Other than sun avoidance, sunscreen application is the single most effective anti-aging preventative. Ultraviolet rays from the sun cause discoloration and wrinkling of the skin. Compare the skin on the face or chest with skin on unexposed areas of the body, like the breast or buttocks. Unexposed and exposed skin are the same age but unexposed skin always appears less wrinkled and more evenly pigmented, it has better tone and texture. Sunscreen prevents the skin discoloration and wrinkling and, as recent studies suggest, may even improve skin tone and texture.
Anti-wrinkle creams ARE moisturizers. These products intend to increase the water content of the skin, temporarily improving the appearance of the skin. The consumer imagines water being pumped into a raisin, becoming a firmer grape. This theory may apply to very superficial fine lines, especially those found around the eyes where the skin is the thinnest, but in actuality, facial lines and wrinkles are due to a loss of connective tissue in the deeper layers of skin. In addition, dehydrated skin may exacerbate the appearance of facial imperfections.
"Firming creams" ARE facial moisturizers. Manufacturers use the marketing term "firming" to imply that a skincare product makes the skin look tauter. Unfortunately, there is no objective way to measure firmness of the skin.
Claims of increased firmness are commonly based on a handful of user's subjective perception. An increase in hydration of the skin may yield the same result.
Moisturizers specifically designed to address the signs of aging are marketed as "anti-aging" products. Simply stated, anti-aging products ARE moisturizers that CLAIM to improve skin tone, texture, and radiance, while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Unfortunately, science has yet to discover a single ingredient or product that reverses or slows the aging process.