Anti-Aging in Your Twenties: Too Much Retinol Too Soon?

Logan for ITG, Too Much Too Soon

Let’s say that you’re “technically young” (so, in your early twenties, though we could argue—to the teeth!—that the thirties are still “technically young,” but for the purpose of this exercise, let’s say your twenties) and have assembled something of a skincare regimen. Within that clutch of products, how many of them are 'anti-aging'? Beyond that, how many anti-aging methods or technologies are you aware of? And how, frankly, worried are you about "signs of aging"? If you’re anything like me or the readers of most fashion magazines (and a fair amount of the commenters on this website), the answers to those questions fall around: several, lots, and very. While “very” may seem like a stretch—most twentysomethings I know don't regularly wear sunscreen; hell, some still smoke and drink and lay out in the sun with abandon—their drugstore purchases and medicine cabinets tell a different story. We're relatively cavalier in our lifestyles, yet packing away products pumped full of retinol and alpha hydroxy acids that promise to "combat loss of radiance" and “lift and firm” things that aren't yet "sagging" or "loose." We are kids in the street and our mothers in the bathroom.

Consider, for a minute, the law of diminishing returns—there has been much notice paid to medicines which, over time and if overused, can become less effective. (I have friends who never take painkillers for this reason, and also avoid antibiotics unless under severe duress.) I wondered if the same applied to skincare. Are we, as wrinkle-fearing beauty enthusiasts reaching for the big anti-aging guns in an attempt to freeze life its tracks, actually screwing ourselves by using up all the ammo before the battle begins? Or, simply: is it just too much, too soon? I called a doctor, a scientific communication director at a luxury beauty brand, and one medical researcher-turned-skincare-entrepreneur to talk vanity, technology, and what’s the smart move when it comes to preserving (maintaining) youthful skin. Their answers and advice varied, with the exception of the following tip: wear sunscreen. Every day. (Even if it’s cloudy. Even if it’s RAINING. Even if you're INSIDE and it's raining.)

Simon Erani, the founder and CEO of The Somme Institute in New York, met me at his very bright, very white midtown office in mid-January and told me through his very bright, very white teeth that he feels sorry for most consumers. “There’s just so many skincare companies that release products with these buzzwords, like ‘alpha lipoic acid,’ ‘CoQ10,’ or ‘Now with ginseng!’ and how many of them actually do anything?” Erani asked. “These companies put out a ‘breakthrough,’ and people buy it and use it a few times and see it doesn’t work, and then, next cycle, the company comes out with another ‘breakthrough’ for the same thing. The consumer who really wants something that works ends up getting screwed. Women can end up ruining their skin trying to fix it.” The Somme Institute began as a research firm ("We've tested hundreds of skincare brands on over 7,000 people in the past 10 years," Erani said, and they have extensive "tracking" data to prove it), and Erani—who has been known to approach people on the street that possess what he describes as “bad acne” and put them on his patented products “forever, free of charge, because I feel bad"—funneled his frustration with available skincare lines into the development of Somme's 5-Step Regimen, a "cure all." [ed note: I should disclose here that both Nick and I use it regularly and are near evangelical about it, because we've never felt so glowy, bright, fresh, clear-pored in our lives. Sidenote: The five steps take about one minute; don’t be afraid of the color coding or multiple bottles.]

The program consists of a Nourishing Cleanser, Transport toner pads, a serum, and two moisturizers (the first, A-Bomb, fortified with heavy doses of vitamins E and A; the second, a light SPF cream), all imbued with Somme's trademarked super-duper vitamin blend, MDT5 (with vitamins A, C, E, F, B3 and B5), which Erani calls a "smart vitamin...a highly engineered vitamin." Somme's been doing clinical studies and trials for years, he said, and their data has been reviewed and evaluated independently by doctors from top medical schools, including Harvard, Yale, and NYU. "It's not that we're so smart," he adds, "it's that we did our homework."

“Retin-A, Reova, Accutane, they’re great drugs in that they work,” Erani continued. “Everyone wants to change the skin, everyone wants to prevent damage. But none of the products on the market we tested [during the clinical trials] did. When we tested Renova and Retin-A, they did. The only problem with those drugs is that women’s skin is already considerably thinner than men’s, and these medications take off the top layer—so you’ve lost the first or second layer of your skin, and though your skin looks fresh and bright and great, it can actually get worse. With repeated use, retinol products begin to thin out your skin and will eventually make you more susceptible to UVA rays. If you're not wearing adequate SPF all the time, with passing years you’ll have more melasma, more discoloration... Plus, they can be way too harsh on the skin, even if you don’t feel the redness. We did research on [chemical] peels, too, and, like I said, the worst thing to do is thin out the skin. The worst thing.” His Somme products promise to improve skin tone, texture, and clarity and, if you believe the walls of his conference room, which are lined by impressive 'before' and 'after' photographs from the clinical trials (each done with a special UV light and high-definition camera that can see the freckling, "mottled pigmentation" and swathes of dark spots otherwise invisible to the naked eye), the products will also help reduce and repair years of sun damage, as well as diminish the look of fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, and acne. “As far as when to start,” he laughed, “I have 70 year-old customers who call me and ask, ‘Why is my granddaughter on the same regimen I am?’ And I tell them, ‘Because it’s a new molecular compound [we're using]. It’s working for you both. And working safely.'”

Dr. Elizabeth Hale, vice president of the Skin Cancer Foundation and a Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology at the NYU Langone Medical Center, has a slightly less extreme position when it comes to the retinols of the world (though she’s been doing some extremely cool research into the use of stem cells in skincare products). “In my opinion,” she explained via telephone from her New York office, “as long as it’s done correctly, there’s no time that’s too early to start thinking about anti-aging. But there’s two types of aging of the skin: intrinsic aging, which would happen if you lived in a vacuum or a bubble, and then there’s extrinsic, which is sun-exposure and smoking, which accelerate your skin’s break-down. I’m a believer in prevention, even in your twenties, so that you can age gracefully and naturally, versus trying to reverse the signs of UV exposure or smoking later on. The number one thing you can do is just wear sunscreen. Every single day. Ninety percent of the signs of premature aging come from UV exposure.” But what about the drugs, doc? “I’m a fan of Retin-A... If you survey most dermatologists, I would say an overwhelming number of them personally use Retin-A, but they are also licensed professionals who know exactly what they’re doing. But people, and this is especially common in my young, 20 to 30 year-old patients, tend to overdo it. We call it 'auto-sensitization.' There’s a statistic that 90% of women have very sensitive skin or think that they do, but a huge chunk of those women don't have conditions such as eczema or rosacea; they're actually doing it to themselves, often through over-exfoliating, using glycolic acid, or Retin-A in inappropriate amounts.”

So, I shouldn’t worry that everything with retinol, Retin-A, or Retin-whatever on the bottle will leave me a red, peeling, skin-less mess by age 50? Dr. Hale laughed. “Retin-A was initially an acne medication, but it had all these incredible results in double-blind clinical medical trials for slowing down signs of aging [via cell-turnover], and has been co-opted into that market. But it can also be incredibly sensitizing, making your skin very dry and sensitive to the sun. In this case, it does not follow that 'more is better'—a tiny, tiny drop of retinol, I'm talking no more than a pea-sized drop for your entire face, really goes a long way. People who do it too frequently can experience skin that gets red and dry and flaky and irritated. Keep it to the basics: sunscreen every day, and sunglasses, too. Then, retinol as tolerated, if desired, but there's no rush to start in your early twenties.” Lately, Dr. Hale has been working with a company called Lifeline Stem Cell Skin Care, who've discovered a way to take extracts from non-embryonic human stem cells (that’d be from non-fertilized eggs, donated by women to fertility clinics for scientific purposes) to help create million of new cells that rejuvenate skin. It's all very futuristic sci-fi, but then, so is everything good, medically. Right? Unless you'd rather use leeches. (Note: If you would rather use leeches, please contact us for a potential feature. BYO Leeches.) Lifeline's products have shown results with marked increases in hydration, elasticity, tone, and brightness, Dr Hale said. “I’ve been in practice for 11 years and it’s the first time in 11 years that I’ve called the company to tell them how impressed I am with a product. That’s definitely something.”

When it came to Edouard Mauvais-Jarvis, the Paris-based Scientific Communications Director for Dior Beauty, he was of the 'nothing exceeds like excess' mindset. “I think there is no set age to start incorporating anti-aging into the routine,” he wrote in an e-mail. “The earlier it is done, the better.” Well! Does that mean we can grab the nearest baby and slather them in Olay? “Women now don’t want to wait until it’s too late to act," Mauvais-Jarvis responded. "The new approach is to protect the cells responsible for the regeneration, to repair the damaged structures, to maintain the right levels of activity for the self-repairing enzymes, etc.” This, he added, is what Dior’s latest skincare launch, Capture Totale Multi-Perfection Crème, is intended to do. Like Lifeline, the range is focused around stem-cell technology and includes a day creamserum, night cream, an Ultra-Detox Treatment Mask, and a tinted lotion with SPF [ed note: discontinued]. “Our new line is acting at each level of the skin to maintain its structure, to expand the ‘best years’ of the skin without overstimulating it. This cannot lead to long-term aggravating tendencies, because this technology is aimed at maintaining the skin, not thinning it out.” This type of an approach, he said, has no ideal start date: the younger you begin, the better off you are. (This is perhaps why my baby reference was not received as particularly hilarious as intended.) The same is not true for retinol-based products. “Vitamin-A derivatives [like retinol and the widely prescribed Retin-A] are strong molecules that focus on short-term results, overstimulating the skin without considering the long-term consequences. This is not a sustainable approach for beauty and youth. The time has come for a new vision of anti-aging. More sustainable, more reasoned, more relevant.”

Well, if that doesn’t make you want to blow a trumpet and ride off into battle, I don’t know what will. If you take the sum total of what was said, it's not that it's too early to think about aging—and I acknowledge this was a long piece, and you probably feel like you've aged a bit since you started it; I hope your brow remained un-furrowed throughout, and there was little-to-no squinting—it's just about thinking clearly, and making smart choices. I'm not sure Catherine Deneuve was right when she (allegedly) said that a woman at 30 has to choose between her ass or her face. Take care of your skin (and your ass?) and trust that while not every tube and tub of product does exactly what it says, some of them do, and will, and want to. Also, aging? Not all bad! Let's be fine wines, together. So rethink all of those harsh anti-agers with immediate effects and long-term issues that you've squirreled away, my friends, and pick up some of the new science (and some SPF!). This battle isn't over yet.

—Alessandra Codinha

Review The Somme Institute's research here, Dior Capture Totale's here, and pick up Lifeline Skincare products here.

Photograph courtesy of Vanessa Stevens (of her adorable daughter, Logan—who, by the way, doesn't use anti-aging products).

#TBT to anti-aging practices through history.

Read up about epidermal growth factor and its place in the anti-aging world.

Ever wonder about retinol? Read here about a good one to start here.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Liz

    Nicely done Alessandra! Great to see you've put your brilliant writing skills into a thoroughly researched investigative piece on ITG. More of them please!
    It's spot on too. I'm in my early twenties and whenever I buy skincare products I ask myself whether I should be investing in a fancy anti-wrinkle cream just yet, so I'm sure this will make it easier next time around :)

  • ClosetCravings

    Sunscreen and moisturizer are definitely a must-do. It also surprises me how many girls still smoke and bake in the sun and tanning beds despite knowing better. I have heard far too many times younger girls say that a new anti-aging product will probably be invented to combat the the damage they inflicted by the time they're "older."
    Satisfy Your Cravings For Celebrity Style and All Things Stylish and Sweet

  • Paulina

    Well, I am really into beauty and I agree with the approach saying that SPF is a must. I think everything depends on individual skin conditions - some of us smoke, sunbathe and some - don't. However, I think that there's nothing in anti-aging products that would bring any harm to us. That's why I use e.g. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair as a treatment from time to time even though I am (only?) 26.

    • Charly

      I started Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair at 18... so...yep.
      I know I'm overdoing it, but I have some issues with aging :/

      • Samantha

        With the way our society views aging it is no wonder so many people fear it. You're not alone, but remember that stressing about it will just make you age faster lol!

  • jnfr

    This is a nice article, Alessandra. and the line "We are kids in the street and our mothers in the bathroom" is actually quite poignant.

  • chaunceygardner

    What a refreshing piece. This article should be asterisked and featured in a special place on this site. It is unfortunate how many people are denied the correct information when properly addressing skin care. This is a good article to start from before exploring any other product promoted on the site. Please keep more of these researched articles on the regular. Smart beauty is a rare find these days.

  • Lesley O.

    Girls in your 20s (I am one of you who has worked in skin care). Moisturize, use SPF and drink water. Worry about anti aging products when you begin to show signs of age. Most are repairing products, so there if there is nothing to repair, there is no need for them.

    A new cold weather outfit post is up on Local & Opulent. Hopefully there won't be too many more days that I will need my giant scarf!

  • Denisse

    It's funny how concerned we are with staying young. But the fact is, no matter how many creams you pile on your face, you're still going to get old-the wrinkles will come. I don't worry about that stuff, I just moisturize in the winter since my face gets so dry. The best to do for your skin and body is to eat the right foods, and live a healthy life. Everything else will find its balance.

    There's no point in working so hard to prevent the inevitable.

    • Sarah

      Try Lifeline, it has literally removed every little wrinkle from my face!

  • Mara

    This was great. Would you consider doing an article on the best sunscreens for your face? I feel like there's so much contradictory information out there.

    • ITGAlessandra

      Thank you(!!), and yes! I am--as you might suspect--now kind of obsessed with SPF. So hold that thought. x

      • Caolan Hunter

        Completely concur on all the above sentiments of this being an incredible article, and would be exceptionally grateful for such a facial sunscreen/SPF post - can't wait!

      • Grace

        Please do a post on sunscreens for the face! My mother's dermatologist at one point told her that it was better to have a separate sunscreen and facial lotion and use both as opposed to a face lotion with SPF in it. I'm curious if this is true.

      • Max

        Yeah, like, for instance, the Somme Double Defense is a chemical sunscreen. I've been focusing on physical sunscreens like the Hourglass Veil, EltaMD Clear, and LaMer The SPF 30 UV Protecting Fluid. Pretty sure Chantecaille Just Skin is physical too - gonna try that next.

      • Jessica Lai

        My most fave is La Roche-Posay UVIDEA XL Extreme Fluid SPF 50, it's like those Shiseido shaka-shaka ones (Anessa Perfect Essence/Mild Face Sunscreen) but with better ingredients.

    • Kara

      Somme Institute's Double Defense moisturizer is's the only one I've used that doesn't make me break out. I'm pretty sure it's SPF 30.

      • giagirl

        ditto - love double defense

    • equestrienne

      I use DeVita's Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30, and it's wonderful. I actually love all their products. Natural ingredients with no whitish cast that some natural sunscreens have.

  • Couteau

    Kate Moss, all said.

    The 39 year old chain smoker has wrinkles and her dresses are ripped from so much dancing and that's why we love her.

    Anyway, is there anything more ageing than erecting a banner on your top shelf that says "Ageing"?

  • Jimin

    This is so wonderful, Alessandra? Planning on using your investigative reporting skills to dissecting adult acne? I know we would appreciate it SO MUCH! I thought red bumps were supposed to disappear when you turned 20 ?!?!?!?

  • ITGAlessandra

    When I asked him about it, the issue is less with the ingredient (Alpha Hydroxies and Vitamin A work on the skin, which is why Retinol and it's derivatives do, too) and more to do with the way that the ingredients are delivered: "MDT5" (molecular dispersion technology- the 5 is for the number of vitamins) is a delivery system-- what his products claim to do is actually penetrate the skin at a level that these other products can't, so instead of sitting on top and aggravating the skin and giving you all these long-term negative side effects, they're getting in there and building up collagen while they do it.

    As far as rosehip oil, not being a dermatologist all I can tell you is that from researching this article my new motto is "everything in moderation." x

    • Isabel

      Thanks, it was a bit confusing in the text, but now I get it!

      Yes, everything in moderation is key! But I also believe it's all about how you use it, like always wear sunscreen when you've done a peel, and always let your skin rebuild itself, etc.

      It's funny though, with everyone having a Clarisonic (which most seem to use everyday! I don't), and everyone seems to be on this Liquid Gold, and REN's Glycolactic Radiance Mask. And most people who use these things are only in their 20's(!). So with all of this excessive exfoliation that's going on it's refreshing to hear that it's bad for you (which we actually know but still we do our peels because it feels so "clean" and "radiant"), and it makes me wonder how we all will look like when we're in or 30's, maybe we won't look younger... Only time will tell.

    • AB

      Thanks for the clarification! Great article!

  • mel

    well written! I recently had a conversation with my friend about anti aging products and developing a skin regime. While I use La prairie caviar products religiously, get my routine facial at least every 3 weeks, and wear sunscreen, I do believe that less is more. I mean, I love beauty products and learning new things, but I can't help but wonder is it too much for a 23-year old like me? Part of my argument is that I grew up with acne and bad skin, and now I am just wrangling it with a few products! It's exciting getting a new product! On the flip slide, my party girl roommate doesn't even wash her face or even apply a moisturizer I am sure she will begin to age so soon.

    • Anonymous

      My 50 year old mother does not moisture or cleanse most nights of the week - never really has. She also doesn't wear makeup and has never had cosmetic or plastic surgery. She has great skin, which is clearer and more glowing than most 20 year olds these days. Does she have some wrinkles? Sure. But many people still think she looks 10 years younger. A lot of aging is genetic and sun-exposure related. Nutrition also play a role to an extent. Creams, moisturisers and even injections or botox don't necessarily guarantee better skin. Sunscreen, sleep and a balanced lifestyle are usually more beneficial.

  • Carly_L

    Such an interesting read, thank you Alessandra! Having done my degree in science, I love it when you talk science and report the opinions of professional clinicians. Although of course the scientific communications director would report 'nothing exceeds like excess''s part of his job description I imagine (sell, sell, sell!).

  • k80

    I meant to say - I wore SPF on my face only on days where I thought it would be particularly sunny, but not on all those cloudy days, or days where I ended up in the sun when it was cloudy in the morning, or indeed, when I was spending most of the day inside but would walk outside for lunch or to the car or whatever. It really is about wearing SPF for the incidental sun exposure! I've started using an SPF moisturiser daily at 31 but wish I started at 21!

  • Joy

    I do find it interesting that no one mentioned genetics. Obviously environmental factors (skincare, diet, geography) have a huge impact, but so do your genes.

    • beautyleaks

      They dose, but it's proven, that our lifestyle has more impact.

  • DefinitelySouthernCalifornian

    It's all genetic and I wonder when people gonna accept this factor and let it go, maybe in 2100s.

  • bluesky557

    Fascinating! I love a good article backed by science and not just the marketing PR for a product/company. I'm looking forward to an article about sunscreen since I've been on the hunt for one the last month or so. I hate sunscreen that smells like sunscreen and it's been a futile search so far.

  • daphne

    My mom has been using Retin-A since it first came out. So about 40 years and her skin literally looks better than a lot of girls I see in their early to late 20's. I'd say she has a complexion that can rival those dewy pictures of top models. She started using it for acne but has kept up with it through the years. I think it's important to emphasize that when using something like Retin-A, people need to be monitored closely by a physician because I think people use it like a lotion when it's not. To my understanding, Retin-A thickens the dermis and helps build more collagen but causes the epidermis to shed more quickly so there's less dead skin. I know there's something called the lipid barrier on the skin which is usually interrupted when people go overboard with any product. I know Ceramides can help prevent that especially if someone is using stuff like acids and Retin-A. But in general, I disagree with that Somme Institute guy. I would totally post a picture of my 68 year old mom too.

    • Rachel

      Hi Daphne, Rachel from Somme Institute here! Just wanted to clarify that it was through our research, and with the Ultra Violet camera system (which views 3mm underneath the skin), we found that there was more damage than ever before with many women...and when we asked them what they were using, almost all were using Retin-A. We found that the skin was thinning tremendously--the more you use something that removes the outer layers of the skin, the more susceptible to the UVA/UVB rays, thus causing more damage to the skin. I'm sure there are women, such as your mother, who haven't experienced this, but this is what we found in our clinical study. Hope that brings some insight!

      • meg

        out of curiosity, have any of these clinical trials been published in peer-reviewed journals? i haven't been able to find anything on the Somme Institute site, and i didn't find anything in a cursory Google search either. i am interested in reading the articles if they are available!

    • chanceuxj mail

      What age do you intend to start Retin-A?

  • Chelsea Adilia

    Does anyone know if it is okay to use the Somme gel cleanser with a Clarisonic
    brush? Or would this be too harsh? The specific instructions say to "dampen fingers with water and massage Nourishing Cleanser onto skin"
    but I'm reluctant to give up my Clarisonic...

    • ITGNick

      I've used the Somme cleanser with my Clarisonic, and it seems to work well. That said, I think, but am not certain, that it might be overkill to use both the Clarisonic and Somme Transport pads EVERY DAY, since both are methods of exfoliation. Will get some more info...

      • Chelsea Adilia

        Thank you Nick!

    • ITGNick

      Ask and you shall answer from Somme's Communications Director:

      She says, "Many of our customers use Clarisonic with the Nourishing Cleanser (I am one of them). You never want to skimp out on Transport (it’s the most effective product in the entire Regimen), because Transport not only exfoliates but also contains powerful ingredients that transform the skin (MDT5, glycolic acid, green tea extract, etc.). It also works in conjunction with Serum and A-Bomb, so skimping on it will bring less results. It really depends on the skin, but we have found the best way to incorporate Clarisonic is to use it every other day or on days where the skin just needs extra cleansing. For example, on days where I wear more makeup than usual, I absolutely make it a point to use the Clarisonic. This works well for more skin types."

      There you have it.

      • Chelsea Adilia

        Very informative/ reassuring. Thanks again!

  • Kattttt

    Can anyone tell me if what Lifeline Skincare uses is the same as EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor)? It sounds extremely similar. I recently read a short post by Caroline Hirons ( who, despite having opinions on sunscreen I cannot share, seems eminently sensible and realistic. She mentions that EGF is not recommended for anyone with pre-cancerous cells or cancerous lesions, as the same speed-up in skin cell growth that enhances skin structure is obviously horrendously BAD in that context. The same thing goes for psoriasis, although less fatal, and also something you will actually know you have beforehand. I think it is worth considering, and I'd at least like to know before putting it on my (hopefully cancer-free) face.

  • Katherine

    This is a really interesting article, because I'm in my early twenties and have been thinking about anti-aging for a while now. I agree that it's always good to be preventative and I don't smoke, but I am a sun-lover. I do need to start wearing sunscreen on the regular, as do most 20-somethings. I have a dermatology appointment tomorrow, and I'll have to bring up a lot of things I read in this article...thanks for sharing!


  • Lena

    I was all sold on Somme after reading this, but when I went to look at the actual ingredients of the products (only the three "power" products--the Transport Pads, Serum, and A Bomb--since the cleanser and SPF cream seem to be mediocre, overpriced formulations easily replaced by better, more economical ones from other lines), I was somewhat concerned. All have sensitizing plant extracts that are known to cause in some cases cell damage, irritation, and cell death over the long term, and the serum in particular has SD Alcohol 40 third on its ingredient list (also responsible for cell damage and death). Did Erani address any of these issues or explain why they have chosen to include these ingredients?

    • Rachel

      Hi Lena, my name is Rachel and I am the Director of Communications for Somme Institute. Our Nourishing Cleanser and Double Defense were actually created for a specific reason--in our clinical trials, we were seeing unbelievable results with the CORE line (Transport, Serum and A-Bomb), and subjects were initially using other cleansers and sunblocks. However, some people were using cleansers that were too harsh on the skin and no sunblock, or sunblocks that were not effectively protecting the skin against UVA/UVB rays, so it was hindering the great results. So, we came out with a gentle cleanser and a very strong sunblock for our customers. As far as your question about the ingredients...the line has been around for over 10 years, and we have never had any issues or received a question like this. We just send your exact concerns to our scientists to get your questions addressed! We will respond back as soon as we have more information. You can also reach us at

    • ebonymaria

      Likewise, I'd be very interested to read about the justification Somme has for their selection of ingredients. I find it inconceivable that they have never received a question about this previously. I don't think there is anything "gentle" about the glycols, parabens and alcohols and would be concerned to use these products over the medium- to long-term. Would you slather your baby in something like propylene glycol, which the Environmental Working Group shows to be linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive issues, allergies/immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and endocrine disruption? Would you anoint your child with an ingredient found to structurally alter the skin in order to increase penetration of active ingredients into the bloodstream? When considering the purchase of new skincare products, I always apply the baby test: "would I feel comfortable putting this on a new born"? The answer is invariably a resolute "no!" and my skin has never better. Enough with the polluted ingredients in our products. We deserve more.

    • Rachel – Somme Institute

      Ok, here's a proper answer for you! Our Nourishing Cleanser has the ‘power’ raw materials as the Serum, A-Bomb and Transport Pads. It contains forms of Vitamins A, B, C, & E that work in synergy through a complex protein delivery system of polypeptides/vitamin blend (MDT5). These complex forms of vitamins can absorb readily in the skin and have longer retention than the normal forms of vitamins found in other cleansers. This product has been formulated to give results when purchased & used alone but the results intensify when the Somme products are used as a regimen.

      As far as your other ingredient questions, the extracts in our products are a specifically developed blend of aromatic extracts to promote a natural calming, soothing effect and provide anti-aging properties. Clinical research shows that this aromatic blend is beneficial to the skin cells with no known negative effect.

      The SD Alcohol 40 is used in the serum as a formulating aid. This is a
      high potency serum that contains more than 90% skin conditioner &
      emollients and the SD alcohol is used as a solvent to help the serum penetrate the skin faster without leaving an oily feel. Cell death can occur when using 100% SD Alcohol 40 over an extended period of time. It is in our formula at a relatively low percentage and is in there so that the product will absorb into skin quickly.

      Hope this helps clear things up!

      • keira

        Cleansers don't and shouldn't stay on the skin long enough to deliver active ingredients, let alone for vitamins to be absorbed.

        • Lia

          The cleanser doesn't have the SD alcohol, the serum does. I hope you're not washing serums off after putting them on...

          • Keira

            She's talking about the cleanser in the first paragraph above (which is what I was responding to). Re-read her response.

  • Olivia

    This was such an eye opening article! Are you going to do a separate review on the Somme Institute regimen? I've been wanting to know more about it since Emily's last top shelf.

  • pamb

    Alessandra, you misunderstood Deneuve's quote. When she said you have to choose between your ass and your face, she was referring to your WEIGHT, not skin treatments.

    As women age, their faces look better when they are fuller, to avoid a drawn look. Obviously, to keep your face fuller, you need to weigh more/eat more. Thus, the choice between a good looking face and slightly heavier body and a thinner, drawn face and a thinner body.

    • ITGAlessandra

      I understand Deneuve's quote, I just don't think it applies: I don't think that at 30 we have to decide how we're going to age. (And for the record, I'm always on team fuller-face.) I wasn't suggesting that people apply skin treatments to their bottoms (though, if you'd like to, go for it)! Thanks for reading! x

      • Suzanne

        Actually, Deneuve said, "At a certain age," not at 30, & when you get to be around 40, it's pretty true. ;)

        • beautyleaks

          I agree with Deneuve. I am 27 and when i get my perfect weight my face looks awful.I choose my face and boobs, what about you ? :-)))

  • pamb

    I am in my 40s, and have used Retin A /Tazorac on and off since my twenties. I recently started using a rose hip essential oil blend every night, and my skin has never looked bette! I'm officially obsessed. I've stopped used the Tazorac because I haven't broken out in a month (I suppose Vit A is Vit A, no matter where you get it). I don't use enough to make my skin oily, just 5 or 6 drops for the whole face. It smells a little hippie, but I love it!

    • Isabel

      Oh, good to know! I just started using rosehip oil a month back to treat both acne and acne scars and I've noticed some really great results - I'm using it combined with Caudalíe's Brightening serum in the morning and rosehip oil w/ argan oil before bedtime. I still get pimples, but not as many, and new ones are fading much quicker and not leaving as dark spots as before. I've also noticed and overall more balanced skin, it's not as oily as before, but still hydrated. It's all natural and I wish I knew about it sooner!

      • lupercais

        What brand of rosehip oil do you use?

  • Esme

    I'm 25, and all I do is moisturize at night (I like Lush Celestial Lotion) and wear SPF 30 moisturizer during the day. I don't smoke, I don't tan, and I don't drink too much. This routine seems to be working, and I really don't have the time or money for anything fancier. But also, I don't WANT to spend my twenties obsessed with the onset of aging. Don't get me wrong, I'm as vain as the next person, and I'm scared of wrinkles. But I also know that this mindset is fundamentally unhealthy, because aging is inevitable and I don't want to hate myself in middle age because I don't look like a teenager. And the more I think about which moisturizers or serums to buy, the more obsessed I become with preventing a natural process that I should be working to embrace.

  • ash


    • Rachel

      Hi Ash, I'm the Director of Communications for Somme Institute! MDT5 does go deep within the skin, so your skin is definitely getting rid of toxins, but it should not be lasting more than a week. I'd love to make some specific recommendations for you and make sure you are using the Regimen correctly. If you're interested, please email me at

    • elizabeth

      Hi Ash- just had to comment. I am a seriously dedicated Somme user and have turned tons of my girlfriends onto the line and I have to say that you seriously HAVE to stick with it! You've already come this far, you don't want to stop. If you switch now, you'll never see the results and you'll just have to start over again with something else. I promise you that results are right around the corner, don't give up!

  • caroline

    Very interesting article, despite the fact that there is one big problem : you only asked people that had something to sell!! the goal was good mais not your tools. The independency is key if you want interesting answers.

    For instance, i recommend this book even if i'm not saying it has all the answers : "Le guide des meilleurs cosmétiques 2013-2014" by "l'observatoire des cosmétiques" (the cosmetics observatory). It's a french book so i don't know if it's translated into english.

    but here is the deal : it's a team of specialists (biomedical scientist, dermatologist, and other professions related to biotechnologies) and they are chosen for their skills and independency (they have to prove that they have no contract with any brand selling skincare products). In this book, they review ALL of the french market of cosmetics (if a brand did not want to send them products, they would go buy them by themselves).

    They are so professional that for some type of products, they even say "don't buy any of those, it's bullshit".

    i tried a lot of their recommended products and i am PERSONALLY completely amazed.

    Cheers from Paris.

    • Laura

      I agree. Interesting article but the method is a bit flawed with all these people featured trying to sell stuff.

    • beautyleaks

      True, nobody, who have own stuff to sell will tell the true. And the marketing ppl dont know it themselfs. The Dr. Hauschka Book is good to.

    • mh

      Absolutely! Of course the Dior guy will tell you that it's never to early to start. He wants you to buy, buy, buy, now, now, now! The article really cannot be taken as real advice - all these people are promoting their products!

  • Rachel-Somme Institute

    In the clinical study, we found that alpha hydroxy acids also thin the skin in time, and that's why it's best to not over use them. We found that with many hydroxys, there was inflammation of the skin, causing some discoloration as well. Alessandra's comment below is spot-on.

  • Sari

    I'm so happy to see Somme mentioned in this article! I struggled with adult hormonal acne from 21-23 and it was so bad...I was more depressed than I had ever been in my entire life. I was thinking of going on accutane but was so torn because of the side effects I kept hearing about. My mom got me a gift certificate to the Mandarin Oriental and somehow I ended up choosing the Vitamin Infusion Facial (the Somme Institute facial)...I've been using the products ever since (I use the Transport pads, Serum and A-Bomb moisturizer with Cetaphil cleanser because my skin is sensitive) and I try and get the facial every couple of months and my skin is honestly PERFECTION. Every now and then I get a hormonal pimple once a month but that's it.

  • elizabeth

    I have to say that I am a lifelong devote Somme Institute user. There are not words to explain how much this line has completely changed the course of my skin. I started there with horrible acne and completely discolored skin and now just 8 months later you wouldn't even recognize my skin. it's been an AMAZING transformation. Before Somme I tried every possible line, you name it and I tried it, and this has been the only thing that works. I can not live or breath without my transport or A-bomb! So happy to see my that my favorite beauty site also loves my favorite skincare line! EVERYONE should try Somme!

    • Rebecca

      ditto!! it was blowing my mind that ITG had never mentioned Somme before, but I feel like no one really knows about it. they seriously need an infomercial. i love that the founder stops people on the street and gives them products for free...i think that says a lot.

      • elizabeth

        I totally agree- it just works so so well!

    • freudianslippers

      for realsies? my acne is under control these days due to the dry winter months, but my discoloration is still pretty out of control. i've been thinking of asking for retin-a despite my disdain for chemicals upon my face. but now i'm wondering if i should try the somme travel kit.. tell more?

      • elizabeth

        You don't need retin-a, swear. Use Somme and have you ever looked into oils? I use a line called Real Raw Beauty and their oils have really helped fix any leftover redness or discoloration. Somme fixed my acne and continues to reverse sun damage and Real Raw Beauty oils are working with my Somme products to correct discoloration. it's working so incredibly well!

  • Rebeka Osborne

    This article is great (I really enjoyed reading it) but also kind of terrifying. I'm 26 and have been using anti-aging products for a few years now. I put on retinol cream every night and now I'm scared I'm actually doing damage to my skin instead of helping it. YIKES! This is no good. Thanks for the info.

  • Leetoki

    It was so nice to see a piece of writing that gave more than just one (usually biased) opinion. Can't say I was impressed by the Somme Dr - I feel uncomfortable when a person says 'Nothing else works but my product and here is why' even if they sound very convincing.
    Having said all that, I'm 22 and I use the Australian brand Ultraceuticals who do the classic alpha-beta vitamin A + C slinging products, but not for anti-aging. I'm still trying to get past some stubborn acne of my teens (Thanks for the large pore genes, Mum and Dad) but I can't say I'm not delighted when my skin looks firmer and more perfected because what is treating the blocked pores is also treating the early signs of ageing.

  • Charlotte

    Ha, I was one pf thos babies that got Olay slathered on them, from my skin-conscious grandmother who had such beautiful wrinkle-free skin even in her 60s-70s. I'm now 25 and am so aware of aging and the effects the enviroment has on skin. I look younger than I am but I think that comes from genetics inherited through my parents and theirs, I feel lucky in that respect. On the flipside I've only just stopped getting horrible cyctic acne on my chin (thanks to antibiotics). I'm a devotee of the Eve Lom cleanser and clarisonic, and have become a regular SPF user. I try stay out of the harsh New Zealand sun too. I don't think you're ever too young to start anti-aging products. Pretty sure I started using eye cream at 14, although there were no lines or bags to combat. I also wish society weren't so harsh on women's appearance, then the whole aging issue wouldn't be as fraught as it is and maybe I wouldn't even be using anti-aging products now.

  • fairytalesandcoffee

    technically tazorac does both....I use it and I need to lube up my face majorly. But I can't use more than three days in a row.

  • Spark

    Awesome post!! Now can we ask erani for a special promo code for ITG readers so we can try these amazing products?!

  • fairytalesandcoffee

    I've been using retin-a, differin, and tazorac (depending on the type of acne I have) for over 10 years. Even with breakouts, people would tell me I had great skin because while I had breakouts, my unblemished skin was smooth, poreless, supple, and even. Currently, because of the bad adult hormonal acne I have been getting randomly, I have started to overuse the products, which has thinned out and dried my skin and made it look older. Here's the catch. It's TEMPORARY. I know I need to cool my horses and stop bathing my skin in it. So, I have stopped bathing myself in it. But there is NO WAY I will be without my retinoids. There are very few ingredients currently available in the market place that have been proven to generate collagen: retinol and vitamin c, I think are the only two. While protecting your skin from environmental damage is huge (antioxidant protection and SPF protection), prescription retinoids are instrumental for those of use who suffer from acne and are trying to limit wrinkling. While general OTC products may be sufficient for those who don't suffer from persistent acne issues, I strongly urge those with problematic, long running acne issues to go to a derm and discuss acne medication options. I've blown enough money on OTC acne care for two decades to know that very few actually work consistently the way retinoids do.

  • Beth

    I really enjoyed this article, but I have to say, I feel like I am the only person out there who does not love the Somme line. I haven't noticed any major differences in my skin and I have been using it faithfully for six months. Most people seem to rave about the line and consider it the holy grail of skin care. I just think it's an overpriced five step method. I'm switching to Mario Badescu's vitamin C and other products after I'm finished.

    As a fair skinned girl, I advocate sunblock! I am always looking for a new non-chemical sunblock for the face (read up at Cetaphil has a great moisturizer and natural sunblock out now. A list of the top ten with reviews would be great! Thanks!

    • Beth

      If there is anyone who feels the same way regarding the Somme line, I'd love to hear from you!

      • Rachel – Somme Institute

        Hi Beth, I'd love to see how you are using the Regimen and make some personal recommendations to make sure you are having the best experience possible. Feel free to email me at

  • ellen

    Thank you! This was an EXTREMELY well written, informative and interesting piece.

  • Nuria

    Haha wow nice post!! funny girl.

  • vijay sarkar

    we know about the face skin that our face skin is so sensitive, and if want to
    keep out free from aging, than we have to care, In market there are so many
    cosmetic products that can help you to slow down the process of aging.

    • beautyleaks

      Well thr true is, their are not so many products at all, that can do this.

  • ebonymaria

    I can get on board with the 'gently gently' argument, but it's not as though this is credible coming from Somme. Despite the vitamin hype, the quality of the constituent ingredients is appalling; propylene glycol as the second ingredient in what's feebly entitled a 'Nourishing' Cleanser; butylene glycol in the Serum and Transport; parabens and silicones in the creams. I've no doubt as to the short-term efficacy of the products, but I'm reminded by all the people in my life who visibly glow with health and vitality that the skin is an organ and should be truly nourished with ingredients that will feed and regenerate it. This post had me diving for my Dr. Alkaitis!

    Incidentally, it's worth reading Evan Healy's philosophy of holistic skin care based on restoration and regeneration as her rationale is an intelligent one. By applying AHAs, fruit acids and selected prescription topicals (for example, retinoids), we are dissolving the epidermal layer of the skin when we should be focusing on rebuilding it to enhance radiance and clarity. I dread the long-term results for those in their twenties and thirties who are already on this path.

    One might also look to sun-loving Charlotte Casiraghi; some freckling, yes, but she owes her radiance to a variety of plant and nut oils (borage, argan, avocado, rosehip, jojoba, almond) for both cleansing and moisturising. Bette Franke too - the most flawless skin I've seen, and while the 'face' of NARS for promotional purposes, has a bathroom cabinet which could double as a gourmand's pantry. It's worthy of a Top Shelf, ITG!

    • bplease

      Great response - I'm in my 30s but figured I was doing what I should by using a pea-sized amount of retinoid (one slightly milder than Retin-A, to help with active acne and anti-aging), physical sunscreen in the morning daily, and Cetaphil to clean, but I'm having terribly sensitized skin on my neck that Eucerin and Cetaphil can't help. If you see this, can you link to measured sources that explain how to use plant/nut oils in the manner of Franke and Casiraghi? I've only dabbled in coconut oil and haven't found a good guide on how to treat your face/neck etc. TIA!!

    • von

      I am also in my 30s and can attest to the problems from applying too many active ingredients to skin. Due to lifelong issues with breakouts, I always used many different strong acids and retinols to keep my skin under 'control'.

      My skin was sensitised but I didn't think much about it until last year when I had a number of comments from make-up counter assistants who commented how dehydrated my skin was. It took me a while to link it back to my acid skincare regimen.

      I recently started on using organic makeup, facial oils and natural serums, cutting out all acids and other actives in an attempt to rebuild and condition it. My skin is definitely on the mend (and more balanced) and I now believe that moderate use of SPF and a less is more approach is better for good skin health.

  • Julianne Weimer

    Great post. I enjoy reading this.

  • Absolutely Mrs. K

    I am in my thirties and first of all, i don't believe in anti aging! I use a 50SPF to protect my skin from the sun! why? because i wasn't very careful when i was 16! yes 'dear 16 year old me', i should have listened to that. I use botox, fillers and laser since i am 30 and that is the only thing that works for my wrinkles . luckily i have good skin! but botox doesn't help against the sacking of my cheeks, so i will probably have a face lift before i am 40! and yes it cost a lot of money, but la mer cost a lot of money too and the result isn't the same!

    • Anonymous

      A face lift before 40? No one should need a face lift that early. Too much too early is not a good thing, especially if you have already had various things like botox and laser done. Its better to have some lines and wrinkles than to look unnatural.

    • Jenna

      Lol if you already need botox AND fillers then I wouldn't think that you are aging that great... all that all by 30 is a little ridiculous! How can you even afford all of that! Most 30 yr olds don't even make that much to spend on such things. I can understand a little filler here and there but isnt botox for deep lines caused from years of expressions? What could you possibly have done in 25 years to get such lines? Maybe you think they are bad but they really are not... everyone has smile lines. Wrinkles and expression lines are kind of different. Thats why fillers are better to start with when you are younger. Also your cheeks should not be sagging either... thats just natural loss of baby fat/collagen but not sagging like an old lady, I really advise against a face lift you are still young I kind of feel bad that you feel this way about yourself. I know how you feel though.

  • Ada

    Iam a 20s lady - and my skin is really strong, healthy, and clear (I'm very thankful for this). How I maintain my skin is basically I cleanse, tone, put a serum on, and I do a moisturizer. But my products aren't particularly anti-aging, they are focused on keeping my skin hydrated, clean, clear, and of course sun protection. I don't understand the need for 20 somethings to use a whole line of anti-aging either, it seems really ridiculous. Your skin will do what it does - and look it's best - if you take care of it. And I think what makes some people have not so good skin is the heavy heavy face makeup. I love a bit of makeup myself but everything in moderation you know. A bit of tinted moisturizer, blusher, mascara, and bright lipstick is what I like to do for my day to day routine, but I see some girls my age with full on face makeup and it shocks me!

  • Gloria Dare

    My name is Gloria Dare and I am proud to tell my age. I am
    56 years old! As a Model in the 80's and now a Fitness Professional, my
    appearance has always been important to me! My secret is Somme. I have been
    using the 5 - step regimen since 2000. These are the best products I have ever
    used. I look at least 10 years younger! Somme even has my before and after pictures to prove it.

  • beautyidealist

    I would love to see this article as a group discussion between the ITG team or perhaps former Top Shelfers, etc. As it is, this has a wealth of information but at times read like an infomercial for products that these companies are trying to sell. While there is nothing wrong with that, I feel maybe the title of the post can be a little more transparent that it's pretty much just companies telling you what to use from their line. I wish I could hear true beauty fans discuss their take on these issues as the topic itself is relevant and interesting.

  • Alexia

    That's Great!!!I'm actually using GenF20 from 3months right now and since I can say that have changed my life.I feel reborn, Like when I was 20!
    I found this miracle product on a site of a woman that show her results on
    Thanks again for this article, hope you have a great time and a great life :-)
    A hug to Alessandra and all readers.

    Alexia C.

  • chanceuxj mail

    It seems like all three agreed about sunscreen, but also the sensitizing nature of retinoids. Am I the only one that got the impression that they sound like they lean towards the PX retinoids not being brought out until mid to late 30's?

    • Nicole

      I'm interested to know the answer to this also. I started using a sensitive skin Retin-A eye cream over the past year when I turned 30 and am now wondering if this is A) a good idea since the skin around the eye is so sensitive, and B) necessary.

      The brand is ROC - its something you can get at any pharmacy and it's the first type of Retin-A product I've used. I use face and eye creams religiously and thought this was a good anti-aging addition to my regime but now I'm curious if it's too much and will be detrimental in the long run. I've had no problems with it nor any extra sensitivity.

      And advice ITG or Somme??

  • Bianca

    Would love to hear more about glycolic acid- and what is considered too much. I've heard several dermatologists recommend it, and about just as much as Retin-A

  • Argentine

    I am a twenty year old somebody as well as I really appreciate Aesop products precisely because of this! I went in with a friend looking for 'anti aging' products and the people working there told me about how they dont believe in anti-aging but rather skin health and that seemed strange at first but guess it makes sense! plus they work amazing on my skin

    • beautyleaks

      But dont forget the SPF please!

  • QueenBlonde

    Add me to the list of those thoroughly unimpressed by Somme Institute products. Rachel Grossman, no need to reply to this with your PR spin, as I used the products exactly as directed, so there is no way for you to "help me get the most out of the products".

    Frankly, I'm a bit disappointed to see Somme's PR gal (Grossman) patrolling the comments here, and feeling the need to reply to anyone who dare not be a devotee of Somme Institute products. In order to have honest discussions, there will always be differences of opinions. We certainly don't need PR flack chiming in.

    All of that being said, I am a huge fan of Dior's Capture Totale line, as well as Natura Bisse's Diamond line.

    • Rachel – Somme Institute

      I was not trying to spin you in any way--I simply wanted to get in touch to confirm you were using the products correctly. Unfortunately, this is often the cause of a bad experience. I am sincerely sorry that you have not been satisfied with our products and would like to offer you a refund. Please email me with which products were purchased and your address and a refund check will be mailed to you.

      Dior and Natura Bisse are two great lines and if they bring you the results that you are pleased with, we fully agree that you should not change your regimen. I look forward to hearing from you.

  • Stella Diesel

    This was a very interesting article, I just loved it, keep posted for many more to come> :-)

  • B

    I thinkeveryone is missing the boat on a great drugstore brand that not only was
    developed by dermatologists, but was reco'd by my derm. CeraVe. It has done
    wonders for my adult onset acne after having children, always clears up my
    eczema flair ups in the winter, plus my skin has never looked so radiant or
    glowing. I'm mid-30's, but get mistaken for 10 yrs younger all the time. The
    brand focuses on ceramide renewal among other things. Besides the cleanser, the AM lotion, the PM lotion, & the cream (for body & face), they have a
    great newer product I love called Renewing SA Cream.
    The key ingredients are Salicylic acid (SA) and ammonium lactate that help
    loosen and exfoliate dead skin cells, allowing the moisturizing ingredients
    such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid and vitamin D to penetrate the deeper layers
    of the skin. Plus, the cream also includes niacinamide, which has been
    clinically shown to help skin produce ceramides and fatty acids essential for
    repairing and restoring the skin barrier and may reduce skin redness.
    ALSO, they are launching a separate sunscreen line (including kids sunscreen) in
    April – so freaking excited!!

  • Nyla

    Wow, I spent the past twenty minutes reading through the comments HOPING someone would stop with the products (such an American thing) and emphasize developing good habits like working out a MEGA sweat every day (or every other day) and drinking sh*t loads of water. Eating the best food for your skin, staying away from junk food, lackadaisical alcohol habits and smoking is crucial. I am 24 and SO glad that I've learnt these 'lessons' the hard way after taking Isotretonoin for 6 months. I went back to basics and found my beauty elixir. The results are PHENOMENAL and won't attribute it fully to Accutane. I am actually SO glad I had acne, because without it I would never know what beautiful skin is and what needs to be done to get it. I've promised myself to do these four things for great skin till I die: sweat like a pig, drink water ( homemade lemon and coconut water too) like a camel, slather SPF like a freak and eat like my body is a temple. When the time comes ( maybe 30s, I will probably succumb to the idea that I am an old-maid and 'need' an anti-ager. Truth is I'm anti-aging everyday without spending €€€.

  • Nyla

    Wow, I spent the past twenty minutes reading through the comments HOPING someone would stop with the products (such an American thing) and emphasize developing good habits like working out a MEGA sweat every day (or every other day) and drinking sh*t loads of water. Eating the best food for your skin, staying away from junk food, lackadaisical alcohol habits and smoking is crucial. I am 24 and SO glad that I've learnt these 'lessons' the hard way after taking Isotretonoin for 6 months. I went back to basics and found my beauty elixir. The results are PHENOMENAL and won't attribute it fully to Accutane. I am actually SO glad I had acne, because without it I would never know what beautiful skin is and what needs to be done to get it. I've promised myself to do these four things for great skin till I die: sweat like a pig, drink water ( homemade lemon and coconut water too) like a camel, slather SPF like a freak and eat like my body is a temple. When the time comes ( maybe 30s, I will probably succumb to the idea that I am an old-maid and 'need' an anti-ager. Truth is I'm anti-aging everyday without spending €€€.

  • Nyla

    P.S someone very wise (or did I read it on this blog.) said 'we spend half our lives tryin to look older, and the other half trying to look younger'. So true!!!

  • Lavanya PM

    Is it okay to use vit c serum atleast? I am 25. Will it cause thinning of skin?

  • Olivia Heartelly

    I love what you did with the photo; it appears it surely has a magic touch a bit of the "law of attraction" on some point. Why not stalk out the neighborhood secondary school and watch what the teen young ladies are wearing? I surely guarantee to everyone that you can pull off that spandex little skirt far superior to you consider, and those neon-pink plastic high heels will do more to offer your youth than any cosmetics or face-lift can.

  • Ethos Spa Skin and Laser Cente

    Totally agree with that, people who go for such procedures too frequently can experience skin that gets red, dry and irritated.

  • Kitty

    I'm sorry, did you really said that retin A thins the skin? It works to reduce wrinkles by thickening the dermis.

  • zoe

    I dont think so. The earlier you start with sunscreen and anti aging creams the better. Prevention is better than cure. In finding the best anti aging cream, you'll end up spending a lot on the wrong products. Here's how to choose f4z7b0z

  • Mark Johnson

    Prevention is better than the cure I say. I've been using all natural wrinkle creams for 20 years now

  • igotnothing


  • Jamie

    I'm curious, what do most of you look for in an anti aging product? Is it mostly preventive, emerging lines? Perhaps focusing on the décolletage area due to the sun exposure? It seems majority are worried about previous/current sun exposure compared to actual aging due to facial expressions (smile lines, squinting etc).

  • Alysha Johnson

    And even after reading this article, I still donno if a 20 years old should start using anti-aging products yet, and what ingredients i should use. Also, you point out one very important question: Are we, as wrinkle-fearing beauty enthusiasts reaching for the big anti-aging guns in an attempt to freeze life its tracks, actually screwing ourselves by using up all the ammo before the battle begins?
    Yet I could not find the answer to this question that you point out. Did I miss it, and if I did, could someone please point it out to me, thanks.

    • Anonymous

      The only thing a person in their 20s needs is a good sunscreen for the day time & a moisturiser that suits their skin for night time. If the moisturiser contains antioxidants like green tea & vitamin E, etc then its even better! You don't need retinol (vitamin A) unless you have issues with acne or its prescribed by your dermatologist. Occassional exfoliation is useful too, but your exfoliating product should be VERY gentle (many scrubs contain walnut shells which can damage the skin. Scrubs with round beads or small amount of AHA/BHA are better). Keep your routine simple and use a gentle cleanser that doesn't dry out your skin. You don't need anything else. If you protect your skin from the sun, use gentle products, have a simple routine, and have a generally healthy lifestyle, then you're doing the best you can for your skin. You shouldn't overdo it because it can irritate your skin or lead to inflammation - which can also damage the skin. In reality very few products can fulfill what they promise anyway, so you don't need to spend too much mobey or use too many products. Finally I think its important to state that essential oils and fragrances in skin care products can be damaging because they can cause irritation (even if you don't see any signs of irritation, it doesn't mean that its not happening deeper down), therefore fragrance-free products are best. Also some forms of alcohol are best avoided in skincare products, especially if they are listed up higher in the ingredients list. Not all alcohols are bad, some like cetearyl alcohol are fatty alcohols and they are fine for the skin, but others like SD and benzyl alcohol can be drying and damaging (especially in higher concentrations).

  • Rach

    The bags are the biggest issue for me with aging; stupid me for taking up smoking before I was even an adult. I've heard Retinol takes up to a year to show significant results. I'm about 6 months in and see a bit more firmness under the eyes. I do this once before bed and once in the morning.
    Moisture and sun protection are absolutely vital to anti-aging. Those anti-aging creams are bull minus the hydrating effect on the skin. That's all you need, especially before bed when your face is rubbing against fabric all night. One amazing thing about 3rd shift is that I'm not much in the sun (though factory labor can age you like a motherfracker, believe me) I get comments on being pale now but seeing sun tanned people makes me think of how leathery their skin will be in the future. Avoiding drinking is an obvious one, as alcohol dehydrates, but what about us pot smokers?
    Sorry dudes, but pot smoking will drag your eyes down a few miles. It's the worst. I notice serious draggage even directly after a bowl of fine a*s dank. This lingers. So, weighing the pros and cons of smoking that ganja is something to think about. Pro: You don't care about being a stuck up, vane, pretty little b*tch and care more about that awesome sandwich you're making. Pretty good deal. Looks fade - toke up!

  • Jams

    I have tried so many facial night creams, I can't recall them all. But for the money, I still love Made from Earth's Olive Night Cream is the best. It goes on smoothly and soaks in quickly. I get told I look younger than my 47 years, and I think good genes and this have helped! I also love the very light fresh scent and so does my husband.

  • Lisa

    It is so refreshing to see a logically critical comment on these types of articles. Keep at it Lena, we need more people like you!!

  • Miz Lipz

    I am 61 yrs. old and went into panic mode after noticing (suddenly) that my skin was looking and feeling awful. I bought the Somaluxe Moisturizer and the improvement is drastic, I'm thrilled with the improvements in such short time. I don't know how much credit goes specifically to the Somaluxe Moisturizer, but I do like the product and intend to keep using it. I'm not going to mess with this, as I finally found something that works!

  • D

    You could have just said "sunscreen" from the beginning instead of all this rambling nonsense.

  • gloriamallard003

    I really like Monsia.

  • amanda

    Lena you are absolutely right, spot on! I totally agree with you . We need smarter bloggers because this was a whole bunch of none sense.

  • Mosbeau Queen

    Why not using one line set of products?

  • Au Naturel Mel

    Here's the thing...and I say this as someone who's IN the beauty industry. PROPER and appropriate skin care is fine for youngsters just as brushing teeth properly, wearing clean clothes and other hygienic practices are appropriate. But this extreme focus on "prevention" when a child isn't even yet a teenager is very inappropriate, IMO, unless you're talking about something basic, such as sunscreen. Mel at eyecreamadvisor

  • Melanie

    Wow, I thoroughly enjoyed this and I laughed a few times. I agree about the sunscreen. My mother always told me to "watch out for the sun" when I was a kid. Being a redhead, I never go anywhere without my SPF. I'm 29 and probably need to start on a good face routine. I am really confused when I go through a drug store and I see all the choices women have for face creams.

  • maria y

    I have very sensitive skin and can't use a lot of products. The Lady Soma Renewal Serum is amazing. Not only did it not irritate my skin, but I noticed a difference after the first time I used it. The fine lines around my eyes and mouth are much less noticeable. It makes your skin feel soft and makeup goes on smoothly after you apply it. Plus, it's a great price!


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Dior Capture Totale Multi-Perfection Crème
Dior Capture Totale One Essential Ultra-Detox Treatment Mask
Dior Capture Totale UV Protect SPF 35
Dior Capture Totale Multi-Perfection Concentrated Serum