Trusted anti-aging ingredients
Stopping the clock may be impossible, but your future doesn’t have to be all doom, gloom and wrinkles. Here’s how to slow the effects of time when it comes to your skin.
“The days of putting on a cream that smells good but does nothing for your skin are long gone,” says dermatological chemist Ben Kaminsky. Thanks to the era of cosmeceuticals, today’s skincare
ingredients are verging on the pharmaceutical in their ability to work below the skin’s surface. With new advances in technology and a plethora of lotions that promise dramatic results, it can be hard to
decode what you should add to your skincare routine. Here’s our guide to what works.
Skin savers to slather on at any age
While you may have enjoyed sunning yourself on the patio this summer, your skin hasn’t forgotten it. “Sun damage is accumulative,” says Leanne McCliskie, Canada’s education manager for
The International Dermal Institute. “It is remembered and stored and surfaces years later.” In fact, 90 percent of skin’s aging is due to sun exposure, according to Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Lisa
Kellett. With UVA rays still strong in winter, it’s important to always slather on a broad-spectrum sunscreen before you head outdoors.
Extracts of green tea and grape seed–along with vitamins A, C and E, coenzyme Q10 and idebenone–are the equivalent of skin superheroes. They are just some of the antioxidant ingredients that can intercept free radicals that are unleashed on the skin when exposed to pollution, smoke and UV rays. Not only do antioxidants act as protectors, preventing cellular damage that can lead to advanced aging and potentially serious diseases, but research has shown that they can also help reverse some skin damage.
“The most essential secret to sexy, ageless skin is to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize,” says Kaminsky, co-author of Beyond Botox: 7 Strategies for Sexy, Ageless Skin Without Needles or Surgery (Springboard, 2006). Well-hydrated skin looks and feels plump, as moisture diminishes the appearance of fine lines. Skin naturally becomes drier as you age, as sebum production slows down and
skin thins. Traditionally, creams acted as a barrier to prevent moisture from escaping, but new skincare advances mean that ingredients can boost hyaluronic acid (a humectant that draws in water and can hold 1,000 times its own weight in H20) in the skin.
Try these trusted anti-aging ingredients to renew skin
Alpha and beta hydroxy acids, including glycolic and salicylic acids, are chemical exfoliants. They break the bonds between cells, which helps dead skin shed more easily–no scrubbing required. “I’m a huge fan of exfoliation because as you age, your skin doesn’t turn over as quickly, and getting rid of the dead cells is one of the best ways to make your skin look brighter,” says Kellett. Glycolic acid at professional-grade strengths can also boost collagen production.
Vitamin A and its many derivatives are favourites among dermatologists. “Anyone over 25 who has some fine lines should be on vitamin A or a retinoid,” says Kellett. Evening skin tone, reducing fine lines and normalizing cell turnover are some of the benefits that come with regular use. At prescription strength, they can also stimulate collagen renewal. “Over-the-counter creams are not as effective as prescription-grade products,” says Kellett. But she says that retinol-based cosmetics are still a great starting place, as they can brighten skin and improve its texture. Be aware that the aggressive
nature of retinoids can cause irritation. It’s also even more important to wear sunscreen, as vitamin A makes skin photosensitive.
—From “Time Will Tell”, Glow Magazine, October 2006.