Aging, and all that comes with it, is a fact of life. While there's literally nothing wrong or unnatural about it, some women opt to do all in their power to halt, slow down, or at least reduce the visible effects it has on their appearance. If you fall into the latter category, you might have toyed with the idea of Botox. Sure, if done correctly, it promises an eternally youthful, smooth complexion. But for some, the idea of injecting toxins is just a little bit too much to stomach. Fortunately, there are combinations of ingredients that can work in a similar way, working to plump lines and diffuse wrinkles.
We called on skin expert, researcher, and author Desiree Stordahl to press her on all the anti-aging heroes that are guaranteed to give you angel skin, minus the needles. Her answers were straight-up, and we actually love her for it. So if you're done wondering how the women in your life stay so youthful minus the needles, this is probably what they're doing.
Keep scrolling to read all about it.
Byrdie Australia: So how exactly does Botox reduce the appearance of wrinkles?
Desiree Stordahl: Botox is injected into specific facial muscles to partially paralyze them. The resulting inability to move those muscles causes the wrinkles in that area to disappear. The results are temporary, wearing off after six months or so.
B: What is the most common myth you’d like to debunk when it comes to anti-aging skincare?
DS: A lot of people buy into the mentality that expensive means better. For instance, a $200 jar of eye cream has an inherently superior formula to less expensive products. That’s not true. I and my research team have analyzed thousands of skincare formulas in all price ranges and unequivocally found that you can find brilliant, affordable products.
B: What skincare ingredients are effective at reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles?
DS: Look for a well-rounded formula that includes ingredients such as antioxidants, ceramides, omega fatty acids, niacinamide, and peptides. Those are all brilliant wrinkle fighters, but if I had to pick the superstar of the bunch, it’d be retinol. Retinol has the most impressive and extensive research to back up its ability to strengthen skin, smooth wrinkles, and improve firmness.
B: What about prevention? Are the same ingredients effective, or are there others we should know about?
DS: Sunscreen is king when it comes to preventing wrinkles and other signs of aging, like dark spots. Think about it like this: If you neglect daily sun protection, you’re basically undoing and minimizing the effectiveness of any other anti-aging treatment in your regime.
B: What’s the best way to incorporate these into our skincare routines?
DS: Cleanse, tone, and exfoliate, and then apply other treatments. They should always go in order of the lightest to the heaviest texture. For daytime, end with SPF. Other than that, it’s a matter of personal preference of what you use during the day versus night. A lot of people save retinol for the night because they think you can’t use it during the day, but it’s perfectly fine as long as you top it off with good SPF.
B: In your opinion, what does the perfect anti-aging skincare routine look like?
DS: Besides the basics of a gentle cleanser, SPF, and night-time moisturizer, your anti-aging routine should include a good leave-on exfoliant to remove the build-up of dead skin cells that make wrinkles look pronounced and your complexion look duller. Go with an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) if you have dry, sun-damaged skin; opt for beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) if you have oily or combination skin or congested pores. Also consider adding in a well-formulated serum, essence or booster to give skin an extra concentrated dose of anti-aging.
B: Are there any particular products you can recommend?
DS: The Paula’s Choice Resist range is perfect for anyone just starting to get into the swing of anti-aging. From there, add in a targeted retinol treatment, like the Resist 1% Retinol Booster ($60), to supercharge your anti-aging routine.