any other type of skin product. I would recommend skipping the over-the-counter vitamin A products and consider getting a prescription from your doctor for Retin-A, Renova or Retin-A Micro.
These contain the ingredient "tretinoin," which is proven more effective on fine lines and wrinkles than retinol, found in most OTC products.
Keep in mind that you shouldn't expose skin to the sun when using Retin-A, Renova or Retin-A Micro. You'll want to cover up with sunscreen and a hat. Vitamin A makes skin very susceptible to skin damage.
Retinoids are the tamer, non-prescription versions of the vitamin A derivatives listed above. Retinoids contain a less harsh Vitamin A derivative called retinol. These products are less potent and therefore great for weekly upkeep.
Alpha & Beta Hydroxy Acids
AHAs and BHAs are better options for women who find the Vitamin A products dry out their skin. AHAs are acid extracts that tend to be more moisturizing. You'll want to look for products that include glycolic (an acid extract from sugarcane), lactic (milk) or citric (citrus fruits).
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