You've loaded up on the best anti-aging products, now how to you maximize the results?

By Claudia Fisher
Updated April 30, 2018
A Young Woman at the Dermatologist
Credit: BSIP/Getty Images

While some anti-aging products sound like miracle treatments, working these creams and serums into your skincare routine is actually only one piece of counteracting time's effects on your skin. To really reap the benefits of anti-aging products, you should incorporate a few other skin-care best practices into your lifestyle and habits.

The American Academy of Dermatology Association, a dermatology group with more than 20,000 members, has some important steps you should be taking in conjunction with using your anti-aging products. For one, give the product enough time to work. As much as certain brands may advertise quick results, many skin products take six weeks, at a minimum, of consistent and correct use to start working. If you don't see results as soon as you'd like, just try to be patient–on the flip side, don't stop using the product once you do see results because skin care requires maintenance.

A universally necessary skin-health step is to protect your skin from the sun, especially if you're using sensitizing anti-aging ingredients like retinol. Forget about trying to get tan, which speeds up aging signs like wrinkles and dark spots, and wear sunscreen every day with at least broad spectrum SPF 30, which you can find in a lot of makeups and moisturizers. Speaking of moisturizers, the AAD recommends to use one! According to the group, "Moisturizer traps water in your skin. This extra moisture can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and brighten your complexion."

In addition to these important skin-care precautions, the AAD notes you should start with only one anti-aging product so as not to overwhelm and irritate your skin and patch test it on your inner forearm twice a day for four to five days before applying it to your face for the first time. This way you'll know if the product has any ingredients your skin is sensitive to and avoid having a negative reaction on your face. You should also discontinue use of any anti-aging product that burns or stings, and make sure you're following the directions for usage properly.

Next time you see an anti-aging cream or serum that advertises itself as the cure to all signs of aging, keep in mind that claims like these are made for marketing purposes and, realistically, no single product is good enough to flout guidelines for best skin-care practices.