A lot of skincare products promise glowing results, but not all of them deliver. How do you identify the “hype” from the tried-and-true? Before buying any product, be sure to check the ingredients for any known allergens and research their effectiveness. There are numerous anti-aging products out there - knowing which ones actually work can help you decide if the product is worth trying. Here are eight anti-aging ingredients that are proven to help combat signs of skin aging (in no particular order):
The retinol craze is not just hype. Countless scientific studies and results support its effectiveness. After hitting your mid-30s, cell regeneration slows down, causing signs of aging, such as dryness, dullness and wrinkles. This is where Retinol does its magic. This powerful antioxidant sinks into your skin and accelerates cell turnover, making your body produce fresher, smoother skin again. Don’t expect to see results overnight, though. As with almost any skincare product, it will take consistent usage to see the results. After using retinol consistently for three months, dark spots, fine lines and acne should begin to fade, leaving an enhanced skin texture.
- Vitamin C
Turns out Vitamin C is not only effective in protecting you from a cold, but it also protects your skin from free radicals—unstable oxygen-containing molecules that can cause skin cells to break down. This powerful antioxidant can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and protect the skin from environmental pollutants like exposure to the sun and pollution. Vitamin C also boosts the skin’s collagen, providing a plumper look and prevents the production of excess pigment in the skin, helping fade spots and discoloration.
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 and is known to help the body perform important functions, such as DNA signaling, cell signaling and turning carbohydrates into proteins and fats. It keeps melanin from reaching the skin’s surface, consequently lightening the areas of dark spots that afflict mature skin, naturally fighting hyperpigmentation. This vitamin B-3 derivative also helps in reducing water loss in the skin and can help in brightening the skin and improving the skin’s elasticity. Niacinamide also helps calm skin inflammation and redness.
- Green Tea
Green Tea is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is packed with polyphenols which mainly contribute to its anti-aging benefits. The polyphenols fight free radicals and help in cell regeneration. There are studies that show that ingredients in tea can reduce sun damage, decrease collagen breakdown, and protect skin from cancer. Skincare products with green tea extracts may also slow down signs of aging and help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, thanks to polyphenols.
- Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is a potent chemical exfoliant which can be found naturally in foods. This sugarcane derivative is known to increase the production of collagen and elastin in the body which helps reduce signs of skin aging. It’s a member of the AHA, alpha hydroxy acid, family, and is regularly used in exfoliating products. Basically, glycolic acid helps remove dead skin cells and reveal smoother skin underneath. It’s very beneficial in reducing fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. The effects of glycolic acid vary depending on its concentration in the product being used.
- Hyaluronic Acid
The Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology has published a study showing the significant benefits of hyaluronic acid in managing signs of aging in the skin, specifically in decreasing the depth of wrinkles and improving skin hydration, skin firmness and elasticity. Hyaluronic acid is a favorite ingredient when it comes to skin hydration. It works by drawing water to and trapping it in your skin, providing excellent moisturization, plumper skin and fewer fine lines.
Sunscreen is a must when heading outdoors. Using sunscreen (at least SPF 30) protects against both UVA and UVB rays and helps prevent skin damage. Protecting your skin is necessary for cosmetic reasons, but also because harmful rays from the sun can cause skin cancer. UV rays break down collagen and elastin, which is needed to keep the skin firm and plump. Over time, collagen breakdown causes premature signs of aging, such as wrinkles and sagging skin. Exposure to the sun can also cause dark age spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation, preventable with regular use of sunscreen. Sunscreen, used by itself, will not lessen existing wrinkles or dark spots, but it will help prevent more from forming.
- Lactic Acid
This is another type of AHA and is typically derived from milk. Lactic acid is milder and less irritating than glycolic acid. It’s commonly found in mild peels and gentle exfoliating products, helping the skin achieve a more even and brighter complexion. Lactic acid increases the natural moisturizing factors in the skin, unlike most exfoliating ingredients which may cause dryness if not used correctly. Even though lactic acid is gentler than other exfoliants, your skin may still be sensitive to sun exposure, so wearing sunscreen is still a must.
Final Thoughts:While there is no magic formula that can stop aging, these ingredients have proven benefits to help manage signs of aging and achieve a more youthful complexion. Ingredients found in skincare products that hydrate and moisturize can help the skin appear more plump and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Those that have mild exfoliating properties can help reduce different signs of aging such as pigmentation and texture issues. These anti-aging ingredients also help in addressing acne, redness and other skin problems. When shopping for skincare products, be sure to look for any of these best anti-aging ingredients that stand the test of time.