I'm quite keen to grow older. As a child, I got along very well with my mother's friends, and throughout my life I've found that people who are (slightly to much) older than me have a lot of things to say that I find really interesting. I knew some amazing older women in my youth, women with laugh lines, crow's feet, and gray hair. They were so fascinating and independent that I never really associated aging with anything negative.
I also have the personality of a grumpy old man on a porch, so aging helps me grow into that.
Now that I'm in my 30's, however, I do find myself not wanting to age disproportionately. I've done a lot of hard livin', as they say, with the drinking and the working in the sun, drying out in the desert, not washing myself for nine days on a trek, etc. So I do watch my face as a barometer of how well I'm protecting myself from the elements. I'm not a wrinkly gal (yet), but I do have the laugh lines and eye creases starting, plus my pleasant "squinty at the microscope" horizontal line between my brows.
Using myself as a guinea pig over the past several years, I have made an astonishing breakthrough (spoiler: not astonishing) in anti-aging face care. You ready?
Oh my gosh, I know, I sound like a mom! But it's 100% true. I have used eye creams. I have tried wrinkle serums. I've used retinols. And the only... repeating for emphasis, only... product I have used that has made a dramatic difference in my skin, in terms of helping the tone and reducing wrinkles (yes, reducing), is sunscreen.
Take a deep breath, my fellow product junkies.
I use an eye sunscreen around my eyes, then one for my whole face, and a goopier one for my body - I gotta protect all my tattoo investments! My body one is whatever I can lay my hands on that isn't too greasy, but here are my favorite face and eye sunscreens. For reference, I have pale and sensitive skin that gets dry at the edges and a bit oily by midday elsewhere.
Clarins Sunscreen for Eyes: Yes, it's expensive. But it doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes or contact lenses, it feels great, and it has really protected my eye area. A little also goes a loooong way. I currently use this product. I'm considering trying their face sunscreen because I like this product so much.
La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 50+ Tinted Fluid: The name of this is a complete mouthful of oatmeal. I barely even know what I'm ordering when I get it from my Amazon wishlist (I usually find it cheapest there). The key things to look for are "anthelios," "tinted," and "Mexoryl" in the description. Mexoryl is a physical barrier and is much easier on sensitive skin than chemical sunscreens. This product has a light tint, so it may not be good for darker skin tones, but I believe they make an untinted version. I get a kind of dewy finish from this, not my favorite look, but it's worth it to keep my skin feeling and looking better. I currently use this product (topped by a little Dream Matte Mousse for work, but otherwise unaided). Warning: it is a fluid, and it will go everwhere if you don't hold the bottle upright when opening it. Still worth it.
Pevonia Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30: This stuff is awesome. I got a bottle from a spa and was a little afraid of it being greasy, but it was one of the nicest things I've put on my face. I prefer it in winter or dry climates, when there's a bit less sun blasting my face. It's thicker than La Roche Posey, but it is so soothing and has never bothered my skin. I'm a big fan of it.
Neutrogena Stuff: No link, because this brand is readily available in whatever drug/pharma/grocery store you stumble in to. I wear this when I do field work, because that means reapplying sunscreen approximately 800 times per day, over layers of dirt, and I'm not going to flush $30 down the toilet every two days that way. I like the sheer fluid for the face and the dry touch tube for the body, the highest SPF I can get my hands on.
So there you have it. My secret to not only preventing, but reducing wrinkles. The rest of my skin care and make-up routine is pretty light, but I'll happily share it if people are interested.