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"Where do I start?" This is a typical question in my email box. Like the 66 year old female who is getting more wrinkles around the jaw line. But, she wrote: “I've never used much in cosmetics and now I am confused as where to start. Do I start with a mask or exfoliate and then moisturizer. (What order and how often.) Please help and thank you for getting me started on the right foot.”
There are plenty of beauty junkies in the Truth In Aging community who have been learning about cosmetics and experimenting creatively for years, but what about the rest who weren't applying eyeliner before they could crawl? Many of us only took a serious interest in skincare when we started to see signs of aging. Then the first impression is typically to feel overwhelmed by all the choice. So where do you get started?
If I was in my 60s and just starting out, I would keep it simple – it’s definitely better not to try out too many new things at once - and just go for a really good anti-wrinkle serum with actives that will stimulate collagen production. For inspiration, check out the 2011 Five Best Anti-aging Serums and if you are on a budget, there’s the Five Best for Under $65.
The question of exfoliation is a good one and not that easy to answer. Exfoliation is important and my correspondent had been closer to 45 than 65, I'd say yes definitely. But exfoliation is somewhat harsh even in its gentler forms (see my post on exfoliation 101 for more on the various methods. Sixty-something skin may be little thin or fragile and too much exfoliation could do more harm than good. So it depends on your skin and, in most cases, a once a week glycolic mask would suffice.
Finally, if you are experiencing sagging around the jaw as well as wrinkles, I would strongly recommend LED light therapy. We sell an at home device, the Sirius Aurora and it really helps plump out the skin and is one of the few things that improves the appearance around the jaw and labia nasal lines.
Obviously, there’s plenty more things to consider (eye creams, moisturizers, sunscreen etc) and they will depend very much on skin type and condition. But to get off on the right foot, keep it simple to start with.