When it comes to aging, there is no time to start battling wrinkles like the present. I have to be honest; personally, I didn’t even think about wrinkles until last year. Suddenly, I started noticing small creases in my neck and forehead that simply hadn’t stuck around before. It was an uncomfortable feeling to realize for the first time that your body is starting to age. I had already heard about how important moisturizers are, but I have to admit that I wasn’t great at early prevention.

I have learned a lot about my skin over the years. Both my hair and skin are a little on the dry side, but if I use too many products (especially heavy ones), my skin overproduces oil that causes blemishes. And then, if I try to dry out the blemishes, I find my skin overproduces oil again and produces more blemishes. My solution for years now has been simple: just wash with water.

woman hand in water splashI heard a very old lady talking on NPR once about what she thought had kept her young. She said she washed her face every night with cold water. She said it kept the pores tight. Now, I don’t really know if that helped her or not, but I’ve certainly realized that water makes a big difference to the start of my skincare routine. I only use warm water if my face is very dirty or oily. I use cold water most times and I will use cold water to finish washing my face if I feel the need to start with warm. No soap. My makeup has always come off just fine and I never use waterproof mascara for that very reason. Maybe it’s nuts, but I do feel like it helps my type of skin stay relatively clear and balanced.

But, then there are the moisturizers. Now that my skin has started to show those early signs of aging, I’ve realized not all products are created equal. I’ve been testing out moisturizers to reduce the wrinkles I can see and fight the ones that are inevitably just around the corner.

Aging With Grace

Don’t get me wrong. I actually don’t think there is a thing wrong with wrinkles. My grandmother was covered in the most wonderful wrinkles that told a clear story of her years of hard work on the family farm, her struggle of being widowed with five kids and her love for flower gardening. Wrinkles aren’t the end of the world and they certainly shouldn’t be the main concern of life. But, that doesn’t mean I want them prematurely. I know for a fact that women that don’t take care of themselves look far older than those who do. Aging fast isn’t on my agenda, but accepting my age is. So, that being said, I’ve looked for ways to naturally age well, and I think it will help me be at peace over the years as my physical appearance changes.

On Dramatic Intervention

Of course, there is a lot that can be done to counteract aging if you are willing to undergo more invasive or expensive alternative treatments. Personally, I’ve never been interested in treatments that do excessive work to the skin, fat or tissues. So, for me, cold sculpting, plastic surgery, lifts, liposuction, Botox and similar treatments are off of the table. I also admire stars, like Jennifer Anniston that refuse extreme treatments:

“There is also this pressure in Hollywood to be ageless. I think what I have been witness to is seeing women trying to stay ageless with what they are doing to themselves. I am grateful to learn from their mistakes, because I am not injecting $#*t into my face. I see them and my heart breaks. I think, ‘Oh, God, if you only knew how much older you look.’ They’re trying to stop the clock, and all you can see is an insecure person who won’t let themselves just age.” – Jennifer Aniston

I think a lot of us feel that pressure to be ageless. We look at pictures and wonder what happened because our image of ourselves is frozen at some point in the past.

Looking at Moisturizers

Between cleansing and weather, our skin gets beat up, dried out and dehydrated. Moisturizer is so important in keeping the skin as youthful as possible. Woman Applying LotionNot only can lotion offer a moderate amount of SPF protection for everyday weather, but lotion will also help reduce wrinkles by helping the skin retain its elasticity. Moisturizers will lock liquid in, which makes it important to apply them immediately after a shower or washing your face.

But, not all moisturizers are the same. Just like cheaper shoes will hurt your feet and certain clothing lines will fit certain body types better, not all moisturizers are created equal or ideal for every person. Finding the perfect moisturizer is completely dependent on your own individual needs. Here are a few of my very favorites:

Lancôme Bienfait Multi-Vital Night – This may be my very favorite lotion of all. I have only been using it consistently for about four months, but it is so creamy and I love the smell. It smells like a delicate, flowery spring afternoon to me. Until now, I never had any Lancôme products that struck me as anything amazing. But, this is different. I find this to be the perfect lotion for nights when my cheeks are feeling especially dry and I’ve just rinsed my face for bed.

Estee Lauder Idealist – If Bienfait Multi-Vital Night isn’t my favorite lotion, then Idealist is. This has been a long time favorite for me – I’ve been using it fairly consistently for about five or six years now. It makes my skin feel like silk and I wouldn’t be too surprised if they put pearls in the ingredients. It’s just so creamy and I love the amazing results I get in using it.

Estee Lauder Perfectionist – I have found this wrinkle lifting/firming serum is great for the lines I’ve been seeing pop up on my neck and face. Similar to the Idealist, it gives a silky smooth result that I love. The light scent reminds me a bit of a baby lotion, but in a grown up way.

Clinique Even Better – This is the perfect morning lotion for me. Clinique has created a lightweight skin tone correcting moisturizer that has a decent SPF cover of 20. It smells slightly of sunscreen, but more like a reminder of a fun day at a tropical beach than some overpowering coat of protection. Sometimes the dryness causes my skin to get slight red patches, and I honestly feel like this reduces that before I even apply a foundation.

Clinique Moisture Surge – This is a very different moisturizer that I started testing out recently. Rather than being like a silky cream, this is almost a gel lotion. Clinique created it for an extended thirst relief. I tend to use this only at night, right after I wash my face and sometimes before applying another lotion on top. It almost makes my skin feel drier and the smell is a little sharper than the other lotions, though it is labeled 100% fragrance free.

Estee Lauder Advanced Time Zone – Is it ever too early to start with the anti-aging lotions? I’m starting to think not. This lotion has a very pretty, floral smell and is a light creamy lotion that works wonders for my skin. I have had an affinity to Estee Lauder for a long time and I love that this age reversing line/wrinkle cream offers 15 SPF.

Estee Lauder DayWear – Of all of the Estee Lauder products I have tried, this is my least favorite. It doesn’t give the soft result that most of the Estee Lauder lotions do and it smells like cucumbers. It is a a multi-protection anti-oxidant cream that offers 15 SPF, but it is the lotion I use least in my collection. I tend to wear it on zoo days or times where I’m heading somewhere bound to be full of dust, dirt and germs.

Estee Lauder Soft Clean – I know I said I don’t use soap at all…and that really is true. However, I do occasionally use this tender cream cleanser on days when my skin feels chapped by a dry winter day or I’ve used more makeup than normal. It’s silky smooth and feels like I’m adding lotion to my face while washing, rather than scrubbing the moisture out. Estee Lauder describes it well: “Rich soufflé cushions skin as it gently cleans.” However, I do use this with water, while Estee Lauder recommends applying it dry and then tissuing it off. It has a very lovely, feminine smell.

It might seem like I’m suggesting a lot of different moisturizers, but it is great to switch it up. Just like with conditioners and shampoos, using the same products can lead to a build-up or imbalance of ingredients that impede the success of a given product over time.

Is it Sinking In?

Finally, to finish up this section on skincare, I’ve been reading more about tips for staying youthful. I read recently that Jennifer Anniston and Ellen DeGeneres recommend the derma-roller by Rodan and Fields.amp-md-ellen According to Anniston “It’s great. It’s like a little wheel that has little pins, like acupuncture needles in a way, and you roll it and it stimulates your collagen and it also allows for your products to seep into your skin.” Rodan and Fields also offers different skincare regimes that include cleaners, toners and moisturizers for specific skin types and issues.

Sounds like I have something else to add to my water+moisturizer regimen.