Listen up: It’s never the wrong time to start an anti-aging skincare routine. One of the most basic skincare rules is that it’s a lot easier to prevent something than repair it. What that essentially means is that things like wrinkles, pigmentation, and age-related dryness are difficult to completely get rid of once they’ve already appeared on your skin.
While these are natural side effects of aging, they don’t happen at the same time for everyone. How you take care of your skin and yourself will directly impact how youthful your skin appears. If you don’t protect and maintain your skin’s health, you’re most likely to see the effects of aging sooner than someone who uses anti-aging skincare products. This is why experts recommend starting to use anti-aging treatments in your 20s, even if you haven’t spotted a single wrinkle.I
At Kiehl’s, we understand the importance of preventative skincare, which is why we formulate a variety of products to help keep your skin looking its best for longer, no matter your skin type. Our Kiehl’s customer representatives are all well-versed in tips for anti-aging and the products you should be adding to your skincare routine.
We asked our skincare experts to share their best anti-aging advice, so you can craft an anti-aging skincare routine that can both prevent and address visible signs of aging. Keep reading to learn how to keep your skin looking its best for longer.
Use A Cleanser That Doesn’t Strip Your Skin
It’s tough to talk about skincare without touching on cleansing, so that’s where we’ll start. Your skincare steps should always begin with getting your complexion completely clean, but there are additional considerations for an anti-aging routine. You see, as you age, skin inevitably gets drier.II While cleansing is a must, approaching it in the wrong way can dry skin out further. Avoid harsh formulas and make sure your face wash is a gentle option that doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils, such as Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash. The creamy gel formula contains calendula extract (known for its soothing properties) and will help skin look and feel instantly revitalized. Apply a nickel-sized amount of cleanser to damp skin to remove dirt and oil. Try not to overdo it—creating a thick lather isn’t necessary.III
Kiehl’s Expert Tip: We can suggest plenty of anti-aging skincare products to add to your routine (and share more of them below), but you can also get personalized recommendations. If you need help finding the most effective anti-aging skin products for you, schedule a complimentary Healthy Skin Consultation at your neighborhood Kiehl’s store, and a Kiehl’s expert will help.
Introduce Your Complexion To An Essence
If you’ve always kept your skincare routine to the bare minimum, embracing the world of anti-aging products calls for taking things to the next level, starting with using an essence. You may not even know what an essence is, but they’re another anti-aging essential. The liquid formulas include concentrated active ingredients and can have benefits for dry and aging skin. They’re used after cleansing (but before applying serum) to help prep your skin for the rest of your routine.
We recommend Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence, an anti-aging formula that helps smooth skin texture, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and boost radiance. It’s formulated with iris florentina extract, lipo hydroxy acid (a form of salicylic acid), and sodium hyaluronate, and it’s suitable for all skin types—including sensitive skin.
Make Vitamin C A Part Of Your Daily Routine
One of the main functions of antioxidants like vitamin C is to protect your skin against free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules. These molecules can develop from exposure to various external sources, including cigarette smoke, air pollution, chemicals, and even the ozone.XIV Research shows that free radicals can cause damage that leads to visible aging.V This potent vitamin is a versatile addition to pretty much any part of your skincare routine, from moisturizer to mask to eye cream. L-ascorbic acid (the chemically-active form of vitamin C) is also a reparative ingredient. It has anti-aging benefits that make it great for addressing the appearance of wrinkles. In other words: vitamin C is beneficial both for preventing and correcting signs of aging.
As we mentioned, there are numerous ways to work this antioxidant into your routine. Start with our best-selling Powerful-Strength Vitamin C Serum, which uses potent 12.5 percent vitamin C and hyaluronic acid in its formula to hydrate and help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Prevent Visible Signs Of Aging With A Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Hyaluronic acid has gained quite the reputation as an anti-aging ingredient, and there’s a good reason for that. Studies show hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.VI Hello, hydration. Research also suggests that formulas with hyaluronic acid can improve skin hydration, elasticity, and wrinkle depth.VII To see for yourself, try Vital Skin-Strengthening Hyaluronic Acid Super Serum. Smooth the hyaluronic acid serum on, and its lightweight texture will quickly absorb. With time, results include visibly reduced fine lines, improved texture, and stronger skin.
Don’t Shy Away From Face Oil
As we mentioned, aging and dry skin are unfortunate companions. This means it’s no time to shy away from moisture and nourishment. We recommend adding a face oil, such as Midnight Recovery Concentrate Face Oil, to your daily routine. This moisturizing face oil is formulated with lavender essential oil and evening primrose oil. Apply it before bed to help restore skin overnight for a more youthful-looking complexion by morning.
Pay Special Attention To The Eye Area
The skin surrounding your eyes is delicate and oh-so-thin—even if there isn’t a single crease on your forehead, there may be wrinkles around your eyes. Your eye area is one of the first spots to show signs of visible aging, which makes using eye cream crucial. Dark circles are one sign of aging that your eye treatment can help address.VIII Treat your eye area to Powerful-Strength Dark Circle Reducing Vitamin C Eye Serum. The serum, which is uniquely formulated for the delicate eye area, contains 10 percent pure vitamin C—an ingredient you’re already well-versed in the benefits of. Apply the dark circle cream morning and night to decrease the appearance of under-eye circles as well as crow’s feet, puffiness, and lines.
Kiehl’s Expert Tip: Don’t underestimate just how delicate your eye area is. Be careful not to get rough when smoothing on your eye serum. Dab the product on using the pad of your finger, then carefully pat until it absorbs. We recommend using your ring finger to dab the serum in, as it has the most gentle touch and therefore is less likely to tug or pull at the fragile skin.
Use A Moisturizer With Anti-Aging Benefits
No matter your age, skin type, or concerns, a moisturizer is a vital part of everyone’s skin routine. You know skin gets drier as you age, but what you might not realize is that dryness contributes to the look of wrinkles and rough texture. When skin is dry, it appears rougher, and wrinkles are more pronounced and noticeable. In contrast, when the skin is moisturized, wrinkles appear smoother and less prominent.IX
Using a moisturizer with proven anti-aging ingredients, like the hyaluronic acid, vitamin A, and chaga mushroom in Super Multi-Corrective Anti-Aging Cream for Face and Neck, can help reduce wrinkles, even skin tone, and smooth skin’s texture over time. Apply the anti-aging cream on your face, jawline, and neck to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles (which are common on the neck).IX
Prevent Sun Damage With SPF
No effective anti-aging skincare routine is complete without sunscreen. You may love basking in the summer sun, but it’s an unfortunate fact of life that the sun’s rays can speed up signs of aging.X Data shows that photoaging (damage to the skin caused by UV exposure) causes 90 percent of the visible changes you observe in your skin. Yes, 90. UV rays damage your skin’s DNA, which causes a chain reaction that decreases collagen levels and leads to ineffective attempts to repair the damage. This results in wrinkles.XI
To best protect your skin from aging UVA rays (and burn-causing UVB rays), you need to be diligent with sun protection. This includes wearing a broad-spectrum (i.e., protecting against both UVA and UVB radiation) sunscreen every single day, rain or shine. Super Fluid Daily UV Defense SPF 50+ makes this easy thanks to its lightweight formula that works for all skin types. Apply in the morning as the last step of your skincare routine. If you plan to be in the sun for a prolonged period of time, make sure to reapply every two hours for the best protection.
It’s also crucial to take other sun protection measures. These include limiting time in the sun during peak hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and wearing clothing and accessories that cover exposed skin.XII
Try A Firming Mask For A More Lifted Look
As you get older, your skin naturally begins to lose its collagen and elastin, the two proteins responsible for keeping it firm and elastic.I To help minimize the appearance of sagging, loose skin, you need to use a firming product that can help visibly lift and plump your complexion. Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask is a velvety cream face mask that instantly makes skin feel firmer and look smoother. The overnight formula, which should ideally be used five days a week for the best results, works with your skin’s natural reparative function while you sleep for an immediate smoothing effect and visible reduction in the appearance of fine lines over time.
Kiehl’s Expert Tip: How often you should mask in general will depend on the specific product you use. Some can be used daily, while others are best treated as a weekly pick-me-up for your complexion.
Last But Not Least, Care For Your Lips
You may not notice signs of aging impacting your pout in the same way you’re able to detect them on your face or neck, but aging indeed affects your lips. With time, you’ll see changes to your lip shape and texture.III Our best tip is to stay consistent with caring for your lips. They deserve TLC, just like the rest of your skin. Use Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30 to provide your pout with soothing moisture and a pop of color. This lip balm also features broad-spectrum SPF 30, which you know we love.
Next: Our Best Skincare Routine For Wrinkles
I. “Act Your Age When It Comes to Skin Care.” American Academy of Dermatology, www.aad.org/news/age-and-skin-care.
II. “Skin Care in Your 40s and 50s.” American Academy of Dermatology, www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/care/skin-care-in-your-40s-and-50s.
III. “Dermatologists' Top Tips for Relieving Dry Skin.” American Academy of Dermatology, www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/dry/dermatologists-tips-relieve-dry-skin.
IV. Addor, Flavia Alvim Sant'anna. “Antioxidants in Dermatology.” Anais Brasileiros De Dermatologia, vol. 92, no. 3, 2017, pp. 356–362., doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20175697.
V. Barja, Gustavo. “Free Radicals and Aging.” Trends in Neurosciences, vol. 27, no. 10, 2004, pp. 595–600., doi:10.1016/j.tins.2004.07.005.
VI. “Hyaluronan: A Natural Moisturizer for Skin Care.” Harry's Cosmeticology, by Daniela ŠMejkalová et al., 9th ed., vol. 2, Chemical Publishing Company., 2015, pp. 605–622.
VII. Pavicic, Tatjana et al. “Efficacy of cream-based novel formulations of hyaluronic acid of different molecular weights in anti-wrinkle treatment.” Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD vol. 10,9 (2011): 990-1000.
VIII. Shatalebi, Mohammadali, and Fatemeh Ahmadraji. “Evaluation of the Clinical Efficacy and Safety of an Eye Counter Pad Containing Caffeine and Vitamin K in Emulsified Emu Oil Base.” Advanced Biomedical Research, vol. 4, no. 1, 2015, p. 10., doi:10.4103/2277-9175.148292.
IX. “Wrinkles.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 18 Dec. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/wrinkles/symptoms-causes/syc-20354927.
X. “Wrinkle Remedies.” American Academy of Dermatology, www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/anti-aging/wrinkle-remedies.
XI. “Photoaging: What You Need to Know About the Other Kind of Aging.” The Skin Cancer Foundation, 10 Jan. 2019, www.skincancer.org/blog/photoaging-what-you-need-to-know/.
XII. “Sunscreen: How to Help Protect Your Skin From the Sun.” United States Food and Drug Administration. 2019. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/understanding-over-counter-medicines/sunscreen-how-help-protect-your-skin-sun/#spf.
XIII. Penna, Vincenzo et al. “Classification of the Aging Lips: A Foundation for an Integrated Approach to Perioral Rejuvenation.” Aesthetic plastic surgery vol. 39,1 (2015): 1-7. doi:10.1007/s00266-014-0415-2.
XIV. Lobo, V et al. “Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health.” Pharmacognosy reviews vol. 4,8 (2010): 118-26. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.70902