So what makes an anti-aging cream work? With so many products on the market, it is often difficult to figure out which products will slow the effects of time on your skin and which products are just marketing gimmicks. Knowing some key ingredients will definitely help. We all know that retinol and sunscreen have proven benefits, but knowing about the following anti-agers as the most potent wrinkle-fighters will definitely help you make the right choices.
These essential vitamins appear in multiple forms and complexes in skin-care products. Yet the function of all vitamin B derivatives is the same: to convert food into energy to fuel vital body processes — including those responsible for healthy, firm skin. Vitamin B and all its derivatives are essential for healthy skin, hair, and nails. B vitamins can be especially potent in moisturisers as they help heal and regenerate damaged skin more quickly. And to supplement your anti-aging cream, one of the best natural sources of vitamin B is bananas.
Coenzyme Q10 (vitamin Q) is a strong antioxidant that can help build the foundation needed for younger-looking skin. Coenzyme Q10 helps protect the elastic tissue and collagen that shape your skin. As we get older, our natural coenzyme Q10 levels diminish, slowing the skin’s ability to rejuvenate and protect itself from damage. To build levels of the coenzyme, taking a dietary supplement in addition to using topical creams yields optimal results.
Copper is found in trace amounts in skin cells where it binds proteins together. Essential for collagen formation, the anti-aging ingredient helps support the skin to prevent sagging and to fill in wrinkles. Studies have shown that copper contributes to the clearing and renewal of fractured collagen, making it an excellent ingredient for those who wish to improve the look of sun-damaged skin and scars. Copper is non-irritating and a thus a good alternative for those with sensitive skin who may not be able to tolerate retinoids.
You may sip a cup of warm green tea to relax, but the ancient plant from which the tea is brewed is replete with nutrients that recharge your skin. Green tea has a wonderful effect on dark circles — which is especially striking when combined with caffeine in eye cream. Green tea is also an antioxidant, meaning that it aids in preventing and repairing the damage done by oxidation, which breaks down skin cells.
Peptides are becoming increasingly popular anti-aging skin care ingredients. Peptides are short chains of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Most peptide creams are designed to stimulate collagen to improve the appearance of wrinkles. But not all peptide creams are created equal, so you should stick to products that have gone through clinical testing.
Retinoids and Retinols
Over-the-counter retinols and prescription retinoids like Retin-A are derivatives of vitamin A. Retinoids and retinols speed up and stimulate cell turnover and collagen production for smoother and younger-looking skin. No other ingredient has been more tested and proven by the medical community as an aging antidote than retinoids. But don’t expect results overnight — it takes several weeks or even months for retinol to exert its wrinkle-fighting effect, so it must be used over long periods of time. Retinoids and retinols can be drying, and can make you more sensitive to the sun. Use them in moderation, and counter any retinoid- or retinol-containing product with daily sunscreen use.
Vitamin E is a powerhouse when it comes to reversing the type of skin damage that leads to dryness, collagen destruction, and fine lines and wrinkles. The vitamin neutralises cell-damaging free radicals, which are triggered by environmental factors like sun exposure. Vitamin E is a great antioxidant to look for in rejuvenating skin creams, and it can assist with wound healing as well, by strengthening the skin barrier. This is why pure vitamin E oil remains a popular and inexpensive salve for cracked cuticles and scars from cuts, burns, and surgery.
Not only does sunscreen help prevent skin cancer, it’s also been shown to improve the cosmetic appearance of the face, even if used by itself. Sunscreen alone applied to the face for one year in a study resulted in improvements of cosmetic measures like skin tone, texture and wrinkles.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that neutralises damage from free radicals and helps complement the effect of your sunscreen. In the morning, experts advise layering vitamin C underneath sunscreen. Vitamin C also interferes with abnormal pigment production, helping to lighten dark spots.
Hydroxy acids like glycolic acid help exfoliate dead cells from the surface of the skin. They’ve also been shown to stimulate collagen and improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Hydroxy acids come in varying strengths, so it’s important to check with your dermatologist to find out which one is right for you.