Who wouldn’t love to have fewer wrinkles? Most women would. That’s for sure! In fact, 75% of women use skin care products so they can look their best at their age.
But new scientific claims about new ingredients pop up all the time. For example, have you heard that maple syrup might be the new fountain of youth?
Are you confused about which anti-aging ingredients really work? Would you like to know the science behind their power?
If so, we’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find the complete guide to the most common ingredients found in anti-wrinkle creams. Read on for more information!
Anti-aging products make all sorts of promises. From reducing fine lines and wrinkles to literally turning back the clock, these creams and serums appear to be nothing short of magical.
The good news is that some of the most popular anti-aging ingredients do appear to work. Let’s examine the scientific claims behind the most sought-after anti-aging ingredients. We’ll see what they do and why they’re effective.
Among the more effective anti-aging ingredients are antioxidants. Vitamins A, C, and E all belong to this group, and they keep your skin looking younger by neutralizing free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules. They are everywhere around us and also in our own bodies. Things like light, pollution, and cigarette smoke also trigger their production.
Their big problem is they’re missing an electron. That’s why they’re unstable. Free radicals try to make up for their missing electron by stealing an electron from another molecule.
Unfortunately, that theft turns the other molecule into a free radical as well. And, now you’ve got two free radicals looking for their lost electron. You can see how this process can cause a cascade of damage.
If this process involves your skin cells, your skin ends up damaged. It may end up having more wrinkles and fine lines or looking generally older.
Luckily, we know antioxidants can halt this process. They can give free radicals an extra electron, thereby putting an end to the damage they inflict on your skin.
In the next couple sections, let’s look at some of the more well-known antioxidants and see how they help your skin look younger.
Retinol is a widely-used ingredient in anti-aging products. It has been extensively studied and has been shown repeatedly to reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
Retinol is a natural form of Vitamin A. Our bodies produce less of this antioxidant as we age. And, as shown above, this deficiency can give free radicals their chance to damage and age our skin.
With repeated use, retinol can:
Retinol can make your skin appear smoother, firmer, and, most of all, brighter.
This is especially true when those free radicals are the result of too much sun exposure. In that case, vitamin C can limit the damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) light exposure.
Remember, vitamin C isn’t a sunscreen. It doesn’t absorb light in either the UVA or UVB spectrum. But, it does help cells survive when UV light may have fatally damaged them.
What’s more, vitamin C also appears to play a role in collagen synthesis. Collagen is an essential structural protein that gives skin structure and vibrancy.
As we age, we produce less collagen. Your skin can then start to look baggy and loose. Vitamin C can help reverse this process, making your skin firmer and tighter.
There are three groups of hydroxy acids:
They all work as exfoliants, meaning they slough off the upper layer of dead, old skin cells. This process stimulates the growth of new skin cells, resulting in fresh, smooth, and bright skin.
The alpha hydroxy acids are lactic, glycolic, and citric acid. They derive from natural ingredients like fruits and milk sugars.
Each kind of acid will affect your skin a little bit differently. For example, lactic acid comes from sour milk. It works to remove dead skin cells, brightening your skin.
Glycolic acid, on the other hand, comes from sugar cane. It will reduce fine lines and wrinkles, making your skin look smoother and brighter.
If retinol irritates or dries out your skin, the hydroxy acids are a gentler alternative.
You may have heard about peptides’ ability to heal wounds and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Now, it appears they can also take on wrinkles.
We discussed the protein collagen above. Both it and the protein elastin are essential for maintaining a youthful appearance. Again, unfortunately, as we age, our bodies produce less of them. Decreasing levels makes our skin sag and causes wrinkles to form.
Peptides can stimulate new cell growth and help skin cells heal. By encouraging the replacement of collagen and elastin cells, then, they help skin maintain its youthful glow and plumpness.
Coenzyme Q10 is produced naturally by your body. It’s found in every cell and tissue, including skin cells. Coenzyme Q10 helps to make energy, fight off those pesky free radicals, and keep cells healthy.
When we’re young, our bodies make lots of coenzyme Q10. Because of stress and general aging, though, our bodies begin making less of it. In fact, researchers can use coenzyme Q10 levels to tell how old someone is!
Decreasing levels of coenzyme Q10 have a profound effect on your skin’s appearance. Coenzyme Q10 is a necessary component in the production of collagen and elastin. Remember, without these proteins, your skin may start wrinkling and sagging.
Creams and other products containing coenzyme Q10 can help maintain skin firmness. It’s also noted for reducing wrinkles around the eyes and protecting skin from sun damage.
We’ve all heard of the many health benefits green tea has to offer! It’s been promised to fight everything from inflammation to cancer.
And, it looks like tea extracts all have useful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties for your skin, too. This is true whether they’re from green, black, or oolong teas. Green tea extracts, though, are the ones most commonly found in wrinkle creams.
Green tea isn’t just good for your body. It can also hydrate your skin by boosting its natural moisture content, helping it to stay hydrated over extended periods of time.
Green tea also contains a high concentration of polyphenols. These are plant-based chemicals that fight off disease.
Concerning your skin, polyphenols have a strong anti-aging effect. Not only do they decrease inflammation, but they also lower the amount of free-radical formation.
Rosemary is a wonderfully-smelling herb used in Mediterranean cuisine. It’s also an antioxidant that can protect your skin from pollution and other stressors.
That’s because rosemary is a natural antiseptic. In fact, this quality makes rosemary an ideal treatment for acne and other conditions associated with oily skin.
Rosemary also contains powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. They increase blood flow and boost circulation, with the following anti-aging benefits for skin:
This nutritional powerhouse also contains essential minerals like iron and calcium. These phytonutrients help repair cells that have may have been damaged by too much sun.
We all know how much sun damage contributes to premature aging. Rosemary’s ability to combat the harmful effects of UV radiation is an important part of its anti-aging arsenal.
It’s important to note that no cream, lotion, or serum is going to produce magical results after a single use. All products take time to work, and they all require consistent use to produce results.
Even the best anti-wrinkle cream will take four to eight weeks to make real changes in your skin. What’s more, all products, no matter how effective, needs to be used every day.
That’s because your skin is being regenerated 24 hours a day. It’s best, then, to apply your anti-aging products in the morning and the night.
Also, just because a product worked for your friend, doesn’t mean it’s going to be ideal for you. It’s okay to try a few products before settling on one that’s a good fit for your skin. No one product is going to work the same way for everyone.
Finally, any product, even natural ones, can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. It’s best to test your anti-aging cream or serum on a tiny patch of skin before applying it all over your face. That way, you know ahead-of-time if you’ll have a reaction.
There you have it! Everything you need to know about the ingredients commonly found in anti-wrinkle creams.
As you can see, many of them are effective in reducing wrinkles and fine lines. They’re also good for brightening and firming skin.