How to Renew Aging Skin


In this Article:

More often than not, when we look in the mirror it reflects back things we don’t want to see. You could be facing rough, dry, uneven skin tone, dullness, red areas, and wrinkles. None of that is welcomed and if we could change some of it (or all of it), most people would love to do just that!

This article shares the steps you can take now to renew and reinvigorate your skin’s appearance. With the right products and a commitment to a brilliant skincare routine, you can get and keep smoother, hydrated, younger-looking skin—really. We’ve seen the results in the mirror ourselves and we want you too, as well.

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Skin-Renewing Tip #1: Be Diligent About Sunscreen

It’s OK to be obsessive about some things, like eating healthy and driving safely. Daily sunscreen application with a broad spectrum moisturizer rated SPF 30 or greater should be on that list, too. It’s the crucial first step in your mission of having visibly younger, even skin tone that regains and maintains a youthful complexion that will stay with you for years to come.

Paula’s Choice moisturizing sunscreens are a vital part of your skincare routine because unprotected UV exposure is the #1 cause of virtually every sign of aging you don’t want to see.

Sunscreen is proven to reduce the risk of early skin aging. Now that’s something you can live with for the couple of minutes it takes to protect your skin each day!

Because we’re frequently asked about how much sunscreen to apply (it can be so confusing!), we have these additional tips:

How much to apply: The FDA and most dermatologists recommend ¼ teaspoon on the face and another ¼ teaspoon on the neck and ears. And don’t forget your chest, arms, and any other areas of exposed skin! This is what’s meant by "liberal application" but of course you can adapt this depending on the size of your face and body.

How often: SPF ratings are a measurement of the amount of time your skin can be exposed to UV light before it turns color, which is a visible signal of damage. So, if your skin turns color after 15 minutes of unprotected exposure, a sunscreen rated SPF 30 would protect you for 15 x 30, which is 450 minutes of 7.5 hours. This does not count time indoors when skin is not exposed to UV light.

From the example above, applying SPF 30 liberally each morning will keep you protected for a normal workday (indoors) and the drive home.

If you will be outdoors all day and in direct sunlight (especially if you’re not wearing protective clothing, a hat, or sunglasses, and not seeking shade) you will have to reapply as indicated on the sunscreen’s label. We can’t do anything about this, sunscreens do have limitations when skin is continuously exposed to sunlight.

Layer your protection: Your moisturizer with sunscreen can be worn under your foundation with sunscreen and your pressed powder with SPF! Together, these provide you with extra insurance against unwanted effects from exposure to UV light.

Skin-Renewing Tip #2: Use an AHA or BHA Exfoliant

We want to change how you think about exfoliating your skin. That’s because we want you to stop aggravating your skin with harsh scrubs that are abrasive and truly have a negative impact on skin. It’s just too rough on skin and being gentle is paramount for healthy-looking skin.

That’s where a leave-on, exceptionally gentle exfoliant with AHA or BHA will help your skin exfoliate imperceptibly and naturally just like when you were young (and of course we would love for you to consider one of our Paula’s Choice AHA or BHA exfoliants). This is one of the major skincare steps that really can turn back the hands of time, virtually overnight.

Scrubs aren’t terrible for extra cleansing (assuming you use them very gently and they have soft beads as opposed to rough grains or ground up nuts), but for exfoliating dead skin naturally, banishing dullness, and improving the look of pores and wrinkles, scrubs don’t hold a candle to the results you can get from using a non-abrasive, leave-on exfoliant.

Note: Don’t bother with cleansers that contain AHA or BHA—they don’t work as well as leave-on exfoliants because much of the benefit is rinsed down the drain.

Find out how to shop for an AHA or BHA exfoliant, and find the one that’s perfect for you with this handy guide on AHA & BHA exfoliants!

Skin-Renewing Tip #3: Use Anti-Aging Ingredients

Be skeptical of trendy anti-aging ingredients that don’t have legitimate scientific research proving their benefits when applied to skin.

Instead, recharge and nourish your skin’s appearance by using products loaded with research-proven ingredients that can interrupt skin appearing older. Such ingredients include potent, stable antioxidants (notable ones are vitamin C, green tea, grape extract, and resveratrol) skin-restoring ingredients such as retinol, peptides, and niacinamide, and skin-replenishing ingredients like glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid.

We’re proud to say these are exactly the types of ingredients we add to every Paula’s Choice toner, serum, moisturizer, and our targeted solutions so every age, skin type, and concern has expertly formulated options to help their skin look renewed and beautifully even, day after day.

Skin-Renewing Tip #4: Avoid Sensitizing Ingredients

So far we’ve offered tips on what to use for reviving skin from the look of advancing years, but this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning what to avoid. Lots of skincare products contain problematic ingredients research has shown pose a risk of causing a sensitized reaction.

Surprisingly, fragrance—both natural and synthetic—tops this list. A product that smells nice has strong appeal, but what makes your nose happy doesn’t always please your skin!

The same goes for products containing denatured alcohol, lemon, citrus, eucalyptus, witch hazel to name a few; yes, some people might say such products are fine if "they don’t bother you," but the sneaky thing about skin sensitization is that it can cause silent, cumulative problems.

You might like how these ingredients cause a cool tingle, but that sensation is your skin telling you it’s being bothered, not helped (and men, we’re talking to you too). You’ll be shocked at how quickly your skin will rebound once you stop using products that contain these troublesome ingredients!

Summing It Up

For optimal renewal, your skin needs products loaded with skin-replenishing and restoring ingredients, an array of soothing antioxidants, daily sun protection with a broad spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater, and a reliable AHA or BHA exfoliant. Adding these to your daily skincare routine will have you loving your image in the mirror!

The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here: The same type of in-depth scientific research used to create this article is also used to formulate Paula’s Choice Skincare products. You’ll find products for all skin types and a range of concerns, from acne and sensitive skin to wrinkles, pores, and sun damage. With Paula’s Choice Skincare, you can get (and keep) the best skin of your life! See Paula's Choice Anti-Aging Products.

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and helping you solve your skincare frustrations with research-supported expert advice—so you'll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.

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