Men's Life Today: Expert Q+A
A friend told me you should start using anti-wrinkle cream years before you see any wrinkles. Is that true?
It’s true to an extent. Anti-aging cream is for reducing visible wrinkles, so a good rule of thumb is to start using it when you see your first few early lines. The most important antiwrinkle cream to start using long before you see any lines, though, is sunscreen. Every single day. If you get a sunburn, the long-term damage won’t even show on your skin until 10 or 20 years later, when it’s too late to completely reverse it. So prevention always comes first.
If you want to get more aggressive about wrinkle reversal now, start applying sunscreen in the morning and an antiwrinkle cream at bedtime. Pick an over-the-counter cream that contains the vitamin A derivative retinol, the milder cousin of tretinoin, which is the only FDA-proven cream to improve wrinkles. Other ingredients that might help include antioxidants like green tea, vitamins C and E, and soy.
Also, don’t get too hung up on the brand. Although there are more and more products marketed directly to men, the truth is that branding doesn’t make that much of a difference. Your best bet is to stick with generally reliable names, like Neutrogena or AVEENO. -- As told to Caroline Kinneberg