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How to maximize results from anti-aging skin care products

Dermatologists reveal what works best

How you use your anti-aging skin care products affects your results.

To help patients get the best results from these products, dermatologists offer these tips.

  1. Start with one product. Using several anti-aging products at the same time can irritate your skin. When you irritate your skin, signs of aging become more noticeable.

  2. Test the product before applying it to your face or hands. Even hypoallergenic products can cause a skin reaction. To test a product, apply a small amount to your inner forearm. Repeat this twice a day for four to five days. If your skin looks normal — free of redness, itch, and other reactions — you can apply it to your face and other skin.

  3. Stop using a product that stings, burns, or tingles. These sensations mean that the product irritates your skin. Irritated skin looks older. If you are using a product prescribed by your dermatologist, ask if this should be happening before you stop using it. Some prescription-strength products will burn or sting.

  4. Follow directions. Some products contain active ingredients that can cause problems if you apply more than directed. You could end up with clogged pores, blotchy skin, or excessively dry skin. Read the instructions, and use as directed.

  5. Give the product time to work. A moisturizer can plump up fine lines in a few days, but most products take at least six weeks to work. Sometimes it can take up to three months. Be patient and give the product time to work.

  6. Continue using, if you want to continue seeing results. People often stop using a product once they see results.

  7. Protect your skin from the sun. Sun protection helps to reduce signs of premature aging on your skin. It also allows your skin to repair and renew itself and reduces your risk for getting skin cancer.

  8. Use moisturizer. Moisturizer traps water in your skin. This extra moisture can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and brighten your complexion.

  9. Forget about tanning. Tanning speeds up signs of aging on your skin. Tanning can lead to premature wrinkles, age spots, and other unwanted signs of aging.

Avoid the temptation to improve results with a do-it-yourself cosmetic procedure. If you shop online, you may see lasers and other products that treat signs of aging for sale. These products are often counterfeit or imported illegally. Using these products can be extremely dangerous to your health.

For a specific product recommendation, talk with a dermatologist

If you do not see the results you want after following these tips, you may want to see a board-certified dermatologist. Your dermatologist can examine your skin and discuss the signs of skin aging that concern you. Keep in mind that creams, gels, and lotions cannot reduce all signs of aging skin.

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