So the other day a patient of mine pointed out the deep set wrinkles on my forehead and I thought 1) how rude (sarcastically of course) and 2) I’m too young for wrinkles. Seriously, I am only 29 years old! But this got me thinking (more like obsessing) about anti-aging skin products and the fact that I need to get serious about adding one to my skin care routine. As I started my search, I soon realized I was in over my head! There are soo many products available and all with different ingredients that claim to do different things. I figured I couldn’t be the only one who felt this way so I have complied a list of must-have ingredients to slow down the signs of aging. Hopefully this list will help you navigate the anti-aging world of skin care products with more ease.
The Anti-aging Ingredients You Need:
AHAS (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHA (beta hydroxy acids)- AHAS, also known as glycolic acid, works by exfoliating the skin to remove dead or damaged skin cells. This allows younger, healthier skin cells to move to the surface so skin will look smoother. Removing dead skin cells also helps the absorption of moisturizers and serums so they can do their job better. BHA, also referred as salicylic acid, works by penetrating deeper into the pore to break up oil and debris. This ingredient is especially important if you have acne prone skin. By removing the oil and debris deep down, skin looks healthier and again, allows for better absorption of moisturizers and serums.
Retinol- This is also known as Vitamin A and is considered the holy grail of the anti-aging world. Retinol is an anti-oxidant that helps to fight free radicals that can cause wrinkles and helps to stimulate the production of collagen (the fibers that keep skin looking full and plump). Retinol is available either over the counter or as a prescription. Obviously the prescription strength is going to have a higher concentration which will work faster and harder on the deeper wrinkles. However, over the counter products work just as well but they contain lower concentrations of retinol so they will take longer (can be up to 2 months) and work better on more superficial wrinkles. Retinol can be extremely irritating on sensitive skin so use caution when starting a product with retinol.
Vitamin C and Vitamin E- These vitamins are also important antioxidants that help to smooth fine lines and build collagen. Vitamin C also helps to reduce discoloration, strengthen skin’s natural barrier, and reduce inflammation. True Vitamin C will activate once exposed to sun light so it should be stored in a dark bottle. Vitamin E also helps to protects skin’s barrier but also slows the loss of collagen. Vitamin E works the best when paired with Vitamin C so find a product that contains both for best results.
The ones listed above or the most common anti-aging ingredients but there are many other players including Green Tea/White Tea, Niacinamide, Reseratrol, Grape Seed, Curcuminoids, Soy Isoflavones/Extract, Pomegranate, Ceramides, Lineoleic/Linolenic Acids/Phospholipids, and Hyaluronic Acid.
Not one of these ingredients can prevent anti-aging on their own so it is best to find a product that contains multiple ingredients listed here. Remember, some of these products can be harsh on the skin (such as the case of Retinol) so use caution when starting a new product and it may take time for the product to work. Also, when buying an anti-aging product, check the label. You want to buy a product that has any of these ingredients listed at the top of the ingredient list, if they are not, they will not be as potent and you won’t get the kind of results desired. One more thing, price is not always an indicator that the product will work better. Some drugstore products work just as well as the more expensive products. The take away message is to find a product with multiple anti-aging ingredients listed and near the top of the ingredient list.
I hope this post helps clarify any questions about anti-aging. I have started my search for the perfect anti-aging product to include in my skin care routine. If you have a product you love please let me know in the comment section and don’t forget to follow my blog!