Ever wonder which skincare ingredients really get the job done? You practically need a medical degree to decipher the endless products and lingo found in the skincare aisle. From intense acti-firming-this to advanced age-correcting-that, it can be utterly overwhelming trying to pick anti-aging products.
So we did a bit of digging to find out which ingredients truly make a difference and are worth your beauty bucks. These five anti-aging rockstars passed the test:
RETINOL: You’ve undoubtedly heard of retinol since it’s touted as one of the most effective wrinkle fighters on the market. But just what is this miracle worker, exactly? Retinol is derived from Vitamin A in its purest form.
Why it works: In short, retinol stimulates collagen production, increases cellular rejuvenation, and even helps reduce pore size, leaving you with softer, smoother skin.
Tip: Due to its powerful punch, retinol can be irritating at first. Start by using a retinol-based product every other night, then work up to nightly use. You can also go for a version created specifically for sensitive skin. (One to try: RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream, $21.99)
VITAMIN C ESTER: These days Vitamin C is a big time player in the skincare game. Vitamin C stimulates the growth of our cells and also prevents free radical damage.
How it works: When used topically, Vitamin C Ester helps prevent collagen breakdown and combat wrinkles. It also acts as a brightening agent.
Tip: Make certain the product specifically contains Vitamin C Ester. This version is fat-soluble and displays the largest amount of antioxidant activity in our cells. It’s also more stable in topical solutions, helping them to maintain their efficacy. (One to try: Reviva Labs Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin C Ester, & DMAE Cream, $23.99)
PEPTIDES: Without getting too “sciencey,” peptides are chains of amino acids that signal the skin to produce more collagen.
Why it works: Peptides are small molecules, so they’re able to easily penetrate the skin to trigger collagen production, leading to plumper, smoother skin.
Tip: Copper peptides are often referred to as the most effective in the peptide family (per various studies), so when buying a peptide product keep this in mind. (One to try: Olay Professional Pro-X Intensive Wrinkle Protocol, $48.99)
HYDROXY ACIDS: Hydroxy acids (like alpha, beta, and poly hydroxyl) are derived from sugar-containing fruits and are considered some of the most effective exfoliants. These acids are typically found in peels and scrubs and help boost skin’s radiance.
Why it works: Hydroxy acids remove the upper layer of old, dead skin and stimulate cell growth, leaving you with a smooth, even complexion.
Tip: Don’t overdo it. Using hydroxy acids too often can be harsh on skin. Once or twice a week is ideal. (One to try: Alpha Hydrox 10% Glycolic AHA Anti-Wrinkle Lotion, $11.99)
SUNSCREEN: Indeed, everything you’ve heard about the importance of sunscreen is true (and then some). UV rays are infamous for causing premature wrinkles, brown spots, and sagging by destroying our skin’s elastin.
Why it works: Sunscreen “molecules” (think UV filters) basically reflect UV light so that less of it reaches the deeper layers of the skin.
Tip: Choose a broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30. Worried about messing up your makeup? These days most moisturizers contain SPF, but if yours doesn’t, apply a light mist of aerosol SPF when you're finished putting on your face. (One to try: Philosophy Here Comes The Sun Age-Defense SPF Sunscreen Spray, $26)
Now, your next trip to the skincare aisle won’t be time consuming and confusing! When used consistently, these five power players can help stave off dull skin, fine lines and everything in between.
What are your favorite anti-aging products and tips GalTime.com readers? Share ‘em in the comments section below!
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