Do you know which products work best on crow’s-feet, sagging skin, age spots, and more? Test your anti-aging smarts.
Which of the following has been scientifically proven to treat the signs of aging?
- Alpha-hydroxy acids
- Azelaic acid
The answer: All of the above. Products with retinoids, alpha-hydroxy acids, azelaic acid, hydroquinone, kojic acid, and salicylic acid as active ingredients have been shown to treat signs of aging and make aged skin look younger.
Over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments can help get rid of puffiness or bags under your eyes. True
Over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments may help deflate under-eye bags, helping to tighten and smooth the skin. Also, green tea bags contain a natural anti-inflammatory chemical, which can reduce fluid buildup that contributes to puffiness. But these are temporary fixes at best. More permanent solutions include injectable wrinkle fillers or a surgical eyelift.
Topical creams can get rid of cellulite. False
While some creams can help diminish the appearance of cellulite temporarily, no cream can dissolve and remove cellulite from the body.
Which of the following products is helpful for dark circles?
- Laser therapy
- Skin-lightening agents
- Wrinkle injections
- All of the above
The answer: All of the above. Lots of things contribute to dark circles, including heredity and genetics, and fatigue makes dark circles look worse. Alcohol dehydrates the skin, exaggerating the appearance of dark circles. Excess pigmentation and dilated blood vessels under the skin are often the underlying cause. The best treatment for your dark circles depends on what type you have.
If you have dark circles caused by thinning skin, laser or intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments can vaporise the blood vessels that are the underlying cause of the discoloration. If they are due to pigmentation issues — a common problem for both African-Americans and Asians — skin-lightening treatments, such as hydroquinone, can help. If your problem is the result of shallowness beneath the eyes that casts a dark-circle shadow, your best bet is wrinkle fillers.
Which of the following treatments help tighten sagging skin in the chin and neck area?
- Chemical peels
- Collagen creams
- Laser procedures
The answer: Laser procedures. Laser rejuvenation procedures, such as CO2 laser skin resurfacing, YAG (yttrium-aluminum-garnet) laser surgery, and intense pulsed light, can rejuvenate and tighten the skin. There are several types of nonsurgical treatments, used either alone or in combination, that can help tighten skin in a sagging neck and jowl. Botox can be used to diminish the visible bands on the neck, and products that contain skin-firming ingredients, such as niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and hexamidine, can be helpful in treating milder signs of aging.
Chemical peels and antioxidants can be useful for rejuvenating the look and feel of the skin, improving the appearance of skin discoloration, sun spots and dull skin texture, but they are not as helpful for improving sagging skin. And dermatologists say that collagen products that are applied to the skin will not penetrate and remain as intact collagen.
Which of the following skin care ingredients is most effective for age spots?
- Coenzyme Q10
- Alpha-lipoic acid
The answer : Hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is a one of the most effective treatments available for age spots. This topical bleaching agent is available in prescription strength and as an over-the-counter cream, however, the FDA has been considering a ban on the ingredient in over-the-counter products because of concerns about toxicity. Chemical peels and light and laser treatments also help treat age spots.
Which topical skin treatments can stimulate collagen generation in the skin, giving skin a firmer appearance and fading wrinkles?
- Alpha-hydroxy acids
The answer: Retinoids. Topical retinoids — derivatives of vitamin A — are among the most common treatments for wrinkles and other signs of aging skin and can help with a wide variety of skin issues. They work by increasing skin turnover and increasing collagen in the skin, making it firmer and plumper. Antioxidants like vitamin E, alpha-hydroxy, and beta-hydroxy acids can improve the appearance of skin and reduce the signs of aging.
You should never combine skin treatments containing retinoids with skin treatments that contain vitamin E. False
Products containing vitamin E combined with retinoids may provide additional skin-smoothing effects.
If alpha-hydroxy acids irritate your skin, which of the following is a good substitute?
- Beta-hydroxy acids
- Polyhydroxy acids
The answer: Polyhydroxy acids. People with sensitive skin may want to avoid alpha-hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid. Beta-hydroxys, antioxidants, and retinoids also can cause irritation. Instead, consider products that contain polyhydroxy acids (PHAs), which may be less irritating. If your skin is excessively dry, you should decrease your daily use of alpha-hydroxy acids and apply moisturising creams. Also, be sure to use daily sunscreen when using any of these products.
Over-the-counter acne products marketed to teens are just as effective for adult acne. False
Adult acne differs markedly from teen pimples, both in how it appears and how it’s treated. Teen skin tends to be a little stickier and they’re more likely than adults to get clogged pores. Most of the over-the-counter products involve salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, which are good for whiteheads and pustules, but not as good for deeper adult acne.
When choosing a color treatment for gray hair, you should choose a color that is: Close to your natural color
Experts say you should never go too light or too dark when coloring gray hair. Stick to a color within three shades of your own hair to ensure a natural result and minimize the appearance of roots.
Which of the following can help most cases of fragile nails?
- Gelatin supplements
- Biotin supplements
- Nail hardeners
- All of the above
The answer: Biotin supplements. Several studies have shown that supplements of biotin (a B vitamin) increased nail thickness and prevented splitting and breaking. Calcium, colloidal minerals, or gelatin may help nail strength, but nail hardeners can do more damage than good for most people, dermatologists say.
Which of the following slows hair loss in men?
- Quitting smoking
- All of the above
The answer: All of the above. Minoxidil is an FDA-approved over-the-counter medication men can apply to the scalp. It slows the rate of hair loss in men, and some men even grow new hair. But once you stop using it, hair loss returns. Finasteride is a prescription drug that slows hair loss by slowing down the body’s production of DHT, a hormone that causes hair follicles to shrink. Like minoxidil, it works only as long as it’s used. And several studies show a significant relationship between smoking and how fast male-pattern baldness gets worse.
Which of the following is critical to keeping skin hydrated, plumper, and younger looking?
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3 fatty acids
The answer: Omega-3 fatty acids. Essential fatty acids like omega-3s — and omega-6s — are the building blocks of healthy cell membranes and, consequently, healthy skin. While most of us have diets rich in omega-6s from such sources as baked goods, cooking oils, grains and poultry, our diets tend to be short on omega-3s. For healthier skin, eat more omega-3s from salmon, mackerel, flax, safflower oil, walnuts, sardines, soy, and fortified eggs.
Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD