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Anti-ageing Creams - Are They Any Good?
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Hi there,

So what exactly is anti-ageing cream and are any of them worth your money?

People have been using various natural plant products to protect their skin for centuries. Either lanolin, coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera, macadamia oil, olive oil, almond oil or one of many others.

Most of our organs are tucked away out of site. Either inside our bodies or inside our underwear. But our skin, our largest organ, (now now, down boy) is left partially exposed to the elements most of the time.

Unless we are very diligent with our moisturizing, weather lines begin to appear when we are in our thirties . The area around our eyes is one of the first places that lines appear, but also on the neck where our t-shirts and tops leave some exposed skin, and the backs of our hands.

If you live in a hot, dry climate the sun's damage can start to show much earlier. When I was living in Australia I had friends in their mid-20's who had the skin damage of a 35-year-old.

But over the past few years a huge, multi-billion dollar industry has emerged to profit from the fight to slow the aging of our skin. Some of these products sell for more than $300 for a small, 30ml jar and there are others for as little as 10 bucks.

How can you decide which, if any, you should invest in?

With many things in life you get what you pay for. Pay a cheap price and you'll get a cheap product.

There's a reason why designer-made clothes are more expensive, in spite of the extra mark-up that comes with the label. You wouldn't expect a Bang and Olufsen stereo to cost the same as a Chinese one, and you wouldn't expect it to perform like one either.

But recent tests have shown that this, pay more, get more idea may not be so true in the anti-ageing industry.

Consumer Report found that Olay's Regenerist, at around $30, was at least as good as luxury products costing five to tens times as much. Although it may be the best one they tested, even Regenerist only improved the depth of wrinkles by 10%.

Wrinkles are like scars, they are etched into the skin and it may take a surgical procedure at a professional skin care centre to remove them.

But don't despair, there are creams that will lessen the effect of wrinkles. The best anti-ageing creams contain Peptides, small amino acids fine enough to soak into the skin. Regenerist contains peptides.

Look for creams that also contain anti-oxidants to eliminate free radicals that accelerate the ageing process. Anti-oxidants are found in vitamins A, C, and E, also in potassium sorbate, pure aloe and coffee extract.

Palmitoyl pentapeptide (in Regenerist), which is a protein that is reputed to give great results without being crazy expensive.

Coenzyme Q10 (Nivea Visage Anti-wrinkle Q10 Plus Night Cream) is believed to have antioxidant, free radical-expelling properties.

An independent study performed in Britain found that Boots No.7 Protect and Perfect Beauty Serum, at about $20, was more effective than products costing as much as 15 times that amount.

And now there's a new kid on the block. Users of Aldi's Lacura Multi-Intensive Serum (UK only), report results as good or better than with Boot's No.7. At around $7 it is not only good, but unbelievably good value. They also sell several very reasonably priced Q10 products.

What really works?

It may be a little late to get an early start now, but the best way to care for your skin is to start before you need to. Preferably when you're in your early twenties. The biggest thing you can do is to be kind to your skin, use mild soaps and shampoos, keep your skin lightly moisturized and eat a healthy diet.

Get plenty of fresh foods and vegetables and foods that contain anti-oxidants, such as citrus, berries, especially strawberries and blackberries, nuts, tomatoes, broccoli, beans, green vegetables, garlic, green tea and many more. Also red wine and dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa), in moderation of course.

Try to remove stress from your life as much as possible. Perhaps through exercise or yoga, and don't smoke.

Smoking and stress have a big impact on our bodies and especially our skin.

Smoking causes blood circulation problems just below the surface of the skin, and damages the elastin and collagen. This damage, together with the wrinkles around the mouth and eyes caused by years of dragging on a cigarette, is specially evident in women and is not very attractive.

Stress often shows in the skin, through outbreaks of pimples, acne or rashes. There are many stress relieving exercises that can be done at your office desk, while sitting in a traffic jam, watching TV or even while you pretend to listen in a meeting. Similar to the exercises they tell you to do on planes.

I hope this saves you from wasting money on some of the over-expensive products. Keeping yourself looking young doesn't have to mean taking out a second mortgage. If you are happy and healthy you will naturally look better.

Good luck and take care


Street Talk

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