Dermatologist gives insights to help you look your best at any age!
What ingredients should (or shouldn’t) anti-aging creams contain and why (or why not)?
Broad spectrum sunscreen: because skin aging is mostly due to sun and not age (compare the buttocks skin to facial or outer arm skin of someone who has been in the sun during their life, or V of neck to breasts in a woman for the proof).
Retinol: Retinoids are the best studied ingredient for building collagen under your skin. Building your own skin collagen is the only way to get it! More skin collagen means fewer fine lines and wrinkles. (Did you know that using collagen containing creams won’t build your skin’s collagen because collagen molecules are too big to pass through the skin?) Retinol helps to smooth your skin’s texture, giving you a more youthful appearing complexion. It also decreased age spots
Glycolic acid: This works fast to brighten skin, stimulate some collagen formation and your skin’s deeper production of hyaluronic acid, which makes skin look dewy and soft. It also lightens age spots and uneven skin pigment and smooths crusty age keratosis (seborrheic keratosis).
Hydrators such as hyaluronic acid: These will instantly plump crepey and limp skin and create a youthful dewy character to skin tone.
Antioxidants such as green tea and Vitamin C: They help skin fight free radical induced structural damage. Damaging free radicals form in your skin from exposure to UV sun rays and environmental stressors, and from normal physiologic activities. You want your skin to have a healthy antioxidant reserve to neutralize free radicals the minute they form in your skin so that they don’t damage skin structures. Green tea antioxidant polyphenols are a proven antioxidant for the job. Vitamin C is too. Vitamin C can also stimulate skin collagen formation and lighten age spots, but it is less effective than retinoids and glycolic acid for these latter 2 benefits.
A good moisturizer: Your skin gets drier as you age, leading to a weakened skin barrier strength. If you don’t use a good moisturizer, your skin will get drier and drier. Moisturizers with ingredients like ceramides and squalane are great choices to fight this aspect of skin aging.
Besides ingredients, are there other qualities anti-aging creams should have?
Your anti-aging creams must fit your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, don’t use harsh acid pH products. For example, don’t use Vitamin C or glycolic acid if your skin can’t tolerate them without irritation. If you have dry skin, look for hydrating products or be certain to top products with a moisturizer.
Some anti-aging active ingredients breakdown on contact with air, such as Vitamin C and other antioxidants like green tea polyphenols. Look for those products in air tight containers.