1. How often should you wash your face?
Twice a day
Even if your skin is less prone to breakouts and oiliness as you age, it’s still best to wash your face twice a day, says, Director of Product Development and Ingredient Innovation for NeoStrata® and Exuviance® at Johnson & Johnson.
In the morning, cleanse your skin to remove any sweat and oil that’s accumulated overnight; in the evenings, wash your face to remove makeup, as well as any dirt and impurities you’ve encountered throughout the day. Your best bet for aging skin is a cream or foam cleanser with polyhydroxy acids, such as Exuviance® Age Reverse BioActiv Wash, which exfoliates and smooths skin texture.
2. True or false: You can’t have oily skin as you get older.
It’s true that your skin produces less sebum—the waxy, oily substance that protects and hydrates it—as you get older, says Dufort. But you can still have oily skin and even have breakouts well into your 50s, especially if you're someone who tends to produce more sebum in general.
If you do have oily skin, cleanse twice a day with an exfoliating wash, such as Exuviance® Pore Clarifying Cleanser, then follow with a toner and a noncomedogenic moisturizer that won’t trigger breakouts. Before bed, try a night cream with retinol, such as Exuviance® Super Retinol Concentrate, which does double duty targeting collagen in your skin to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, while also lightly exfoliating pores.
3. True or false: You should avoid using toner if you have dry skin.
You probably associate toner with that super-drying, alcohol-based astringent you likely swabbed all over your face as a teen. While those old-school toners were indeed harsh and drying, many of today’s versions are alcohol-free, explains Dufort, adding that it's a good idea for everyone to use toner because it helps balance your skin's pH, providing a hydrating and freshening boost.
If you’ve got dry and/or sensitive skin, look for formulations that contain polyhydroxy acid and such skin-soothing botanicals as cucumber fruit extract, found in Exuviance® HydraSoothe Refresh Toner. If you have normal or combination skin, opt for one that contains an exfoliating alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), like glycolic acid, which will help curb oil and bring your skin back into balance.
4. As you age, your skin produces less:
Collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid
When you get older, the loss of elastic tissues elastin and collagen causes the skin to sag and hang loosely, explains Dufort. In fact, after the age of 20, we start producing about 1% less collagen in our skin each year!
You also stop producing as much hyaluronic acid (HA), a sugar molecule found in skin that helps hold in moisture, which can combat signs of aging.
5. The first signs of aging are:
Laugh lines around your mouth, frown lines between your eyebrows and dark spots
The first signs of aging actually vary based on your skin type, explains Dufort.
Women with lighter skin tend to first show texture changes, followed by fine lines around their eyes, mouth and forehead area. Women with darker skin—which has more melanin, making it less prone to UV damage—are more susceptible to pigmentation changes and volume loss that can lead to sagging around their cheeks, brows and lips.
6. True or false: There’s a genetic component to the way skin ages.
While about 80% of skin aging signs, like wrinkles and sun spots, are due to UV exposure, your genes play a role too.
If you’re blonde and blue eyed, for example, you’ll likely develop fine lines earlier because your skin is thinner and has less melanin. Facial structure also plays a role: The wider your face, and the higher your cheekbones, the better you’ll age—think of it like a hanger holding up your skin.
Regardless of what genes you inherited, there are things you can do to protect your skin, stresses Dufort. The most important one is to faithfully wear sunscreen every day. Look for a product that also contains antioxidants, such as vitamins A and E. Antioxidants can help shield skin from daily environmental aggressors, as well as help fend off free radicals that can cause premature aging by damaging skin cells, breaking down collagen fibers and more, adds Dufort.
7. The skin surrounding your eyes is one of the first areas to show wrinkles because:
The skin there is very thin
The skin around your eyes is very delicate, which means it breaks down more easily, leading to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. And as you age, that area also loses fat tissue, which can lead to sagging.
This region is hard to treat cosmetically, explains Dufort, and many dermatologists are reluctant to inject fillers close to the eye due to safety reasons. Your best bet is to look for a daily eye cream, like Exuviance® Bright Eyes Dark Circle Corrector, that contains peptides, which are short chains of amino acids that safely absorb into the skin, stimulating the growth of collagen, which in turn improves the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
8. True or false: Medical spa procedures, like injections, are the best way to reduce the appearance of fine lines.
While fillers made of HA have traditionally been the route of choice when it comes to getting rid of crow’s feet, brow and laugh lines, there are two new effective and needle-free options: Exuviance® Wrinkle Smooth Topical Peptide and Exuviance® Lift Volumizing Concentrate.
The Wrinkle Smooth Topical Peptide specifically targets dynamic face wrinkles—those fine lines caused by years of smiling or frowning, says Dufort. Its powerhouse ingredients: a proprietary neuropeptide, which helps stimulate collagen growth; a novel amino acid derivative called Aminofil; and CitraFill, a type of AHA. Together, they help build up the skin’s support matrix, plumping up and volumizing skin. A Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health study of women ages 41-65 who used the peptide for 12 weeks found that 97% of them reported improvement in their crow's feet, and 94% felt the lines between their eyebrows were less noticeable.
The Lift Volumizing Concentrate works a little bit differently: It uses three different types of HA to hydrate the skin, leaving it plump and smooth. It also contains NeoGlucosamine, a building block of HA found naturally in the skin, as well as accelerating agents that encourage skin to produce more HA on its own.
One study of women between the ages of 36 and 63 found that, after six weeks of use, 90% of them reported that their deep wrinkles and folds, including those around the nose and mouth, appeared filled in. And 94% felt their skin appeared plumper and fuller, with less visible wrinkles.
9. Which topical skin treatments stimulate the growth of collagen, which is responsible for strength and elasticity in the skin?
Antioxidants, Retinoids, Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Peptides
These all work by targeting your skin’s support matrix of collagen to firm and plump the skin so that the appearance of lines and wrinkles at its surface is smoothed.
When shopping for products, look for such ingredients as glycolic acid, polyhydroxy and bionic acids, retinol and vitamin C, as well as certain ingredients that are proprietary to Johnson & Johnson, such as NeoGlucosamine, CitraFill and Aminofil.