Wanna hear a secret? Here’s the one myth skincare people don’t debunk.

Anti-aging doesn’t actually reverse aging.

I know. Shock and horror. The only thing anti-aging products can actually do is prevent you from aging further, not reverse it. That being said, preventative measures (like masks, and such) are much more feasible than fixing any existing damage – see preventative Botox as an example. It’s recommended that one begins an anti-aging regime at the age of 25 (or earlier, if you’re a smoker/heavy user of any substances) but most people disregard that, and only start once the first wrinkle appears. Or crow’s feet. Smile lines.

While yes, we accept that aging gracefully seems to mean accepting our age and all the things that come along with it, media portrayals have ensured that we need to seem ageless as well. Oh well. This is what this starter kit is for. Here are three steps you can incorporate into your skincare routine to help out with that not-aging thing:

HYDRATION

As we get older, our skin loses the ability to produce collagen (which gives us that plump, youthful look) and eventually becomes less elastic. Dehydrated skin tends to flake, overproduce sebum or develop wrinkles far easier.

Combat that by adding in some hydration – skincare hero ingredient, hyaluronic acid, absorbs moisture from the surroundings, always a plus in humid climates like ours.

An easy choice? HADA LABO Premium Hydrating Lotion for dry or dehydrated skin, or HADA LABO Kiwamizu Lotion, which can be used as a face mist throughout the day.

EXFOLIATION

If skin renewal is a muscle, then you’ve gotta work out. Get your skin going by exfoliating – encouraging cell turnover, removing dead skin cells; thus preventing deep wrinkles, fine lines and the likes. There are two methods of doing this: physical and chemical.

Physical exfoliation works by using gentle friction – more is explained in this link.

It’s all about which works better for you, but if you’ve chosen manual exfoliation – check out Sephora’s KONJAC Sponge or the SkinFood Strawberry Black Sugar Wash Off Mask. For the latter, don’t eat it.

Moving on to chemical exfoliation, it can generally be divided into two as well, that being alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). Acids sound scary, but they’re not. BHAs work better for acne, or clogged pores while AHAs work to slough off dead skin.

Pick a concentration that works for you.

If you’re going with BHAs, there are the Stridex Pads – pick a concentration, and use these everyday after cleansing. If you prefer liquids or something more gentle, there’s the CosRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid (what a mouthful!).

For AHAs, pick up the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads! Again, something gentle would be The Ordinary’s 10% Lactic Acid.

RETINOLS

Retinol, or retinoic acid, is a Vitamin A derivative often used to combat acne and other skin disorders. By penetrating deep into the skin and prompting surface skin cell turnover, this active ingredient is usually present in most anti-aging products.

Fun fact: it also hampers collagen breakdown and thickens the deeper layers of the skin where wrinkles usually start.

They’re not sponsoring me, I swear. Try out the HADA LABO Retinol Lifting + Firming Essence or OLAY Regenerist Pre-Essence, both easily available at your nearest drugstore.

As always, your mileage may vary and all skincare recommendations should be tested carefully before anything. Aging may happen, but we don’t have to let that stop us.