Firming Creams: Should You?

maturewoman3If you’ve reached a certain age, you may be tempted to try out firming creams, which promise to lift and firm crepey, mature skin. Do they – can they, work?   Before you decide if firming creams are right for you, you should know a few things about skin itself and how it ages. Collagen and elastin are two important components of skin. Collagen forms part of the skin’s supporting network and having enough of it can helps firm it up. Elastin is the fiber that helps skin to spring back into place. Skin that is damaged or has too little collagen and elastin, begins to sag (think of an old mattress with worn out springs). This is compounded by the fact that as we get older, we make much less elastin and collagen. And if you were wondering, exposure to unprotected UV light degrades collagen and elastin.  

Firming creams on the market today help make skin feel tighter by using ingredients that form a film on skin. For the most part, this effect is temporary. Skin won’t be lifted, but the cream will leave a sensation as if it’s been lifted leading many individuals to believe that the product is working. A feeling of tightness isn’t the same as actually changing the structure of your skin. For this, you have to use ingredients that can make a difference. But be warned, there isn’t a quick fix.  

Here’s what to do:

  1. Increase collagen production. More collagen won’t be able to help your skin bounce back, but the increase in support will help to minimize the appearance of sag. Antioxidants and retinoids are at the top of the list for boosting collagen production. Try Apothekari Undercover Agent Serum or Neostrata Vitamin C Concentrate, which contain high amounts of antioxidants. Apothekari A is for Anti-Aging Retinal Serum and Green Cream contain retinoids (Vitamin A derivatives) which boost collagen production, increase skin cell turnover and deliver a host of other skin benefits.
  2. Protect against sun damage. I know; you’re tired of hearing this, but it really is a non-negotiable step if you want great skin. Sun damage destroys collagen and elastin and generates free radicals which can further age skin. Never mind the age spots and other havoc the sun can cause. Use a broad spectrum UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen daily with a minimum SPF 30. We and our customers love Anthelios sunscreens.
  3. Exfoliate. Regular exfoliation = smooth skin. But there’s more! Some research shows that alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) can build collagen, resulting in firmer skin.

It’s important to keep in mind that while topical skin care treatments can deliver a host of benefits, they aren’t the solution to everything. Medical procedures including dermal fillers, lasers or even cosmetic surgery are far more effective than many skin care solutions and this includes firming creams. If you don’t want to wait or nothing’s working for you, then you may want to consider surgical procedures. If it’s right for you, a facelift can deliver dramatic results. Combine this with a good skin care routine (you know the basics) and your skin will show it.

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