Aging isn't a disease, but if you believe what you see on commercials, you might be convinced that age-related skin damage is the most significant obstacle humanity faces. Cosmetic companies make a pretty penny from selling people products that don't work, but don't buy into the hype. Look for products that contain one or more of the following ingredients if you really want to see results.
Retinol is a form of Vitamin A, which means it's an age-fighting antioxidant. The power of retinol extends far beyond general anti-aging benefits, though. Retinol increases skin elasticity, and can increase the prevalence of a host of chemicals associated with youthful, plump skin. It also helps fight off acne, which means that if you're dealing with both wrinkles and acne, this product could be your best friend. Retinol can be harsh, so stick with one treatment a day, then gradually increase to two if you don't have an adverse reaction.
If you're plagued by age spots and dark circles, niacinamide is one of the few things that can actually get rid of them. This derivative of vitamin B works quickly to brighten the skin, but it may also help with age-related inflammation. This makes it the perfect choice for those struggling with red, irritated skin as well as those who wish to banish age spots.
3. Hyaluronic Acid
Hyalruonic acid is a highly humectant moisturizer that works to enliven even the driest skin. And because it occurs naturally in the body, it's far less likely to cause an allergic reaction or breakout than the oils many skincare products rely on. Some research suggests that hyaluronic acid may also increase collagen production and plump the skin, potentially diminishing the appearance of fine lines.
Sunscreen won't reverse the damage the sun has already done, but it will work wonders to reduce future damage. Most dermatologists believe between 80% and 90% of wrinkles are caused by sun damage, so if you can block out the sun's rays now, you can help slow the aging process, helping you look more youthful 10 years from now.
Antioxidants are chemicals that destroy free radicals. Free radicals, like their name implies, are unruly molecules that build up in the body over time. Though harmless in small numbers, when they begin to accumulate, free radicals are implicated in just about every age-related condition, from skin aging to cancer. Antioxidants are a powerful antidote to these out of control chemicals. Antioxidants may be listed as natural ingredients, such as when a product contains orange extract or pomegranate juice, since many antioxidants derive from fruits. The chemical names for some popular antioxidants include:
- Salicylic acid
- Acai oil
- Alpha-lipoic acid
- Green tea
- EoEnzyme q-10 (Sometimes called CoQ-10)
- Alpha-hydroxy acid
Antioxidants are generally safe even when combined with one another, so if a product contains multiple antioxidants it might pack a more powerful punch. This rule isn't set in stone, though, since proportions vary from skin cream to skin cream.