It’s back to school time with Truth In Aging’s cheat sheets. I am always being asked for 101 beauty regimens that outline the essentials, indicate the right order of use and are age-appropriate. Unless you are targeting specific concerns, it really isn’t necessary to have a ton of potions and worry about how to layer them. Targeting should be on specific areas (such as an age spot), whereas one serum/one layer for the face is usually enough. Here are my anti-aging beauty cheat sheets for every decade, to apply in the order given. Now, go to the top of the class!
20s and 30s - Anti-Aging Starts with Antioxidants
Serum — Medik8 C-Tetra
20- and 30-somethings typically don’t need hefty growth factors or strong exfoliants such as retinol or glycolic. But they do need to take anti-aging seriously and start a prevention program with antioxidants. Medik 8 C-Tetra ($70 in the shop) keeps it simple with a 3% concentration of antioxidant vitamin C in the form of tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. This is considered to be a potent and stable version of vitamin C. It remains stable in air and water for up to 18 months and is effective in lower concentrations than traditional vitamin C, making it gentler and less drying. According to research, it penetrates directly into the epidermis and dermis, acting both as an antioxidant and a direct stimulant of new collagen.
Eye Cream — Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Active Moisture Vitamin E Eye Balm
Eye creams are essential for age prevention, and yet it is often the one beauty investment that 20- and 30-somethings try to postpone. But every cent is well spent on the one I am going to recommend. One Love Organics Active Moisture Vitamin E Eye Balm ($49) has no water, so all your hard-earned money is going toward great ingredients. The base is shea butter, and there are antioxidant pomegranate and raspberry, as well as vitamin E. Our 30-something tester found that it refreshed her tired, puffy eyes.
Oil — Your Best Face Private Reserve
Facial oils are trending, and if you are thinking of riding the wave, Your Best Face Private Reserve ($75 in the shop) brings an antioxidant boost as well as additional hydration. If you need it, layer over the serum. But for normal skin types, it can be reserved for nighttime. In this less-is-more formula, the two antioxidant ingredients come in potent concentrations. They are spin trap and Lipochroman-6, and they are signature Your Best Face.
SPF — Suntegrity
You know you need a sunscreen every day, and this one makes life a little easier by acting as a primer and offering a little color. Suntegrity 5-in-1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen ($45 in the shop) continues my antioxidant theme with astaxanthin (supposedly way more antioxidant-rich than vitamin C), red algae and green tea. Choose between five color tints and skip the foundation.
40s - Prevent Further Damage and Address Hormonal Changes
Serum — BRAD Multi-Peptide
The average age for menopause for American women is 46, so you 40-somethings are probably at the very least experiencing some hormonal changes. Skin texture is one of the first victims of these changes, followed by skin tone. The amino acids in BRAD Essential Elixir Multi-Peptide ($95) get to work on plumping, firming and refreshing. There are a dozen or so of them, and they all do different things; for example, arginine plays a pivotal role in cell division and the healing of wounds. Be patient, as this takes a while (up to a month) to kick in, but when it does the results are worth the wait.
Cream — Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Prime
One of the few serums to have been formulated with the menopausal in mind, Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Prime ($135) has several hard-hitters such as copper peptides, stem cells and Matrixyl 3000. But particularly relevant is artichoke leaf extract (cynara scolymus), which limits the production of those nasty matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). It has a cream texture and is hydrating, so if BRAD’s light serum doesn’t help you combat dryness, layer Prime on top. Otherwise, use Osmotics for daytime and save BRAD for bed.
Eyes — Sciote Peptide+Defense Firming Eye Cream
A genuinely good eye cream that won’t break the bank is a rarity, but Sciote Peptide+Defense Firming Eye Crème ($70 in the shop) is just that. Actives include alpha lipoic acid, known as the "universal antioxidant" that can work inside the cell and in the cell membrane. There’s also coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant that helps neutralize harmful free radicals, one of the causes of aging. Wrinkles are kept at bay with glycolic and lactic acids.
SPF — MD Solar Sciences Daily Anti-Aging Moisturizer
More than moisturizing, MD Solar Sciences Daily Anti-Aging Moisturizer ($68) has SPF30. What I like about it is that it has tons of anti-aging ingredients, including vitamin C, rose hip, niacinamide, green tea, macadamia, five types of ceramides and even the cutting edge teprenone.
50s - Repair Damaged Skin and Shore up Sagging
Serum — E'shee KI Therapy
It was Coco Chanel who once said: “Nature gives you the face you have at twenty. Life shapes the face you have at thirty. But at fifty you get the face you deserve." So let’s go to work and ensure that we deserve the best. A repairing serum is the best investment at this point, and we are talking growth factors. This 50-something has had great results with E'shee Clinical Esthetic Elixir of Life KI Therapy Serum ($189 in the shop). It combines growth factors (FGF 1 peptide) and Far Infrared Powder (FIR) to firm skin, increase volume, smooth texture, reduce redness caused by rosacea and repair broken capillaries.
Cream — Sciote Omni Phyto-Cell Creme
Personally, I don’t need to layer a moisturizer over E’shee’s KI, but if you do, then there is Sciote Omni Phyto-Cell Face Crème ($110 in the shop) with tried and true Matrixyl 3000, several other peptides and an array of skin brighteners, hydrators and antioxidants. If KI works on its own for you, then Omni makes a great night serum.
Eyes — Prana Precious Fluids
A great antidote for crepey skin and sagging lids, Prana SpaCeuticals Precious Fluids ($135) is an anti-aging eye serum that contains high levels of potent actives, such as lipid ceramides, Haloxyl, stem cells, peptides, amino acids and Matrixyl 3000. I like the cooling roller ball applicator and, even more, the results of firmer, smoother skin around the eye.
SPF — Amarte Ultra Veil
I rarely recommend chemical sunscreens, but Amarte Ultra Veil Sunscreen ($45) uses fairly benign actives, and it has an epidermal growth factor for additional anti-aging. Among the antioxidants, there is ginkgo biloba, which is anti-inflammatory and a collagen builder, and a type of mushroom that is believed by researchers to be an anti-cancer agent.
Tools — Truth Renew
LED and ultrasound are still the best anti-agers I have found, so now’s the time to tool up. Depending on your schedule, as little as 15 minutes four times a week can make a difference. You do have to be dedicated and patient. My last couple of weeks has been very busy, and for the first time since I started using my at-home devices, I dropped the ball for 10 days. And, boy, can I see a difference. I’m back on the wagon now, and you can join me with Truth Renew ($109).
60s and up - Get Out the Big Guns
Serum — Medik8 Firewall
Broad spectrum (or touching all bases, if you prefer that expression) is what is needed for 60-something anti-aging. Medik Firewall ($145 in the shop) is a heavy-hitting serum that combines potent anti-agers, such as copper peptides, Matrixyl 3000, Lipochroman-6 and niacinamide. And now I’ll cut to the car chase: it works. It really, really works.
Eyes — E'shee Alpha Omega
This is the best eye cream that I have come across so far. Of the claims that E’shee makes for Alpha Omega Gene Therapy Eye Cream ($284 in the shop), two promises stood out to me: stronger dermal structures in about 28 days and dramatically improved skin texture. And for me, it delivers. The big gun is a peptide called TT2 that reduces sagging and slacking.
Cream — Eslor Active Night Cream
60-something skin can be in need of hydration, and Eslor Active Night Cream ($95 in the shop) is rich and nourishing. It helps restore suppleness and firmness to crepey skin while preventing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with Matrixyl 3000, sea buckthorn oil and carrot oil.
Tools — Truth Renew Plus
As noted for the 50-something cheat sheet, at home devices make all the difference. The Truth Renew Plus ($159) features three LED lights, ultrasound and ionic. The modes can be used simultaneously for additional efficiency and effectiveness.
SPF — Amarte Ultra Veil
Again, I find that Amarte Ultra Veil Sunscreen ($45) reigns supreme. As I mentioned in the 50-something cheat sheet, this particular sunscreen has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and sun protective properties. It's a true multi-tasker.
Marta Wohrle is an anti-aging skin care and beauty expert and the founder/CEO of Truth In Aging. Marta is dedicated to uncovering the truth behind anti-aging product claims.