What do those anti-aging ingredients really do?
Skin care can be confusing. You want to use the best products to keep your skin healthy and looking its best. But you don’t want to go broke doing it. And you’d like to use natural products if you can. In order to do all of these things, you need to educate yourself about skin care products – and more specifically, their ingredients.
Anti-aging can be confusing
Anti-aging products are one of the biggest segments of the skin care industry. It makes sense – even young people begin to look ahead and want to get an early start on keeping their skin looking youthful.
But then you see talk shows and read articles that claim that there is no “miracle” skin care product, and that skin aging is all genetic. And while it’s true that science has yet to discover a “miracle” that reverses aging skin, it’s absolutely untrue that all skin aging is genetic, and it’s certainly untrue that there’s nothing you can do to help keep your skin looking younger,
Know your skin care ingredients
If you’ve ever looked at the ingredients list on the typical skin care item, you’ve noticed how lengthy they can get. And while it’s probably not necessary to know each and every ingredient on the label, it is pretty important to be sure that you’re getting anti-aging ingredients if that’s your goal when buying the product.
Proven anti-aging ingredients
There is no one complete, definitive list of proven anti-aging ingredients, but we’ve compiled a list of some of those that have been around long enough that they’re known to be both safe and effective.
You may be aware of antioxidants, as they are the ingredients that work to prevent/reverse free-radical damage. While the list of antioxidants is fairly long, there are two that are time-tested and effective – as well as pretty easy to find in skin care.
Vitamin C helps to reduce environmental damage, while also helping to brighten the skin. While many products will list it as Vitamin C, it is also commonly listed as L-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate, or sodium ascorbyl phosphate.
Vitamin E is another great antioxidant. It may be listed as Vitamin E, tocopherol, or tocopheryl acetate.
A peptide is a chain of amino acids; and amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Collagen is one of many critical proteins in the body, and is the protein responsible for giving our skin its thickness and suppleness.
Collagen begins to break down as a result of the natural aging process, as well as outside factors like exposure to the sun or pollution, or even illness.
Some peptides work by promoting collagen production, while others known as “neuropeptides” help “block” the repetitive movements that cause wrinkles such as crows feet. In other words, they “relax” the wrinkle response – but without actually freezing the muscles like a Botox® injection would.
There are numerous peptides used effectively in skin care; the first to be broadly used in topical skin care was palmitoyl pentapeptide – and it is still used effectively today. Other popular peptides used in skin care include Acetyl hexapeptide-3 (Argireline), Progeline (Glycerin (and) Water (and) Dextran (and) Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2), and Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 (Syn-Coll). Most peptides actually contain the word peptide somewhere in their scientific name, which makes it easier to determine if your product contains them.
Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) is a well-known skin firming ingredient that stimulates the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that communicates between nerves and muscles, helping to improve skin tone. DMAE also has anti-inflammatory properties, and fits into the antioxidant category as well, as it helps guard against free radicals.
Retinoids have been among the most popular anti-aging ingredients for decades. They help accelerate cell turnover, which fights sun damage and the fine lines associated with sun and other environmental exposure. Retinoids are a derivative of Vitamin A, and can also be used to fight acne, due to their ability to stimulate cell turnover. Retinoids are very effective, but they can be harsh on more sensitive skin, and it’s recommended to always use sun protection when using a retinoid. They are commonly listed in the ingredients as retinyl palmitate, retinol, and/or retinaldehyde.
The real secret to keeping skin looking young is to keep it looking healthy. These ingredients go a long way toward helping skin look young and vibrant, but it’s also important to eat healthy, stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and take care of yourself overall. Then you can expect these products to be the icing on the anti-aging cake.