Sometimes the most seemingly simple questions can be the most complex. For example, the question ‘what is an anti-ageing cream?’ could pose a wide variety of answers.
Both terms anti-ageing and cream can have any number of meanings, depending on who you ask.
What are anti-ageing creams?
This ambiguous term could be used to describe any skincare product with a medium-to-thick texture with the aim of reducing signs or causes of ageing. Following the rules of cosmetic formulation and chemistry, creams are generally water-in-oil formulations, meaning a large quantity of oil-soluble ingredients and oils/lipids themselves.
How do anti-aging creams work?
Ageing is also a very broad term in itself. When we age, we lose collagen, so an anti-ageing cream could promote collagen production. Free radicals also cause skin damage that leads to ageing, so one could argue that an anti-ageing cream simply has to contain at least one antioxidant ingredient which reduces free radicals to prevent skin damage-associated ageing. How each cream works will depend on its goal/s, and thereby, its ingredients.
Can anti-ageing creams be used on young skin?
Absolutely! Many anti-ageing creams aim to prevent ageing by shielding from internal and external damage, so they can certainly be used by younger skins as a preventative measure.
Collagen production begins to slow down in our mid-20s, so it is at this point that protective and preventative measures can be taken to improve skin health and maintain its longevity. The same can be said for skincare creams that aim to treat and prevent wrinkles.
Unfortunately, skincare alone cannot treat or fully prevent wrinkles. Skincare can delay wrinkles from forming by keeping the skin healthy and the collagen fibres intact for longer. It can also be used to prevent the appearance of wrinkles by plumping them out using hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid.
What should I look for in anti-aging cream?
Choosing the right anti-ageing cream for you will, as always, depend on your unique skin type and behaviour. Things to look out for include the right viscosity and texture, as creams which are too thick could irritate some sensitive or oily skins.
There are many options available for anti-ageing creams formulated especially for acne skins or those prone to sensitivity. Ingredients should always be at the forefront of your selection – ask yourself what you are aiming to achieve. Do you want to reduce lines, or prevent ageing? Does your chosen cream use ingredients backed by evidence, and does it contain multiple ingredients for different benefits?
Should I use an anti-aging cream or a serum?
Creams and serums are generally quite different. Serums are typically thin-textured, fast-absorbing, and with concentrated active ingredients. Creams are often richer-textured, with slow absorption and lower concentrations of active ingredients. Ideally both should be used on a daily basis, with serums used to target specific conditions faster and more effectively, and anti-ageing creams used to deeply moisturise, lock in hydration, and boost the age-reducing effects of serums.
While it can be tricky to select the right anti-ageing cream from such a vast number of choices, be sure to make your choice according to proven ingredients, the right texture for your skin, and most importantly – one that you really love using each day. After all, your skincare should be as enjoyable to use as it is results-driven!