Do Anti-Aging Treatments Actually Work? Serums, Procedures & More
In the modern day, people are living longer and earning more than at any other point in history.
But of course, with increased age comes numerous potential health issues, along with the risk of aging and damaged skin.
Protecting your skin in the long term is of course an excellent move and can help you look younger, more beautiful, and more importantly feel healthier for much longer. In fact, the younger you can get on an effective anti-aging routine, the better.
Growing awareness of the harms to our skin caused by the ravages of time has led to a huge global market selling everything from $5 anti-aging creams and serums to $50,000 surgical procedures, laser treatments, and more.
But with such a huge range of potential options, how are you supposed to tell the genuinely beneficial from the worthless rip off?
Because believe us, there are plenty of both out there!
Not to worry, because we're going to break down the science of anti-aging products and analyse each type to see what really works, what doesn't, and how to get the most out of your anti-aging routine.
Top Anti-Aging Procedures
First things first, here is a list of the most popular treatments and procedures for anti-aging.
We'll break down the science of each one, the cost, and most importantly, the effectiveness to see which ones are worth your time:
Injectable anti-aging treatments such as Botox (or similar products such as Sculptra) are extremely popular for their speed of results and convenience.
But, how do they work?
Botox is one of the most poisonous substances known to humanity and works by literally blocking the signals from the nerves to the muscles, preventing the muscles from contracting. This helps to reduce forehead lines, crow's feet, frown lines, and any other sign of aging that comes from repeated use of the facial muscles over time.
Anti-aging injections will have zero effect on wrinkles caused by gravity or sun damage, and therefore isn't really an anti-aging procedure at all - it can make you look younger in some instances, but it will not improve the health or survivability of your skin whatsoever.
Botox injections also cost between £100 and £350 in the UK or $130 - $450 in the US, and injections only last from 3-6 months before you need to get them again.
This make anti-aging injections essentially an expensive way to hide the signs of aging without actually doing anything about them - and if a patient gets several injections over a period of years and then stops getting them, signs of aging will catch up with them rapidly.
This isn't what we want at all - there has to be an affordable anti-aging procedure that not only actually works, but keeps us looking young in the long-term, right?
Let's keep looking:
Laser Anti-Aging Treatments
Laser anti-aging procedures actually work by damaging the skin in columns and allowing the body to replace them with new skin cells, increasing the body's collagen production in the process, leading to increased natural anti-aging effects over time.
There are multiple types of laser all varying in strength, so some may only require a single procedure whereas others may not damage the skin at all and take several treatments for any effect to be visible.
Despite this, the fundamental way in which the treatments work is identical.
Laser treatments have a genuine impact on the appearance and health of skin and therefore have a real effect on anti-aging, something that can't be said for injections.
The procedure typically costs between $1,500 and $5,000, and a noticeable improvement can be seen immediately after, although most people will require multiple treatments, taking place every 6 weeks or so.
It remains an expensive option, then, but a valid one that will be worth a try for many people.
Dermaplaning for Anti-Aging
Dermaplaning is, in a sense, a form of professional, intense exfoliation.
It should be done by a trained aesthetician as it involves use of a scalpel and can easily damage the skin if done wrong.
The outer, mostly dead and damaged layer of skin is gently scraped off with the scalpel, exposing the new, brighter, younger looking skin layer underneath.
Dermaplaning generally does have a positive impact on the appearance of skin, making skin appear more smooth and moisturised - however, scientific studies have found these results to be suboptimal, and it is very unlikely to effect wrinkles, crow's feet or frown lines - which makes it hard to recommend as an anti-aging treatment specifically.
A single dermaplaning session costs between $75 and $150, and it will need to be done on a regular basis for long term effects to be noticeable.
Anti-Aging Products Recommended by Dermatologists - Which Anti-Aging Products Really Work?
That's it for the most popular anti-aging procedures at a professional clinic, but what about products you can buy and use at home?
These are of course, universally much cheaper than professional treatments, but do they work well enough to be a legitimate option?
Let's take a look:
LED Anti-Aging Devices
LED light therapy is a way to treat your own skin at home, but there are a variety of different devices with slightly different applications:
Red helps to reduce inflammation and improve circulation, and can be a good general skin treatment but is likely to have minimal effects on anti-aging.
Blue is ideal for preventing or treating acne as it kills bacteria.
The above two devices have limited promise to make skin appear younger, but the following two have a lot more potential:
Amber helps to improve collagen and elastin - since they are both major parts of how the skin protects itself and stays young and healthy looking, this is a very effective way to promote youthful skin.
Infrared also helps to increase healing speed and reduce inflammation.
Such LED devices vary wildly in price depending on the brand, typically costing between $20 and $100.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of them are cheap, low-quality products that lost effectiveness over time if they work at all. But the science behind the idea is sound, and if you do a lot of research into which ones are longer lasting, high-quality devices, you may well find something worthwhile.
Anti-Aging Face Serums & Creams
Anti-aging serums and creams are an interesting one for sure.
As the cheapest, most varied and most established anti-aging treatment or product available, in many ways they provide the best value.
It's easy to look at the results of one laser treatment vs the results of one use of a serum and decide the laser treatment is better.
However, if we compared a $1,500 treatment's results with what you could achieve by using $1,500 worth of a high-quality anti-aging serum over time, the results will be very different.
On a dollar-to-dollar scale, there is actually nothing that comes close to a good, all-natural anti-aging cream, and most research on the subject concurs.
But of course, there are so many creams on the market with so many different ingredients, that this raises an entirely new question:
Which Anti-Aging Serums Really Work?
The results you can get from the best rated anti-aging products depend entirely on their ingredients, as you'd expect.
The first thing you need to look out for is all-natural ingredients.
All of the best skincare ingredients are natural and any product or brand that feels the need to stuff their brand with cheap synthetic chemicals, isn't in the business of making people's skin look better.
A major thing to avoid is Parabens.
These are chemical preservatives used to prevent bacteria or fungus accumulating in cosmetic products, and serve no purpose when it comes to skincare - however they are toxic to humans and can be damaging to our skin and even more dangerous if they enter the bloodstream.
The ingredients to look out for on product labels are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben - any cosmetic product that contain these isn't worth a second look.
These days, there are so many known natural ingredients that can protect against bacteria and fungus without being a risk to our health, that there is no reason for a skincare manufacturer to use them, except to save money.
Now that you know the most important ingredient to avoid, let's look at some effective skincare ingredients to look out for:
Hyaluronic acid is a natural skincare ingredient that's a key molecule in the way human skin ages. It helps our skin cells to be able to hold more water, which in turn reduces dry, damaged skin and keeps our skin looking plumper and fuller for longer.
Almost all studies into the results of Hyaluronic Acid have been highly promising, with a recent double-blind test of Hyaluronic Acid vs placebos finding undeniable improvements in wrinkle depth and visibility.
If you're interested in skincare, you will have heard of collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and helps to provide structural support to our skin cells.
Collagen supplements and skincare products containing collagen have huge benefits for skin youth and radiance.
So what is Hydrolyzed Collagen?
This simply means that the collagen has been broken down, making it easier to absorb into our bodies.
Evidence from studies suggest that Hydrolyzed Collagen is one of the most effective skincare ingredients in the world, making rapid improvements in skin elasticity, aging, cellulite and more.
Niacinamide is one of the few vitamins our bodies and skin desperately need but are unable to create for themselves.
Applying a skincare cream with niacinamide as an ingredient can help your skin to stay looking young and beautiful in the long term while also protecting it from damage and helping it to stay hydrated.
We have recently published a post on the benefits of niacinamide, including before and after pictures and numerous scientific citations, so check that out to learn more about the wonder ingredient!
What to Look For in The Best Products for Anti-Aging
Now that you know the best skincare ingredients to look out for (and to avoid), how do you go about choosing a skincare brand to go with?
Here are some points to consider:
- A trustworthy brand should always be doing what's best for you and your skin. This means all-natural ingredients, no parabens, and ideally, research results or scientific backing for their products.
- A mix of multiple natural but effective ingredients, with no synthetic chemicals or excessive alcohol added, usually results in a gentle, honest, and effective product that does what it's supposed to.
- Overpriced products can include the same ingredients as lower priced ones, or even include more harmful ingredients. Many brands are just looking for profits and not doing what's right when it comes to formulations. Doing your research and reading up on ingredients before buying protects you from this.
We hope that this guide has given you some insight into which anti-aging procedures work and which don't.
In general, surgical procedures or clinical treatments such as dermabrasion and laser anti-aging treatments do provide good results, but are very low in value when compared to a long term, dedicated skincare routine with high-quality products.
Botox, while popular, makes you appear younger while not actually improving the youth or health of your skin in any way, making it a pointless cost in the long run.
Our best recomendation in order to keep your skin young, bright and beautiful, is to eat healthy, drink lots of water, and use the tips listed above combined with your own research to find trustworthy, effective anti-aging creams that use all-natural ingredients that work, and no parabens.
Our own anti-aging products were carefully formulated based off this philosophy, so feel free to read up on their descriptions and ingredient lists to learn even more about what you should look for:
Niacinamide B3 Serum
Our Niacinamide B3 serum is made from Niacinamide (duh), Hyaluronic Acid, Hydrolyzed Collagen, aloe, coconut oil, hazel water, vitamin E, and a variety of beneficial herbal extracts and natural oils.
It contains zero parabens and zero other synthetic chemicals or irritants, making it one of the most outright natural skincare products available. The high concentration of beneficial ingredients also makes it highly effective in boosting softness, tightness, plumpness and hydration of skin, reversing and slowing the signs of aging.
Our focus on natural ingredients instead of fads or fancy chemicals means this incredible anti-wrinkle cream is only $22.45 - so why not give it a try? Read more about it here!
Dark Eye All-Natural Eye Serum
Another result of our unique philosophy, our All-Natural Eye Serum uses only natural, beneficial ingredients and is:
- 100% organic
- 100% cruelty free
- 100% paraben-free
It also contains no allergens, making it suitable for anybody, regardless of your skin type or level of sensitivity.
Ingredients include hyaluronic acid, organic aloe, jojoba, shea, vitamins, lavender, flower and herbal extracts, white tea extract and more!
We are proud to have set the bar for all-natural, powerful anti-aging products, and we can only hope the industry follows!
Until next time, keep your eyes right here on Luminositie!